Would You Take Your Dog to a Dog Club?

dog house

Dog club: Not a disco, not quite a swanky hangout, but think more upscale social meetup place where people and their dogs can mingle and have fun.

The Ruff Club in the East Village section of New York boasts what the New York Times recently reported as having an interview process that made the reporter cower. Dogs are selected based on manners and apparently the screening process is quite intensive. The bark is okay, the bite well, not so much. Can’t say I blame them: My dog was nearly attacked at a dog park a few years back. It took me time and research (and some common sense) to realize it is often the fault of the pet parent and not the dog. I digress.

A public interest lawyer, Danny Frost, and his wife, Alexa Simon Frost, are the proprietors of Ruff Club.  Danny told the NY Times reporter, “We’re not trying to create a master race of dog…we’re just trying to screen out certain issues that are deal breakers.”

dog city

I wonder then, if I’d want to go through the process to join such a club. I want my dog to be around dogs that get along with others. Keeping in mind skirmishes are bound to occur, with voice control these can be abated. I want my dog to be able to have fun but also be social with other dogs.

After repurposing a century-old tavern, the Ruff Club was born.  Fees are reasonable and I would not scoff at the price. In fact, I am all for charging to get into a dog park. After a recent mauling of a dog at the nearby dog park by two larger dogs, I am even more in favor of fees when properly imposed. Again, it’s the people, not the dogs.

Members pay an annual membership fee of $149 to use the social aspect of Ruff Club and access pet care reservations and services. What can people do there? “Events, meetups, talks, projects – some dog-focused, some not,” according to their website.  I think I might be inclined to check that out. I wouldn’t want to dress up in heels and a feathered hat to attend, but my dog would sniff a dog on the street as well as he would at Trump Tower, so it’s all relative I suppose.

fidose of realityWould you pay a fee and go through an intense hour-long interview process to have access to a club like this WITH your dog? Bark at me below in the comments.



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  1. Not sure about this place. I would love to take my dog to the Cypress Inn,Carmel, CA. Doris Day, a great advocate for rescues, built this hotel. Dogs and their owners are welcome anywhere in the hotel.

    Buster being blind, I wonder if he would pass their test.

  2. I am inclined to say no. I didn’t notice of the “club” is off leash or on? I have a huge distaste for off leash parks and so does my vet.
    Dakota doesn’t usually love other dogs so I wouldn’t waste my time with this with him

  3. Absolutely! We stopped going to the dog park because a Mastiff was way too interested in Kirby. He was on top of the picnic table while that dog was pushing me to get to him. Screaming at his owner who slowly walked over to get his dog totally unnerved me so I scooped up Kirby and left. A bad parent can get my dog killed!

    So I’ll pay a fee to regularly attend a safe environment where only good owners can get in!

  4. I wouldn’t pay an annual fee, but I’d consider a monthly fee. I know mathematically, it would be about the same but something about paying such a large chunk of money at once doesn’t appeal to me. First of all, how can I be sure either I or my dog will like it? Secondly, what if life changes occur which prevent me from being able to bring my dog for all those pre-paid months? Will I get my money back for the months not used? Thirdly, not everyone can afford $150 at one time. But most of us can spare $12 a month.

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