PuppyPALS Playgroup


"Play-And-Learn" Socialization

Closely supervised positive play

for pups between 2-7 months

9am-Noon, Tuesdays & Fridays

(Weather permitting)

 No more than 6 puppies

$30 per session


Extended day option

sometimes available

for $10 per hour

Don't Miss Your Pup's
Socialization Window!


If you have a new 8-week-old pup, well-meaning people will tell you not to take her anywhere until she's had all of her shots. Please do your own research before you follow that old-fashioned advice!

By then – about 5 months old – a dog’s critical socialization window has already closed! That’s how a pup who was bouncy and friendly at 8 weeks can end up permanently skittish three months later. 


Today's up-to-date guidance is more nuanced: Balance the risk of parvo/distemper (low in our area of VA) against the risks that come with a lack of socialization during those key months (high, everywhere). 


One smart option regarding dog-to-dog socialization is to seek out a handful of your own neighbors – the ones with nice, vaccinated dogs and fenced yards – for daily interaction.  


If you’re finding that’s hard to arrange, bring your pup to our house! We have four amazing big dogs who are skilled at teaching manners to our PuppyPALS. The pups have a ball tearing around, wrestling and chewing on each other (instead of your furniture). They hone their doggy communication skills, which helps keep them happy and safe in future dog encounters. I watch every minute, ready to re-direct whenever somebody’s energy level tops their not-fully-developed play skills.


Drop your puppy at 9am, and enjoy your guilt-free morning. Pick up at noon, and enjoy your guilt-free afternoon as your pup snoozes the entire rest of the day.


This experience in the key socialization period will have a life-long impact on your dog’s ability to cheerily encounter other dogs on walks, to enjoy dog parks, and to go with you to friends’ houses or on vacation. 

Why the Rush? 


"Behavioral scientists have identified the period from 4 to 14 weeks as the most important window of time for a puppy's social development." 

-- Whole Dog Journal, Conditioning Confidence in Your Puppy


You'll want to read up on why it's important to balance the risk of exposure to disease against the risk of missed socialization. Start with the helpful article above.