Dog-to-dog socialization is probably the most misunderstood part of dog behavior by dog owners and trainers alike.
Play groups at High Drive Dog Company are such an important part of helping all dogs become stable, balanced, and confident.
Dog-to-dog socialization is probably the most misunderstood part of dog behavior by dog owners and trainers alike. Carly got very lucky that her mentor, Aimee Sadler, is one of the top experts in the country regarding dog-to-dog behavior, so she got to learn it right and now can teach you all the correct ins and outs of how to nurture the best in your pup with off leash play. The reality is in High Drive Dog Play Groups, you will be learning even more than your dog!
So often when working to help people teach their dogs to be stable, balanced, & confident in training sessions we’ll ask if their dog plays with other dogs and most often the answer is one of these options:
1) she plays with the other dog(s) we own
2) she plays with my same 5 friends’ dogs
3) she goes to the dog park / daycare.
People don’t realize how each of these answers can be stunting their dogs necessary skills for being successful in life. They don’t realize how in the first two options – only playing with the other dog(s) at home or the same handful of friends dogs – having such a small circle of dog friends can set our dogs up for failure in having the skills to roll with the punches and behave beautifully in all social environments and with all the different dog personalities.
They don’t realize how being in such a chaotic environment as a dog park – where few humans are truly skilled in dog-to-dog behavior knowledge but ALL think they are, so of course their dogs are not properly skilled in learning best either – can leave their dogs wanting for learning proper social skills or, worse, picking up bad habits.
They don’t realize that daycares are usually run by kids who have little actual knowledge of dog behavior and whose sole purpose is to have a harmonious experience – which is great but sometimes necessary learning isn’t the most fun at first but it leads to great things in the end!
We offer playgroups to our dogs and humans who have been through our training programs so they have the base of training foundation that a happy, confident dog can grow from.
You can find our class offerings here.
Sometimes the answer is: No, my dog doesn’t play with any dogs because I’m concerned she’s aggressive. Boy, have you come to the right place! We work with a lot of dogs who people think are dog aggressive – maybe even someone has told you they are! – But after we combine:
1) the training in group classes, private sessions, or board & train to teach the dog to think for themselves +
2) show them what the right choices are and what the wrong choices are +
3) teach them they are responsible for their decisions +
4) then give them access to stable dogs and human input from Carly when needed
…they turn out to actually be social dogs. The reality is few dogs get the structure and information needed to have these good social skills, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t social and can’t learn better skills to succeed in social situations, knowing how to navigate different dog personalities and succeed in these situations.
For the low confidence dog – and the humans who love them – play groups are a MAJOR part of changing them for the better. The reality is the dogs can fix each other so much faster than we can. And because all the dogs in our play groups are also learning the structure for thinking, it means we know they are going to be helpful in teaching each other how to be. And when needed Carly will step in to help this process. Most importantly after the dogs learning from each other is that play groups are a huge learning experience for you, the humans! Few, if any, dog owners – and, sadly, not many dog trainers – truly understand dog-to-dog behavior, so we are the leading cause of our dogs struggling to be stable, balanced, and confident in a group of dogs, which absolutely colors their thinking in every other situation. In short, stable play group skills can save lives!
We encourage all dogs training with us to join our weekly play groups for the dog’s learning and for the human’s learning! They are $10/hour for the drop-in play group, and we have them three times a week. If you want to join us, please email us at email@example.com for more play group information, and we’ll get you started in the best session for your dog.