By: Melissa Kolmar, CPDT-KA
We love taking our pups with us to bars and restaurants, but do they want to be there? Are we giving them a good experience? Are we setting them up for success? When considering whether or not to take your dog to a bar or restaurant, consider the following:
- Do not bring your dog to a restaurant/bar if they are leash reactive, terrified of or aggress toward people/dogs. Visit New Dawn Animal Behavior Center for help! Book a private session to work on these concerns: newdawnabc.com/private-sessions/
2. Get to know your dog well before visiting. Learn their likes, dislikes and stressors. A visit to a restaurant/bar is NOT the time to learn this!
3. For your first visit, go at an off-peak time when it is slower and there are less dogs and people.
4. Bring high-value treats (real meat or cheese is usually the best) to help your dog focus on you when you need to gain their attention.
5. Have a rock solid recall. Make sure your dog has lots of practice coming to you in the face of distractions before you visit a restaurant/bar.
6. Keep your first few visits short and sweet to build positive associations.
7. Pay attention to your dog! Take note of anything that stresses or overly excites them. Remove them from these situations.
8. Know your dog’s limits. Some dogs aren’t social butterflies and that’s okay. Don’t put them in a situation where they feel like they must defend themselves.