Playgroups

Roles and Responsibilities

Playgroups generally require 2-3 people at minimum depending on the number of dogs and their play styles. Personnel may be paid staff or volunteers. Playgroup personnel roles include:

  • Lead;

  • Assistant;

  • Runner

Some responsibilities may be shared between lead, assistant, and runner, or may overlap. The lead will be the primary decision-maker. Good communication and a clear plan should be in place so that all personnel know what they are doing. Staff and volunteers should complete playgroup training before participating in playgroups. 

RESPONSIBILITIES OF PLAYGROUP LEAD:

  • Assign tasks to assistants & runners (for example, watch a particular dog closely, mind leashes that are dragging, bring a new dog from a kennel into the play area, etc);

  • Direct assistants’ and runners’ responses to tension between dogs, injuries or fights;

  • Keep dogs away from entrance to prevent dogs from clustering around a new arrival;

  • Monitor new dogs added to the playgroup;

  • Narrate body language & model interventions for any trainees;

  • Record data & share with relevant staff.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF PLAYGROUP ASSISTANTS:

  • Monitor all dogs and alert lead to problems;

  • Manage/wrangle any lines or leashes dragging; 

  • Keep dogs away from entrance to prevent dogs from clustering around a new arrival;

  • Assist as directed with reducing tension between dogs and breaking up fights;

  • Carry out any other tasks assigned by the playgroup lead.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF PLAYGROUP RUNNERS:

  • Prepare playgroup space and gear; 

  • Bring/take dogs to/from play area;

  • Refill water dishes/buckets;

  • Bring needed supplies like treats or clean leashes;

  • Assist with cleaning yards between playgroups;

  • Get more help if needed during fights or other incidents.

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Shelter & Rescue Division

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© The Pet Rescue Resource 2020