Eureka! Dog Blog

Dog Training and Behavior weblog

McKinney Dog Pack

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Today we had the first meeting of the McKinney Dog Pack meetup group.  (If you want to know more about it, go look on Meetup.com.)  We had advertised it for anyone in the area who wanted to join us for an on-leash social event and chance to meet other dogs, dog people, and a couple of trainers.  The logic behind it is basically:-

  • We are dog trainers
  • We want to meet local dog people.
  • We see a lot of dogs that are under-socialized.
  • We see a lot of dogs that don’t get the opportunity to go out when their people go out (often because their people are worried about how the dog will react, so it’s a vicious circle).
  • We wanted to have some fun!

Then the response started to get so great we became concerned.  What if a hundred people showed up with out-of-control dogs?  Visions of marauding dogs scaring the other park users.  We limited the meetup group size to 30, and exchanged emails with people who thought their dogs might become scared or aggressive in a crowd.  We asked some of them to hold off for the first meeting, and encouraged others to seek us out at this meeting, so we could help.

In fact, about 15 dogs showed up, and it was a peaceful and friendly gathering.  We separated the small dogs and puppies from the larger dogs, Jan demonstrated doing dog introductions and loose leash walking, and everyone got to do a little solializing.  As expected, some people and their dogs were very skilled, others had a good deal to learn.

Amber Palmer, a local photographer, was there with her dog Sugar, and took photos of the group.  We’re looking forward to seeing those!  Jan and I were there from Eureka!, and one or two of the attendees had clearly had training experience.  Everyone had the chance to show at least one thing their dog knew how to do.

I think it was a good first meeting.  We got a good idea of the kind of mix we would get, and the group was never out of control.  The more meetings we have, the more the established members will be able to help the newer members.  However, next time we’ll go through the loose leash walking again!  (And next time, I’ll get to go on a walk as well.)  Ideally, the group should start to be a regular social event for these dogs.  I’d like to see some of the members come forward with their ideas of how they’d like it to develop.

Written by eurekapaws

February 7, 2009 at 8:02 pm

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