I’ve not taken either of my dogs to the local breweries yet, but I’ve seen other dogs there and I’ve heard stories about dogs at these places. Then I realized that most people don’t know what to expect when they take their dogs in to public places, and the public doesn’t usually expect to see dogs inside stores and restaurants.
If you don’t know, I started my dog-training career as an assistance dog trainer. It was my job to prepare dogs for all the crazy things that happen in public. When a client and dog were matched together, we always had the conversation about the appropriateness of bringing their working assistance dog to certain places.
Just because they were allowed to bring their dog everywhere, didn’t mean they should.
Two places I often advised my assistance dog’s clients to go without their dog were crowded bars and loud concerts. People don’t look down for dog tails that might be in their way when they’re out in public. And they especially don’t look down in a dark bar after having a few drinks. A really crowded bar could result in people stepping on your dog, as well as all sorts of stuff on the floor that your dog might feel the need to clean up. Dog’s ears are also really sensitive, so loud music could be upsetting to them.
The same is true for public places and events that are pet friendly. Sure you can bring your dog, but should you?
I brought MoonPie to the Brimfield Fair a few Sundays ago. She was wonderful, well behaved, friendly, and a HUGE people magnet. I barely got any shopping done because I was answering questions about her every 10 steps. The weather was great, but if it was hot I would have kept her home. She needed to be well behaved while in the tents because there were so many fragile things around. I saw many dogs who were loud and pulling and disruptive. If you can’t keep your dog from jumping on people or barking at dogs, perhaps leave them behind until they are better trained. I would never take Bomba to an event like Brimfield, he'd be miserable, he just doesn’t like people!
This past weekend I went to Start on the Street in Worcester, another dog friendly fair. It was hot, like 90 degrees. All of the tents were set up in the middle of the street, which meant the dogs that were there were in the sun and standing on hot pavement. MoonPie overheats easy, which is why I left her home.
Rude dogs ruin these events for the rest of us. It’s those few dogs that won’t stop barking, jumping on people, and peeing on things that make places less inclined to allow dogs in the future. So if you have a dog that needs more training, do dog lovers everywhere a favor and LEAVE THEM HOME when attending these dog friendly events. Training a dog to be behaved in these sorts of situations is very simple, do a little training (on leash) before trying to take your dog with you on the next outing.
If your dog is well behaved, ask your self if its really a good idea to bring them along. I won't bring MoonPie to Brimfield again, it was way too much work and I didn't get to enjoy shopping as much. I also won't be bringing my dogs to the breweries during peak hours. Sunday afternoons seem to be less hectic, which is just my speed.
About the Author: Jen Banks has been training dogs professionally since 2008. She started her own pet dog training company in 2014. Owner and trainer at Banks K9 Solutions in Fitchburg MA, she provides group classes and in home training for families and their dogs.