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Dogs in Restaurants


Cuddlyone
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Outdoor tables ("their right but personally disappointing"): we went earlier this week to try an outdoor table and were surprised to find out they had a no dog policy. I know it's absolutely their right to do that. And I know all the reasons why such a decision would be made. But I have to confess surprise and disappointment just because i) we sometimes bring a well-behaved/calm dog with us to outdoor tables around the city and ii) most places in Cleveland Park (Palena, Sorriso, Cacao, Indique) welcome them so seems a bit at odds with the neighborhood.

When did it become ok to brIng a dog to (not to Starbucks or macdonalds), but to a real restaurant -- as if you were bringing an actual person? Don't we realize that the other diners believe they're going out to dinner, not to a dog Park? We need to stop this self-absorbed, I deserve to do anything I want, mentality. Please have some respect for your fellow... person.

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When did it become ok to brIng a dog to (not to Starbucks or macdonalds), but to a real restaurant -- as if you were bringing an actual person? Don't we realize that the other diners believe they're going out to dinner, not to a dog Park? We need to stop this self-absorbed, I deserve to do anything I want, mentality. Please have some respect for your fellow... person.

Your reply seems a wee bit harsh. I found the review interesting and thoughtful.

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Your reply seems a wee bit harsh. I found the review interesting and thoughtful.

dog people are like people with kids, they have a hard time understanding that not everyone wants to be around their dog, especially in places that aren't traditional dog areas (parks, petsmart, vets, etc). I don't really understand why a no dog policy would be shocking or disappointing.

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I rather like the idea of taking my dog for a long walk and having a place to stop for a quick bite and a cold beer.. However, I am very happy that I don't have to see any snooty felines at my favorite eateries..

The worst people however, are the ones with dogs and kids..

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dog people are like people with kids, they have a hard time understanding that not everyone wants to be around their dog,

The worst people however, are the ones with dogs and kids..

Debated whether to even reply again on this but, okay, will do so with the sole hope of steering this back onto more constructive ground.

Speaking only for myself, I try not to generalize about dogs (or people for that matter.)

"Dog people," "people with kids," and "people...with dogs and kids" are broad generalizations of people who in actuality are as varied as those who are dogless and kidless. And, so are the children and dogs themselves, aren't they? The very existence of any obnoxious, disruptive or unreasonable adults (sans dog or kid) proves this point. With people (whether small or big), we thankfully aren't permitted to discriminate based on any label so we just rightly deal with bad behavior when observed or disruptive. That's a bedrock principle. Lots of threads on dealing with different specific adult bad behavior scenarios in restaurants right here on dr.com.

Dogs are the same. Some are so well behaved, trained and quiet that they're not even noticed at restaurants where allowed. Others can be very disruptive and shouldn't be brought to any public place. Some dog owners are more responsible than others. Some parents raise better behaved children than others, etc, etc.

So what's a restaurant operator to do? My own view is to judge and react to bad behavior rather than to different types of people or dogs simply because they are whatever type of person or dog.

Stating again what I posted in the MediumRare writeup, it's totally the restaurant's right to allow or prohibit dogs on their patio as they think best to serve their clientele and run their business. The law prohibits non-service animals inside food-service establishments. So the question only comes up with outdoor seating areas, where they're legally allowed but can also be legally prohibited at restaurant owner discretion. Different restaurant operators (just like the rest of us) clearly have different views on this. Some own dogs themselves. Some don't. Some believe allowing dogs (and dealing with the occasional disruption) is better for business (or just better to do) than prohibiting them outright. Certainly can't please everyone whatever the policy. Polices in aggregate are just part of the total experience on offer from any restaurant.

Because I have my own preferences like anyone, I simply favor establishments that serve the food I like, treat me well and have policies I prefer. And, again for the record, I like MediumRare. I was one of the first to post about them on dr.com, had nearly all positive stuff to say, have been there a bunch of times in the short time they've been open and will be back. Just wish they had a friendlier stance toward dogs...and some better brunch options. All just personal opinion respectfully delivered...what I think this board is about.

People who own dogs aren't easily defined "dog people" all with like attributes. They're varied people with varied beliefs who have many different kinds of dogs with different behaviors and temperaments. Same as is true for "people with kids."

