Do you plan to take your puppy to a dog-friendly cafe or restaurant? It is a wonderful and essential part of socialising your pet and exposing them to a variety of experiences!
However, even if these establishments welcome our furry pals, they still expect dogs to behave properly. After all, these busy places can have several people walking by and the last thing you want is for your puppy to jump on them.
In this guide, we briefly cover some puppy training tips to get your dog to behave properly in a cafe or restaurant.
How Do You Take a Puppy to a Dog-Friendly Cafe or a Restaurant? (The Short Answer)
Before taking your puppy to a dog-friendly cafe or restaurant, make sure to teach it some basic commands like ‘Quiet’, ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’, and ‘Come’. Once your dog is good at obeying these, you can start taking it to cafes during off-peak hours when there are fewer crowds. Make sure to keep your dog on a short leash and carry plenty of treats and toys to keep it entertained.
Step-By-Step Guide for Taking Your Puppy to a Dog-friendly Cafe or a Restaurant
Here are the steps to take your pup to a cafe or restaurant.
The most useful thing you can train your puppy to do before taking them to a dog-friendly cafe is the ‘place’ command. Training the ‘place’ command involves rewarding your puppy for any interaction they offer with a bed or blanket. By rewarding the puppy with a treat whenever they move on to their bed or blanket, they will start to offer this behaviour, at which time you can add in a cue – ‘place’ or ‘bed’.
Before long you will have a puppy, that listens to you when you say ‘bed’ and will reliably jump onto their bed for praise or a treat. This is an invaluable training tip if you want to take your puppy to a cafe. You simply bring along their blanket or small soft bed and they will comfortably relax at your feet while you enjoy your coffee or meal.
Similarly, teach the puppy basic obedience commands like ‘Quiet’, ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’, and ‘Come’. It is also important that your dog knows how to walk properly on a leash – developing the skill of loose leash walking is a great place to start.
Step 2 – Exercise your Dog Before the Visit
A tired dog is generally a calmer dog and also less likely to get into trouble.
Do walk your puppy for at least 15 minutes before visiting a cafe. A walk before this visit will also get your pup to empty out its tiny bladder and poop if they need to.
Step 3 – Choose a Quiet Time to Visit a Dog-Friendly Cafe near you
When training your dog to behave properly in public places like cafes or restaurants, it is essential that you visit them frequently during their off-peak hours. This will mean fewer crowds so your dog isn’t overwhelmed by all the people walking by.
Do this a couple of times before taking your pet during rush hours.
You can also ask to be seated at the backside of the restaurant so your dog won’t have the opportunity to jump up on people.
Step 4 – Carry Several Treats, Dog Poop Bags and Toys With You
The last thing you want is for your dog to go crazy with all the food smells. So, make sure to carry some high-value treats instead of having your dog beg for table scraps.
- Only treat your pet if it is behaving. You can give the ‘Sit’ or ‘Place’ command and once your pet obeys it, treat them.
- You can also have your dog lie down on their blanket under the table. Keep feeding the treats as long as your pet remains calm and quiet.
- You can also distract your dog with some chew bones or toys. Most dogs can easily spend 20-30 minutes chewing their Kong toys. (Note – avoid bringing the toys if it stresses your dog out. Some dogs resource guard and are protective of their toys and tend to get stressed if they are moved.)
- Take dog poop bags with you in case your puppy or dog has an accident at the dog-friendly cafe.
Step 6 – Know When to Leave
Understand that your puppy is the primary focus of these outings. So, if it starts acting up or shows signs of anxiety, please box up your food and leave. You don’t want the experience to be a negative one for your little dog.
Are dogs allowed in cafes?
In NSW, Australia dogs are allowed in cafes, but only in outside areas. If there are blinds or awnings are being used, dogs are not permitted to be there.
To avoid negative experiences, find a cafe near you that is dog friendly. Try searching for terms like ‘dog cafe near me’, ‘dog cafe Penrith or ‘dog-friendly restaurants near me’.
Key Takeaways – How Do You Take a Puppy to a Cafe or a Restaurant?
Visiting pet-friendly restaurants and cafes with your puppy is an essential part of its socialisation and training.
But before you set out to do so, it is vital that your dog has some basic training under its belt. Then, with frequent visits combined with rewards and praise, your dog will soon be the ideal dining companion!
Before taking your puppy out to a cafe or restaurant ensure that they are up to date with their vaccinations. 8-week old puppies are not fully vaccinated and should not be taken out in public. They should at least have their 12-week vaccination, and possibly even their 4-month immunisations depending on the area. Your local vet will be able to advise if it’s safe to take your puppy out, based on their immunisation levels and whether the deadly parvovirus has been active in your area.