Walking your dog isn't only good for your physical health it can also be good for your mental health.
(min cost $8)
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That's what local dog trainer Jane Sullivan thinks, at least.
"A community dog walk is about getting people moving and about getting their dog moving.
"It's about meeting other people and the dogs meeting other dogs. You can grab a coffee, grab a friend and the idea is that everybody kind of wins."
To get people and their dogs out and about, interacting, Ms Sullivan started up a monthly community dog walk in May. So far it has proved popular with dogs of all shapes and sizes and their owners from all walks of life.
"For people who may be more reluctant to join social groups with strangers, they have their dog as a shield in a way ... it gives them a reason to get out," she said.
"Rather than feeling so exposed if you're just turning up and going for a walk with these people you've never met before, the dog breaks down those barriers and gives you something to talk about.
"You're getting out socialising and enjoying the lovely open space here in Dubbo and your dog is the icebreaker because everyone's got that common reason that they're there."
The group meets on the third Sunday of every month at the Visitor Information Centre in Dubbo and walks a 1.5-kilometre loop along the river. There's no cost involved and no need to register, just show up on the day with your dog.
As well as helping owners connect with each other, Ms Sullivan said events like this can help reduce anti-social behaviour in dogs.
"I've had a couple of people who have been nervous because their dogs are a bit more shy or a bit more reactive ... but once they've turned up and their dogs had a chance to scan and settle, they've really enjoyed the walk," she said.
"It is a total misconception that if you've got a really big backyard your dog will just run around all day. What happens in that scenario is the dog gets to smell the same smells all the time and this becomes boring.
"So they start digging because they are not smelling any other smells and they start to be reactive or scared of other dogs because they never get to see other dogs."
The next community pack walk will take place at 9:30am on Sunday, October 15. There will be a lucky door prize at the end of the walk and dogs must be kept on-leash at all times.
For information about future walks keep an eye on You're Pawsome Academy's Facebook page.
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