55 Comments

  1. V.T. Reynolds

    I would be interested to know what type of inconvenience the dog poses. We are all familiar with the annoying dogs that have not been properly trained: jumping on people, incessant licking, barking, and general mess making. I can understand not wanting a dog visitor if this is the case, or if someone in your household is allergic. However, for many people, their dogs are much like having children: you cannot just leave them at home overnight: inside dogs need to go outside to “do their business” several times a day, they absolutely must be exercised and walked daily, and they need to be fed at least once per day. Boarding a dog every time you want to visit family can add up to a major expense for the owner, not to mention they are missing a part of their own “family” when Pumpkin is left behind. If the dog is of the annoying variety (almost always the fault of the owner), I would suggest helping your sister-in-law find ways to remedy the dog problems, not getting rid of the dog on visits (one great suggestion would be to get her the Ceasar’s Way book – his techniques really work!). Good luck!

    • Alicia

      Honestly I do not allow dogs i my house or as houseguests. They require a lot of attention and they often piddle when in unfamilur areasa and always leave a gross smell that tends to take weeks to remove. It is great to have a dog if you want one but one of teh burdens of dog ownership is being prepared to board the dog when you go on vacation. To impose the hassle that all dogs( yes even well behaved dogs are a hassle to a non dog house) are is a huge imposition on anyone hosting you. If you want to stay where a dog is welcome then you can stay at one of the motels that allows dogs. Either way the cost of providing a place for teh dog should be a known cost of owning a dog and yes the major expense is one people should consider before taking on the responsibility of a pet. Just like kids are not always welcome at all homes and all events pets are not welcome in all homes and all events . People should not impose on hospitality in bringing unwanted kids or pets places where they are not invited. So a babysitter or dogsitter is a known expense for these types of family members

      • I agree. I am a dog owner and never impose with bringing my dog to visit. Its rude and inconsiderate to abuse your guests invitation in that matter. People work and kennel their animals at home for the time they work so what makes it so imperative to take it with you on a social visit? If I can afford to go on an overnight visit the. I can afford boarding my animal as well. Its just the same as going out for the evening on a date if you have children. You get a sitter or stay home!

      • Joan

        My son and his fiancé were to visit this thanksgiving. They live 5 hrs away. I was all excited to see them, then this week, after my daughter who lives in the same state as them couldn’t dog sit, they asked if I would allow the dog. I said we don’t allow house pets in our home and suggested the board the dog and I even offered to pay. Now this girl won’t board the dog and they both are not coming and both are accusing me of ruining there relationship because I don’t understand why a dog was chosen over family. Of course her family lives in her state and they are going there for Xmas. My son won’t even return my calls. I never said anything against the girl to her or him. I cry constantly. I want to go to sleep and wake up January 3! Wish I knew what I did, I even apologized for whatever and practically begged he call me….no luck

        • Lori C

          You did nothing wrong. They asked about bringing the dog. You said no and offered to pay for boarding. They had a tantrum and are refusing to come. Your son & his fiancee are behaving badly. Stop calling. Stop begging. Please dry your tears. Carry on with your Thanksgiving plans. Talk this out with a therapist if needed. You had a disagreement. You cannot let this ruin your holidays.

          Now, after Thanksgiving, write them a nice note or send a card letting them know you missed them at Thanksgiving and hope they are well. Ask if they would like to get together before or after Christmas, could you meet them half way for the day or perhaps make the trip to see them? If they still refuse to talk to you, they are still behaving badly. Try again after the holidays.

          I suspect you don’t care for your son’s fiancee very much due to your reference of her as “this girl”. Twice. You also sound a little jealous they will be spending Christmas with her folks. Again, no shame in talking this out with a therapist. The holidays are a big emotional land mine with over the top expectations that disappoint when life happens.

          • Vince

            I think your advise & suggestions are spot on … and I have always found this interesting. There mad at you & your hosting dinner, are they aware of how involved this is to say nothing of the expense. Here’s a heck of an idea you host & cook the entire Thanks Giving dinner at your house with your dog & invite me. I had the misfortune of having this just happen when friends showed up with there dog who has many issues … with a nickname like puddles you know where I’m going. They only live 5 minutes away and all I said was I wish you would have asked to bring the dog instead of just showing up … they left & never came back, ruined the entire dinner that I had prepared starting at 6:00 AM in the morning … never again !! More hurt than mad, just shows no consideration for me or my place, especially since my wife & I put in new carpet.

    • Gary

      My view. You certainly would not be visiting me and as far as I’m concerned, with your attitude, you should just stay home.

      • Amy

        I’ve read enough, I have two dogs. One medium sized one large. They are housebroken and clean, they are my children along with my actual children. I am a stay at home mom to take care of all of them the way they need to be taken care of. That being said, I would never ever bring them into someone else’s home because… THEY ARE DOGS. I have multiple family members that bring their small dogs to my house whenever invited and understanding that their dogs are their family, i have not told them to not bring them. They are lovely adorable dogs, soft, cute, clean and housebroken, to THEIR house. I have never ever had them over where I didn’t have to clean up little poops in the corners of the rooms or weeks later, smelled urine in that area. I am ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE it is not my dogs as there is quite a difference in the size of messes, although I haven’t seen one of theirs since they were puppies inside our home. You probably love your little dog, but it IS A DOG. DOGS LEAVE THEIR MARK ON OTHER DOGS HOMES! You are mistaken if you think your dog will not ever do this, I am just to polite to interrupt a family conversation to bring it to your embarrassing attention at the moment I find it. I am sure, if you are bringing your dogs into someone else’s home, you are looking like an idiot to them too, as they clean up the mess of your family member while not mentioning it to spare your imbarrassment. So, PLEASE Wake up people!

