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Chapter 1- Dogs in Public Spaces

Browsing the internet you will find heated debates about dogs being allowed (or not allowed) in public spaces. The variety of opinions is astonishing and most of the people in the discussions are dog owners. Health laws forbid dogs from places that serve or sell food, except in open dining areas. I live in a very dog friendly town, so dogs are allowed in almost any place you want to bring them, and I have never seen an unruly dog in any of the stores or outdoor restaurants.

Dogs really don’t need to go everywhere with you. And coming from me, that is a huge concession. I love to give my dogs many opportunities to be out in public and show off their good manners. Places I really don’t like to bring my dogs are places where I want my own time alone and figure that others do also. The bookstore, any clothing store, fine china store or art galleries on opening night are my personal off-limits time for dogs.

It is good to expose your dog to public places and as a trainer I work with clients in high traffic areas so that they and their dog have the option to feel comfortable and safe when their dog joins them. It is also just good manners to not expect other people to enjoy the love and affection you have for your dog anytime and anywhere. I liken it to public displays of overt affection – I am glad the couple is in love but I don’t need all the details.

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