Gold Coast: an area close to downtown with a lot of high-rises. I think this market has the best flowers. Since many high-rises have weight restrictions, most of the neighborhood dogs are tiny. So you really don't see a lot of pit bulls walking around. I'm always surprised how many people stop us to ask what kind of dog she is, so since she is the first pit bull many people meet, I want her to be extra well-behaved. Here are some things we do:
Wear a Backpack:
Ruffwear's Approach Pack. When Miss M puts on the backpack, she immediately realizes she has a job to do. She becomes more focused. Plus, it keeps my hands free to focus on her because she is carrying everything.
Practice Sit-Stays and Down-Stays:
In crowds like these, it's so important to be aware of everyone's space. Not everyone likes dogs, so in the tight quarters of the booths she needs to make herself as obsolete as possible. This is where all of our practice has a real-life application and she needs to sit and stay while I'm looking at the flowers or paying the vendors.
Choose a Dog-Friendly Market:
While all the markets allow dogs, some are just easier to go to than others. We like the Clark/Division market because it does have such wide aisles. We also choose to go early in the morning which is not only less-congested, but gives us a better selection. I find it difficult to go to the Wicker Park Farmer's market because the stalls are way too close together and there isn't a good walk way. There are also a lot of big dogs coming over from the dog park, and these owners don't always respect boundaries. The last time we were there one girl let her large dog stand at the end of the leash in the passing aisle while she picked out flowers. When we passed by the dog decided to aggressively bark and lunge at us, pulling the girl who literally fell to the ground. Even though Miss M didn't react to the lunging dog, we still prefer to avoid these types of situations so no one can associate us with this type of negative behaviors.
Does anyone else have any good tips for going to the Farmer's Market with your pooch?