In my very humble opinion, it's better and more constructive to judge and react to specific behaviors rather than to labels.

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Insomnia once again forcez me to type on this crappy android keyboard. It's hard to tell from reading text but I was joking. Knave kids, and a dog, whom I love VERY much. I also plan on dining with the dog at least once, never have, and the. Hildren as often as they will have.

I meant the part about the felines though. :mellow:

Forgive the spelling. Also gotta agree with the post above on just about every point.

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Insomnia once again forcez me to type on this crappy android keyboard. It's hard to tell from reading text but I was joking. Knave kids, and a dog, whom I love VERY much. I also plan on dining with the dog at least once, never have, and the. Hildren as often as they will have.

[FWIW, it was obvious (to me, anyway) you were joking with your dogs and kids comment. And your follow-up comment should remove any doubt.]

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As a single cat person, I have no problem with well-behaved dogs. And personally, I make significant allowances for parents or else when will they ever get out? Finally, when I bring my personable and well-meaning cat Sam with me to Citronelle, he loves the Kit Kat bar....

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As a single cat person, I have no problem with well-behaved dogs. And personally, I make significant allowances for parents or else when will they ever get out? Finally, when I bring my personable and well-meaning cat Sam with me to Citronelle, he loves the Kit Kat bar....

See, you're showing your personal biases with this post: there is no "well-meaning" cat - they're all evil.

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Insomnia once again forcez me to type on this crappy android keyboard. It's hard to tell from reading text but I was joking. Knave kids, and a dog, whom I love VERY much. I also plan on dining with the dog at least once, never have, and the. Hildren as often as they will have.

I meant the part about the felines though. :mellow:

Forgive the spelling. Also gotta agree with the post above on just about every point.

I probably shouldn't have quoted anyone in particular in the post from late last night--totally appreciate the joke but got swept up a bit with the ones that preceded it so just replied with a couple of the quotes instead of choosing more carefully or en masse.

Personally, with you on felines--of course some/many are great while others aren't but I'm just not as enamored with cats as I am with dogs...and kids. That said, I'm totally fine with any restaurant allowing well behaved cats that don't jump onto my table.

Also, will generalize some about the Android. Blackberry was the right answer. iPhone now is. Think about it...

Thanks for the back and forth. Glad I posted back on it.

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Some people like to dine with dogs, some don't. Generally avoid the outdoor seating at the places on this thread if you don't, visit them if you do. Can't we all just get along? If you have a leashed cat that wants to eat dinner with you on a patio and doesn't bother me, go for it :mellow: I would love a picture actually.

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Yikes, I think I might have gotten a little carried away when I started this yesterday. On second thought (and as the SO scolded me), I was a wee bit harsh. I wasn't criticizing the review of MR, I actually liked the review. I just don't like dropping a hundred bucks or more and having to sit next to a dog. Call me crazy.

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Oh good, I've been wanting to take my cats with me to the sushi bar. Fatty tuna all around!

My cats (well, the cats that used to be mine, sigh) wouldn't eat leftover fish from my sushi. I think it was because of the rice - I never got a chance to see if they'd eat sashimi.

Or it could be because they're spoiled obnoxious incredibly cuddly wannabe- killing-machine self-indulgent routine-loving %#!(-bags.

:mellow::unsure::blink:

(Mental note: go to my brother and sister-in-law's house, give cats catnip, leave.)

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This morning we made a Dupont Farmers' Market run. And, heading out, we stopped at Dolcezza on Connecticut for some espresso. Two observations.

1. (more appropriate for the coffee house thread I realize): the dolcezza coffee program on Connecticut/Dupont is a different animal from those at the Bethesda and north Georgetown locations. If you love great coffee made very, very well, this is the one of the three to visit (though the other two are fine--just a different deal).

