What Are Structured Pack Walks? (& Why You Want To Book One!)

As a dog parent in Seattle, you know how lucky you are to live in the 9th most dog-friendly city in the United States (but also… what gives!? We should be number 1!).

With great parks, dog-friendly dining, and beautiful trails to explore with your dog, what more could you ask for? 

You might be asking for more time to explore with your dog. (We know that Seattle dog parents are busy, busy, busy!) Or maybe a little more yard space (perks of living near the city). A well-exercised dog is a happy dog, but work has a habit of getting in the way, and sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to squeeze in a good walk, especially midday! Not to mention that playing catch in your backyard to get your dog some running time is impossible when your yard is… just a balcony.

dog in seattle apartment

So how do you make time to get your dog enough exercise… plus help them socialize with other dogs in a safe manner? That’s where pack walks come in! Structured pack walks are the perfect solution to get your pup the exercise and dog-on-dog time they need. Think pack walks might be right for your dog? Stick with us to learn more about them and the benefits they can have for your dog.

 

What Is A Structured Pack Walk?

When you hear the term “pack walk”, you might be picturing leashed dogs dashing about uncontrollably, getting twisted around the dog walker. We know what you’re thinking; this does not seem like a safe or responsible way to have your dog walked. While it might lead to a “meet cute” in a rom-com, that’s not the way a safe, structured pack walk actually works.

structured pack walk in seattle wa

A structured pack walk is made up of a well-organized and controlled group of dogs. They may walk in a straight line, or in a loose group, but there are no hijinks, and they walk at a pace that’s suitable for every dog in the group. While out on a pack walk,  the dogs fall into a comfortable rhythm and enjoy their walking time with the rest of the group. 

There are lots of benefits to getting your dog into a “pack” for a group walk. Exercise is the most obvious, but pack walks can have a huge impact on your dog’s social and even emotional well-being.

 

Why Choose Structured Pack Walks?

Structured pack walks are a great way for your dog to socialize without having to worry about the “in your face” behaviors you may find at a dog park. Many dogs socialize better when walking together versus playing together. Aggressive behaviors can be avoided since there is no opportunity for them to misread each other’s body language. In particular, pack walking can be very beneficial when training a dog to be non-reactive on walks.

Through a pack walk, dogs can familiarize themselves with the scent and presence of other dogs, building up their exposure and experience. And the more positive experiences our dogs have with something, the more comfortable and well-balanced they are in that environment.

pack walk near seattle wa with Cosmic Home & Pets

Pack walks also remove the stress of human expectations from your dog. Dogs are pack animals. Human expectations are a mystery to them, especially in the early days of training. When dogs don’t understand what we want from them, this can be very stressful, and if not addressed, can lead to poor behavior and anxiety. Pack walks give your dog a chance to just be a dog. They can relax, fall into the pack, know what’s expected, and enjoy just being around other dogs. 

And finally, pack walks help dogs learn how to control themselves and follow directions. As they walk with other dogs, they are learning how to relate to them, which can extend to their human pack. They learn to follow the directions of the walker, with dogs new to the group taking their cues from the more experienced dogs. In all, your dog is learning to be more attentive and responsive just from a basic walk.

 

Why Book A Pack Walk With Cosmic Home & Pet?

When you book your dog for structured pack walks with Cosmic Home & Pet, your dog is getting more than just a walk. They’re benefitting from the dog training experience of co-owner Brea, a Certified Dog Trainer with over 13 years in the business! Brea takes the lead on our pack walks, working with the dogs on basic leash manners and impulse control.

If your dog is working on any training areas, Brea will incorporate that training into the group walk. Whether it’s proper play, recall, or walking on a loose leash, she strategically and thoughtfully incorporates aspects of their training… without interrupting the flow of the walk. Problem behaviors can be addressed before they have time to blossom into serious issues, and you will find that the skills your dog has practiced on their pack walks will absolutely translate to your one-on-one walks.

dog walk in seattle wa

Signing up for pack walks can feel really intimidating. So it’s important that you know that we don’t just toss your dog into a group and hope the fur doesn’t fly. We work with your dog one-on-one before deciding which walking group your dog should be a part of.  After all, we want this to be something your dog looks forward to and enjoys. And we need to maintain a safe environment for all dogs involved.

Dogs are placed into groups no larger than 5 or 6. Size, temperament, personality, and energy level are all taken into account when matching dogs with a group. Being in the right group is so important. Your dog will get more out of these walks if they are around a group of dogs they feel comfortable with so they get the most out of their experience.

Ready to book your dog’s first meeting and get them into a walking group? If you are in our service areas of Capitol Hill, Central District, North Leschi, Madison Park, Madison Valley, or Madrona, send us a message so we can get in touch!

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