March 17th, 2006, 11:03 PM
Hi we have started a group called the "pit bull co-op in order to help our dogs, pitties that is, maintain socialization through Ontarios Pit Bull Ban. We m eet once a week for group dog walks. It is finally starting to catch on and each week we are anticipating new dogs showing up, with their people that is. The only rules so far are that they are muzzled and leashed, not our rules, the law in Ontario, and that their owners are responsible and keep them under control. Some of our dogs are very social and some not at all, most of them like some dogs and not others. So far all has gone very well, the two dominant males may give one another a dirty look or so but nothing past that, infact they are kind of taking to each other at this point. And the three or four girls are all okay, Ofcourse the boys like the girls:) Generally we let them sniff eac other a bit and then just start walking, sometimes theres some noise at the beginiing when the sniffing is going on and once the walking starts all is well. So Im not really posting about a problem, just wondering if theres any tips for dealing with large groups and how to introduce the newbies into the pack. And is forming a pack a positivie thing?
March 18th, 2006, 09:28 AM
LOL, I thought you meant a Pitty Party when I first read the title.:p
You should not be forming a pack if each dog is emotionally connected to their person and respects them over the other dogs. Of course there might be challenges depending on the personalities of the individual dogs. But I would recommend that everyone do some (even 5 minutes) of obedience work before you start walking. Picture you all getting ready for a run and you would all do stretching as a group just before you go out.
If things start to get out of hand then everyone should agree to stop and do another 5 minutes of drills. Also try to change whose walking in front and back - change out like a flock of geese - this is really good for the dogs mental attitude. Play follow the leader around trees, over rocks, through bushes etc - this will keep everyone's minds on their dogs. I know it is to be social too but the dogs are ambassadors of the breed and it would be great for people to see how on task you all are and how great the dogs are.
March 18th, 2006, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the tips Tenderfoot, I like the idea of getting everyone doing their drills so to speak before the walk starts! I think some of us kind of do that now, but taking time out when everyone gets there would be really great for setting the pace. Ill mention all of it to the group on Monday night. Oh were taking pics this week I think so Ill post them here. thanks again:)
March 18th, 2006, 08:56 PM
One more question, sometimes off leash dogs approach the group, dogs not with us, and my boy and a few others get upset and start barkng alot, what is the best response in this situation, its a little nerve wracking since all of our group is leashed and muzzled, and often these are large breed dogs, they so far havent seemed aggressive, more curious, we are quite a site LOL Should we stop and have the dogs sit, or at least the ones making the noise, like my guy, or should we just keep going?
March 18th, 2006, 09:20 PM
It kind of depends on the dog. Some dogs you just want to keep briskly walking along and use the 'leave it' command in an intense low voice. Other dogs it would be good to get their attention and have them do a sit/stay. The idea is that if your dog is good you don't have to worry about other dogs. So if your dog will stay then you can concentrate on taking control of the loose dog and back him away. Your dog needs to hold the stay and see that you have things under control - not that he thinks he needs to help you.
Our 'out' drill is great for keeping strange dogs at bay. It proves to all of the dogs that you are in charge. Usually when you do an 'out' on a strange dog they are so shocked that someone is telling them what to do that they just back away and don't bug you.