Dogs are incredibly social which is why they adapt so well to living in groups. Not only do studies affirm this, but dog parents can also attest to how well their pups pick up human gestures and behavior.
That being said, early and frequent socialization between dogs greatly improves their ability to interact among themselves and with people. This is where dog playdates come in; what better way to hone a dog’s social skills than with a day of fun and treats? Doggy playdates are a great way to get dogs socializing all the while building support among dog mommies and daddies. While it isn’t something to grow grey hairs over planning, here are some guidelines to take note of to ensure a memorable time between the pups.
Choose playmates carefully
Not all dogs will get along, this could be the result of bad experiences with a certain breed, some breeds being inclined to show dominance and even the mere scent of a dog can make it unpopular with others. Generally, it’s helpful to consider age, activity levels, sensitivity, and size when looking for playmates.
Location is important
It may not be a good idea to host a playdate at a parent’s house because their dog could become territorial and act out of character. A neutral setting like a park or sandy trail will have more space for the dogs to do as they please.
Keep things calm
Making new friends can be a gradual process, especially if the dogs feel nervous in the beginning. Ideally, parents should agree beforehand to have their dogs on leashes to manage the interaction.
Be sure to monitor
Watch out for any signs of hostility such as growling or baring teeth and attend to the dogs if they are spotted. Some dogs may tire out faster than others which could turn into agitation, in that case, it would be best if the playdate was ended to prevent any negative interactions between the dogs.
You can’t forget the treats!
A doggy playdate wouldn’t be complete without some treats and refreshments, so be sure to have enough on hand including extra serving bowls for playmates.