Organized pack walks at Laguna Niguel help build confidence in dogs and their owners – Orange County Register

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Every few weeks Laguna Niguel Regional Park becomes a kind of training ground for good walking technique.

For a few years now, the La Pawz canine team has been organizing regular “pack walks” to help dog owners get their pooches used to walking with other dogs in an orderly and enjoyable way.

  • A 1.5 mile walk through Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022 featured 129 Orange County dogs. The La Pawz Dog Team is a free monthly get-together for dogs and owners to “go for a walk”. Dog trainer and co-host Tommy Stark says it’s one way to help dogs socialize. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Arya, a Rottweiler owned by dog ​​trainer Tommy Stark, jumps into the car after completing a 1.5 mile walk in Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022. Stark and dog trainer Emily Hailey have launched the “Free Monthly La Pawz Dog Team Walk”, to help socialize dogs. Saturday’s event brought together 129 dogs. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Koa appears happy in the family car after a 1.5 mile ride through Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022 with 129 Orange County dogs. The La Pawz Canine Team is a free monthly meeting to help socialize dogs (and owners). (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • New besties Sunny, left, a Golden Doodle, and Boris, an American Bulldog, take part in La Pawz Dog Team’s “Free Monthly Walk” in Laguna Niguel Regional Park on Jan. 22, 2022. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Registry/SCNG)

  • Dogs take part in a 1.5 mile walk in Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022. The La Pawz Canine Team is a free monthly “pack walk” to help socialize dogs. Saturday’s event brought together 129 dogs. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Theo tries to eat the human treat after a 1.5 mile walk in Laguna Niguel Regional Park on Jan. 22, 2022. He was with Esther Song and her 10-month-old daughter Hazel who were on the “La Pawz Dog Team” pack. walk.” 129 Orange County dogs participated in the free monthly walk. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Registry/SCNG)

  • Boris, an American bulldog, stretches his limbs after completing a 1.5-mile walk around Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022. The La Pawz Canine Team is a free, monthly ‘pack walk’. Owner Theresa Lagestee of San Clemente said her dog was calmed down by other dogs. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Dogs take part in a 1.5 mile walk in Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022. The La Pawz Canine Team is a free monthly “pack walk” to help socialize dogs. Saturday’s event brought together 129 dogs. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Dogs take part in a 1.5 mile walk in Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022. The La Pawz Canine Team is a free monthly “pack walk” to help socialize dogs. Saturday’s event brought together 129 dogs. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Dogs take part in a 1.5 mile walk in Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022. The La Pawz Canine Team is a free monthly “pack walk” to help socialize dogs. Saturday’s event brought together 129 dogs. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A small dog leads the way on the La Pawz Canine Team’s monthly “pack walk” to help socialize the dogs. The event featured 129 dogs on a 1.5-mile walk through Laguna Niguel Regional Park on Jan. 22, 2022. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Dogs take part in a 1.5 mile walk in Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022. The La Pawz Canine Team is a free monthly “pack walk” to help socialize dogs. Saturday’s event brought together 129 dogs. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Dogs and humans take a group photo after a 1.5-mile walk in Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022. 129 dogs participated in La Pawz Dog Team’s free, monthly ‘pack walk’. Dog trainer and co-host Tommy Stark says it’s one way to help dogs socialize. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A 1.5 mile walk through Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022 featured 129 Orange County dogs. The La Pawz Canine Team is a free monthly get-together for dogs and owners to “go for a walk” and promote better social skills for dogs, organizers said. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Boris, an American bulldog, frolics in the grass after completing a 1.5-mile walk around Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022. The La Pawz Canine Team is a free, monthly ‘pack walk’. Owner Theresa Lagestee of San Clemente said her dog is calmer when around other dogs. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A 1.5 mile walk in Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022 featured 129 Orange County dogs. The La Pawz Dog Team is a free monthly get-together for dogs and owners to “go for a walk”. Dog trainer and co-host Tommy Stark says it’s one way to help dogs socialize. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Tara Cavanaugh carries 12-year-old Koko, who has a heart condition, on a 1.5-mile walk through Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022. 129 dogs from Orange County participated in the meeting monthly magazine of the La Pawz canine team. Dog trainer and co-host Tommy Stark says it’s one way to help socialize animals. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A 1.5 mile walk through Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022 featured 129 Orange County dogs. The La Pawz Dog Team is a free monthly get-together for dogs and owners to “go for a walk”. Dog trainer and co-host Tommy Stark says it’s one way to help dogs socialize. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Duke takes a break from the water on The Pawz Dog Team’s monthly “walk” with 129 dogs. Owner Kalie Kekuna says her rescue dog, who was “afraid of everything”, has become more social since joining the walks. “He’s 100% different,” she said. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • People gather with their puppies for a 1.5 mile walk in Laguna Niguel Regional Park on January 22, 2022. The La Pawz Canine Team is a free monthly get-together for dogs and owners to ‘walk around’. Dog trainer and co-host Tommy Stark says it’s one way to help dogs socialize. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

“It’s just a great way for people to feel confident walking their dogs around other dogs,” said Emily Haley, who owns her own dog training business and organizes the walks with Tommy Stark, another local trainer.

Walks are free and open to the community, there is no business conversation during the 1.5 mile walk along the park trail – which was chosen because it is wide enough for dogs and their owners have some space to get used to walking near others.

“I’m just out there walking, checking in with people,” Haley said. She brings along Kimber, her pit bull-American bulldog mix, and her two children, Madison and Connor.

“Every time we get compliments on how tired their dogs are,” Haley said, adding that pet owners often remark that they wouldn’t have been brave enough to try walking with other dogs without it. pack walks.

Kalie Kekuna says her rescue dog, Duke, who was “scared of everything”, has become more social since joining the walks. “He’s 100% different.”

The next pack march will take place on March 19. Learn more about the walk here.

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