    • VRay

      Why for some reason does it always comes down to the host, you know the person who invited you into their home making exceptions. I’m so disappointed in this new way of thinking. If the situation was let’s say like a smoker … people wouldn’t stand for it at all & I’m not talking about even smoking in a persons house. People have gotten nasty and insulting because I’ve wittnessed it. Now all of the sudden someone can bring their family member (in this case their dog) and let it run all over your house, pee on the carpet, jump up on the furniture and sit at the dinner table and beg all through dinner. I read your comment on that being the owners responsiblity … and here we go again, they let their pet do the same thing it does at home. My next statement to you is have you ever seen what happens when you correct someones child … the parents go wild, and the you lose a friend. This is truly pretty simple, leave your pet at home, enjoy dinner and make it an early evening so you can go home & have pie with your dog … good luck.

    • Michelle

      I just had a BBQ and FOUR family members brought their dogs!! Just a few more dogs and the dogs would have out numbered the small children! So when does it stop?! My 2 grown children bring their dogs to my house when we gather together, just us, only MY children, grandchildren and their pets. However, when it is my entire family….cousins, nieces, etc I feel it’s too much. I decided it’s no longer acceptable for ANYONE to bring pets. Now my own children are upset because they think theirs should be allowed because it is their home, where they grew up. I agree but how do I let them and not the others? My son got his dog first and started bringing it when it was a pup because it couldn’t be left for too long. I understood that so I didn’t mind, especially so my son could stay longer (we usually all spend the entire day when I cook for them). Before I knew it, it became habit. I am NOT and have NEVER been a pet owner…by choice! However, I didn’t mind because his dog because I became use to him (even though he was annoying!). THEN a year later my youngest daughter got a puppy and the same thing happened. I’m okay with both dogs because their almost like grandchildren (and my grandchildren love them around!). BUT having EVERYONE’S dogs at my house when I have celebrations seems crazy to ME!! I feel it has to stop some where but I have no idea how I going to be able to accommodate everyone. I can easily tell my children it’s okay (because it should be okay, its MY house) and tell the rest it’s not okay but something doesn’t feel right about that. I think dog owners should assume it’s not okay UNLESS the dogs name is on the invite…period!

      • Lori C

        Michelle, Your other relatives bring their dogs to your home because they assume it is OK because you son and daughter bring their dogs. I suggest the next time you hold a large family gathering you let everyone know to please leave their dogs at home. Responsible mature dog owners will gladly board or have a pet sitter come in while they are gone. Immature pet owners will say if the dog can’t come, I will not come. You may let them know you are sorry they cannot attend. Your son and daughter cannot bring their dogs to the large gatherings either. No dogs period. It is too much for you. Everyone should understand.
        Now, regarding your son and daughter’s dogs. This is totally your call. When only your immediate family gathers and if you want them to bring the dogs, fine. But when others are included, their dogs stay home. They cannot bring their dogs when no one else can bring their dogs.
        Another option would be for the folks with dogs to step up and host these family get togethers if they are miffed with your request to leave their dogs home.

      • Elizabeth

        Michelle, I understand your frustration with the situation. Four dogs can make an event quite chaotic, not to mention all the hair! It sounds to me that these family members are not aware of how you feel. They saw some dogs allowed in, and figured they could bring theirs too. I think you should address this directly before your next family get-together. It would be best if you had the same rule for everyone – the dog stays home! But if one family is traveling and the others are local, I can understand if you would make an exception. Say something like, “I love having you all over, but I just can’t handle the dogs too! I adore their cute little faces, but the maid would appreciate if you left them at home!”

    • Gary

      Why should the wishs of a pet owners always overide the wishs of a home owner who does not have a pet or wish to have a pets in their home?

  2. Mary K. Enterline

    It should not matter what kind of inconvience, if the hostess does not want a dog when visitors come, then that’s it. I love dogs and used to own one. It was a non shedder, a mini poodle. But now that we have no dogs in the house, we don’t want other’s pets in our home when they come for weekend visits. I don’t appreciate the EXTRA work a visiting dog brings with it. I am a meticulous house keeper and I don’t need EXTRA work from shedding dog hair especially all over the house and the furniture. Not to mention in wet weather the visiting dog would track in all kinds of dirt.
    At age 60, it is enough to change extra bed linens and extra generated laundry….to add the extra work of going over all the floors and furniture and getting rid of dog hair is too much!

      • Lisa

        I totally agree! I don’t have a dog. Why, then, do people think I want one in my home, or shouldn’t care if they bring their dog? Not once have they offered to clean up before they leave – the dog hair, the slobber on the doors, walls, where ever. I am 56, a heart attack survivor, and forgive me – I like a clean house. Show some respect to your host, be it family or friend, and leave your dog somewhere else when you come to my house!

