We love parallel walks. A dog can benefit so much from a walk with another dog. It gives them the opportunity to be around another dog without the pressure to interact, which can also help them learn to be calm in the presence of other dogs/people. Sometimes I don’t always feel comfortable letting my fosters play off-leash with other dogs, but I’m always up for a fun leash walk!
The day after Thanksgiving was totally wide open for us. It was me, Charlie Bear, and a gorgeous Fall day, which obviously meant scoping out the best place to take him hiking. I decided tocall up R to see if he and Otis wanted to join so that Charlie could practice walking nicely with another dog. The four of us headed out to the C & O Canal, one of my absolute favorite spots to go for a nice long walk.
Charlie and Otis immediately hit it off. In addition to getting practice walking with each other, both dogs got to work on staying calm when bikers, joggers, walkers and other dogs passed by. With the help of treats and some distraction with the “sit” command, both boys pretty quickly began ignoring the passing company.
It can be helpful to take young dogs (or any age, really) to low-key places like this for a controlled amount of positive interactions (if and ONLY if they can handle it and aren’t reactive, etc.). What you want to avoid is introducing them to too much, causing them to become overstimulated where they might learn negative behavior or bad associations. Socialization does not mean blasting your dog with every experience under the sun – it means controlled, positive situations where they can grow and learn in a positive way. It also means knowing when to call it quits. We never reached that point with Charlie (or Otis, for that matter) because he’s pretty great in new situations, but I was constantly watching his body language for signs of stress.
As you can tell, the boys seemed pretty
too cool for school during their hike. After all the learning, practicing, and perfecting, both Charlie and Otis enjoyed some relaxing time lounging around for photos – which quickly turned into attempted play time! Ha!
I am proud of Charlie Bear for doing so awesome and for proving to me yet again what a great dog he will make for someone. To top off our fun afternoon, Char plopped down when we got home from that walk and didn’t get up again until dinner. Thanks to the basic obedience practice and the physical exercise, Charlie was tired and happy.
If you’re interested in adding Charlie to your family, email me at email@example.com, or fill out an application on the Jasmine’s House website.