Seaside Hounds Jessica Price, Leader of the Dog Pack
Feb 28, 2019 01:48PM
By Rebecca Parsons
Jessica Price, photo by Wandering Willow Photography.
by Rebecca Parsons
Jessica Price grew up on a farm in Tennessee where she was constantly surrounded by dogs, horses, and a variety of other animals. At age 19, she left the farm life behind and moved to Brooklyn, New York to join the corporate world as an executive assistant. Like many fresh high school graduates, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life. So, she bounced around between a few colleges, pursuing a degree in business.
After ten years working and living in the city, she made the move to sunny southern California and wound up in San Clemente. When she landed in the seaside town, she decided it was time to leave the corporate world behind and pursue a job that allowed her to spend more time outdoors.
During her time in Brooklyn, Price spent some time working in a dog rescue center and decided that she was happiest while around her four-legged friends. She met a lady in San Clemente that regularly took groups of dogs out on pack runs and signed on as her right hand man (or in this case, woman). Five years later, she bought the business and has spent the past year making it her own.
Seaside Hounds isn’t just a pet sitting or dog walking service. It’s a dog exercise program that allows dogs to be dogs while in the company of a pack. Dogs are picked up one at a time from their homes; once the pack is assembled they hit the trail for an hour run. Between pick-ups and drop-offs, dogs are gone anywhere from two to four hours.
“I am an animal behaviorist so understanding dog behavior and how the pack hierarchy works is very important to have a smoothly integrated group of dogs with no arguments,” says Price. “Everyone knows their place.” She has found that dogs are happiest when they have instruction and a leader, so she has happily assumed the role of alpha male in the pack.
While San Clemente is home to a number of public trails, Price pays rent for a couple of pieces of private property so the dogs can run free without risk of any outside disturbances. She takes multiple dogs out at a time and allows them to run off leash, so there are some inherent safety concerns that go along with that. To keep all members of the pack safe, she trains each dog to come back to a hunting whistle using recall training. Once the dogs have completed their training, Price continues to run with them on a 30-foot line until she is 100% confident they won’t stray from the pack.
“Typically they don't want to go anywhere,” Price says. “They want to be there with their friends. It truly is like Doggy Disneyland; they absolutely don't want to be anywhere else!”
In addition to recall training, Price takes safety one step further, incorporating rattlesnake training into her program. Pack runs take place on trails where rattlesnakes are frequently sighted, so she wants to be sure the dogs know what to do should they encounter one of the dangerous snakes. She hires an expert who brings in live snakes that are milked and double muzzled for the trainings. Three stations are set up: sight, sound, and smell. The trainer works with the dogs until they learn that rattlesnakes are bad and they then develop a special method of alerting their humans of a sighting.
“Each dog has their own unique way of ‘alerting’ us when it sees a rattlesnake,” says Price. “So when I am out with the dogs I am very aware of all of their alerts and we have avoided several because they warned me there was one close by.”
While there are plenty of places that would be ideal for her business, Price is happy she landed in San Clemente. She loves the friendly people, the dogs, and the beauty the beaches and inland trails have to offer.
“I have the most amazing clients and their dogs become a part of my family when they join the pack,” says Price. “It is really a special place for many reasons. It's growing but it still has that small town beach vibe and that's the kind of place I've always wanted to call home.”
When Price isn’t on the trails she spends time at home with her own pack. Her pack is made up of Oliver, a Pit-bull rescue from Los Angeles and Dulce, a Chihuahua rescue, also from Los Angles. In March, Coco, a Bali street dog, will be joining the clan.
Price is passionate about what she does and hopes to continue to grow her business and add more dogs to her ever-growing pack. Because, as she simply puts it: “Every dog needs a pack!”
Contact Jessica at (747)217-6332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.facebook.com/seasidehounds.