  3. Jerry

    Interesting commentary. I have always been of the school of thought that, as homeowner, I get to set the rules. If one of my potential guests really really cannot handle being without a member of her non-human family, she is welcome to host at her home or meet me at a neutral site. The short form is “my roof, my rules.”

    Of course, there are those who believe that they should be able to use a family member’s vacation home no matter the preferences of the home’s owner. Perhaps that works for some families, but American etiquette imposes no such requirement. Etiquette does not require anyone to “go along to get along.” (Remember, it takes two to disagree.)

  4. Elizabeth

    I have a dog, and I would never assume that I could bring him with me to others’ homes without first asking permission. And I would also never be offended if my host declined. Dogs are not everyone’s cup of tea!

    One suggestion that could be made to the sister is to take her dog to the new kinds of boarding kennels that are opening up, in which dogs of similar size play together for hours while being supervised by the (human) staff. It’s a great way for the dogs to socialize, get a lot of exercise, and avoid the old-style kennels where they were simply cooped up in a cage all day. They normally test new dogs for temperament (a free day of doggy day care!) and they don’t accept aggressive animals. If you pitch it to your sister as ‘good for the dog’ she might be more apt to not take offense.

  5. KK

    As a sidenote: I find that because I have dogs of my own, often times houseguests take that as a cue that their dog must certainly be welcome. Even if your hostess is a dog lover, it is still not good etiquette to ask to bring your’s along. The hostess’ pets may have either aggression or intense fear towards other animals, and she may not have the space required to add another to the pack. If you know the hostess well enough to be staying with her, likely she is aware of your pet and will invite him along if she so chooses.

    Which brings up the point if your four-legged companion IS invited to stay, be sure to ask for the “house rules” for pets. Maybe the hostess is only comfortable having your pooch for a visit if he remains outside (or in bad weather in the garage). If her rules are not ok with you, than you should find other arrangements. And be sure to always bring food, toys, plastic bags, and possibly even wipes if there are housetraining issues so that you can clean up after your pet and be sure he is entertained so as not to chew on anything!

  6. Angie

    Pet owners should never ask a hostess in any circumstance to bring a pet to their house for a visit. To ask is appalling. Imposing your pets on other people is unfair. It puts the hostess in an awkward position of saying NO and makes the situation strained. Respect is the key here. Pet owners should have respect of the hostess NOT to even ask!

  7. Adf

    My suggestion trade with a friend for a few days they take care of your dog you take care of their kids then bring the kids with you :)

  8. J M

    A relative of mine always travels with his dog. He never asks if it is okay. He just shows up with him. On the most recent trip to our house, his dog went bonkers when left alone. He (the relative) did not bring a crate for the dog, did not bring food for the dog (he helped himself to our dog food,) and did not clean up behind his dog when he left puddles in our house. When left alone one evening for about an hour, the dog destroyed the wall-to-wall carpet in the guest room. I noticed it immediately and gave the relative ample time to acknowledge the damage, a day and a half. The night before he left, he asked us what time we would be getting up the next morning. When we told him we were planning to sleep late, he set his alarm for sunrise. He wasn’t counting on me getting up early. He finally said something about it on his way out the door. What made me angry more than the damage was the cowardly way the relative acted. Needless to say, he is no longer welcome in my home. Had he said something earlier, it might be different. (This was also the last straw in years of freeloading and generally poor behavior.) The cost of materials to fix the damage was $650. It would have been more if we hadn’t caught it on an end-of-year sale and if we hired someone to install the new floors.

    Just something to think about before traveling with your pets. It may be the one thing that can ruin an already-strained relationship.

  9. Brockwest

    I’ve had dogs and cats all my life, have 2 dogs, 4 cats all high maintainence. I wouldn’t dream of bringing any along, although there are family.
    I certainly wouldn’t bring them to a home that had pets, as there is a high degree of care involved introducing pets to another’s territory.
    JUST LIKE WITH KIDS, some people feel their pets can do no wrong, and don’t think a thing of their pets using the carpets, beds, gardens as their toilet. As above, some tend to ignore the results as if it’s someone else’s job to clean.
    In the old days when money was dramatically tighter, it was common to bring the WELL-TRAINED family dog to relatives, but nowadays it’s not. There are three choices: 1) the nice kennels that have social hour, 2) Pet-sitting in your own home while you are gone (my absolute choice now…not all that expensive, pets happy in their own home, I know they are safe and not runaways, 3) motels that accept pets. (AAA guidebooks have the list).

    I would tell someone who is bringing a pet those choices and offer to find a close motel that accepts pets. Period.

    On the other hand, when guests arrived with an unexpected pet, I bite the bullet for the first visit only and allow them in. I guess I’m too timid to be face-to-face confronting. On any subsequent visit I would be absolute solid in that the pet is not to stay at my home.