2. There was a dog INSIDE the Dolcezza. When I saw him (her?), I instantly thought of this thread and the posts from earlier this week. Dogs aren't "allowed" inside food service establishments (except service dogs of course). But here one was sitting under his/her owner staring out the window by the door. The thing was...it didn't matter and didn't bother a soul. I don't think most of the latte-sipping folks inside that shop--there were quite a few--were even aware the dog was there. Very sweet, smaller sized dog not making any noise and staying very close to his/her owner out of everyone's way. Leaving with an expertly made cap, I thought to myself, "what's wrong with that?" and concluded "nothing." NB: I'm NOT arguing that dogs should be allowed inside restaurants. This just reinforced the 'behaviors and not labels' thing for me.

Enjoy this Sunday. And watch the US Women kick some butt (though we love the Japanese team too--just can't have them winning this time unfortunately :mellow: )

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NB: I'm NOT arguing that dogs should be allowed inside restaurants. This just reinforced the 'behaviors and not labels' thing for me.

I was in a relatively nice restaurant in Geneva many years ago and the woman at the next table at her entire meal with her dog in her lap. I am not sure if this is still allowed on the continent. It did not bother me in the slightest.

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2. There was a dog INSIDE the Dolcezza... The thing was...it didn't matter a... I thought to myself, "what's wrong with that?" and concluded "nothing."

As long as you're ok that if I'm there, I'm going to be sneezing all over your coffee, then there's nothing wrong with that.

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As long as you're ok that if I'm there, I'm going to be sneezing all over your coffee, then there's nothing wrong with that.

The only reason I use emoticons, which I generally dislike, is because it's sometimes tough to determine sentiment and tone in email and on the web. Not sure if you're kidding here but my gut says you're not; of course that's fine.

You make a great point, DanielK. (Disclosure: I don't (yet) know DanielK offline.)

Maybe instead of the "label' thing I've been writing about, I should be characterizing as situation specific. As in, best to deal with specific situations rather than labels/generalities.

Restating, I wasn't and am NOT arguing that dogs should be allowed inside restaurants or cafes. The law is clear on this point and, aside from that, I don't think that should be allowed. And, one could very fairly argue that the Dolcezza management should have politely asked the customer not to bring his dog inside. I'd have no problem with that. I'm guessing the owner I saw wouldn't have argued it either.

But, for someone (not necessarily you, DanielK) with allergies:

- what if the dog is so small and the place so large that the person doesn't even notice the dog until after they left? Nose doesn't run. Eyes don't water. Sneezing fits don't start. So in this very possible hypothetical it doesn't at all impact their visit adversely?

- what if the dog is hypo-allergenic?

- etc, etc.

Again though, your point is totally fair and valid in my most humble of opinions. And, especially here in the US, keeping the dogs outside (at owner/operator discretion even then) strikes me as the right answer. I mean only to again suggest that the broad brush usually isn't the best tool. And that's all I have to say about that :mellow:

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The only reason I use emoticons, which I generally dislike, is because it's sometimes tough to determine sentiment and tone in email and on the web. Not sure if you're kidding here but my gut says you're not; of course that's fine.

You make a great point, DanielK. (Disclosure: I don't (yet) know DanielK offline.)

Maybe instead of the "label' thing I've been writing about, I should be characterizing as situation specific. As in, best to deal with specific situations rather than labels/generalities.

Restating, I wasn't and am NOT arguing that dogs should be allowed inside restaurants or cafes. The law is clear on this point and, aside from that, I don't think that should be allowed. And, one could very fairly argue that the Dolcezza management should have politely asked the customer not to bring his dog inside. I'd have no problem with that. I'm guessing the owner I saw wouldn't have argued it either.

But, for someone (not necessarily you, DanielK) with allergies:

- what if the dog is so small and the place so large that the person doesn't even notice the dog until after they left? Nose doesn't run. Eyes don't water. Sneezing fits don't start. So in this very possible hypothetical it doesn't at all impact their visit adversely?

- what if the dog is hypo-allergenic?

- etc, etc.

Again though, your point is totally fair and valid in my most humble of opinions. And, especially here in the US, keeping the dogs outside (at owner/operator discretion even then) strikes me as the right answer. I mean only to again suggest that the broad brush usually isn't the best tool. And that's all I have to say about that :mellow:

policies are set by the lowest common denominator, not by the majority. People with "bad dogs" are the reason you can't have nice things.

