Pets SE now has a separate chat room, specifically to discuss issues about dogs that require extended discussion. As there has been some extended discussions in comments over dog training theories, reputable sources and the like. So this way it won't clutter up the main chat, if people want to have in depth discussion.

It's a public chat room and is intended to be inclusive for all Pets SE users.



In response to an answer. This has nothing to do with the main chat room having the name the litterbox. The main chatroom is for pets SE.

As it is, one user has already requested that an extended discussion on the main chat be moved to a separate room (and rightly so).

  • 1
    I'd avoid explicitly asking people to downvote a discussion question to indicate a specific preference...
    – Wooble
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 16:39

3 Answers 3


One nice thing about the chat system here is that it is easy to create new rooms for specialized topics.

There's nothing wrong with creating rooms like this, whenever people feel like it will be helpful. It seems fairly natural to me that this site may have species-specific chat rooms spring up over time.

Just don't neglect the main chat room, as that's where new users will be directed for assistance :) I also wouldn't worry too much about "cluttering up" the main chat, though. Most chat rooms I've seen could stand to use more activity, especially in beta, and even the highly active ones are manageable thanks to the reply/tagging tools included.

  • I probably shouldn't have selected this as answer, but figure you've been moderating long enough to give a definitive answer like Robert or Tim (our Community Managers for people not knowing)
    – user87
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 12:43
  • 1
    @Skippy no, I'm definitely not in the league of Robert or Tim. I still look to them for advice and guidance! And I should also add the disclaimer that I've not participated in chat on any of the trinity sites, so it may be different there (although it seems unlikely that we'll ever reach that level, even after graduation).
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 12:48

I think it seems silly to fracture the chat into topic based rooms. The main room is only called The Litter Box due to a vote; there is no intention for the discussion to pertain exclusively to cats. I certainly see the need for chat room division on larger sites, but we currently are one of the smallest.

If you're just chatting about dogs, then I don't see any harm in having a chat room exclusively for that. However, I think meta site discussion should be kept in the main room. That includes "issues about dogs that require extended discussion" if the issue is in regards to a post on Pets.SE.


Side rooms for extended conversations about narrower topics are not unusual on Stack Exchange. There are some important considerations to making it work, in my experience:

  1. Site-related conversation is never off-topic in the main room; the existence of a side room doesn't compel people to use it if they don't want to. (Exception: occasionally a topic will be considered marginal and the mods might say "take it there" -- but this is not an example of that. I'm thinking of, for example, a discussion about differences between two religions on one of those religions' sites.)

  2. People need to know about the room. One way to do this, particularly when a room is new, is to have a moderator pin a link to it in the main room.

  3. Don't neglect the main chat room, as Beofett said.

  4. Very little gets decided in chat at all (that's what meta is for), and how much the more so does this apply to side rooms.

  5. Side rooms for more-specific topics tend to work out better than general ones, in my experience. "Dogs" seems pretty general. "Such-and-such complex/controversial/extended dog-training issue" is narrower and focuses the room.


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