Tuesday, November 4, 2014

City Dog: The Dog-Friendliest Places Where We Don't Take Our Dogs

We love that there are so many things to do in the city, and we love that our pups can accompany us on so many of our outings. Our pooches ride in cabs and have stayed in fancy hotels. They have shopped at Nordstroms, marched in costumed parades, and have even gone to a professional soccer game.
And while the pups have been so successful galavanting around the city, there are also some places that we completely avoid. Which also happen to be the most common and "dog-friendliest".
While some places might be more geared towards dogs, it doesn't necessarily mean that these are the places where your pups will be the most successful.

Dog Stores:
We think pet stores are kind of like Lollapalooza for dogs: so many people handing out free biscuits,  so many eye-level stuffies to grab, and so many little dogs stretched out on retractables peering around corners. It's so exciting and they just want to do everything all at once. Which anyone who's been at an all-day summer concert knows just leads to bad choices.
We also found out that if they realize they can push the boundaries in one location, these exceptions will translate into that behavior in all of the other places. So if they go to the dog store and everyone is giving them treats and other dogs are there wanting to play and excitement is up, they will have those same expectations and excitement in any other type of place we go. We work to set them up for success by focusing on locations that don't have as much stimuli so they will be polite in all settings.

Dog Parks and Beaches:
The dog parks always look like so much fun with all of the owners laughing and sipping Starbucks. While there are some places that might be smaller and more controlled, we have been to several places that are over-exciting and lawless. It seems to be the first stop for anyone who has just gotten the dog, and often times well-meaning dog owners bring dogs who just aren't comfortable in this situation. I too thought this was something our dogs would enjoy, and when I first adopted Miss M I brought her to the dog beach so she could romp and roam. She ended up getting attacked by a dog who grabbed her by the jowl and as she tried to get away her jowl was stretched out, cartoon-like, since the other dog wouldn't let go. We also had a friend whose dog was attacked at a park and required several Frankenstein-like stitches. Not to mention this fluke accident I experienced at the dog park that landed me in the ER.
It's just not worth it to us to put our dogs in a situation where they might not be comfortable or could be hurt. These are some ways we get in some extra exercise.
And this is how we socialize with our dog friends.

Dog-friendly shopping!
Why our pups don't greet on leash.
Check our Facebook page for more photos, comments, and story lines beyond the blog.


Unknown said...

As usual great post - you always have really good info & I so enjoy reading about your pups!

Shannon said...

Great post! I love reading your blog, I always either learn something new or have "old tricks" reinforced. Plus, Miss M and Mr. B are the cutest elderbulls around, along with my Miss B, of course! :)

How Sam Sees It said...

We've got places we avoid too, dog parks being high on our list. We've also included our neighborhood recently on that list - too many loose dogs and bad drivers.

Monty and Harlow

Linda said...

You always have something here to learn from.
Thanks for the great information.
We don't go to the dog park either.
Off subject but......
I don't get the people who have their "little dog" in the grocery store.
I want to tell the store manager to ask them to leave.
It's posted on the door Only Seeing Eyes dogs allowed. But we see it all the time.

Kelly_g said...

Yes, I learned very early in dog ownership that taking my first dog to pet stores was a daunting task. I spent more time cleaning up after his piddles than doing anything else!!! He peed on EVERYTHING!!!!!! And he loves to play with other dogs, but the second a larger dog trys to dominate him, he flips....so no more dog parks for us :-(. Sometimes you just have to play it safe. Great post!

Eva M said...

Great info. I totally agree on the Dog Park thing. Way too many dog parents spend that time playing on their phones and socializing with the other people, ignoring their pooches and any behaviors that might be occurring. The one and only dog park exception I will make is for the parks with a "penalty box." Several dog parks in the city have separate spaces for dogs who need additional socialization or maybe a time out. Lu and I will walk by our local park and if the penalty box is free, I will let her get some off-leash time. Spending positive time around people has really helped her out as of late!

Rachel @ My Two Pitties said...

Yes! We also avoid dog parks like the plague. Such an unnatural setting for unknown dogs to be forced together. I also rarely take the dogs into the pet store. Home Depot is our favorite:)

Two French Bulldogs said...

You guys go more places than mom, BOL
Lily & Edward

Anonymous said...

Agreed on the dog parks. After two really bad incidents at the dog park (Knox was attacked by two dogs he was already weary about), we've avoided them. We only go in when it's 1) a dog that we know and have had good, slow introductions with, or 2) it's prearranged.

Way too many owners that don't pay attention, have intact male dogs, have female dogs in heat, or think their dog's bad behaviours are "just endearing!"

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