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- what if the dog is so small and the place so large that the person doesn't even notice the dog until after they left? Nose doesn't run. Eyes don't water. Sneezing fits don't start. So in this very possible hypothetical it doesn't at all impact their visit adversely?

- what if the dog is hypo-allergenic?

I was, of course, mostly joking. Businesses have a right to set their policies, which factor in their personal take on issues as well as what they anticipate their customers will want.

The government has taken care of the indoor issue, so it's a question of what they want outside. I am moderately allergic to dogs - sitting next to one outside on a patio is unlikely to set me off, but if there was only one table available outside, and it was next to a dog, I'd probably choose indoors or move on to another establishment.

Indoors is another issue. We have some friends with a diabetic dog - when they travel, the dog comes with. Once, while visiting us, I thought they had left the dog back at the house in a portable kennel (this dog is the size of a small cat). Nope - she had the dog in this special bag that looked for the world like a purse, with dark mesh sides, so you couldn't see that there was a dog inside. I thought that the spicy dish I had ordered was making my nose run, but it wasn't until later that I understood the dog was with us, and that was what set me off. Now, I didn't get sick for three days or anything like that, but it's a reminder to me that I really can't be around dogs for any appreciable time without my allergies kicking in.

So, to me, THAT'S what's wrong with letting a dog inside.

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We had a direct but constructive exchange upthread a few weeks ago that was prompted by a small part of a post I'd made related to Medium Rare. New info on that I posted there since seemed more Medium Rare specific but clearly ties in here too. Big kudos and thanks to Mark and Tom, not just for now welcoming dogs but, rather, for communicating such a reasonable and case-specific policy about it that can honor preferences and requirements of all people and won't gloss problems that may happen on occasion.

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My issue with dogs in public places isn't allergies. My son is afraid of them, and can get excitable when he sees them. We have tried to teach good strange dog etiquette, but if the animal behaves in a way that surprises him, then all bets are off. (For those who don't know - my kids have Aspergers and anxiety issues) I don't care how well-behaved a dog is; the chance of my kid getting bitten isn't worth the encounter. It's why I avoid the farmer's markets that allow dogs. Restaurants that allow dogs are on the avoid list, too.

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My issue with dogs in public places isn't allergies. My son is afraid of them, and can get excitable when he sees them. We have tried to teach good strange dog etiquette, but if the animal behaves in a way that surprises him, then all bets are off. (For those who don't know - my kids have Aspergers and anxiety issues) I don't care how well-behaved a dog is; the chance of my kid getting bitten isn't worth the encounter. It's why I avoid the farmer's markets that allow dogs. Restaurants that allow dogs are on the avoid list, too.

Heather's post really resonated with me. I love my dog like nobody's business, and sure, putting him in the crate while my husband and I go out to eat isn't the most joyful moment of my day. BUT, anytime you put unpredictable elements (like children and dogs, for example, though adults can be plenty unpredictable as well) together, you are apt to experience unpredictable - and potentially unpleasant - results. I know that, in a situation I can control, my dog wouldn't hurt a fly. But I'm pretty confident that the situations I can TRULY control are limited. Just like the chance of Heather's child getting bitten by a dog isn't worth the encounter, the chance of my dog being the one who bites isn't worth the encounter for me.

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I agree with Porcupine. We haven't taken our dogs out to restaurants for a while now, not even Yappy Hour. In the first case, the unpredictable factor rings truem mostly when it comes to other dogs.

Second, frankly, my dog Tucker (who we primarily take out on the town) gets a lot of attention. All we want to do is eat (and perhaps throw a fry or two Tucker's way), the dog wants to hang under or beside the table, and the dog gets approached all the time.

So it goes both ways. I certainly don't want my dog to bother anyone and I don't want to explain to 6 people what kind of dog he is and that he's really pretty shy and doesn't want you booboocutiepooing him in his face while I'm eating.

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I'm flattered, but :mellow: - did I write something and then forget about it? Maybe you meant that you agree with bettyjoan, which would be fitting because when I read her post I thought "wow, that says it perfectly."

I was agreeing about the unpredictable aspects of bringing dogs to dine with you.

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Your (monavano, bettyjoan, porcupine) posts resonate profoundly with me too. They really do as the different scenarios are very real and can be very problematic.

