Taking The Dog To The Pub: Here's how to get your pup to behave in the pub and other dog-friendly venues

Many pubs welcome well behaved dogs.Many pubs welcome well behaved dogs.
Many pubs welcome well behaved dogs. | Canva/Getty Images
Popping to your local with your pup? Here’s how to make it a fun experience for you, your dog, and your fellow pub-goers.

More of us than ever wish to spend time with our dogs outside of our homes and their daily walks, and it can certainly be enjoyable to take them to dog friendly venues, like the local pub.

To ensure your dog gets the best of a day out, Adem Fehmi, dog behaviourist for vet-recommended dog food brand Barking Heads, shares the steps you need to take before taking your dog out to a dog friendly venue or attraction.

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Here are Adem’s top tips for taking your dog into what might typically be seen as ‘human’ spaces.

It is important to consider your dog's behaviour and impact on those around it (both four-legged and two-legged) and also help them feel settled in these types of spaces.

Stay in control

Keep your dog on a short lead, and do not allow them to jump up at people or scavenge for food. Although you may adore your dog, sadly, not everyone may feel this way toward them, and it is important everyone is respectful of one another. Keeping your dog under control also provides fewer opportunities for conflicts to arise between your dog and other dogs or your dog and other people. This will help your dog have a positive experience.

Be prepared

Take your own blanket or portable bed with you so that your dog has a comfortable space to settle. You can practice with your dog using this bed or blanket at home and in your garden, if you have one, to make this item familiar prior to using it out and about. This can help your dog to relax and rest rather than keep fidgeting – imagine how you would feel and behave if you were asked to lay on a hard, possibly cold, floor for a lengthy amount of time!

 Stay hydrated

Although most dog-friendly venues may have water available, taking your own can also be beneficial. Taking a pre-prepared food-dispensing toy or long-lasting chew can help to keep your dog settled and entertained when asked to sit still for any length of time in a new environment.

Location, location, location

When choosing a spot to reside with your dog, consider where they will feel most comfortable and where they will best be able to relax. Sitting on the periphery, away from the hustle and bustle, can be helpful, as can sitting away from walkways. Try to find a spot that is slightly shielded by a wall, fencing, or greenery; this can also offer your dog some extra security and allow them to settle and rest rather than be ‘on alert’ or frequently disturbed. If your chosen venue is also child-friendly, sitting away from play areas can also be helpful.

Feel your way

If your dog is new to joining you out and about or perhaps is struggling with this, try practising in these types of venues at quieter times of day initially and for short durations of time. Ordering food that can be taken away if necessary or drinks in take-away cups can be useful to begin with as you build up your dog’s experience and positive exposure to these types of venues. The aim is to end on a ‘good note’ when ‘training’ your dog to understand how to behave and settle in public spaces and dog friendly venues. This might mean finishing up your meal or drink at home or on the move to begin with. Just like anything you want your dog to understand, it is important to set them up right and practise so that they can learn what is expected of them. This is unlikely to just happen overnight and will require patience and planning, but it's all part of the journey!

Training is crucial

Consider teaching commands and actions that will be helpful to you when out and about in a dog-friendly venue. The most common commands that could be of use are the ‘heel’ (or loose lead walking), ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stay’ and ‘go to bed’ commands. However, teaching your dog more ‘etiquette’ based behaviours and what you expect of them in these situations can also be useful. This might be teaching your dog to keep ‘four paws on the floor’ or to have good manners around food (especially food that doesn’t belong to them). Think about how you want your dog to behave, be realistic with your goals, and set about teaching them positively rather than simply expecting them to ‘know’ how to behave in a settled way when visiting a dog-friendly venue. As their owners, it is important that we take the time to guide and teach our dogs about our busy modern-day world.

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