The Caister group which could be the answer to your pooch problems
PUBLISHED: 16:36 18 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:36 18 January 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
For most dog owners, walking their canine friends along the Norfolk coast is a therapeutic experience.
But for owners of ‘reactive’ dogs, it can be a very daunting one.
Reactive dogs are either scared of other dogs or people and often become aggressive as a result of coming into contact with them.
But now a dog walking group in Caister has been set up to help canine lovers train their reactive dogs and give them the confidence to go out by themselves.
Caister dog walkers, set up by Christine Layton, not only helps anxious owners cope with their over-excitable furry friends but also provides people who feel isolated with the opportunity to walk their dogs in a group.
Mrs Layton said the group supports a variety of people.
“Whatever people feel they want to get out of the session is completely up to them,” she said.
“From building confidence to walk their dog on their own to simply getting to know the area better, we are open to everyone.”
The walk takes place every Friday at 9.45am from Caister lifeboat station.
Mrs Layton asks everyone to donate £1 which then goes to a charity of the group’s choice.
Last year they raised £1,300 and have already raised the first £100 of this year.
Colin Willavize, 59, from Caister has been to six sessions with his reactive Rottweiler, Ralphy.
He has described the change he has seen in his eight-year-old dog as phenomenal.
“I could not take Ralphy to the beach because it was too busy.
“Anytime he would see another dog he would get on his two back legs and become really aggressive. It was quite frightening.
“Now with the help of Christine he has learnt to be more calm and I can walk him with other dogs.
“I really cannot thank her enough. She is fantastic.”
Mrs Layton, who has had a love of dogs from a young age, said the key to training them is to slowly make them feel comfortable around other dogs while knowing what their limit is.
She said: “To see some of the transformations has been brilliant.
“Knowing I can make a difference in some way is a great feeling.”
Eileen Bodemead, 66, who lives on her own said she started coming on the walks to meet new people.
She now goes on walks with some of the members outside of their usual Friday morning session.