My thing is more about the variability of the scenarios, people and animals involved that lead to imperfect judgment calls needing to be made by all as with life in general. For a restaurant owner with an outdoor area wanting to appeal to as wide a cross-section of customers as possible, they have to consider:

- How big an outdoor seating area is that might enable better separation for those that prefer it for any reason

- How the outdoor seating and indoor seating options are situated which increase the number of options for different customers

- The specific behaviors and unpredictability of different dogs driven by all sorts of factors (genetics, training ,etc.) they don't know

- Behaviors & preferences (also sometimes very unpredictable) of their actual and prospective customers. All sorts of unknown factors (medical, psychological, experiential, etc.) there.

- The preferences of dog-owners to engage or not engage with others who want to pet or ask about the dog(s) (this is the easiest one in terms of the solution: bring/don't bring the dog)

These things are all very serious and real. They're impossible to quantify for an operator. And they meld to make policy decisions really challenging.

I don't think anyone reasonable would ever argue for dogs over people. I just think they can co-exist in some cases and that, where that's appropriate, the benefits usually outweigh the risks. For us, we sometimes bring our dog to spots that allow them but often don't. Our dog is well behaved, has had a ton of training and socialization from birth and is very calm in public (and otherwise). But still, as you've pointed out, none of that matters with a creature that can't speak so can never be 100% certain. There is some degree of unpredictability as also true with some people of all ages.

I think most restaurants work hard to get this as "right" as they can since they want to please and attract as many customers as possible. Perfectly "right" is impossible and mostly right is challenging whether the issue is dogs, type of food, service, ingredients (e.g., nuts) used in the kitchen, hours, pricing, policies of all kinds. With dogs, many restaurants here in our area have taken positions like Medium Rare now has. That'll work for most people but will keep some away understandably. In other cases, it may change a few minds as only positive firsthand experience can do. I could share a ton of examples of how dogs have had huge positive impact on people of all stripes and in a myriad of situations but don't need to do that here.

DC generally has a rep of being a "dog friendly" city relative to some others. Likewise we're a bike friendly city. A food truck friendly city. A green city. Even a sidewalk cafe friendly city. None of those things come without challenges and occasional real problems. Bikes can cause accidents. Food trucks can attract rats. Being so "green" means trees crush cars and homes more often than other cities. Sidewalk cafes can attract purse snatchers. But, all these things, with associated risks and benefits, contribute to the unique (and usually good) quality of life here.

To me (and to many DC area restaurants), the benefits outweigh the risks on dogs in sufficiently-sized outdoor seating areas; especially when there are strong and reasonable policies the restaurant enforces. But naturally all won't agree.

Most of all, thanks for the open, direct yet constructive exchange on this. It's one of the coolest things about dr.com IMHO. And it's the only way people can move forward and not backward. If only our political leaders felt the same way :mellow:

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Yikes, some people don't seem to get the "anti-dog" thing. I'm sure some peoples' dogs, and even their owners, are smart, sensitive, and well behaved. Yet there are many people who do not want to eat dinner (for whatever reason) with a dog. Especially when they are eating dinner at a nIce restaurant. So, really the only question is, who takes precedence, the human or the dog?

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Forgot one thing (hope I don't sound like Columbo). I like to eat inside in winter and outside in summer. Both are the same, except location, to me. Same menu, same prices, same food, I hope. So, the fact that a dog is eating dinner with me outside, rather than inside, just does not resonate with me.

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Yikes, some people don't seem to get the "anti-dog" thing. I'm sure some peoples' dogs, and even their owners, are smart, sensitive, and well behaved. Yet there are many people who do not want to eat dinner (for whatever reason) with a dog. Especially when they are eating dinner at a nIce restaurant. So, really the only question is, who takes precedence, the human or the dog?

I'm sorry, but the purpose of this thread is for people who care to dine with their dog to find a place to dine with their dog. It is not meant to be an argument on weather dog or humans are supreme. If you don't like dining with dogs, avoid the restaurants on this thread as they are dog-friendly. Let's leave it at that.

