In September we had the opportunity to participate in a “walk-about” with a whole lotta Springers and a few wannabee’s. The occasion was a fund-raiser for the NC Chapter of the English Springer Rescue America (ESRA) group. As members of this group and the proud owners of Springer Luke and wannabee Daisy (our lovely Brittany) we decided it would be a fun activity to participate in. And were we ever right! It was so much fun seeing all those Springers in one place that a few short weeks later we brought another Springer into our household. But more about sweet Trooper another day.
So just what is a walk-about? Loads of fun, that’s what. We gathered in a fenced in compound of several acres containing a few out buildings, a huge open field, woods and joy oh joy a POND! A local trainer was there to give us guidance as we gathered in a large circle in the open field and took the leashes off our dogs. Slowly they began to mill about and explore. Just as the trainer had told us, our dogs “checked-in” with us from time to time as they explored the area and each other. We wound around through the woods to find the pond where the more adventurous pups dived in for a swim.
We learned a lot that day about how different dogs interact without the constraints of leashes. Noted behaviorist Patricia McConnell has lots to say about that. It was a beautiful sight to behold. We came home inspired.
We are very lucky in that we own five acres just outside the town limits of our little town. Our dogs have lots of opportunities to run free within the confines of half of our acreage while wearing their collars for the electronic fence. But after this experience we began taking them for more off leash hikes through our woods and the private drive owned by our neighbors. Luke and Daisy are gaining in confidence with every off leash walk. This makes us wonder though, just where can the average dog and his human go for off leash walks? We are not great fans of dog parks and most municipal, state and federal parks require leashes. So where do your pups take you for off leash walks? We are eager to learn.
- The dog on a leash (bentehaarstad.wordpress.com)
- Is Leashing Bubba Treating Him Like A Dog? (bubbamama.com)
- Frustration over plan to move Auditorium Shores dog park (kvue.com)
- Flood-ravaged Sue Higgins Park off-leash area nearing complete re-opening (metronews.ca)