Pack Walk Guidelines

TCPR is excited to share this community building opportunity to our fosters, adopters, and volunteers. Together we make this rescue great. Let’s walk!

What is a Pack Walk?

A group of dog handlers go for a walk together in a structured environment.
A pack walk is good for most dogs (if you’re unsure if your dog is one of them, just ask us!). It’s a way to exercise, properly socialize, and train that is safe and fun for all. Whether you have a Benji or a Beethoven, dogs are always in training, so join us!

Structured Environment

  • Dogs walk in a long line at first. By the end of the walk, some dogs bunch up together as walking buddies and some dogs just enjoy the camaraderie of the walk from a safe distance.
  • No dog introductions face-to-face, even if you have a Lassie on your hands!
  • The key to a successful pack walk is the rhythm of the walk – as long as we’re moving things will go great! We move at a casual pace that works for most fitness levels.
  • Following the rules will guarantee a successful experience (see below).
  • Every dog is different: some dogs will walk side-by-side after the first 15 minutes, but other dogs may need a few pack walks to get there. No judging here!

Science Behind Pack Walks

Dogs have a strong instinctual need to socialize with and explore the world. As we know, many dogs are reactive to other dogs, but these dogs still have a need to get out and socialize. Pack walks satisfy this need. Dogs can safely socialize without physically interacting. Even though the dogs are not physically touching each other, they can smell and see the other dogs, which is still considered socialization.

Walking your dog is sooooo important for training, and it’s something most owners do not do enough. Fenced yards are great, but it’s not enough. Dogs need to explore and get out in the world. Even a short walk easily satisfies this need.

Walking provides the dog with a lot of mental stimulation, which most dogs are lacking. Furthermore, mental stimulation will tire out a dog a lot faster than physical stimulation (e.g. running in the back yard)

What It’s Not

  • Time for your dog to “meet” new dogs
  • Playtime

Who Can Participate?

Let’s enjoy our TCPR community!

  • Foster dogs
  • Volunteers
  • Dog adopters
  • Donors
  • Even people without dogs connected to our rescue!


Space is restricted for each walk depending on the location.

Where Does it Happen?

  • We will rotate between urban walks and park hikes
  • Each time we’ll have a new location to keep your dog engaged
  • All walks are between 2-3 miles
  • Each location has been previously scouted and carefully considered for obvious problems, like high jogger and bike traffic. However, we can’t avoid the world and will encounter others on our walks. We’ll call them learning opportunities.

What are the Rules?

Lots of No’s = Lots of Happy, Healthy Dogs
It’s important to attend the pack walk knowing the expectations. To enjoy the walk and set our dogs up for success, we need you to follow the rules.

  • No face-to-face introductions ever. No sniffing. We promise that just being near each other will be good enough. Dogs should have minimal interaction with each other, because they should be focused on their people and where they’re going
  • One dog per handler
  • Family members are welcome to join the walks, but only one person is allowed to handle the dog
  • Only adults (18+) are allowed to handle the dogs on our walks
  • No retractable leashes
  • One dog per human
  • Respect space
  • You’ll receive a 5 minute warning before the water break so you can spread out again in your 5’ bubble while we stop. Even dogs who were walking side-by-side are still not allowed to greet each other during the water break.

What to do when I arrive

  • One of the leaders will give you a designated space to wait with your dog.
  • Some dogs will become very anxious or excited while waiting, but once the pack gets walking things will calm down.
  • During this time, you’ll check in with the leader and select an appropriate cloth flag to attach to your leash: blue = no dog aggression and buddy friendly, yellow = shy/fearful, green = I have leash aggression, purple = do not approach – I need my bubble!
  • The leaders will put you in an order that makes the most sense for the dogs who are there

What should I bring?

  • A small backpack
  • Water bottle and small water dish for a scheduled water break
  • Poop bags
  • Proper harness, collar, and leash
  • High value treats (hot dogs, cheese, beef jerky, lunch meat, etc.)
  • Wear comfortable clothes and tennis shoes
  • Make sure your dog has had their monthly flea and tick treatment
    Your camera! We definitely approve of you promoting the experience and bragging about our rescue.

What if I’m running late?

  • In order to respect everyone’s time, we will depart for the walk 15 minutes after our arrival time.
    • We need to start the walk as organized as possible, so we won’t accommodate additions that arrive within 5 minutes before the walk starts. We hope you understand!