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Wow, cranky aren't we! I'm trying to keep this on a sincere track, with a little humor thrown in for good measure. Isn't this an open forum? I don't want to avoid Medium Rare or any other restaurant. I want eat where I want eat, but just not with dogs. I'm allowed that opinion, right?

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Half a dozen years ago, I really wanted to get a pet. My husband agreed and, after debating dog vs. cat we decided a cat would work better for our lifestyle than a dog. (He had a beloved family dog as a child. I had a dog briefly as a child that my parents gave away because she was aggressive.) I have had wonderful relationships with some dogs (including those of our across-the-street neighbors when I was growing up) and have also been knocked down by dogs, threatened by dogs, and bitten by dogs. Maybe I’m masochistic, but I always tend to give dogs the benefit of the doubt and think they’re friendly, absent any seriously aggressive behavior.

Dogs off leash make me nervous, however. Those are the ones in recent times who have threatened me, knocked me down, and--in one case--grabbed me by the ankle with his teeth (an adorable dog. It gave me total cognitive dissonance trying to figure out what was going on. Sweet doggie. Um....) I’ve witnessed dogs I know and think are totally fine become aggressive with other dogs.

I’m generally okay with people having dogs outside at restaurants. I tend not to sit outside because of bugs but I do like it sometimes, and I’ve had few problems with dogs . Most people who take dogs to a patio in DC seem to have them under control. I do find it troubling, though, to be told that I should not go to restaurants that allow dogs if I don’t want to be around dogs.

I was not too long ago inside a restaurant (albeit in the bar area) when a hearing-impaired couple brought what they said was a service dog into the restaurant (the *inside*, not the patio) and had the dog sit on a chair at the table. The server became upset because, by law, a service dog has to be on the ground. The server was concerned about being held responsible if someone from the Health Department arrived. After a bunch of notes being passed back and forth, the couple was told the dog had to be on the floor or they had to leave. They left but were very unhappy and talking about lawsuits. What if you’re allergic to dogs and sit on that chair next?

This is rambling, but one piece of advice I have for those who are scared of dogs and find themselves being approached by an aggressive dog is to stand completely still but twist your torso away. That way you are not making eye contact and get the effect of running away (which satisfies your impulse to run--a bad impulse when it comes to dogs) without moving. I have huge sympathy for kids who are afraid of dogs. I wasn’t one of them until a neighbor let a relative’s dog run loose and I got bit in our yard.

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Half a dozen years ago, I really wanted to get a pet. My husband agreed and, after debating dog vs. cat we decided a cat would work better for our lifestyle than a dog. (He had a beloved family dog as a child. I had a dog briefly as a child that my parents gave away because she was aggressive.) I have had wonderful relationships with some dogs (including those of our across-the-street neighbors when I was growing up) and have also been knocked down by dogs, threatened by dogs, and bitten by dogs. Maybe I’m masochistic, but I always tend to give dogs the benefit of the doubt and think they’re friendly, absent any seriously aggressive behavior.

Dogs off leash make me nervous, however. Those are the ones in recent times who have threatened me, knocked me down, and--in one case--grabbed me by the ankle with his teeth (an adorable dog. It gave me total cognitive dissonance trying to figure out what was going on. Sweet doggie. Um....) I’ve witnessed dogs I know and think are totally fine become aggressive with other dogs.

I’m generally okay with people having dogs outside at restaurants. I tend not to sit outside because of bugs but I do like it sometimes, and I’ve had few problems with dogs . Most people who take dogs to a patio in DC seem to have them under control. I do find it troubling, though, to be told that I should not go to restaurants that allow dogs if I don’t want to be around dogs.

I was not too long ago inside a restaurant (albeit in the bar area) when a hearing-impaired couple brought what they said was a service dog into the restaurant (the *inside*, not the patio) and had the dog sit on a chair at the table. The server became upset because, by law, a service dog has to be on the ground. The server was concerned about being held responsible if someone from the Health Department arrived. After a bunch of notes being passed back and forth, the couple was told the dog had to be on the floor or they had to leave. They left but were very unhappy and talking about lawsuits. What if you’re allergic to dogs and sit on that chair next?

