Improve Your Life and Theirs

We’re introducing large dog play groups for our sheltered dogs!

We are currently launching our new play group program for canine enrichment and basing it on the Dogs Playing for Life play group model. This model has been launched in more than 170 shelters across the US and we are excited to bring it to the East Bay SPCA.  To learn more about Dogs Playing for Life, check out this video on the program.

“We are piloting the project in Oakland, and already we are seeing some great benefits for the dogs!
Linda Sackman, Director Shelter Operations

A majority of dogs are social creatures and in a shelter environment they spend a fair amount of time alone in their kennels, with frustration building up. The most natural outlet for the pent up energy is to let them play! Pictured here are Nugget and Sunshine having a grand time romping around the yard.

What you can expect to see…
During morning playgroup sessions, you might see a handful of dogs running full speed, being rowdy and vocal! You might see or hear skirmishes as well. If you are present during a squabble, please stay calm and quiet; the staff on duty are trained to manage these situations and will intervene if the dogs are not appropriately resolving the dispute on their own (which is rare). Staff are equipped with a set of tools, like spray bottles, to help interrupt and intervene when needed. However, the underlying philosophy of the program is that no one can teach a dog to be socially appropriate better than another dog, so we want to give them an opportunity to learn from each other.

Dogs burn a lot of energy playing with each other and get priceless mental stimulation. Shy dogs can come out of their shell as they learn appropriate social skills from more experienced, confident dogs. We will continue to pilot play groups in Oakland for now. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting new endeavor.

Next time you go through adoption floor after playgroup, take a minute and listen to the sound of happy, tired, quiet dogs! If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to our Behavior & Training Dept.

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Can I crash on your couch for awhile? You don’t need a lot of time, just love and a warm lap!