  10. JH

    We just bought a house, and have friends that want to visit us (with their dog). We have cats, one is very timid, and are afraid the one cat will be afraid to go out into the our yard if it sees or senses or sees a dog there. Having had a dog in the past, we always
    traded pet sitting with other friends. The friends visiting us don’t think it is important to train their dog, and the dog is a little crazy..We thought it over and have decided to have a “no pet”policy, which I now will have to tell these friends. We have mutual friends that live near them that have a dog, but I doubt they want to dog sit since our friends dog is not well behaved. Our friends may end up not visiting us., but can’t do about that. We have an RV, and when we visit them, our pets stay inside. We would never assume to let our pets onto their property, or into their home, and we feel the same should apply when they visit us. It’s a tough situation, but I agree with most of your commentary, people should leave their pets at home and not assume you must accept their pet without asking. What do you do with the dog if you go out to dinner? Even if the property has a dog run, the dog wants to be with the owners, and will probably bark. Many dog owners think they should take their dog everywhere, like a baby. I have complained to store owner corp. offices here in Oregon, as it seems people think it’s O.K. to have their 3 large dogs take up an entire ailse in a home improvement store! The employees told me it’s not allowed, and people have been bitten, but I guess they don’t have the you know what to enforce the store policy? Many people now it seems think the “rules” don’t apply to them or about someone else’s point of view. Too bad there isn’t some game or something to teach this, as that would be the only way for them to learn these days, wouldn’t it?

    JAH

  11. Hikergirl

    We have multiple dogs, so family assumes it’s OK to bring their dog when they come to visit. They don’t even ask if they can visit or if they can bring their dog – they just do (my mother in law). However, a couple of our dogs are nervous around people and one of them is very dog aggressive. We have to keep these two crated the entire time the family member and their dog is at our house. It’s not fair to our dogs, it’s not fair to us. The family member is oblivious, her dog pees in the house. Yes, I am familiar with Cesar’s Way and practice that regularly with my dogs; however it’s a process with rescue dogs and takes time to help them overcome fear and aggression. My husband is a doormat and won’t say no, and I’m the bad guy because I want to say no.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      You need to insist that your husband talk to them since they are his family. He doesn’t have to be mean. He just has to explain the situation clearly and stand his ground.

      On a non-etiquette note, my husband is pursuing a masters in animal behavior and all of his professors HATE Cesar’s way. I suggest looking into positive-reinforcement techniques. To give you an idea of how well it works one of his professors used it to completely train her dog in three days to the extent that she takes the dog outside and says “poop” and it does.

  12. NKY37

    I can certainly understand when visiting relatives that if they let you know up front that they don’t want you to bring your dog(s). Make arrangements to have your dogs watched or host at your house. However, my parents (who have had dogs for most of their married years) have allowed my sister and her husband to bring their dog for weekend visits for as long as they’ve had their dog. So when I got my two dogs, I started bringing them while visiting my folks. Well…I was told after Thanksgiving that my two dogs were not welcome if my sister’s family and dog and my brother and his family are there. I don’t understand their inconsistent rule between my sister and I. My dogs are well-trained, excellent around children and do what they are commanded to do. They are well-socialized and love being around people. My sister’s dog isn’t well socialized around other dogs and doesn’t do what it told. I love my parents, but until they can be fair and make my sister arrange for dog care for their weekend visits, they won’t have to worry about me coming to visit.

  13. annie

    My sister in law has a dog. She bought this dog along with another one when she was still dating her ex. Now they broke up and she went back home and brought 2 dogs with her. She has a full time job and nobody can look after these dogs. I was unemployed at the time and for the first time i had to babysit these dogs several times, without being asked.

    I have raised pets before but these ones were like children, look after them, clean after them. I had the energy and time to do this before, even though I did not like it. My husband seems to have taken the responsibility of being a doormat to his sister whims, and eventually, so did I.

    She doesn’t bother training them, they poop everywhere. Even after you walk them. She has mostly given up dogs after they grown out of being puppies. I can’t imagine doing that. It’s almost like, they were props.

    I have long since whined to my husband about it but he says he doesn’t know what to do with it. He doesn’t help me with the cleaning by the way.

    My mother in law used to clean up after them but ever since her son got married I guess it meant they have a new maid to do her dirty job.

    Now I have a job I find myself cleaning a lot on my day off. All the furs and mopping the floor where the dog pooped. We clean it with alcohol and vinegar/water but for me that just isn’t enough. It feels gross just walking over it.

    So to the original poster, it doesn’t matter what inconvenience these dogs pose as, its up to the owner to have basic common sense and notice who she/he is bothering and who she is passing her responsibility to. Sometimes these animals are a lot harder to raise and babysit than actual human beings.

  14. linda gayle

    My mother in law has four small dogs that she brings with her when she comes to visit. They are not house trained, why that is, I have no clue. The smell takes weeks to get out of the house, there is constant cleaning while they are visiting. They jump on the furniture after coming into the the house, adding an extra expense of upholstery cleaning when the leave.
    All other friends and family members have let it be known that mom and dad are welcome, dogs are not. Mom and dad don’t stay at those houses…
    The one time we offered to board the dogs AND pay for the boarding created too much drama.
    As of last month, we learned that they will likely be moving in with us soon. I love my in laws dearly, however, I’m dreading these dogs.
    We’ve had friends suggest doggie/toddler gates and this might be our only solution.
    I’m open to any suggestions.

    • Alicia

      This is not an etiquette question. However I see the following options.
      1. Talk to your spouse about mother in law can move in dogs may not. Dogs get adopted.
      2. Not let mother in law or dogs move in
      3. Dog crates with mother in laws approval
      4. Dog training classes with mother in laws approval
      5. Accept the dogs

    • Elizabeth

      You should confer with your husband and decide what you and he are most comfortable with. It’s your house, your rules. If the dogs aren’t welcome, then MIL will have to decide whether she wants to live with you or have the dogs. If you’re willing to compromise and allow them in a certain part of the house, then that’s also a rule she’ll have to live with. it’s your house, the situation shouldn’t be dictated to you!

