Is your dog - dog friendly?

The HRM has developed some good pages on their Animal Control website that talks about dog friendliness and dog etiquette - and also good information that we as dog owners need to know if we're going to take our dogs out in public - they have information about responsible pet ownership at - they also have information about licencing at

Their general "dog" page is at - which is a good jumping off point if you want to do some general surfing of the HRM's website in regards to all things dog. It really is quite an extensive website - which is a good thing.

Here are some of my thoughts though - Here are some tips for having a city friendly "Me and My Dogs" dog! Also see my "Tips for a benevolent alpha" dog page and "Why this website exists" page! First off though, make sure that your dog can go in public without ruining life for everyone else.

Your dog should: 1. be well socialized, 2. deal well with being on leash, 3. not be too afraid in new situations, 4. get along well with other dogs - off-leash or on-leash If your dog is all these things in spades, then take him/her everywhere you can - just remember to take into consideration the weather when you go out ie: if it's a hot/really cold day and you are leaving him in the car or spending a lot of time on pavement - maybe it's better to leave him at home where he'd be cool/warm. Don't be afraid to take chances.

I know that I can't take Charlie into Walmart because they have a sign on the door. But if there's no sign and no food is served, give it a go. Most convenience stores and building supply stores allow dogs.

I just make sure everywhere we go Charlie is on leash, and he doesn't make any scenes. The worst thing they can do is kick us out! (And when they do, I say "Okay, I won't buy anything here", and then ask why the dog can't be there - usually they say "Health/people with allergies reasons", and my response always is "But you let people in here who wear perfume don't you?" and then I leave. I have a page on this site that "tips for owners of dog-friendly businesses" to help business owners realize what a good idea it is to let us bring our dogs with us when we're out doing our errands - I know that Charlie doesn't pee inside my own house - so why would he pee inside someone's place of business?

It might make them actually think about what they say, because "health reasons" is complete nonsense. On the leash note, I always have Charlie on leash until I am absolutely sure he is going to be safe / or it is the law (ie: anyplace other than Point Pleasant Park's off-leash areas - and any of the new "Pilot areas" as denoted in the off leash strategy implementation on the HRM's website noted at the top of this page).

Use your own discretion when deciding whether to keep your dog leashed because it is against the law. Another way to decide is if anyone else has their animal off-leash. Also, I use a 26 foot extenda-leash so he has a lot of freedom when it's okay to have freedom!!

We should all be ambassadors of dog friendliness - not all dogs can handle going out in public and being around lots of high energy busy-ness - but for those that can - it's a great way to live - what dog doesn't want to spend as much as possible with their "God"? And the best way for a dog to get used to being in public - is to take your dog out in public!

Just make sure you follow the rules - Licence your dog with the city, follow the leash rules according to the law, respect people who don't necessarily want dogs in their lives, and have a good time with your dog!

One book that I have found extremely helpful is called "Trails of Halifax Regional Municipality - An Ambler's guide to 25 city and country trails" by Michael Haynes. It has given me lots of ideas and places to go. I bought it at the "Bookmark" book store on Spring Garden Road - which is a store that welcomes dog! So if you buy it, buy it there! If you know a spot that I don't mention please let me know so that Charlie and I can go and have a new adventure!!

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