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Cruisin' Canines

Going to the dog park with your pooch can be a fun activity, but oftentimes, the pet owners at dog parks tend to mind their own business and keep to themselves, making the entire trip a social event only for your pet. That’s fine, but sometimes you want a little socializing yourself. For that reason, meet-up groups for dog owners are common and well-populated across Chicago.

Breed-Specific Events

Breed-specific meet-ups are common—whether you’ve got a pit bull, boxer, Chihuahua, pug, or any other breed, you’ll likely be able to find an exclusive group of owners who love the breed as much as you do. For instance, Chihuahuas can have a difficult time at most dog parks because a lot of the dogs at parks are much, much bigger and stronger than they are, which can pose a danger to such small pups. At a breed-specific meet-up, your dog can get the socialization it loves without being in danger of getting hurt. With other breeds like pugs, it can be fun to get that many funny faces in the same room! No matter what breed you have, chances are there’s a specialized group just for you.

Off-Leash Meet-ups

Another benefit of meet-up groups is that it gives you a chance t o let your pet play off leash without having to go to a park—some meet-ups are held indoors, while others may be closer to your home than the nearest park. They’re also a great place to meet like-minded dog owners—ones who agree that their dogs deserve the type of care and attention that is required to want to take them to a meet-up.

Socialization in a Controlled Environment

Whether you want your dog to have more social time with other dogs, or it needs to learn better manners, meet-ups might be a good option to explore. You can usually find out prior to going how many dogs will be around, so if your dog is the type to get overwhelmed by the dozens-of-dogs atmosphere at a dog park, a small group of five or six dogs may be just what they need. Look into websites like to find the type of club or group you’re interested in, then enjoy watching your dog play with pups suited to its demeanor and size.


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Cruisin' Canines logo of a white dog with an orange background