  15. Cat fan

    It’s not safe for people to travel to your house with their stupid (as far as traffic fatalities go) DOG running loose around their car, sitting in their lap, sticking their head out the window (the rule on a school bus, don’t stick ANYTHING out the window that you would like to KEEP)! Travel with a kennel, keep the dog in the kennel at the house you’re visiting unless you’re in the yard supervising it, on a walk or can take the animal to the park or the beach to let it be a dog. Your dog is not invited over to my house to socialize with me, I don’t speak dog. My interior space is for cats, which are always kept inside, rather than letting them run loose to kill birds, etc. I vacuum often to keep any shedding down to a minimum. Responsible cat owners would never let another person’s dog into their house. Why a dog owner would ever want to travel with a dog in a kennel (except to the vet) or leave a dog in a kennel outside while they’re inside socializing, it just seems like a cruel way to treat your dog. Leave it home with a sitter, or let it rip up and stink up your house, not mine.

  16. Julie

    If you own a dog, it is your responsibility to board your pet whether expensive, inconvenient. To impose on someone else in their own home is rude and disrespectful.

    • jordan

      Exactly! Very well said, it’s truly just that simple. I can’t understand why anyone would think otherwise.

  17. MB42

    I had an experience a number of years ago with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. We are not dog owners, but my BIL and SIL always bring their dog along (a very large chocolate lab) regardless of the situation. One time, my parents were coming in from out of town to spend a long weekend with us. We asked if they could leave the dog at home for the get together as my dad is not at all fond of dogs. They were extremely offended and refused to come to our house if their dog wasn’t invited.

    I am now hosting an event for New Year’s Eve. There are going to be a huge number of people – 20 adults and 14 kids. There are two other couples at the party that also have dogs and wouldn’t dream of bringing their dog along (they have said as much to me), but I have concerns that if I ask my BIL and SIL not to bring the dog they will take the same attitude. I think this is unreasonable, but my husband thinks they are being very reasonable. Thoughts?

    • Lori C

      If your brother in law and sister in law were offended years ago when you asked them to leave the dog at home, they will be offended again.

      I suggest if your husband has no issues if they bring this large dog to your party, then he must take responsibility for the dog and stick to the dog like glue. Every where this dog goes, your husband is right on top of it. In essence your husband is going to dog sit while the dog mingles with your guests. And while you are at it, it’s not fair for any of your other guests to leave their dogs at home if the one dog is welcome. Gosh, now he has MORE dogs he has to follow around to make sure they don’t causing trouble or steal food or make a mess or jump on people. Somehow I don’t think this is how he would like to spend his time at his own party. How can he possibly enjoy food or cocktails if he is busy dog sitting for the entire evening? How will he be able to entertain guests? So no dogs and the brother in law and sister in law can accept or decline your invitation or everyone brings their dogs. His choice and if dogs are invited to the party all dogs are his responsibility.

      Does husband realize how excited all these dogs are going to be with 36 people in a strange house and other dogs to play with?? If you shut them outside or in the garage, they will bark and you will have messes to clean up. If you kennel them at your house, they will still bark because they can hear the party.

      Good luck!

    • Jody

      I’m a dog lover, but I also firmly believe that the host of an event has the right to set the rules for that event. If you say “sorry, no dogs at this party” your guests should abide by it. If your BIL and SIL threaten to stay away unless their dog is invited, you should tell them “I’m sorry to hear that, but we’ll miss you.” A chocolate lab is not a a small dog; it’s hard enough to deal with it when there are only a few people around, let alone 34 (including kids).

    • Elizabeth

      A New Year’s Eve party is no place for a large and unruly dog. I have a similar dog, and I would never dream of bringing him anywhere without the express permission of the homeowner (which is usually my sister or parents). We normally do leave him home, but occasionally ask if he can come. And while they usually say it is ok, sometimes for certain events they would rather not have him and it is absolutely no problem for us if they prefer it. I’m surprised that there are people out there who think it’s ok to bring a large dog to anyone’s house, much less a NYE party. If you think they will, you must raise the issue with them in advance. And since it is your husband’s family, he should be the one to do it.

