Dogs love playing with other dogs and socializing puppies is essential for raising a well-balanced dog, but sometimes finding other dogs for your dog to interact and play with can be a challenge. For dogs that are overwhelmed by crowded, high-energy dog parks, playdates might be the perfect solution, but how do you find dogs for playdates? It’s not like you can just approach that stranger and her dog you see at the pet store and invite them to your house, right? Start by trying one of the methods below (and you’ll avoid being seen as a creeper.)
10 Easy Ways to Find Dogs for Playdates
1. Friends and FamilyThis is the safest place to start, with people and dogs you’re already comfortable with. Invite family or friends and their dogs over for a fun get-together or offer to watch their dog for the day so the pups can play together.
2. Dog ClassesObedience training and puppy preschool type classes both offer the opportunity to meet fellow dog owners that might also be interested in doing more socialization outside of the class. Don’t be shy, connect with the other dog owners or ask the instructor to make a formal announcement for you.
3. Co-WorkersYou know those co-workers with pictures of their dogs on their desks or the ones that talk constantly about their pooches? Ask them to participate in an after work playdate. Bonus: You’ll get to know each other better and you can work as a group with management to seek support for the annual Take Your Dog to Work Day or create a dog friendly workspace.
4. NeighborsGetting to know your neighbors is always a good thing. Start up a short conversation the next time you see someone walking their dog. They might also be interested in getting together for a playdate or scheduling times when you can walk your dogs together.
5. Dog ParksMaybe you’ve met someone at the dog park whose dog is also overwhelmed and they would like a more relaxed environment for their dog. Perhaps your dog has made some good friends at the park, but newcomers are too rowdy and the dynamics of the park have changed. Both are opportunities to connect elsewhere for a playdate.
6. VeterinariansSome vets support dog owners by keeping lists or bulletin board notices of dog owners looking to connect for a variety of reasons. Check with the receptionist on your way out to see if they have any suggestions or recommendations.
7. Dog TrainersDog trainers work with clients that are highly motivated to socialize their dogs. Trainers also are well equipped to make suitable recommendations based on the temperament of the dogs they’re working with. Talk to a local dog trainer that supports positive reinforcement training for recommendations.
8. Dog GroomersGroomers may have clients that are looking for playdates and they can also recommend dogs that are easy going and get along well with other dogs.
9. Pet Friendly ActivitiesAttend some local dog related activities, such as group dog walks and festivals. People love to talk about their dogs, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and get to know people.
10. Websites and AppsStart with Meetup for dog groups and activities in your area. If you don’t see any groups, start one yourself and create your first event which can be as simple as a walk in the local park. Other useful websites are: datemypet.com and mysocialdog.com
Some helpful apps are: Dogways, Meet My Dog, DoggieBnB, Sniffr and Dogdate. Websites and apps come and go, so keep checking for new ones to help you network with dog people.
Tips for a Successful PlaydatePlaydates can be valuable for a dog’s physical and mental well-being. It’s an excellent way for them to release excess energy, exercise and learn a few doggie manners from each other as they socialize. If your dog is mostly isolated from other dogs or usually only interacts with family members, think about setting up a playdate soon.
Have you tried doggie playdates? What was your best way to find dogs for playdates?
31 Comments on “10 Easy Ways to Find Dogs for Playdates”
Great post! I love doggie play dates! Great to keep our pups socialized!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
Hi Jenna! Your Huskies are welcome anytime at our place for a playdate!
Great suggestions here – socialization is so important for dog’s health and well-being.
Playdates are fun for us dog owners too. It’s a win-win! 🙂
Playdates are the best. I was very thankful that a board member at my job invited me to bring Honey for a playdate with her golden doodle. It was Honey’s first playdate and the first of many that made her so good with strange dogs.
That’s great, a co-worker canine connection! I wish more companies would promote pet activities or dog-friendly work spaces.
Great post, Elaine. I especially like your suggestions to have the dogs meet for the first time in neutral territory and to take them for a short walk together before letting them off-leash. I’d like to find some friendly large dogs for play dates with my dog Savanna.
