It was one of those typical Welsh rainy day in Monmouthshire. We had just finished walking our pooch Charlie and spotted this beautiful, little cottage-style pub called ‘The Boat Inn’.
We noticed dogs going inside and a couple of dogs sat outside (under shelter) and thought “YES! It must be Dog Furiendly”. After a little Google check, we ran in out of the rain.
We walked into the smallest, quaint, jam-packed pub I have ever been in. It was like a broom cupboard filled with the locals, hikers, and a hen party. It was that packed that if you turned around, you probably would have kissed someone. There was nowhere to sit, so we just stood by the log fire waiting for it to get less cramped.
In the corner was a man with his dog, who was growling and starting to get a little aggressive (not the man, the dog). He quickly downed his pint, dragged the dog outside and said
“if they had met on a field they would be great friends but he can’t be friends with a dog in an enclosed space”.
Anyway, as he left with his crazy but cute little pooch he freed up some space for us to sit and eat.
As we sat down, I started to wonder whether that was okay or not. I mean from a customer perspective, it made us feel a little nervous. Which sparks the question, Should you take a nervous dog to a dog friendly place?
A dog friendly place can be the perfect way to socialise your dogs with other dogs, humans, and situations. However, if your pooch is nervous or noisy when it comes to socialising, then there are a few things you should weigh up beforehand.
Size of the venue
In this situation, the pub was tiny, like a little Polly Pocket. It’s probably not a good idea to take a nervous dog to a small venue if they have socialising issues. By picking a bigger venue, both you and your pooch can feel comfortable and more relaxed. That way you don’t have to worry about when the next dog is going to walk through the door.
Noisy pooch? Perhaps a seat closer to the door may work best giving you easy access to pop outside not to disturb others. Find out why your dog may be barking in public spaces.
If your dog is nervous, unwell, “grumpy” or needs a bit of space, give your dog yellow. A ribbon, a bandana, something to go on the lead or collar etc. Most dog owners will understand and respect what this means and will stay out of your way. If they still approach and don’t know about the yellow, kindly let them know so that they can recognise it for future situations.
For many people, the idea of a muzzle can create feelings of fear and worry. That their dog is aggressive, or they will envision the likes of a Hannibal Lecter (furry monster)!
Firstly, let’s dispel those myths first. Muzzles are not just for aggression, in fact, they’re make a great training tool. Your dog may not like this at first, and chances are neither will you, but if you make it fun, and train them to love their muzzle, you will reap the rewards. If trouble brews, you’re one step safer from any concerns and consequences.
Nobody knows your dog better than you
You should know your dog well enough to decide how your dog will react in different situations. If the pub is very small and another dog walks through the door, how are they going to react? If the venue is loud and noisy, how are they going to react?
The owners of dog friendly places will expect adults and children to behave well and not fight with each other. The same rules should apply to dogs. Invest in some yellow, think about a muzzle, or find a spacious dog friendly place?
We think all dogs should have the chance to visit all these dog friendly places but we want peace and harmony just as much.