  18. val

    I have a 6-year-old cockerpoo which I got from a rescue-centre two years ago. He is totally trained, totally gentle and obedient and everyone adores him. He lies down at my feet in church and the priests and congregation are all happy he comes – I have said to let me know if there are any complaints but there have been none. I do leave him in the car if it is not too hot or too cold. His previous owners left him in the house alone every day and all day – I didn’t know this when I first got him, until he showed behaviour of great fear and distress and barking on the occasions I left him alone at home. Everyone I know in this deep rural location has been more than happy to welcome him when I have visited them. Unfortunately, a woman friend whom I have known for six years, who is the main person I go out for meals and drinks with – maybe six times a year – is having a different attitude, which I am feeling really upset about as it is completely inconsistent. She has recently sold her house and bought another one, which she has just had all the floors sanded and painted white. She is thrilled with her new house. We went out for a drink the other night and talked about where to go for my forthcoming birthday – she had offered to treat me to a meal out, which I was delighted and grateful for. She was totally enthusing about my dog, who was with us in the pub, saying how different he is from when I first got him, he had such sad eyes then and now he is bright and beautiful. She was getting him to give her his paw and feeding him biscuits which she had asked the barman for. She said she’d be happy to take him for a day any time I wanted, that she’d love to take him out for a long walk if I was too busy, and that she’d love to have a dog, but feels she can’t at the moment due to her travelling around a lot. It was a very happy evening. I live 30 miles away, so she said she would come up to my area and she would drive and not drink so that I could, which I felt would be a shame for her to not feel free to enjoy herself with a few drinks. Or, she said, we could go out down here but I couldn’t drink as I would have to drive back. We then discussed the possibility of my staying the night at her house, which would mean neither of us would have to drive. this sounded like a great idea – then she said she wasn’t having dogs in her house, though – not with her floors! She suggested I get a mutual friend to have my dog for the night so we could go out. I felt gobsmacked. I would not dream of asking the other friend to look after m dog – she has two of her own and loves my dog who she has often had to stay if I had to do something educational where I couldn’t take him,I would not ask her to look after my dog so I could go out with another friend. My dog has never puddled in anyone’s house, or pooped, doesn’t smell or tear things up, but lies down quietly and doesn’t shed. I have been very ill for many years and as a result have very difficult circumstances for which my dog was recommended by my doctor as an emotional support – but my circumstances are also poverty due to my ill-health. Not only would I risk traumatising my dog to leave him in a kennel but I could not afford it. I feel my friend’s floors are more important to her than our friendship.

    • Jody

      It does seem a bit odd that she said she’d be willing to take your dog for a day, but then later says she doesn’t want a dog in her house. Nevertheless, you need to repect her wishes — her house, her rules. Emotional support dog or not, it’s your friend’s right to say who or what she wants in her own house. I’m a dog lover but I also respect other’s right to not want dogs in their houses. You’ll need to decide whether you still want to see this friend, knowing that it likely won’t be at her home.

    • Elizabeth

      I agree with Jody. Your friend is entitled to controlling who and what enters her home. Flooring is expensive, and she may have good reason to fear damage. (White flooring sounds SO impractical! But that’s me.) However, you should not take your friend’s desire for a dog-free home personally. Yes, it would be more convenient for your other plans if she did allow him. But just as she does not want dogs, you do not want to kennel the dogs. Therefore, you should just make plans that are convenient for you and don’t require you to drink and drive. Instead of you staying at her place, why not invite her to spend the night at yours?

  19. val

    Thank you Jody and Elizabeth for your comments. I absolutely agree with you both that the host’s views on having or not having dogs in their home should be fully respected. I have never visited anywhere without enquiring beforehand if I can bring my dog. It would not normally cause me to fall out with a good friend if they didn’t want my dog in the house – if I was well-primed before-hand and knew where I – and my dog-stood. I have been requested not to on some occasions and he stays very happily in the car (which I think he is secure in as he knows it will not go without me) – unless, as said above, I have had to be out for more than a few hours in which case my dog-owner friends have always taken him and, as they have said, he is “one of the pack”!Boy, am I grateful to them – such generous and kind support over what everyone knows is a very difficult situation when you live alone and have to be out or away sometimes for extended periods.
    Everything has a context and, as said, it was my friend’s inconsistency which shocked me, her revelation that she was not going to have dogs in her house coming at the last five minutes of a long happy evening during which she volunteered enthusiastically to take him out for long walks and to have him if I needed that, any time “Just give me a ring!” I was so pleased, both for the help it would be to me but also that she loved him that much – and so surprised – and was uplifted by this, as well as expecting, I guess, that as she had now moved into the town where we both attend an evening class – which I drive the almost 30 miles to each week – that we would probably meet more often socially and certainly that I would expect to drop into her house to see her every so often (for the next ten years at least!) – in fact that her move would ease and change the previous difficulties of meeting up due to location. I no longer have the emotional needs re dog-support – but I am more concerned for my dog’s emotions. I felt as if I had been slapped by my friend’s sudden announcement about not having dogs in the house, following her apparent adoration of and attention to him all evening. This friend has, over the six years of our friendship, let me down at the last minute over about 50% of our arrangements, texting that she was too tired/had to get up early to travel somewhere – shock, anger and disapointment which I dealt with and got over each time, not letting her know how upset I had been and carrying on. As this was my birthday we were planning to go out for I had, when she offered to treat me, asked her if this was really definite, and not to organise it and then let me down, which she promised she would not. Just before I posted my first comment above, she texted me that it was still ok for next Sunday, but that she could not put me up, so did I still want to go. so already another change from her offer to put me up. I had been trying to think of a way to tell her to forget the whole thing – because not only over the dog – but the whole driving/distance/alcohol thing, and still not to feel, especially after her inconsistency that night, whether she would in fact let me down again. I also, as Jody pin-pointed, had been re-evaluating the future of our friendship since obviously I would not be able to visit or stay with her with my dog – ever!! – and gradually I had been, with sorrow, adjusting to the possibility that perhaps there is no future in our friendship. So I texted that I had already decided, let’s leave it. I feel it’s changed everything and I feel I have started to leave her. I do not hold her wish not to have dogs in her house against her. I accept it. (Yes I would have invited her to stay at mine, – thank you for the suggestion – but I don’t have a spare bed and the sofa is lumpy, and I believe she would not have wanted to.) I just felt, it’s all too difficult. A nice idea that’s become too complicated to think about any more. We were originally going to go out the evening before my birthday as she is going away on the actual day – so instead I have decided to make a birthday dinner and have invited my dog-loving friends to dinner along with, between them, four dogs!- and they are delighted – as am I – and so will my dog be to see his mates. A long post, sorry! but it has been incredibly helpful to me to express and to get it off my chest – thank you for reading it and for your helpful comments. Much appreciated.

