What is The Canine Social Club?

The Canine Social Club of Asheville is just like a social club for you, but it’s for dogs! In the morning, you drop off your loved one and a group of compassionate, well-trained individuals stimulate your pup with positive reinforcing activities, such as puzzles and assisted play, until you pick him or her back up! This safe, fun environment allows dogs to socialize and exercise all throughout the day. Our indoor play areas offer dogs a friendly place to play without the dangers of rain, snow, extreme temperatures, or escape. Exercise helps dogs burn off excess energy, enabling them to be calmer, better-behaved and ready to snooze through the night.  See daily schedule

How does my dog become a member of the Social Club?

You must first complete a New Membership Application and then schedule a time to bring in your best friend for a temperament test. Documentation of vaccinations and spay or neuter are required at this time. Our temperament test will give us a snapshot of your dog to help us determine whether he/she is ready to participate in the Social Club.

May I tour The Social Club facility?

Of course! You are welcome to visit and tour the Social Club at any time, with or without notice!  We won’t be able to go into the dog rooms for everyone’s safety, however you’re welcome to look in the windows so you can see the environment.  We’d also love to show you our dog puzzles!

How do you keep the place clean?

We consistently mop, sweep, sanitize, and vacuum! The sanitation of The Social Club is an ongoing process. We utilize a high-volume ventilation system to help prevent airborne disease. Only the highest quality pet safe and industry-specific disinfectants are used in our facility. Our rubber flooring inside as well as our petgrass outside is developed with anti-microbial agents that eliminate odors and bacteria.

Does my dog have to be spayed or neutered?

All dogs over 6 months old must be spayed or neutered. We require that all dogs be healthy and free of contagious illnesses as well.

We know that many veterinarians recommend waiting on altering dogs, especially the larger breeds, to help their growth platelets.  We support your choice to wait, however we aren’t able to accommodate that in our environment.

Our top priority is maintaining every dog’s safety while in our care.  Between 6-8 months of age dogs begin developing hormones that can affect their behavior in many ways.  More than that, the danger is how other dogs react to your dog’s hormones.  Those reproductive hormones affect the entire group dynamic, even when all the other dogs present are fixed.  What was previously a peaceful, cohesive group changes with the presence of those hormones to one of competition and insecurity, sparking aggression between dogs.  So while your unaltered pup may be incredibly sweet and submissive, they are still likely to be attacked by the other dogs purely because of the presence of reproductive hormones.  

Since we can’t predict exactly when those hormones will begin showing up in a puppy, we cut off attendance at 6 months of age.  This prevents any adverse experiences from happening, especially in their early life when social foundations are created.  It’s essential for your puppy’s social experiences to be positive ones to help them have ongoing confidence and comfort in the presence of other dogs!

What do I need to bring for our visits?

We ask that you bring a collar, which we use for directing pups’ behavior as needed.  If your pup has any food restrictions that prevent them from eating the treats we provide, bring some of their regular food or treats from home.  The treats we use are freeze dried liver treats, Science Diet Sensitive Stomach kibble and Kong toys with a small amount of frozen peanut butter.

We have a cubby for each pup, where we store their leashes, harnesses and food from home.  We don’t take any toys or beds from home since there’s a potential for pups to guard their personal belongings from other dogs.

Are the dogs supervised at all times?

ABSOLUTELY! Although we separate dogs by size, temperament, and personality, each play area has its own supervisor trained in canine behavior to help ensure there are no “turf wars”. Social Club dogs are carefully monitored at all times in order to maximize fun and minimize conflict. Small dogs, puppies, and those with arthritic or orthopedic conditions have their own space where an appropriate level of activity occurs. Our associates are trained in canine body language and act as pack leaders to maintain a safe and positive experience.

Does everybody really get along? Do they ever fight?

