Dogs At Festivals/Summer Events - German Shepherd Dog Forums
View Poll Results: Should dogs be allowed at summer festivals?
Yes 18 60.00%
No 3 10.00%
Other (elaborate in comments) 9 30.00%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Dogs At Festivals/Summer Events

I saw a post by the pet ambulance service here on Facebook the other day and wanted to get some more opinions on it. In short, they posted that dogs should be left at home during festivals and only walked during the early morning or evening (I'm assuming due to heat?). This bothered me a bit because we live right near the major park where the festivals are held, we walk through it every day and with festival season in full swing, it's hard to avoid for us. Even if we were to avoid the actual park, we still have to walk through the crowds that are coming/going from the park.

I have always taken my dogs to the different festivals here, they have been taught not to eat things off the ground, not to take treats from people unless told ok and are stable if someone happened to grab at them. With the little guys, if it's very crowded, I carry them through those parts so they don't get stepped on. My dogs seem to really enjoy going to them, the attention they get and the treats (I always share a bit of what I get to eat if it's ok for them). If I find they're getting nervous or overwhelmed, we go to a quiet area for a bit or leave and go home.

This is the first festival season we've had Bruce, so far he's been to two dog related ones and has completely exceeded our expectations and done very well. He seems to behave better and be more comfortable in large crowds than walking down the street. We are more careful with him than with the other two, simply because he still is a bit nervous, so we tend to go earlier in the day when it's not as busy if we even bring him.

One of the other things that was mentioned by the pet ambulance post was that not everyone wants to be around dogs or enjoys having dogs at the festivals. IMO, it's a public place, in a park, in the middle of the city, where hundreds of people walk their dog daily even when festivals aren't going on and those people shouldn't have to change their routine because someone else has chosen to come to an outdoor public park that allows dogs. Many festivals also have a few pet related vendors. The people have the option of avoiding the dogs.

So, my question for all of you is; do you agree with the pet ambulance post that dogs should not be brought to festivals? Feel free to post and elaborate!
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 01:13 PM
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I dont think there is any black and white answer for a question such as this. I have 3 dogs. 2 I would not take to something such as that but for completely different reasons, the other I could take anywhere and never be concerned. It would also depend on the type of event and what type of people are going to be there.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 01:25 PM
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A park is one thing. I image there is grass and also trees. But, all the festivals I've been to are on hot pavement of a blocked out city street, and are too crowded for the humans. And the sun beating down on the asphalt is unbearable for us humans! I'm old now and avoid summer street festivals.

"And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up."
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 01:38 PM
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There are 2 fairs I always take Lakota to. One in september and the other in october. There are some other events during the summer if it's too hot I won't bring her.
I voted yes because it's a great way to expose her to crowds and everything else. I would like to think peope use common sense, but some don't have any.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 01:46 PM
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Honestly I'm on the fence, as much as I would LOVE to have my dogs with me 24/7 there are times it's just not right for them

Firstly, dealing with heat for outside venues - my dogs are indoor dogs, they're only outside to play or train which can range from 15 seconds to 5-6 hours. If they're out for more than 15 minutes in the summer they're given access to cold fresh water and lots of shade. If it's hot and uncomfortable for me, then it's even more so for them. Walking on asphalt or concrete burns paws, large loud crowds can be overwhelming for some dogs, they're not at the same level so people don't always see them and I wouldn't like being kneed in the side or shoved around either. Also, if dogs are allowed that means both responsible and irresponsible owners are equally allowed. That means lots of dogs; probably mostly on flexi leashes lunging and barking at each other, again not fun for either the dogs or owners.

I brought both dogs downtown Carleton Place for Canada Day last year, firstly it's a smaller town so not as crowded as Ottawa and the heat was not overwhelming that particular day. Lots of grass so paws were kept safe and lots of trees so shade was frequent. We went out in the later afternoon (around 3 PM) so the heat was subsiding and the park where we went is on the river so they could jump in if needed. I brought lots of water for them and we enjoyed the day, I kept away from the centre of crowds whenever possible and away from the speakers so the dog's ears weren't overwhelmed with loud music. They got lots of treats and pets and everyone was very respectful and nice. When it came time for the fireworks we found a space to sit, so I sat on a blanket with both dogs and we watched them. I was ready to leave at any time if either dog was upset by the loud noises, neither was and Delgado actually watched the sky for a while. At the end of the day they were both exhausted and slept well, overall a very fun day for both human and canine.

I think they can be fun for both parties, but there has to be give and take. If your dog doesn't enjoy crowds then going to a fair isn't going to be fun for him. If your dog doesn't enjoy loud noises then a firework show is again not fun. I don't believe in forcing a dog to endure something just for the sake of the humans enjoying having their company.

For dog fairs I would honestly prefer having more rules then none regarding leashes and behaviour. Everyone's definition of a well behaved canine is different Setting a standard helps keep everyone in line

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 02:17 PM
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we have outdoor concerts here, in the summer, every friday night, we take a minimum of 2 dogs and as many as 4, there are at least, 5 places we can go for concerts, but we favor 2 places, as they have grass and shade, if its in the 90`s and humidity we dont go, always have plenty of water, the dog`s even have their own fan club, many people look forward to seeing them every week, and always comment on how well behaved they all are, and the kids are always coming up and asking to pet them, we do run across the occasional bozo with a dog on a zip line, 10 ft out in front of them, headed in our direction thinking they're going to have a play date or something, I think this is the best way to socialize the dog, start them young, guess the breed of the puppy and win a prize
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 02:30 PM
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I think you have to use some common sense when it comes to these things... I use to take Diesel with me to most festivals because the ones I went to were always in parks so all grass with gravel walk ways so wouldn't be hot on the paws. I always carried a backpack with 2L bottle of water with a dish so plenty of cool fresh water. There were always trees and tents ect for shade.

So as long as the weather is good (not excruciatingly hot) and there is lots of shade and lots of grass and your dog is good in crowds and is trained really well there is no reason why you cant bring your dog.

Penny has already been to one festival this year she did fantastic in the crowd, was on grass and gravel the entire time and it wasnt too hot, we didnt go the next day to the parade as it was way to hot and would have been on asphalt so she was left home. Canada Day we will be going to another festival and then going to the two fairs later this year which are held on dirt so as long as the weather is not overly hot then she will be coming, there are a few she wont because it wont be ideal for her..


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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 02:34 PM
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I pretty much only go to pet festivals and events with my dogs. There are plenty of them around here to be able to socialize, and just get your dog out and do something fun.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 02:44 PM
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I look at it like anything else. What is there that could be dangerous for the dog? Could be the type of festival, could be the weather, could be alot of things. I evaluate the situation before I get into it and go from there.

It all depends on the enviroment. I just make sure I take a travel backpack with toys, extra leash, water, food and treats for him where ever I go. The weather and enviroment dictate how much of what I bring though. Hot weather, more water than other things. I also factor in what I think is an appropriate amount of time he's subjected to certain enviroments. To me these all are important. There are times where situations or enviroments dictate it would not be dog friendly. He stays home. What ever makes it safe for him is what I tend to go with.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 04:51 PM
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If I do take them it's at night. No sun, a nice breeze, and no hot pavement

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