Dog Walkers Unite in New Socializing Effort

Group looking to form as a way to exercise and meet new dogs.

For dog owners who feel their pup is too aggressive for the dog park, or those who want a solid exercise for themselves and their pets, a proposed community dog-walking group may fill your need.

Janice Strawder gauged interested at the Wissahickon Neighbors Civic Association last week, as she looks to launch a dog meet-up group through social media.

Meetup Philadelphia facilitates people gathering for a variety of reasons. Strawder wants to align dog owners from the Roxborough, Manayunk and Wissahickon in a regular walking group, potentially along Forbidden Drive.

"There are people walking their dogs on the street and avoid each other. Something like this will allow these dogs a chance to socialize," she said.

Dog parks, or other parks that attract lots of pets, are common in the Roxborough-Manayunk area. Pretzel Park and Fairview Park have dog areas, Gorgas Park offers doggie posts, and even the Pilgrim Church on Terrace Street welcomes pet owners.

However, some dogs behave aggressively or are intimidated by their peers. Strawder wants to help better train or at least socialize those dogs. 

"There's a lot of rescue dogs in our area, more and more it seems. It's good to socialize them with other dogs, and even if people are walking 10 feet a part from each, this is still a better way to do," she said.

Rachel Wexler said she's taken her small dog to Pilgrim Church but other dogs there act too aggressively.

"It's mostly bigger dogs there, and they're ripping up his toys," she said.

She said the group could be a nice alternative for some dogs. Andrew Bantly agreed but for the opposite reason. "Our dog is friendly, but just not good around other dogs," he said.

Right now, Strawder was looking to see if there's any interest in a regular walking group. Any aspects are on the table—the name, the route, possibly having both a large and small dog group.

She also proposes bringing in a trainer to lead the walk. He or she can offer training tips and teach etiquette for behavior with other dogs. She estimated the trainer's cost at $50 to $75, so if enough people attended, it could only cost $5 to $10 a person.

People may contact her at jstrawder@verizon.net if they are interested.

Sam Fran Scavuzzo October 09, 2012 at 07:53 PM
I'm intrigued by this idea, especially since our new dog has a little trouble with other pups.
joan October 09, 2012 at 11:07 PM
When I walk my rescue dog all she wants to do is play with the other dogs. The other people cross the street so the dogs don't meet. I don't know if they are afraid their dog is aggressive or think mine is. She strains at her leash because she wants to meet them, not because shes aggressive. I would be interested in a community walk together, but not the trainer part.


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