How to Have a Successful Puppy Play Date

Setting up a successful puppy play date takes planning. A good canine match requires all pups to have a compatible temperament, a suitable meeting area and an idea of how you want the play date to unfold. Here’s how to make sure your next puppy play date is a very paw-sitive experience.

Know What Your Dog Likes

The key to a successful puppy play date is knowing what your dog likes and dislikes. You should understand how your dog will react to other humans and canine companions. If your puppy is small and timid while your potential play partner’s dog is an avid wrestler, you might have to rethink the matchup. Thankfully, puppy play styles aren’t as defined as that of human kids, so any well-socialised puppies of similar age and sized should enjoy each other’s company.

Select a Partner Deliberately

Your pup’s match should be similar in size and age, so that neither dog will get overwhelmed. Even if both dogs are gentle, the nature of dog-on-dog play means that the smaller pup is always prone to accidental injury. Of course, there are exceptions, but it’s best to keep it safe and use our Puppi Lovers filters to find an evenly matched mate

They can commit

Dog ownership is a long-term commitment. A person who is more than happy to sacrifice their money, time, freedom and energy to care for a dog is probably willing to make a similar commitment for you as well.

Choose a Neutral Place

The best location for your play date is somewhere with an off-leash area. Use our doggie directory to find either a dog-friendly indoor spot or a fully fenced outdoor area. Make sure it’s large enough to suit a full range of play styles.

Set Your Goals

Once you’ve used our doggie directory to find a location and used Puppi Lovers to find the perfect play mate, it’s time to set expectations. Sometimes personalities are mismatched, play styles don’t match up or there just isn’t that ‘spark’ between the pups. If your puppy play date isn’t going to plan, it’s okay to end the session early. Finding a good mate can take time, and there’s always the next match.

It’s All About the Dogs

Remember to keep your focus on the pups. Dog play can quickly change, from moment to moment. Always keep an eye on both dogs to ensure that they are playing appropriately. That way, you can interrupt if things start getting snarky. Plus, you’ll probably learn some interesting new things about the dogs’ personalities as you watch them play.