Kennel Club: Pack Walks

20 May

Volunteers during one of our winter pack walks.

Last week, we gave you a brief overview of Eleventh Hour Rescue’s Kennel Enrichment Program and why it is so important for our adoptable dogs to receive various kinds of enrichment while living in a shelter environment, such as our kennel in Randolph.

This week, our focus is on one of the most important aspects of our program- our Pack Walks. Each weekend, our senior volunteers host pack walks, where a group of our volunteers get together and each grab a dog from the kennel to bring over to Horseshoe Lake in Succasunna for a nice leisurely walk. The walks last approximately one hour and we make the loop around the fields and lake (a little over a mile and a half in all). In the warm spring weather, middle of summer, the crisp chill of fall, and even the dead of winter, our dedicated volunteers come out to get our dogs out, exercised, and socialized in this great group activity!

According to FernDog Training– “Walking dogs together in a group is the single best way to help dogs achieve a calm state of mind in the presence of what normally causes them to react. By keeping dogs moving together you unify them, bond them as pack mates, and give them a non-confrontational positive experience around people and dogs (two of the biggest triggers of reactivity).”

While it is so important that our dogs get out and properly exercised, the positive socialization around other dogs, as well as people, is really the key for many of our kennel pups. It is amazing to see the transformation of a dog who gains confidence from experiencing these positive experiences when they may not have ever had that opportunity in the past. To see a row of 10 or so kennel dogs walking perfectly in sync down the path is really a thing to behold, especially when you consider that some of these dogs are considered dog-selective or dog-reactive.


Some volunteers even throw in a little basic agility, like the jump that Bach is completing!

It only takes about two hours of your week to make the day of one of our adoptable kennel dogs! We are ALWAYS looking for volunteers to join us on our pack walks. Let our kennel dogs help you get active – it’s a win-win situation! Visit to fill out an application. One of our volunteers will be in touch to help you get set up and on your way to making a huge difference in the lives of our pups.

Volunteers on a spring pack walk

Volunteers on a spring pack walk


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