Playdates for dogs!

It’s easy for suburban and urban dog owners to forget that dogs need time for off-leash play with other dogs to exercise muscles and manners, be joyful and burn off energy and become more confident around other dogs.

That’s why A Better Pet offers all clients who gone through at least one private training free lifelong access to Drop-In Play sessions (DIPs).

DIPs are free 90-minute playdates held year-round which provide dogs an opportunity to play, socialize and learn in a safe environment. To attend a DIP, find a date on our calendar to suit you, and then RSVP (by text, phone, or email) before you come. 

[arve url=”″ align=”right” thumbnail=”7823″ title=”A typical DIP” description=”Drop in play at A Better Pet. Dog training, dog manners, socialization” maxwidth=”200″/]

The ideal setting: DIPS are held in a secure fenced-in backyard designed to meet the developmental and safety needs of dogs. It’s been set up so that dogs of all breeds, ages, temperaments, energy levels and level of confidence can learn and practice how to be with their own and to be around other people with dogs.  

The ideal companions, canine and human:  Imagine a dog park with a lifeguard (i.e. Rachel, the trainer). all the dogs you’ll meet at DIPs have learned or are learning good manners, all the humans you meet are familiar with how to teach dogs good behavior using Rachel’s non-forced based training methods. You won’t be assailed by out-of-control dogs whose owner yell, “Sorry, I can’t control him,” as they jerk on a choke collar.

Up to 12 dogs can attend a DIP, including Rachel’s three dogs and any dogs she’s currently raising, boarding and socializing for current or future owners. DIPS provide an opportunity for your dog play with and learn from dogs with superior levels of socialization. 

DIPS benefit dog owners, too. providing a reason to get outdoor and socialize with other dog owners.You can use DIPS as an opportunity to practice manners, developing increased reliability with the increased distractions of other dogs. Rachel can give you pointers.

The ideal price: Free.

The ideal schedule: DIPS are held year-round, and the online calendar is updated frequently with an eye to weather conditions.  Dress for the weather, althought when it’s cold there’s a firepit to help you keep warm. DIPS are typically 90 minutes long, and you can come for all or part of the time. (In super-cold weather, DIPs are shortened to 60 minutes for the comfort and safety of humans and canines.)

Additional benefits

  • Your dog has fun and is happier, less anxious, and less hyper. 99.99% of dogs report feeling tired and calm after DIPs (oh, ok, it’s their owners who report the calmness and sleepiness, not the dogs. But they would if they could!).
  • You get out in the fresh air and talk with other dog owners.
  • You can ask Rachel questions and show her problematic dog behaviors.
  • If you purchase products Rachel sells online (bully sticks, Har-vests, Euroleashes, etc.) you can buy them at the DIP (save the cost of shipping!)

The 3 rules of DIPs:  (Rachel will show you 1 and 2; 3 you’ve probably mastered on your own!) 

  1. When you approach the gate to the backyard, your dog must be calm and controlled, earning the opportunity to play with her friends
  2. When a new dog comes to the gate, you’ll manage your dog so that all the dogs don’t rush the new guy and overwhelm him. 
  3. If your dog poops, you pick it up (there are bags and a trashcan). 

By the way, pooping at a DIP is a good thing — a testament to how relaxed and comfortable your dog is.