We recently (like a month ago) got another dog. The new addition to our pack is a big rottweiler cross, and while he’s fairly people friendly he isn’t particularly dog friendly. We’re working on it. But this brings me to the annual reminder about festivals and dogs.
Most festival attendees are human, I’m also willing to bet that statistically more humans than dogs go to festivals. I’m also willing to bet that most complaints outside human interactions and the weather are about dogs: dogs barking, dogs fighting, dogs off leash, aggressive dogs, the list goes on and on. Badly behaved dogs can ruin a festival, and they are reflections on the humans who bring them. Repeated bad dog behavior can get a dog and their attached human banned from some events. And who wants that?
So how can you be a good dog owner at a festival?
- Realistically assess your dogs ability to go to a festival
- Example, our small dog is unsuitable for festivals because he is very vocal. He doesn’t like to be alone and will bark at his own shadow. Our new big beastie isn’t suitable because he is dog aggressive right now (Maybe he won’t be in the future, he’s had a hard life until now. We’re working with him, but he might never be ready, and that’s ok). My brown girlie is suited to small festivals, big events make her anxious.
- Use the yellow ribbon
- Does your dog get anxious? Does he sometimes have problems? Is he a good dog but you want people to ask before approaching him? Use the yellow ribbon. It doesn’t mean that your dog is bad, just that he is relying on you to keep him safe.
- Put your name and number on your dog
- Every dog should have a “if lost please contact” tag. But this is a little more specific to you, your dog, and your event. Put a bracelet or a tag on his collar that has your name, where you are camping, and your number. Think something like this: Isis, Circle of the New Moon, 555-555-5555 or Merlin, Grove of the Ancient Vine, 777-777-7777.
- Bring something that smells like home for him to sleep on
- You bring your pillow, why wouldn’t you bring hers? Plus, there will be a little bit of familiarity to keep her reassured while you dance the night away by the fire.
- Dog Bags.
- Pick up your dogs poop. Please. No one wants to step in it, and it’s bad for the environment.
Remember: have fun, be safe, and love your dog!