I became a first-time dog owner in August 2011 - having grown up in a house with a strict "no pet" policy. Was I afraid of dogs - afraid of the extra work it would take? Once committed, I dedicated myself to finding the best ways to live with, train, and understand my dog. Gemma is a spirited, loving creature and I want her to be happy, healthy...and well-behaved.
One of our greatest challenges has been walking nicely on a leash. Gemma is darn-near perfect when the streets are quite and the sidewalks are empty. Our early morning walks - the ones where we see only one to two human/dog combos - have been the most successful. Adding bunnies, kids on bikes, and other four-legged distractions increases her excitement...and my anxiety.
I combed the internet and asked lots of questions of people that I feel have been successful dog owners...and that is how I found Pack of Erie Dogs on Facebook. The idea of an on-leash, no-meeting group to socialize & exercise Gemma was just what I was looking for. We started joining the pack last summer, and Gemma's leash manners improved pretty quickly.
It was immediately clear that this group does not judge. Every single (human) member knows the anguish of a reactive dog, and it didn't take long to begin to see how well the dogs - with repetition and consistency - have taken to this training. We enjoy being a part of a dog parade!
I credit Pack of Erie Dogs with giving me the guts to consider adding a new 4-legged member to our household. Without the encouragement of PEDs, I don't believe I would have gained the confidence to be a better dog owner - one that has found enough room in her heart & home to welcome Diesel to our family.