Shelter Play Groups

A place to share rescue-related issues, vent, get advice, and debrief on the challenges of the work!
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Re: Shelter Play Groups

Postby BabyReba » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:47 pm

I keep mulling this playgroups thing over, and also looking at the photos posted by BARCS' Bully Crew of lots of pit bulls playing.

Was wondering how the leader of the session selects dogs for the groups and how/when they intervene when/if something happens.

I know that up at Harford County Humane they've kenneled multiple dogs together for years, of all age, shape, breed type, and they always had a surprisingly high success rate doing that ... meanwhile, some of us put two dogs together in homes, live with them OK for years, and then end up with fights one day over seemingly minor conflicts, others take dogs to dog parks and end up having problems.

So do they take a lot of care selecting the right dogs? Are they just using people particularly good at managing dogs to oversee these groups? Or is there some other element that goes into this?

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Re: Shelter Play Groups

Postby Amie » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:09 pm

Frankly, none of the above. The first few days, he only did the twenty two dogs in his room, who were placed there randomly, not for any temperament considerations. His behavioral knowledge is based on everybody's favorite tv show.

I think so far it's been luck.

And I do think the program has potential - I see great value in what Liberty and Oscar get out of each other, and I definitely see potential for that kind of physical and mental outlet for the shelter dogs, but I think it needs to have appropriate precautions taken (proper safety equipment, buddy system, record keeping etc), and I'm not aware of those happening.

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Meaghan Edwards
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Re: Shelter Play Groups

Postby Meaghan Edwards » Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:45 pm

The SPCA here does play groups after careful introductions. I've noticed that since they've been doing this, there's been a lot less dog reactivity. Unless the play group dogs want to be with each other while on walks :)

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