I love talking about my dog, Lucy. I can continue the conversation about how she tilts her head to the side, her ears up and out when she wants to go for a walk. Or the way she turns a little when she wants a treat. I sometimes question my level of obsession with my little Chiweenie. Until… I met another dog owner.
To be honest, we all are haunted by our dogs and can talk about them for hours. Here’s the good news for us: There are different groups – hiking and hiking, happy hours, singles encounters, beach days and park outings – designed to connect those who want to talk about their dogs as much as we do!
Of course, it’s not all about us; There are also benefits for dogs.
Dog groups can help socialization skills and exercise with other hairy friends in a safe environment. There are hundreds of free groups across the country and most likely one right in your own city. Before joining your dog-loving neighbors, though, think about these tips to make your meeting safe, well-maintained, and fun.
For high energy dogs
Find a dog group that you regularly meet at the park, hike or walk around your city: activities to get your puppy home for a nap.
That’s why Chrissy Longcore, who started it The Doberman gang in NYC in 2013, she started sharing her weekly dog park schedule online. Her Doberman dog, Lucy, has a lot of energy, Chrissy wants other dogs to play with and other parents dogs to talk to.
The team started to grow so big that Chrissy had to limit the number to about 150 active members in order to maintain the safety of large dogs in a group.
“It’s a family atmosphere,” she says of five-county park weekends, hiking and field trips to upstate New York.
For small varieties
Find a dog play group that requires the dog to be under a certain weight or low energy.
Arielle Kaplan takes over Denver Small group of dogs at the end of last year. She holds play sessions in the park every week through meetup.com in small dog or low energy dog parks around Denver. Because of COVID, she had to take a break from using an in-house training facility where dogs play and practice agility.
Arielle said: “I have seen great social and emotional improvement with my rescue dogs,“ it was great to meet and talk about little dog problems. “
For community support
Search for breed-specific groups or groups based on the size of the dog, rather than activity.
Chrissy often receives text messages from Doberman parents who feel discriminated against because of the breed’s reputation for aggression against strangers. The team has a Google document available for members that list dog-friendly flats, pet sitters and dog walkers.
“We have a large network,” she said. Dobermans often have heart problems, and it’s comfortable to have a support team as they arise – and a list of veterinarians who specialize in dealing with them. “(The members) realized that we’ve all been through it; they can count on us, ”says Chrissy.
In the Denver Little Dog Group, Arielle welcomes newcomers to an area feeling isolated by the ongoing pandemic.
“It’s as much for me as my dog,” she said. “In particular, in COVID, it is a lifesaver.”
For low-energy or high-class dogs
Look for a dog group to meet for fun hours or a coffee with leisurely strolling or beach meetups.
John Gonzales, founder @igbulldogs_SoCal, uses Instagram accounts with its 15,500 followers to connect French and British Bulldog owners in Southern California.
John explains that Bulldogs aren’t particularly active unless they’re young. The majority of the encounters are held at photo-friendly venues, such as in front of Hollywood signs, San Diego racetracks or dog-friendly beaches, to have a photo for Instagram and for modern people chat time and dogs have a relaxing time.
He encouraged people in sister bulldogs nationwide to post photos from their outing. “I don’t care if I’m in NYC or the cornfield of Iowa,” said John. “I love seeing dogs everywhere.”