Raglan dog pack walk forging human and canine bonds

Raglan Dog Pack Walk makes taking the pooch for a walk fun for both humans and canines.

Founded by Amanda Church several years ago in order to provide a safe environment for dogs to hang out with their four-legged buddies, she also noticed the humans were getting just as much socialisation.

“It was all about the dogs when I started the walks, I never anticipated how close the humans would get,” she says.

Amanda has a zoology degree from Otago University and her main interest has always been in animal/human interaction.

“I started Pack Walk just for fun and to meet all the different dogs in Raglan. My primary goal is to get the dogs out of the house, off chains and leads and having fun.”

She says her own dog Ngala taught her so much about managing dog behaviour and also about herself. “She was a real challenge. I read lots about animal behaviour and training and pulled out the bits that worked for Ngala.”

The idea that some dogs didn’t get to have interactions with other dogs due to their owner’s concerns about inappropriate behaviour gave Amanda the incentive to provide support and advice garnered from her own successful training of Ngala.

“It’s so much fun seeing the dogs playing with each other. Pack Walk provides such a supportive environment if you are having problems with your dog.”

Amanda says everyone on the pack walk has had some sort of issue with their dog and there are no judgments passed.

“People come and have all these expectations of how their dog will behave in the pack walk. But with good management the dogs adapt very well,” she says.

On average around eight dogs do the pack walk, but in the summer months there have been up to 30 dogs.  The walk takes the pack across the airfield and heads towards Ngarunui Beach.

Amanda says all the owners are conscientious about picking up dog poo and it helps to have more eyes checking out what the dogs are up to.

For many, Pack Walk is a family affair with children tagging along and Amanda says it’s great for the younger members of the family to learn how to handle their dogs as well as the adults.

Raglan Dog Pack Walk is every Monday and Thursday at 5pm in winter and 5.30pm in summer (after daylight savings) and leaves from the airfield carpark – look for the group of humans and dogs mingling near the entrance.

Janine Jackson

For more information contact Amanda via the Raglan Dog Pack Walks Facebook page.