What we're about
The focus of this meetup is on dogs who are leash reactive and whine, growl, bark and/or lunge at other dogs while walking on a leash. Austin Reactive Dog Walking Meetup was created by Austin Dog Zone in 2014 to be a resource to help owners and their leash-reactive dogs practice training in controlled group walks. The meetups are led by our professional trainers, Karin and Leighann. We currently offer meetups twice a month, on the second and third Saturdays.
All members must be assessed one-on-one by one of our trainers before being accepted into the group due to our concern for the safety of the members and their dogs. This assessment is $82.00 and, once a dog is approved to attend the meetup this fee covers membership for a year.
Please contact us or email, email@example.com to schedule an assessment for your leash-reactive best friend..
Basic obedience skills and some specialized skills related to reactivity are required. If a dog has all these skills when evaluated, approval to attend the meetup will be given. If a dog doesn't have the needed skills, that's okay, we will recommend some private lessons to get your dog meet-up ready. If a dog needs private lessons, those can be arranged with us at an additional cost.
We use positive reinforcement training so prong collars, choke chains, shock collars and harsh corrections are not allowed.
All members must give enough space, take instruction and be respectful of the dogs/owners in the group. Let's practice together and help our reactive dogs find peace on leash!
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is reactivity?
Reactive dogs may lunge, bark, whine, growl, snap, and/or display other frustrating behaviors for owners while on leash towards other dogs. This can also be towards strange people. Reactivity is caused by many factors including lack of socialization, the dog's temperament, and lack of training.
How are the dogs going to be allowed to safely meet if they are all reactive?
They won't be meeting like you see at parks and group classes occasionally. The purpose is to get the dogs comfortable enough (under threshold) to not react at the presence of another dog. There will be a lot of distance at first and eventually that window of space will get smaller and smaller as we practice. It's a beautiful thing to watch as it happens over time. The dogs learn that the others are not a threat. This may mean several feet of space is a victory for one dog, it may mean something else for another dog and handler. The trainers will be able to gauge and control the direction of the group as they see fit and when they are reading the particular dog's body language.
What kind of activities, like is it mostly walking politely together?
The meetup is a group walk, yes. The trainer may ask for your dog to offer certain obedience skills during the walk to practice and help challenge you when you and the dog are ready. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce reactivity as we build the skills of both the handler and dog.
Where are we going to meet?
The address will be listed for each Meetup as it currently is on the site.
Is there a limit to the size of the group?
Yes, there will be a limit of dogs that can attend per month, We will notify members if we need to cancel or reschedule a meetup at least 24 hours in advance.
Is it possible to sign up for the initial session only until we are sure it is something for us?
The assessment is $82.00 and that covers the entire year for the group. If your dog is not ready, your one year membership will NOT start until your dog is ready after private training. We will not be doing trials because our trainer needs to meet each individual dog to make sure they are a good candidate prior to their attendance for the safety of your dog and others.
**Our location now requires an all-day pass at $4.00 for parking.**