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Dogs in Restaurants

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I've noticed a trend over the past couple of years of people bringing dogs to restaurants. Just the other night I was out at Cut 432 in Delray for Valentines dinner with my wife and there were two tables next to me with dogs. And no I was not sitting next to two blind people.

For those of you not familiar with Cut 432, it's a high priced prime steak place on atlantic avenue. This is not the outside picnic tables at the neighborhood dive bar.

Personally I think this is ridiculous for one that a nice restaurant would allow people to do this. And two that people leave the house to go out to dinner and think it's ok to bring fido along.

I wouldn't consider myself a dog lover by any means, but I certainly don't hate dogs. I just think their is a time and place for people to spend time with their animals. It's not where I'm dropping $200 on a steak dinner.

Also not trying to pick on Cut 432. The meal was expensive but good. This is something I'm seeing at pretty much all Atlantic Ave restaurants. Where do they draw the line? If I brought a pet rat would it be ok if I put him on the table to take a few nibbles on my bread?

Is this just a delray thing? Or this happening all over south florida? Would be real curious to hear other south florida chowhounders thoughts on this topic?

  1. Pet rat...hehe! Fla. law does not allow pets inside restaurants for health reasons I believe. They are limited to outdoor seating only. This is my understanding of the law.

    http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/...

    4. Q. When can I take my pet dog to a restaurant?

    A. Not until your local government enacts an ordinance permitting dogs in outdoor seating areas of food service establishments and the restaurant obtains the required permit.

    5. Q. What does the law allow?

    A. Local governments are authorized to enact local laws allowing dogs in limited, designated outdoor seating areas of food service establishments. Pet dogs are still prohibited inside food service establishments including traveling through the establishment.

    1. Please make sure you never visit Europe. Dogs in restaurants are as common as knives and forks -- no matter the price.

      If the dog is quiet and well-behaved -- well, that makes them better than some diners.

      11 Replies
      1. re: sunshine842

        Right on...I've spent a great deal of time in Europe and have had many meals (especially in France) with a dog inde an adjacent table. I can't think of a single occasion when the dog behaved badly. Unfortunately this statement does not always apply to people.

        1. re: josephnl

          Also my experience. Dogs are basically welcome anywhere here, and I have never seen one behave badly in a restaurant, shop, bus/train. I should probably find out how they train them so well, since I wouldn't be able to take mine anywhere in public!

          1. re: josephnl

            I've seen dogs in France sitting AT the table - once with a plate of dinner in front of a dog and a place setting. The owner cut the dog's food into small pieces and fed it from the fork. Oh and the waiters brought all the diners' plates including the dog's covered with a dome.

            1. re: smartie

              Heehee...reminds me of those fancy feast dog food commercials

          2. re: sunshine842

            I think your use of the word "Europe" is a little broad. I lived in Italy for two years and didn't see dogs inside any restaurants- just beside their owners on the occasional outdoor patio. Same for my four months in Barcelona. I spent seven weeks in Romania and Moldova in 2010 and didn't see any dogs in restaurants there either.

            1. re: Jetgirly

              You are right. It's mainly in France where dogs are seen very frequently in all kinds of restaurants from the simplest bistros to the Michelin 3-star temples of haute cuisine.

              1. re: josephnl

                Not much of a shortage in Germany, either -- and not uncommon in England, especially in vacation-ish places where walkers bring their dogs.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  One time my husband and I played golf in Scotland, and the couple we were paired up with were playing with their dog who held the leash in his mouth as he trotted along side of them. It was lovely.

            2. re: sunshine842

              As I read this I am remembering---actually we took a picture and I have it someplace---of a dog in a grocery store in Paris with his forepaws up on the meat counter, ogling the steaks and roasts. People put dogs in their grocery store shopping carts and they sit with their dirty bottoms where you are going to put your food. And they are ALWAYS in restaurants. BTW people in France do not clean up after their dogs so Watch Where You Step. Dogs are friendly and nice but there is such a thing as sanitation.

              1. re: Querencia

                while there are those who do not clean up after their dogs, there are scooper laws in Paris, and most of us most certainly DO clean up after our dogs.

                1. re: Querencia

                  And far better than Manhattan.

              2. Blind people are not the only people who use service dogs. Just because you don't see a disability, does not mean that the person does not have one. I was not there, so obviously did not see the dogs in question. But service animals are allowed in restaurants. They are not required to wear vests or have special papers. The business owner is only allowed to ask if the animal is a service animal. They are not allowed to ask a person what their disability might be.

                37 Replies
                1. re: cheepcheepcheep

                  I understand people other than blind people use service animals. These clearly weren't.

                  1. re: coffeyucf

                    How do you know? You must be very talented to be able to tell that somebody has epilepsy, or diabetes, or is a survivor of a coma or a stroke, or any of the invisible disabilities a person may have. You cannot tell, unless a person chooses to disclose this information. People with disabilities do not have green hair and glow in the dark skin. And their disability does not have to be obvious to you or even at all visible to you.

                    1. re: cheepcheepcheep

                      Maybe it was because the Miniature Yorkie was in a purse, and not wearing a vest?

                      Hunt

                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        Actually, small dogs are often used as hearing dogs. It's surprising to see but makes sense when you think about it. They're energetic and curious and very pleased with themselves to lead their owners to the source of a sound. I have no idea if this was the case in the OP's scenario, but assistance dogs aren't always the expected labs and retrievers.

