Longview Animal Center making happy dogs with Play Groups

Healthy and Happy dogs
Two dogs play together. (Source: KLTV Staff)
Two dogs play together. (Source: KLTV Staff)(KLTV Staff)
Updated: Sep. 18, 2018 at 6:19 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - The people of the Longview Animal Care and Adoption Center know that everyone prefers a happy dog, and have instigated a program to make sure potential pets are just that. The program is called Play Groups.

The Longview Animal Care and Adoption Center has an area where dogs can get some play time, but the Play Group takes it a big step forward, according to Volunteer Coordinator Jackie Reynolds.

“This is a new treat for them. Last week we had a two-day seminar. We had an organization called Dogs Playing for Life that came down and did actual hands on training with us for our staff and volunteers," Reynolds said. “The goal in this is for dogs to be able to get out and interact with each other in a play group environment.”

They don’t just throw a bunch of dogs out the door. They introduce the dogs slowly and make sure they can play well with others. Plus, they keep track of who does what.

“Dogs do better when they’re interacting with each other outside of the kennel, playing, burning energy, getting exercise; they’re just healthier, happier dogs,” Reynolds revealed.

And it gives a potential new master, like Brittany Chrisman, insight. She’s looking for a dog ...

“That will be good with kids,” Chrisman said.

She liked seeing them out in the open.

“When you’re just looking at them in their pen, it’s hard to see their personalities,” Chrisman observed.

Reynolds said it helps the dogs behaviorally and ...

“It helps with their immune system. They’re less likely to get sick. They just have a better time. It’s a better experience for them while they’re here,” Reynolds explained.

And Brittany? Well, she decided on a different dog altogether.

“He wasn’t in the Play Group, but the one we were thinking about getting was in the Play Group and seemed to be a little too energetic, a little too much like a puppy for us. We like the older dog. The more calm dog,” Chrisman concluded.

“If you’ve ever seen a happy dog, it just makes you smile,” Reynolds said.

New dogs or old dogs, the trick seems to be a great big contagious dog smile.

The Longview Animal Care and Adoption Center plans on implementing Play Groups with many of their dogs every day, which they believe leads to happier dogs and quicker adoptions.

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