Are puppy parties 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 err on the side of caution when it comes to picking the right group for your puppy.

Socialisation is really important for the developing puppy, but it is equally crucial that this is carried out in a positive way so that your pup learns good, not bad, habits!

So, Holidays4Dogs would advise, that it really does ‘depend’ when it comes to puppy parties as to whether they are good or bad.  If a group session is simply a free-for-all with little in the way of supervision, then we would say – avoid it at all costs.

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, usually overseen by a qualified trainer, or vet nurse qualified in puppy socialization classes.

What you are looking for is a class where play is interspersed with short training sessions and short periods where the puppies are expected to behave calmly, without necessarily needing to say hello to the other dogs every five seconds.  It is important that even though there are other dogs around, your pup learns that he must sometimes focus on you and that he will be rewarded with being allowed to play.

It is also important that the group has a good mix of puppies that are roughly the same age and the same stage in their development.  What you should avoid are sessions that include puppies from a wide range of ages and sizes and particularly if there is little or no supervision and they are allowed to simply run wild around the venue.  This sort of set up will not teach your puppy good manners and neither will it help you to learn how to train your pup – so really a puppy party of this nature could end up doing more harm than good.

Once you find the details of a puppy group near you go along without your pup for the first session and observe how things are organised and how much training advice is offered to owners.

As we have said, socialising your puppy is vitally important for him to grow into a well adjusted adult dog – group puppy play session can be a fabulous 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!