For the Love of Dogs
Updated: Apr 26, 2018
In Europe our furry family members are just that: family. You don't have to go on yelp to see if dogs are allowed...they are. In restaurants (yes inside), on trains, and in stores.
There is an amazing movement occurring in the United States. The Millennial generation love their dogs. They want to take them places. A few years ago, California passed the Bone-appetite (yes that is the real name) law. This allowed dogs to dine in any facility that had an outdoor area accessible without moving through the restaurant. Across the U.S. more and more malls, stores, and hotels are becoming pet friendly.
Dogs In Europe
Europeans have a very high standard for behavior. The Germans of course view this as a personal reflection of the owner. Which in a lot of ways it is. Dogs are held to a high standard of behavior and no barking, growling, or bathroom accidents are tolerated. The thought is if you are going to have a dog, you must train it. If you are going to bring it out in public it must behave accordingly.
With this mindset I never really thought about dogs being places such as the local restaurant growing up. Why would they not be allowed? Granted at that time in Germany you could still smoke inside restaurants (although it was not that long ago for the United States that this was widespread practice as well). If you could smoke why would my dog not be allowed?
Dogs start going places at an early age in Europe so they are completely comfortable with noises of everyday street life. They know the expectations and behave accordingly. They bring so much joy to everyone and are really viewed as a family member.
The Movement in the United States
As this generation of dog lovers starts to push the boundaries of the current U.S. laws we will have to adjust the current mindset. Currently the reason dogs are allowed into many places, such as restaurants, is a FDA rule based in cleanliness concerns. The FDA is concerned about pets having accidents in the restaurants and employees petting them and then not washing hands. I think both concerns can be easily addressed and having worked in the restaurant industry for many years may I say...you have bigger fish to fry FDA.
The biggest hurdle will fall on owner’s shoulders. Much like children, pets learn their behavior from you. They learn what is acceptable and what is not. Just because they are so amazing and cute doesn't mean they don't need/want to understand boundaries for behavior (just like teenagers ;).
Do your part by being a responsible dog owner. Pick up after them (they can't do it themselves) so we can continue to walk our dogs in beautiful parks. Control barking, jumping, and pawing. Start early and you will be thankful!