This is rambling, but one piece of advice I have for those who are scared of dogs and find themselves being approached by an aggressive dog is to stand completely still but twist your torso away. That way you are not making eye contact and get the effect of running away (which satisfies your impulse to run--a bad impulse when it comes to dogs) without moving. I have huge sympathy for kids who are afraid of dogs. I wasn’t one of them until a neighbor let a relative’s dog run loose and I got bit in our yard.

Great advice and thank you for your insight. As a dog owner and lover and one who takes my dogs out in public, I really appreciate the different views.

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I do find it troubling, though, to be told that I should not go to restaurants that allow dogs if I don’t want to be around dogs.

I have a deep-seated, instinctive fear of dogs, too (that they can all sense), because I was repeatedly attacked on a paper route when I was a child (at 6 AM, in a rural area, with nobody around to help me).

But playing devil's advocate here, what if someone told you not to go to a dog park if you don't want to be around dogs? I have no problem with this.

The ironic thing is - I like dogs, but they sometimes don't like me; I don't love cats, but they adore me - can cats better sense a gentle soul?

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I have a deep-seated, instinctive fear of dogs, too (that they can all sense), because I was repeatedly attacked on a paper route when I was a child (at 6 AM, in a rural area, with nobody around to help me).

But playing devil's advocate here, what if someone told you not to go to a dog park if you don't want to be around dogs? I have no problem with this.

The ironic thing is - I like dogs, but they sometimes don't like me; I don't love cats, but they adore me - can cats better sense a gentle soul?

Yes, and so can dogs. My black lab-ish dog has not historically liked women. I remember an old neighbor whose kids LOVED her. Fawned all over her. And their mom was terrified of her. What did she do? Stare directly into Daisy's eyes. Made her batshit.

It's a tough terrain to plow, but we're doing it well.

PS... you'd never know my great passion for dogs and my love for them by my childhood experiences with them. When I was 2, Mom "adopted" a stray dacshund who wound up biting me over a toy. Not bad, but through the skin. He was gone. I was 2.

When I was 6 or 7, we got a dacshund (sp?) hound mix who was a biter, through and through. Parents knew too little about dogs to know better, but he bit and tore up a little play pal of mine, a year younger, because he dared to touch the dog while eating.

The dog was gone, and rightfully so. It was a nightmare that I'll never forget.

Little play friend turned out fine, and we didnt' live in a van by the river, which today, would definitely happen.

I decided to try to get past it, but will never forget what CAN happen.

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I have a deep-seated, instinctive fear of dogs, too (that they can all sense), because I was repeatedly attacked on a paper route when I was a child (at 6 AM, in a rural area, with nobody around to help me).

But playing devil's advocate here, what if someone told you not to go to a dog park if you don't want to be around dogs? I have no problem with this.

The ironic thing is - I like dogs, but they sometimes don't like me; I don't love cats, but they adore me - can cats better sense a gentle soul?

I try to avoid walking through Lincoln Park at times of day when I know a lot of people will have dogs there, since I know that--even though it is not a dog park and dogs must be leashed at all times--there will be a lot of dogs off-leash running around. I really shouldn't have to change my routines for that, but I also alter my routines so that I'm less likely to be mugged or carjacked.

Cats adore you because you ignore them. If you wanted to pick them up, pet them, or whatever, they'd have nothing to do with you :mellow:

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PS... you'd never know my great passion for dogs and my love for them by my childhood experiences with them. When I was 2, Mom "adopted" a stray dacshund who wound up biting me over a toy. Not bad, but through the skin. He was gone. I was 2.

When I was 6 or 7, we got a dacshund (sp?) hound mix who was a biter, through and through. Parents knew too little about dogs to know better, but he bit and tore up a little play pal of mine, a year younger, because he dared to touch the dog while eating.

The dog was gone, and rightfully so. It was a nightmare that I'll never forget.

Little play friend turned out fine, and we didnt' live in a van by the river, which today, would definitely happen.

I decided to try to get past it, but will never forget what CAN happen.

This must have been very traumatic.

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The ironic thing is - I like dogs, but they sometimes don't like me; I don't love cats, but they adore me - can cats better sense a gentle soul?

Well, if they are my cats, they can sense who is not enthralled with them, and will gravitate to that person.

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