The Dog Den

Learn and Play...Everyday!

1019 Jonathon Dr. Madison, WI 53713 | 608-278-PLAY (7529)
410 Atlas Ave, Madison, WI 53714 | 608-241-DOGS (3647)

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Starting September 2014, the dog den will no longer offer puppy playgroups.  

Also starting in September, we will no longer be offering Puppy Playgroup, in order to make room in our busy schedule for our new classes and daycare services.  We understand the importance of proper puppy socialization, and strive to provide excellent opportunities for helping young pups be the best they can be.  Please check out our amazing All-Star Puppy Class program for more details! 


Puppy Playgroups and Socialization at The Dog Den

Playgroups at The Dog Den® Dog Daycare and Training are part of a unique program to help socialize and train your dog.  

At our playgroups you will find:

  • There is always one of our Canine Behavior Specialists on hand to answer questions and give training tips.
  • We teach you how to read dog body language so you know what is appropriate and what is not.
  • Get the chance to talk to other doggie owners that have been sharing the same experiences
  • Only $5.00 for the full hour - And FREE if you are currently enrolled in one of our All Star Level 1 or All Star Level 2 classes!

Puppy Playgroups

The key to having a well-socialized adult dog is to first have a well-socialized puppy! Puppies are not born knowing how to play with other dogs. They need to experience large dogs, small dogs, dogs that play rough, dogs that play gently. If your puppy is only exposed to playing with adult dogs, he will learn that he can bite harder when he plays. Then when he grows up to be an adult dog himself, he will still have a hard bite. Unfortunately, that can cause problems with other dogs and make other dogs perceive him as being a bully.  Proper socialization as a young puppy can help prevent many problems as the puppy develops into a dog.

Dog Parks can be a great way to continue socializing your high energy pup but they are not the best place to socialize your young puppy.  First, you cannot guarantee that each dog that your puppy comes into contact with will have been properly vaccinated.  Puppies are building their immunities at this young age and even exposure to an area that an ill dog (or even a carrier dog) has been can be detrimental to a puppy.  At our playgroups (and daycare), we check that each dog is up to date on their vaccinations. We can send home dogs that we suspect are ill and clean/sanitize daily.  Also, many adult dogs simply do not like puppies and may attack them for no reason. This is why it is not safe to take your little puppy to the off-leash dog parks until they are older and have had proper socialization.  That way, they already have appropriate greeting/playing skills, will not learn bad habits from older dogs, and are old enough to defend themselves if there is a bully at the park.

Daycare is a great way to socialize your puppy with other puppies and appropriate adult dogs.  Playgroups provide an additional way to not only meet additional puppies but to meet all new people.  Because owners stay with their puppies during playgroups, your puppy will be exposed to different men, women, and children each week.  Many people do a great job with dog-dog socialization but forget about introducing their puppies to various people.  These puppies often develop problems with people as they grow and develop.  Playgroups at The Dog Den provide you with a safe and structured place to help your puppy to grow into a well-adjusted and social dog with both dogs and people.

You can also use this time to get advice on your puppies issues from a professional dog trainer (nipping, housetraining, crate training, nail clipping, proper amount of food, etc.).

Bring your puppy to our Puppy Playgroups for correct, supervised socialization. Here he will learn to play appropriately, learn bite inhibition, proper dog-dog and dog-people greeting skills - and come home nice and tired!

Cost: $5.00 per puppy/dog
Proof of vaccinations required for first playgroup visit


Playgroups are for the parents to enjoy with their dogs, this is not a drop off visit. Pre-registration is not required. The Dog Den reserves the right to dismiss a dog for aggression and suggest alternate training such as private lessons.