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Getting your dog café ready

A familiar scene for many of us who enjoy a caffeinated brew is waiting for a takeaway coffee and witnessing a local dog owner try to gain control over their pet which is  losing it at any dogs that pass by.

We have all been there. You may have even been that dog owner, apologising to diners or worse – being oblivious to the situation and continuing to enjoy yourself.

As harsh as these words may be to hear if you want to bring your dog out to public places such as a cafe – you need to be sure you have control over your dog no matter the situation and consider other people.

If this isn’t you [or your dog] you should keep your dog away until you both are ready.

Here are my top tips to ensure your dog can successfully join you at a café

1) Master a rock-solid place [bed command]. To do this, you can use any solid object, such as a yoga mat or towel. Make sure this is solid at home before taking it to a cafe with you. This helps to give dogs a point of reference and to focus on staying on the mat, hoping them to be calm.

2) Work on extreme behavioural problems, such as reactivity with other dogs/people with a trainer in a quiet environment before proceeding to a busy cafe, otherwise, the environment may “flood” your dog’s senses.

3) Set your dog up for success, if your aim is to go to a cafe at the weekends when it is really busy, perhaps first try earlier in the week and slowly take your dog when it is a little bit busier.

4) Make sure you have physically and mentally tired your dog out before taking your dog to the cafe and have something to keep them busy such as frozen kongs, bully sticks, etc.

5) if you’re dog is naturally quite sensitive to people/dogs and you want to be left alone at the cafe, perhaps invest in a “please don’t touch/in training harness”. Another trick is to place a muzzle on your dog, warning others your dog is not to be approached.

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