Savanna would probably love that. Goldens seem to be such easy going dogs, I haven’t met one yet that didn’t get along well with other dogs.
Great ideas! We don’t go to the dog park any more (long story) and only do play dates. Rita plays with dogs that are “family” and that we met at the dog park, back when we used to still go!
It seems like most dog owners have one of those “long stories” about something that happened at the dog park. They work for some people and dogs, but I prefer playdates for Haley too. Family playdates are the best, since the dogs usually know each other pretty well and it gives you a chance to catch up and hang out with family.
Great tips. Our training facility used to have drop in play groups on Sunday mornings. We would bring Sampson (and our coffee) and just hang out and chat while the other dogs played. They charged something like $10 for a 45 minute session and it worked out great!
That sounds like the perfect Sunday morning, sipping some coffee and watching the pups plays together. Definitely would be worth 10 bucks.
Love the idea about getting together with co-workers to promote Take Your Dog to Work Day!
I think some businesses would be open to it if they knew a good number of their employees would appreciate it. It’s definitely not suitable for all workplaces, but it would be wonderful for morale.
Yay for doggie playdates 🙂 Our pups played with lots of dogs who lived at the same apartment complex when they were less than a year old, and learned a few lessons in playtime manners from older & wiser dogs 😉
Great suggestions ~ I really liked all the websites & apps you mentioned!
Thanks Barbara, I’m so thankful for all those wise, teaching dogs too. It’s so interesting watching the interactions when lessons are being taught, huh?
“Family” dog’s are the best kind of dog playdates. My Mila gets super excited whenever I say her friends name (Muki). She already knows we’re going to go see him whenever I say it. She and Muki get along so well. 🙂
Mila and Muki sound like best friends! I agree that family dogs make the best playmates and playdates.
We think this is so cute, and we love the photos! Playdates are lovely!
Be sure to visit us some time!
Yes, I’m ready to schedule more playdates now that it’s getting warmer outside. Glad you stopped by today. Heading over to check out your blog now!
hi,iam looking to connect with doggy play dates,i have a Maltese x Shi-tzu puppy,4 mths old,very playful but i would love to socialise with other dogs his size.
Your puppy sounds adorable and it’s awesome you’re wanting to socialize him with other dogs. Try some of the ideas I mentioned in the post for locating people near you. Another idea is to start with a visit to a doggie daycare center where you can hang out and watch your dog while he plays and socializes. One more tip! Check for local dog events or festivals where you can meet other dogs. If all else fails, think about starting a community dog walk where you can meet some neighbors and their pups and set up some playdates from there. Good luck and have a great time!
Would like to find a playmate for my standard poodle. She is one year old very friendly. She goes with her mommy
There really is a ton of fun to be had by finding dogs for playdates. We did go out many times with other dogs in the family when she was younger. Oh! Happy times. Sadly, my dog has reached old age and really does not have enough energy for this now.
We are currently looking for a playdate for our Madeline. She is only about 6 pounds, 2 years old, and full of energy. I don’t know if you live near us. I am near Dauphin County PA.
Great article! Would love to have some playdates for my pup. Hershey is a 5 month Lab mix. Looking for Queens or L.I. It’s very important to socialize as much as possible.
Don’t know where you are, but I am looking for a few dogs that could be fun for my unaltered 7 month old golden retriever, male, to get to know and meet with on a regular basis. I am in Palm Aire, Sarasota
I originally asked the question, “Does Banfield Have Play dates for dogs”. I never got an answer.
Does anyone know if they do? I have a wellness Plan for my little guy, and he is a joy to be around but he is bored. There is only so much time in a day you can play with him. I know a vet in the area has play dates for dogs but since I already have the wellness plan with Banfield. I wanted to stay with them. Please let me know if you can answer my question, as I can’t get an answer from Banfield. Thank you
Thanks for sharing the great content. I will read the other pages.
Are you still offering playdates
Would love to meet up with some Huskies!!!