Should you take your dog to a dog friendly place if your dog isn’t dog friendly?

Should you take your dog to a dog friendly place if your dog isn’t dog friendly?

(Try saying that title 10 times – tongue twister).

It was one of those typical Welsh weather days in Monmouthshire; raining with a little spot of sunshine here and there. We had just finished walking our lovely little pooch 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 in to the smallest, prettiest, 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 vicious (not the man, the dog). He quickly dragged his dog out 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 think whether that was okay or not. I mean, it made us feel a little uncomfortable. Which sparks the question, should unfriendly dogs be allowed in dog friendly places? A dog friendly place can be the perfect way to socialise your dogs with other dogs, humans and situations. If your dog struggles to socialise with other dogs, then there’s probably a few things you should weigh up before deciding whether to visit a place or not.

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 your dog to a place that small if they have socialising issues. They will probably feel more comfortable in a place with more space and you will feel more relaxed not having to worry about when the next dog is going to walk through the door.

If your dog is nervous, unwell, “grumpy” or needs a bit of space, give your dog some 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 you’re trying to improve your dog’s social skills, then talk to the other dog owners to see if you can give it a go. People are more understanding if they know your dog’s story. If your dog tends to snap, perhaps invest in a muzzle? Yes, your dog may not like this and chances are neither will you, but if trouble brews and they snap at another dog or human then the consequences are not great.
You should know your dog well enough to decide how your dog will react in different situations. If they are in a super small pub and another dog walks through the door, how are they going to react? The owners of these places will expect adults and children to behave well and not fight with each other and the same rules should apply to dogs. Do they need some yellow? Do they need a muzzle? Do you need to find a bigger 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.

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