Are Puppy Play Groups A Good Idea?


Puppy group play sessions are, on the face of it, a great idea and they are certainly pretty popular nowadays.  However, it’s important to exercise some caution when it comes to picking the right group for your puppy. Holidays4Dogs offers some tips and advice on puppy play groups.

Socialisation is really important for the developing puppy,  – we can’t stress that enough. However, it is equally important for socialisation to be positive experience for the puppy. This way, the pup learns good, not bad, habits!should my dog have puppies before being spayed

Whether puppy play groups are useful or not, really depends on many things. If a group session is simply a free-for-all, with little in the way of supervision, then we would advise – avoid it at all costs.

However, a well-managed group, run by experienced and qualified staff can provide good positive experiences for puppies. In addition, you will have experts on hand to guide you how to approach socialising and training your young pooch.

Look for recommended puppy play groups.

The first place to start if you want to join a puppy group session, is to ask at your local vet centres. Some veterinary surgeries will run their own puppy play groups. These are usually overseen by a qualified trainer, or a veterinary nurse qualified in puppy socialisation classes.

Look for a class where play is interspersed with short training sessions. There should also be short periods where the puppies are encouraged to be calm and plenty of downtime and constructive advice for owners. It is important that, even though there are other dogs around, the pup learns that he must sometimes focus on his owner.

It is also important that the puppy play group has a good mix of dogs. However, they should be roughly the same age and the same stage in their development.

What to avoid.

Avoid sessions that include puppies with a wide range of ages and sizes. This is particularly important if there is little supervision from knowledgeable trainers who understand canine body language.

The danger of this sort of set up, is that it is less likely to teach your puppy good manners. Neither will it help you to learn how to train your pup. A puppy play group which operates in this way, could end up doing more harm than good.


Socialising your puppy is vitally important for him to grow into a well adjusted adult dog.

Group puppy play groups and puppy parties can be a fabulous and valuable way for them to learn how to behave with other dogs and in a public environment – just make sure they are not just joining a half hour hooligan romp!