Community Pack Walks
What is a Pack Walk?
A group of dog parents go for a walk together in a structured environment. A pack walk is good for most dogs as they feed off the energy of the pack (if you’re unsure if your dog is one of them, just ask us!). A Pack Walk is a way to exercise and properly socialize in a way that is safe and fun for all. Whether you have a Benji or a Beethoven, dogs are always happy to walk, so be sure to join us! 🐶
- Dogs walk in a long line at first. By the end of the walk, some dogs bunch up together as walking buddies and some dogs just enjoy the camaraderie of the walk from a safe distance.
- To avoid any scuffles we do not allow dog introductions face-to-face, even if you have a Lassie on your hands!
- The key to a successful pack walk is the rhythm of the walk – as long as we’re moving things will go great! We move at a casual pace that works for most fitness levels.
- Following the rules will guarantee a successful experience (see below).
- Every dog is different: some dogs will walk side-by-side after the first 15 minutes, but other dogs may need a few pack walks to get there. No judging here!
- Our Community Pack Walks will be approximately 30 minutes in duration
Science Behind Pack Walks
Dogs have a strong instinctual need to socialize with and explore the world. As we know, many dogs are reactive to other dogs, but these dogs still have a need to get out and socialize. Pack walks satisfy this need. Dogs can safely socialize without physically interacting. Even though the dogs are not physically touching each other, they can smell and see the other dogs, which is still considered socialization.
Walking your dog is extremely important for their physical health and mental stimulation, it’s how they explore the world. Fenced yards are great, but it’s not enough. Dogs need to explore and get out in the world. Even a short walk easily satisfies this need.
Walking provides the dog with a lot of mental stimulation, which most dogs are lacking. Furthermore, mental stimulation will tire out a dog a lot faster than physical stimulation (e.g. running in the backyard)
What are the Rules?
Lots of No’s = Lots of Happy, Healthy Dogs
It’s important to attend the pack walk knowing the expectations. To enjoy the walk and set our dogs up for success, we need everyone to know and follow the rules. Because safety is a primary objective of the Pack Walks, weather plays a factor. Pack Walks will only take place in mild weather where the temperature is between 10° and 25°C. We will post on our social platforms if a Pack Walk is canceled due to weather.
We also require all Community Pack Walk participants to complete our waiver prior to attending the Pack Walk. Completing the waiver once is sufficient for attending as many pack walks as you'd like. Access our waiver here.
- No face-to-face introductions ever. No sniffing. We promise that just being near each other will be good enough. Dogs should have minimal interaction with each other, because they should be focused on their people and where they’re going
- One dog per handler
- Family members are welcome to join the walks, but only one person is allowed to handle the dog for the duration of the walk
- Only adults (18+) are allowed to handle the dogs on our pack walks
- No retractable leashes - maximum length 6 foot leash only
- Respect everyone's space
- As per the Saskatchewan Health Association's covid restrictions, masks are optional while outside. Any activities conducted indoors will require masks as long as they are mandated
- Pack Walks are weather dependent. A post will be made at 4pm each walking day if the walk is being cancelled due to weather.
- You’ll receive a 5 minute warning before any water break so you can spread out again in your 6’ bubble while we stop to have a drink. Even dogs who were walking side-by-side are still not allowed to greet each other during the water break.
What to do when I arrive
- Pack Walks will start at 6:15pm sharp on Wednesdays - please ensure you are outside of the store and ready to walk at 6:00pm so we can ensure your waiver is complete
- Remain outside in a dedicated space with your dog ensuring you do not allow face to face interactions with other dogs waiting to walk
- Some dogs will become very anxious or excited while waiting, but once the pack gets walking things will calm down
- Arriving early if you need to pick something up in the store is business as usual
- When the pack walk starts, a House of Paws Pack Leader will guide you on your walk, please maintain a single line for the first 5 minutes to see if your dog wants to walk alone in the pack or with a buddy
- All of our pack walks will begin and end at the store
What should I bring?
- A small backpack
- Water bottle or water dish for any scheduled water breaks
- Poop bags
- Proper harness or collar, and leash (no longer than 6 feet)
- High value treats (cheese, jerky, lunch meat, etc.)
- Wear comfortable clothes and proper running shoes
- Make sure your dog is healthy and able to be around other dogs
- Your camera or phone! We definitely approve of you promoting the experience and bragging about our Community Pack Walks on your social media
What if I’m running late?
- In order to respect everyone’s time, we will depart for the walk at 6:15pm sharp
- We need to start the walk as organized as possible, so we are unable to accommodate late additions or drop-ins that arrive outside of our check-in time. We need to ensure all pack walkers have completed the waiver to participate in the walk. We appreciate your understanding.