  20. Mara

    I very much appreciate all of the comments that refer to a host’s right not to have dogs as indoor guests. I don’t mind folks bringing their dogs and keeping them outside or on the porch, but inside–with our two cats–it just doesn’t work.
    The main factor is that we have a large family and most of them have dogs–when you entertain a group, do you allow SOME dogs, ALL dogs, or NO dogs? We’ve chosen the NO option to avoid total chaos, and that has alienated us from my husband’s grown children. They’ve basically decided not to visit us any more due to our policy, despite my having found several well-recommended boarding places, for which we offered to pay. They’ve made it clear that if their dog (which they got from the pound several months ago, a pit bull mix) is not welcome, then they consider themselves to be unwelcome also. They’re very self-righteous and critical about it, how we “hate” dogs, in contrast to all the better, nicer people in the family.
    Any ideas or suggestions welcome!

    • Elizabeth

      Mara, unfortunately your husband’s children are being unreasonable, and there are no magic words for showing them the light about this matter. You have gone above and beyond by offering to pay for boarding. Apart from your husband having a come-to-deity chat with his kid, I’m not sure what to tell you. You have my sympathies for the situation.

    • Country Girl

      Mara you mentioned you don’t mind the dogs outside. Are your husband’s children aware that you both are ok with them bring their pet so long as it stays outside on the porch and/or possibly in a crate in the garage (for sleeping or poor weather)? We have a very similar situation in our family and that seems to work the best. (And you are absolutely correct that the same rules should apply every time and to everyone.) The only time things get sticky with my family is if cousin Joe’s small dog gets to come inside, but brother Jason’s dog has to stay outside. Consistency is always the best way.

      For some adults, you are right, their pet really is like child and they can get a little touchy. If you handle the situation with care knowing that I think you stand a chance at calming them to reason if you really want to maintain that relationship. “We’d love to have you and Boomer over, as you know we just can’t have him in the house because of the cats (or other reason), so he is welcome to play in the yard or rest in the garage if you have a crate for him.”

    • Lori C

      You and your husband decided on a policy regarding dogs in your home and you have every right to be consistent as to what was decided. I hope your husband is the one talking to his children about boarding the dog when they visit or leave the dog at home. There no reason your cats should be terrorized because they want to bring a pit bull mix into your home. Since they are being stubborn and refuse to visit, perhaps you and your husband can visit them instead.

  21. Dawn

    My in-laws don’t allow dogs in their home or their vacation home either. I would never dream of insisting that they do, despite the fact that my husband and I love our two dogs dearly. Yes, they’re housebroken and extremely friendly- but they’re a mess of slobber, fur, and at times overwheliming excitement that even a loving doggie-mom like myself can’t deny. I don’t hold it against them at all- and they’re kind enough to allow my boys to stay in the heated barn at Christmas, and a secure workshop at the cottage when we visit in the summer. In return, we ensure that the dogs are curteous of people’s space, remain quiet, do not beg for food, and (most importantly) we scour the property for any dog poop- whether it’s left by our dogs or not. This is how to ensure your dogs are welcomed back places, people.

    We often have dogs come visit with our company, and I’ll say that even though we’ve got two ourselves the extra dogs really add to the dog hair and mess. If you as a dog owner are lucky enough to have friends who welcome your dog into their home, PLEASE consider doing a round of poop pick-up in the yard, or sweeping a floor. No one has EVER done this for me, but I can sure tell you that if someone did I’d pass out from sheer happiness at being appreciated and having my property respected. If your dog makes a mess- don’t ignore it! Don’t let the host clean it up! If you see your host disappearing with a mop or paper towel, don’t play dumb and pretend not to know what’s going on! Do you imagine people regularly mop their basement floor at midnight?!?! (lol sorry- personal note there…and while I mopped their dogs mess up they helped themselves to my wine as well!). If this happens- apologize profusely until they’re sick of hearing how sorry you are, clean it up until that spot is cleaner than the surrounding area, and offer to replace anything that could be permanantely damaged. A hostess gift doesn’t hurt either, the next time you come around (ie: replacing my wine with another bottle that I’ll likely share with you…) lol.

