Introducing the First Dog Social Club

A new breed of doggie park.

Dogs playing at the dog park.

(otsphoto /

Welcome to doggie heaven! At this social club, dogs are members, while their owners are guests. 

DOG PPL social club is a private club in Santa Monica, California, that opened its doors in September, 2021, according to Greatist. Membership quickly grew to 900, showing there is a need for a clean doggie park where dogs can interact with other dogs. Safe play is supervised by park “rufferees.”

This is a safe and clean place for city dogs to run around off leash and socialize with other pups, while people can relax and enjoy the company of other pet parents. All dog members need to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and be more than four months old. In order to keep the park safe, they “vet” their members; to join, and all dogs must pass a social test.

This exciting new concept was founded by Alex Esguerra and Liam Underwood, who met at a local park while walking their dogs, reported The Wildest. With inspiration, they decided it was time to create a clean, safe, and cool place for dogs and pet parents to connect. 

Esguerra, an artist, and Underwood, a photographer and filmmaker, put on their creative caps and came up with a fun, experiential design.

Dogs love the misting fire hydrant!
Dog PPL took a deserted parking lot and turned it into a dog paradise complete with splash pools, a misting fire hydrant, and even spa towels to dry off pooch. Dogs also enjoy splash parties and snow days. 

There are pop-up vaccine clinics for the dogs, training for puppies, and at night, dog-themed movies with popcorn and dog treats.

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DOG PPL has also partnered with Robert Cabral, a famous dog trainer. Cabral teaches dog shelters the importance of giving off-leash time to rescue dogs, which socializes the dogs and increases their chances of being adopted.

This has resulted in adoption events for rescue dogs to play in the park wearing ‘Adopt Me’ vests, offering rescue dogs a chance to run around and possibly get adopted along the way.

Harnessing connection
Underwood is excited about the sense of connection that DOG PPL inspires, describing it as magical. “Time gets lost sometimes when you’re around good people and good dogs. That’s what we wanted to harness – connection,” Underwood told The Wildest.

And magical, it is! Aside from offering dogs members a turfed 12,500 square foot park, this canine club has 2,500 square feet of lounge area for guests, including a cafe, bar, and park blankets, according to the DOG PPL website. There is also a canine-themed shop. Human guests can also work there, with a limit of 60 minutes, as this really is a place to socialize and play.

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Plans to expand
Esguerra and Underwood researched this concept for four years and have left no stone (or bone) unturned, according to The Wildest. They have great plans for their canine social club, hoping to expand to other cities and countries.

“We want to become the gold standard in this kind of experience. Not just across the country, but globally,” Esguerra told The Wildest.  

They are opening two more clubs in Los Angeles and are partnering to open up in Brooklyn and Miami, with visions of having 100 locations in the next few years. “We want to go through the roof with this thing. Not just for the sake of scale, but because we believe that dogs and their owners deserve the best,” Esguerra added.

DOG PPL is a haven for its dog members, especially city dogs without backyards. “They deserve more, they’re wild inside. They wanna be off leash,” Underwood said. After dogs have run wild and are tired, they are indeed healthy and happy dogs. And that’s what makes a happy dog owner!

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