Dogs are carefully and slowly introduced to their social group. Since dogs do bite and claw as they play, minor cuts and scratches will occur occasionally. While there is never a guarantee that a fight won’t break out, The Social Club takes every precaution to avoid them. All dogs are interviewed before becoming members and those exhibiting aggressive behaviors are not admitted. Your pet’s safety is our top priority, so dogs who aren’t playing nicely may be given a brief time-out in a kennel. Just like people, dogs have good days and bad days so we do our best to work with mood swings. If bad behavior becomes the norm you may be asked not to come back, both for your dog’s safety and the safety of others.

What is a temperament test and why does my pet need one?

It’s important to be sure your pup is ready and willing to participate in our program.  The temperament test is our chance to get an overall view of your dog.  We take all of our dogs present outside so that yours can get to know the environment before meeting any new dogs.  We then introduce dogs individually so we can read your dog’s stress levels, avoidance or willingness to play.  This allows us to determine the dog’s current level of social development to ensure that he/she is not aggressive or overly anxious and can play well with others.

What’s included in The Social Club rate?

In addition to highly supervised and guided play, your pup will participate in puzzle and nap times. These activities are designed to comprehensively meet the overall health and well-being of your dog. All of The Social Club staff members have received cutting edge training in canine behavior from the experts at The Dog Door of Asheville. This allows your canine friend to benefit from the exposure to integrated scientifically proven practices.

What does the flat rate mean?

We have one charge for any length of stay!  This gives you the flexibility to reserve the day you’d like your pup to come without committing to a specific drop off and pick up schedule.  Your pup certainly doesn’t need to attend the entire day (not everyone is an early riser!) but we do recommend dropping off by 9am so your pup can have puzzle time and plenty of play before nap.
You can pick up as early as you like and as late as 6pm.
The only time we cannot take any drop offs is during nap, which is from 11am-12pm.

Do you offer a rewards program?

We offer Paw Points, which you can accumulate and convert to account credits for future purchases.  Every day your pup attends, you automatically receive 5 Paw Points and there are many other opportunities to earn points throughout the year!  Keep an eye on our social media accounts for more opportunities.


Why do dogs need guided play?

Socializing doesn’t come naturally to every dog.  Puppies, especially, have trouble reading other dogs’ cues.  Just as human children need to be taught empathy and listening to other people’s boundaries, dogs need to learn how to listen to other dogs.  If boundaries aren’t respected, the dog who is disengaged with play has to resort to more obvious cues, which can make them feel stressed.  Our goal is to teach every dog to listen to the first cues so no one gets to the point of stress or feeling that they need to resort to any aggression to get their point across.

Different breeds of dogs also play and communicate differently.  Having many types of dogs in a room together does require us to translate for them at times.  Some breeds have a very nippy play style, while others communicate “no” by nipping.  It’s up to us to know the difference and help the dogs realize these nuances.

My dog is not house trained. Will this be a problem in your indoor facility?

The doors to our outdoor space remain open all day so the dogs have free access to eliminate outside as needed.  Our artificial grass helps the dogs feel at ease when eliminating.  We monitor any problems or accidents so we can reinforce house training.  With our tiny puppies, we also lead them outside frequently so we can encourage potty breaks, which they often forget to take while playing.

Do you separate giant dogs from little dogs?

We break up our dogs by both size and temperament.  Our small dog side typically houses tiny breeds, puppies under 6 months old and older dogs who need the space to nap.  Our big dog side houses our rough and ready active dogs, which sometimes includes highly active small dogs.  Medium dogs in the 40 pound range can go on either side and sometimes move around depending on the best fit for that day.  The temperament test gives us a snapshot of where your dog will best fit, but that can always change as we get a feel for the dynamic.

How will my dog act when he gets home from The Social Club?

Dogs generally will drink a lot, eat, and sleep through the evening! As a precaution, please wait at least one hour after returning home to feed your dog. This will prevent any complications associated with eating too soon after a day of active play.

Canine Social Club

Canine Social Club