    I can sympathize with the folks who have had family become angry at dogs not being allowed. I had the audacity to request politely that dogs stay home or be boarded at a nearby kennel during my wedding. Many people were put out, since it was an outdoor ceremony but what could they really say since my own beloved dogs were being boarded and only making a brief appearance for pictures? Apparently plenty. I recieved a very snotty reply from a reletive that I had previously had a kind impression of, informing me that “there will be NO ‘leaving him at home'” and that she was shocked and disappointed with my anti-dog sentiments, and that she would be “unable to make it- even though we’ll be in the area at that time”. I caused an uproar in the family by replying “That’s unfortunate that you feel that way, but I don’t feel it’s unreasonable to ask for people not to bring dogs to our wedding. If we did not state this, we could have upwards of 40 dogs there. Luckily, most people are able to understand this and have booked at the kennel where our dogs will be staying… I’m sorry we won’t be seeing you, but even the dogs we actually love will not be onsite for the entire event”. Eh. One less person to waste money on at Christmas. As it is, my own dog (who was picked up and tied nearby during the ceremony as he was needed for post-ceremony pics) got loose during the ceremony and ran amok as I walked down the aisle. It was charming and funny because it was my dog- a great memory! However if it had been someone elses dog, I would’ve been furious.

    Anyways, moral of the story: I love my dogs, I am very open to hosting my friends dogs, BUT KNOW THIS: When you are lucky enough to have your dog welcomed somewhere, the onus is on you to be the most curteous and amazing guest ever. People don’t expect your dog to never make mistakes, but they have the right to expect YOU to clean up, apologize, and make ammends for your pup’s poor choices. It shouldn’t be more work for me as the hostess to do you the favour of allowing your dog to come. I’m the one who just saved you a ton on boarding fees because I love you and want to have fun with you. Don’t confuse me with your indentured servant.

  22. […] Etiquette for visiting with your dog/hosting ppl with dogs?? Not sure if the link will work but ran across this old article/question and answer column. Raises some interesting points. I believe that when I'm lucky enough to be able to bring my dogs to someones home, it's my job to ensure they're not a burden to the host. However I've definitely hosted guests with dogs and about 80% of the time, I'm cleaning up an accident that no one else 'noticed', and I'm to polite to embarrass them by mentioning it. I also have yet to see anyone offer to do a round of pooper-scooping- even though doubling the number of dogs in my yard means I've got to be out there at least daily while company is here just to ensure poop doesn't end up getting tracked in… Do you do a poop-scoop round of your hosts' yard? Will you, now that you've thought about it? Do you still ask permission to bring your dogs, even if they've been to your hosts' home before? What are some things you'd appreciate from your host to make your stay with your dogs easier? What are some things you'd really appreciate your houseguests with dogs doing to lessen the burden? What do you feel the etiquette of visiting with your dogs or hosting friends with dogs is? Unwanted Company: When the dog always comes too | Etiquette Daily […]

  23. Paul

    Interesting postings; however, some family use dogs as a barrier to keep some away. Our niece allowed us to bring our small dog to her home several times. We always kept our dog crated when we were not there, walked and cleaned up behind him; and there was no barking. THERE WERE NO ISSUES WITH US BRINGING THE DOG. Now our niece has a NEW home, a dog of her own; however, we were told we could not bring our dog to visit. When asked why, she has a NEW HOME! She does not want an older dog in her NEW HOME. REALLY! Easy fix on my part. She keeps her NEW HOME, her dog and I stay home and save a ton on airfare, car rental, and dining.
    I do notice that when this same family member comes to visit with her kids, it is ok for them to trash my home, spill liquids and food on the carpet and furniture, even though I ask her to keep an eye on them. NO DOGS, children OK. REALLY!.

    • Elizabeth

      Your sound like a responsible dog owner, and your niece’s reasoning does not seem to be all that logical. However, it is perfectly within the rights of homeowners to prefer that outside animals not enter their home. It is a bit juvenile to refuse to visit her because you can’t bring your dog. Do you also refuse to go to restaurants, concert venues, other peoples’ homes who might have allergies or are fearful of animals because you can’t bring your dog? Do what every other dog owner does – leave the dog at home, with a friend, or at a reputable kennel.

    • Lori C

      Paul, It is perfectly OK for your niece to change her mind about having your dog in her home. It is also perfectly OK for your house rules to include food and drink only at the table. Ask your niece to help clean up any messes or spills which occur. Board your dog when you want to visit her family or ask a friend to dog sit. Confirm she will be boarding her dog when she comes to visit. I know your dog is important to you but I am sure you realize you can’t take him/her everywhere with you every time.

  24. Carol

    I am so glad I found that this particular issue has been addressed. My husband and I are dog lovers and have a dog of our own, but we do not wish to have doggie guests at our home. Unfortunately, our daughter’s in-laws don’t mind having everyone bring their dogs to their house. So we are the pariahs with our daughter because we do not welcome her dogs into our home. Three dogs in one house is just too much for us (especially since one of her dogs has issues), but we are made to feel guilty every time the subject arises, as we are not the parents who allow the dogs. Making it extra frustrating is the fact that our daughter and son-in-law make more than enough money to board them. This has created an unnecessary (in our opinion) rift
    between us. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how we can get our daughter to understand that this is not her call to make?

    – See more at: http://www.etiquettedaily.com/2011/01/open-thread-420/#sthash.0KHTZZuH.D5Dv0SlK.dpuf

    • Lori C

      Carol, I suggest having a calm conversation with your daughter and your son in law. Let them both know you are so sorry but you and Dad are unable to accommodate her dogs when they visit. Tell her you think it is wonderful son in laws parents can, but unfortunately it is just too much for you and Dad. Let them know you would really appreciate it if they could automatically make arrangements for the dogs prior to their visit so you all can enjoy the visit.
      Good luck.

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