Puppies at play
Photo by William Pham

Table of Contents

About Moshes

Moshes are a safe, chaperoned environment for pups (and another pets!) to fall into pup headspace and romp, wrestle, and play!

Our moshes are inclusive and welcoming — we do not tolerate any sort of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, race or age (as long as you are over 18.)

We ensure our Bay-PAH moshes are stocked with:

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Puppy Toys!

Our moshes have the following designated areas:

  • Active Mosh Mats – A place to wrestle, romp, and be active!
  • Quiet Mosh Mats – A place to cuddle and rest!
  • Observation Seating – A place to watch the fun!

All Bay-PAH moshes are run by Bay-PAH Staff. Find us by looking for our fabulously orange Bay-PAH shirts!

Pup Headspace

Headspace can be very important for a pup.  Often, this headspace is about living in the moment — not thinking about bills or work, but focusing entirely on the moment at hand.

Pups tend to focus on pup things (or kitty things,) like chasing balls, playing with toys, or wrestling with other pups.

Some pups will become completely non-verbal while in pup headspace, and communicate only with barks and body language.

Often gear or activities help get pups into headspace, such as putting on a puppy hood and mitts, or getting down on all fours.

There are as many unique pup headspaces as there are pups!

Pups and Handlers

Pups and Handlers come in many shapes, sizes, and varieties.

Photo by William Pham

Pups can be puppies, doggies, wolves, kittens, bunnies, ponies, or any other kind of pet (including animals that aren’t generally pets!)  Often pups will be in “Pup Headspace” while playing (See below.)  However, Being in headspace is not an excuse for bad behavior!

Pups are encouraged to approach new handlers and sniff hello, and to provide clear signals and signs if they desire interaction.  Approach other pups as one puppy would another puppy — with caution at first, and paying particular attention to body language (often the preferred methods of communication for pups.)

Stay hydrated!  If you feel thirsty, stop and drink water.  Long straws or water bowls with built-in sippy straws work great for those wearing hoods.

Exercise extreme caution when using your mouth to grab onto things — human teeth are not built like puppy teeth, and are quite fragile by comparison.

Some pups enjoy rough play — wrestling, puppy piles, king of the hill, etc.  However, not all do.  Please do not initiate rough play with a pup who seems to be avoiding it.  DO NOT swat at, tug on, or yank puppy tails!  

Rough or rowdy play of any kind is not permitted in the quiet area.

Cuddling and snuggling is very appropriate and approved of, however if you cuddle in the “active” area, be prepared to be interrupted.  If you want a quiet space, please snuggle on the mats in the “quiet” area.

Please remember full nudity is not allowed at our public moshes, and all forms of sexual activities are prohibited at them.

If you have any health condition, please privately inform a Bay-PAH staff member so we can be prepared in an emergency!

Puppy with a handler
Photo by William Pham

Handlers are those who want to play with and take care of human puppies, keeping them safe and happy.  Handlers help pups get into and out of their gear, as well as help get them into pup headspace.

At moshes, handlers provide belly rubs and treats, throw toys for pups, and see to their safety.  Handlers are the “responsible adults” of our events.

Handlers are encouraged to approach and interact with pups displaying signals they desire interaction.  Handlers are also encouraged to watch out for safety issues, as well as for inappropriate play.  Keep an eye out for pups who may be nearing exhaustion, be dehydrated, or otherwise in need of a rest.  Also be on the lookout for pups who need their kneepads or other gear adjusted.

Many pups will enjoy you petting them, giving them belly rubs, commands, and games to play.  However, there are those who do no like to be handled.  Watch for cues, and never try to dominate those who do not wish to be dominated.  When in question, approach a human pup just like you would a bio puppy!   Offer your hand and call them over. If they don’t respond, shake their head no or turn away, move on to another pup.

Do not shame or guilt anyone over their activities or behaviors.

Feel free to get down “on the dog’s level” in the mosh pit!  Many pups love it when Handlers engage them on their level!

Never hesitate to find a Bay-PAH staff member if you have any questions or concerns!

Trainers and Owners

Some pups have owners, some have trainers, and some (often kitties) have neither.

Owners are someone who provides structure in a pup’s play, work, or life.  Often, Owners give pups a sense of belonging.

Pups who are owned may have collars or tags indicating this.  However, just because a pup has a collar or tag doesn’t mean anything by itself!  Some pups will wear these for fashion, and for others, collars may have a meaning other than ownership.

Pups may have one or more trainers.  Trainers may or may not be dominant over the pups.  Trainers may be training their pups to do specific things, or learn new abilities and confidences.

Bay-PAH Staff

Bay-PAH staff will be wearing fabulously orange t-shirts with the Bay-PAH logo on them.  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask one of us!

Mosh Rules

  • No Glass, Hard Sole Shoes, Jewlery, Gear with Hard Points, or anything else that could cause injury!
  • No full nudity or sexual activity is permitted!
  • Do not grab at tails or other attached equipment!
  • Respect the Quiet Zone! If in doubt, find someone in an Orange Bay-PAH shirt!

Dress Code

What to wear

Wear something that is comfortable, and ideally skin-tight and not baggy.  Consider wrestling singlets, spandex clothes, shorts or boxers.

Socks, “toe shoes” or other soft-bottomed shoes are recommended to avoid foot injury and burns.

Mitts or gloves are recommended to protect your paws if you are on the mosh mats!   These also help restrict use of your human fingers; for many, this helps them get into pup headspace!

Knee pads are highly encouraged to avoid mat-burn damage to your knees.  Ask DranoTheCat some time about his first mosh for a slight horror story 😉  Remember that human knees are very fragile, and constant wear and tear on these joints can lead to permanent damage.

Puppy Hoods and harnesses are an awesome thing to wear!

Leashes may be attached if being held by a handler.  Free-hanging leashes, or loosely attached leashes, are not allowed.

What not to wear

Try not to wear items that have a tendency to get caught on things, are easily damaged, or that can cause injury to others.  Anything with spikes, studs, lots of zippers, or hard points are forbidden.  Basic collars that are securely attached, and do not have pointy bits on them, are allowed.

Belts, bracelets, earrings, and dangly body jewelry should be removed or taped down with medical tape.

Puppy tails work well, furry tails tend not to.  Tails should be short enough that they don’t get caught on things.

Pups are responsible for any damage, loss, or injury due to their actions or clothing.

Bay-PAH staff have the final say on if a pups gear is safe and allowed in the mosh pit.


(This content has been highly inspired by the SF K9 Unit‘s original Mosh Pit Rules.)