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In November 2019 DBCHS staff and a team of volunteers participated in a training seminar with the national organization Dogs Playing For Life (DPFL). DPFL's mission is to ensure that every day, every dog in a shelter or rescue gets a chance to be a dog.

Here's how they explain it:   


"In traditional animal shelters, dogs can be kept in kennels, isolated from members of their own species, and with limited opportunities outside of their enclosures. While some shelters have the resources and volunteer support to give the dogs 

plenty of enrichment and time outside, others, particularly, large, municipal shelters, struggle to provide this basic need.


It isn’t just our opinion that playgroups are a basic need-the Association of Shelter Veterinarians Five Freedoms include the “freedom to express normal behavior-” freedom that can be achieved by giving dogs access to play together.

Playing can be a dog’s most natural form of positive interaction and communication with both humans and fellow dogs. For shelters, allowing dogs to be dogs in playgroups can reveal their behavioral tendencies better than their reactions during the intake process, while kenneled, or during a formal behavior evaluation."

Amos and his brother Andy were scared and shut down when they came to DBCHS.  Check out this playgroup success! 

Dogs that participate in playgroups are happier and more relaxed. Happy, relaxed dogs get adopted more quickly. Playgroups work!

Rupert playing with Gertrude.jpg

For more information on Dogs Playing For Life visit

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