Group Socialization

Does your dog have problems getting along with other dogs? New people? Are leash walks a constant struggle to stay away from the things that make your dog go crazy? Showering your dog with treats won’t ever fix this problem, nor will punishment. The best, safest quickest teacher that the dog can react a different way is – a pack of dogs! But here you point out that many of the worst things that happen to dogs happen in public dog parks – that is true, and the nature of them will induce aggression once a dog gets attacked a few times.

There is a better way – very old and very new. On The Ball K9 Training and Redeeming Dogs – Dog Training proudly offer Group Socialization classes that can help teach your dog this essential mindset – that everyone isn’t out to get me! These classes incorporate elements of Large Field Socialization and the experienced training skills of Summer Milroy and Tod McVicker.

NEXT STEP TOWARDS BALANCE! – Current training clients of Summer & Tod’s are allowed to participate in this class. If you are interested in joining, contact On The Ball K9 Training or Redeeming Dogs – Dog Training to find out more about training for your dog and the socialization classes that we offer.


Here are a few testimonials:

Background of testimonial 1 – Chelsea the English Bulldog had already gone after some neighborhood dogs when off leash or on, owners were very concerned. She had been banned from dog daycare. Daycare asked them to bring Chelsea to our Socialization class for rehab.

Here is the result:

  • May 24th (her first session): She attacked three dogs within five minutes for getting into her ‘space,’ for which Tod corrected immediately with some pet corrector. She proceeded to sit in the corner of the room for the remaining 50 minutes, as Tod noted, ‘to process what was going on.’
  • June 13th : When the session started she immediately bolted to the corner and simply sat for 20 minutes and observed the dogs around her, then she came out and walk with the pack for the remaining 40 minutes.
  • June 27th: When the session started, she immediately started walking with the pack for the entire hour and you didn’t hear anything from her.



Here are a few more testimonials:

“Five years ago I “re-homed” an Australian Shepherd…2 years old. Mate came to me with severe fear aggression. He settled in his new surroundings quite nicely but WOW!!! Having been raised in a small enclosed back yard and kenneled in the house while the owners were away, gave him very limited socialization.

Being close to retirement, I wanted a dog that I could take to nursing homes to visit. After 30 (+) weeks of obedience training…several repeated classes…and instructors’ rolled eyes, Mate graduated and was accepted into Therapy Dog training. He passed but still had aggressive outbursts when faced with new dogs and certain situations…especially large dogs that stared at him! I had to keep him close because I never knew when he would “go off”. I learned to read him pretty well and avert problems, but still I had to closely monitor him.

One day, at a therapy visit, I was presented with a new class…socialization skills…I called it “bad boy” class!!! This sounded like an answer to prayer. Because of his known aggression, I had no problem accepting the request to put Mate in a muzzle…and yes, he did need it. Both of us were shaking as the first class began. Mate did well and was out of his muzzle before the class was completely over. The next class began the same way and was out of his muzzle sooner. By the third class, we started without the muzzle. There were several “get out of my face” exchanges, but no overt aggression. After the fourth/fifth class, Mate became one of the first dogs off leash.

Mate continues to attend class on a regular basis…still somewhat of a loner…but accepting as the other dogs run past him, turning away as they run toward him. No aggressive outbursts in class.

Just this past week, I have seen Mate exercise his newly learned skills in outside situations. On a therapy visit, a new dog…Newfoundland Hound…made a playful puppy lunge at Mate and instead of lunging back, Mate just turned away. Thank you, Todd and Summer!!!

On a second visit, a Rottweiler was playing with a basketball. The ball got bumped in Mate’s direction…the Rottie lunging toward Mate after the ball. Again, Mate turned away with no overt reaction.

In times past, both of these incidents would have been considered cause for one of Mate’s famous outbursts. I was so proud of Mate and thankful for the class provided by Summer and Tod. We still have work to do…I still see some tension…but we have come soooo far!!!

See you at the next class!!!” ~ Sue & Mate


“Summer, I just wanted to say thanks to you and Tod for the great success Tess has had as a result of the socialization classes. If you recall before attending class, Tess would show her teeth and become very defensive and stressed if other dogs came near. Tess also had to begin the class with a muzzle, but it was gone within the first class. Now when we meet other dogs on the street, she no longer is afraid but instead wags her tail and is truly excited to meet them. She also can be left alone with other dogs in the yard and has begun to show an interest in actually playing. I feel this has been a great class and would recommend it to everyone.” ~ Sharrell & Tess


“Rachel and Dexter are foster dogs who just never stood a chance of being adopted.  They have been fearful dogs since early in their lives and my handling of them did little to improve their chances.  They would erupt into barking, growling and lunging at anyone even looking at them from 20 feet away. They were such horribly behaved dogs we kept them at separate houses because having both was to much to handle.  I was lucky enough to have consult with Tod McVicker of Redeeming Dogs and was given hope that I could change the course these two were on.  I spent a lot of time working on earning trust, walking and learning boundaries but nothing I did accomplished as much as the socialization class has.  Rachel has been attending since January 2014 and Dexter since March 2014.  Things started rough but with each class I see small improvements.  Their anxiety levels have dropped drastically.   Before socialization class any work with strangers in our home was very limited and very controlled and extremely nerve racking.  I am so happy to report that we’ve had some major breakthroughs in the past weeks.  We’ve had repair people in the house, a vet trip and  over 20 volunteers from Furry Friends Animal Rescue in for a meeting.   The pictures show Rachel, who was the worst, with the refrigerator repair man, the vet tech and a house full of strangers, all occurred without any outbursts.  Rachel even allowed people  to pet her and that was a huge step for her.

I don’t have pictures of this but last weekend I had someone stop by the house while I had both Rachel and Dexter.   I have to report we had a really nice experience.  Both dogs were accepting and rather quickly came around for attention from someone they have met only once before.  To have this happen with both dogs not escalating into a state of fearful aggression is just remarkable.  I really can’t say enough about how much the socialization class has done for Rachel and Dexter. I know we still have a ways to go but I can now see that we are closer to a normal, balanced home life.   I encourage anyone who has a dog with issues to attend, both you and your dog will benefit and be welcome regardless of any issues they have. “ ~ Kristin