15,000 Dog Loving San Diegans Can’t Be Wrong

15,000 San Diegans are members of dog meetup groups. We typically lists 10 or more dog meetups a week on our calendar. What makes these so popular?

Let’s backup a second, what are meetups? Meetups are groups of people with shared interests that plan meetings and form offline clubs in local communities. Generally meetups are free to join – or there’s a very small entrance fee to cover a yearly meetup administrative fee; there may be a fee if the meetup group is doing an activity, but this should be stated very clearly with a refund policy.

In dog-loving San Diego there are over 50 different meetups that are organized around dogs – and there are new ones forming every month. They may be based on the characteristics of the dogs (breed or size), of the people (profession, age, sexual orientation), by neighborhood (Downtown 92101, Mission Valley) or the type of activity (hiking, walking). They may get together frequently, or not so often.

By far the most popular dog meetups are based on the breed of the dog. Some have a handful of members; others have over a thousand. Breed meetups generally welcome mix breed dogs, and dogs of other breeds that play nicely, as it is common for siblings of dogs to come to meetups and these siblings may not be the same breed.

Why join a dog meetup? Talking to meetup organizers and members these are the four main ones:

  1. Socialize dogs. The meetups provide the opportunity for dogs of a similar size and energy level to get together and let loose. Meet up organizers noted there was an instant connection among the dogs. Some of the larger groups have play dates for just the younger or older dogs.
  2. Share information. The meetups (and the forums and message boards on their sites) allow for the exchange of information on health issues, vets, groomers, trainers, and other topics of common interest.
  3. Educate people. Showing off the breed while out and about is another benefit of the meetups. People who are considering getting a particular type of dog are encouraged to attend a meetup to learn more. There is nothing like seeing twenty Corgis romping in the surf to get an idea of what they are like.
  4. Create relationships. The underlying purpose of meetups is to create connections and dog meetups are no exception. Many people reported that some of their, and their dogs’, dearest friendships are formed through meetups.

As a Great Dane organizer told me, some people are nervous about such a large dog playing with their dogs, so getting Danes together is a great chance for them to really let loose, but it is also important that parents who bring their dogs have control over their charges. Meetups are not a place to train your dog.

Many meetups do a range of activities in an assortment of places – like going to dog parks, restaurants, have parties, go to outdoor concerts, host training, take hikes. Some of the activities are regularly scheduled – others are not. And many have message boards and forums on their sites to share information.

A Boxer Pup at Her First Meetup

A Boxer Pup at Her First Meetup

SDHappyDogs list all the dog meetups under dog groups in our business directory at http://www.sdhappydogs.com. Look under dog groups or enter a term in the search box. New meetups crop up all the time, though, so you can also check out: http://www.meetup.com/find/.

A number of the meetups are private – that is that information about them shared only with members in order to protect their privacy and to ensure people don’t join to solicit members for business purposes. But, these groups are not exclusive, so you should have no trouble joining.

Some of the bigger and more active dog meetups are:

  • Off leash Meetup
  • 20s and 30s Meetup
  • Golden Retriever Meetup
  • Pug Meetup
  • Frenchie Meetup.
Dogs Enjoying the 20s and 30s Meetup at Fiesta Island

Dogs Enjoying the 20s and 30s Meetup at Fiesta Island

There are meetups for dog professionals, dogs with disabilities, people who want to go out and drink with their dogs – really just about anything you can think of.

As mentioned, most meetups will welcome dogs of any breed, and definitely do not discriminate against mixes, so if you don’t see one that seems to fit your exact pup, just reach out to one that you think you and your dog would like!

Then write and let us know about your experience.

 

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