                        1. re: Hobbert

                          Hm-m, my hearing IS going, so perhaps I need to put my Bulldogs into training, to help me. The young one DOES hear the telephone, before I do, and usually knows when I have "buzzed through" someone, who has come, just to see her.

                          Hunt

                      2. re: cheepcheepcheep

                        I volunteer with the blind so I know something about service animals. The law is exploited by sighted people eg "I get lonesome without my dog therefore my dog is a service animal".

                        1. re: Querencia

                          Blind people aren't the only ones who may benefit from a service dog...

                      3. re: coffeyucf

                        Of course I can't say with 100% certainty but my power of deduction is pretty strong :-) The dogs were all pretty well behaved and didn't bother me at all. It's more noticing how things have changed.

                        1. re: coffeyucf

                          Honestly, this is not trying to be contrary.
                          What leads you to believe they were not service dogs? Breed? Size? Behavior?

                          I am genuinely curious.

                      4. re: cheepcheepcheep

                        Perhaps there are exceptions, but service dogs are generally easily identified either by their harness, a tag, or a vest.

                        Are you certain that a restaurant owner cannot ask for some verification that the dog is indeed a service dog if the dog is not easily recognized as such? Is this a state or federal law? Seems unreasonable.

                        1. re: josephnl

                          Everything cheepcheepcheep said is correct.

                          Wearing the vest certainly makes things easier for the dog and handler, but it is not required. Restaurant owners are also not allowed to ask for verification. The only thing they can ask is "Is that a service dog". They can however ask a customer to leave if their dog is being disruptive. It may seem unreasonable, but it is the law.

                          My husband is currently going through training with his own service dog.

                          ETA: well, my post was pointless, everything was pretty much reiterated further down. Sorry about that!

                          1. re: eastofnevada

                            So, can anyone, who for whatever reason (for example, leaving their dog home alone stresses them out) wishes to bring their dog to whatever restaurant they want, and if asked, just declare that their dog is a service dog, do so? And, the restaurant must allow the dog to stay unless it is disruptive??? Wow...I am so strongly in favor of doing what we all can and should do to accommodate the disabled, but this is really beyond belief.

                            1. re: josephnl

                              there are people who park in handicapped spots and people who say they have food allergies just because they don't like something.

                              I have yet to see the bottom of the pit to which people will sink in order to indulge their self indulgent selves.

                              This makes them assholes of the highest order, but they do it anyway.

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                You need a handicapped parking permit to park in the handicapped spots. If you don't have the permit displayed, you can be ticketed. That's a reasonable regulation that does not put any undue burden on people who need the spots. I see no reason why service dog users should not have to show proof of their legitimate entitlement to bring their dog to a place that otherwise does not allow them. This is not an undue burden, but an entirely legitimate means of screening out scammers.

                              2. re: josephnl

                                I honestly don't know. I've never encountered anyone doing that.... I would hope they don't, it would only make it more difficult for people like my husband. It seems crazy to me too, honestly. Before he started the program I assumed that the dogs *had* to wear the vest and have some sort of verification. I personally think they should have to as well to prevent things situations like you're talking about. But that's the current law, I can't help it.

                                1. re: eastofnevada

                                  but then there's the other side of the coin -- it's difficult enough to need a service dog...but then to have the dog wearing what is basically a billboard that shouts Hey! My person is disabled!...a lot of people don't want that kind of extra attention.

                                  A subtle collar tag I could see...but hopefully the dog is properly trained (because yes, service dogs are trained; companion dogs may or may not be) and will be all but invisible anyway...

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    It's a difficult situation either way.

                                    A: No verification and you have people claiming any pet is a service dog, although I haven't met too many pets who are trained to working dog standards.

                                    B: Announce to the world you have/need a service dog. (Although everyone I've met so far keeps the vest on their dog. Specifically the vest, not a harness, because a vest looks more "working dog". If you bring your dog into a restaurant people are going to notice you either way.)

                                    1. re: eastofnevada

                                      why is a vest any bigger statement than a harness? I have yet to see a non-service dog wearing a service harness.

                                      As above -- I can see a collar tag - but I can also totally see why those who need service dogs don't really feel all that inclined to shout it to the world at large that they're not normal.

                                      Much as I'd like to believe differently (see my above post about being yet to find the depths of despicability that people can sink to) - a vest on a working dog could be all the provocation a small-minded jackass might need to be a complete idiot to someone who doesn't have it coming.

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        It's just looks, the vest looks more "official". The handlers both said that they have less instances of people trying to pet the dog when the dog is wearing a vest.
                                        Just anecdotes of a few handlers though.

                                        1. re: eastofnevada

                                          I used to work with a blind man whose dog wears a harness when the dog is working. One of the first things he taught me was that the dog is off-limits when he's wearing the harness -- and indeed, the dog's personality was completely different. In the harness, he is all business and completely unperturbed by anything going on around him. The harness is his uniform, and he takes it damned seriously.

                                          Out of the harness? He's a goofy, playful Lab who (true to breed) loves to take flying leaps into lakes and ponds and beg for anything someone will give him. All of us who worked with his companion knew that he wasn't allowed to have people food -- but that didn't stop hope from springing eternal.

                                          If an animal can figure it out, so can humans.

                                          1. re: eastofnevada

                                            There is a young woman who comes into my work with her son and his service dog. On the vest is a very noticeable: "I am working. Do not pet" patch on the vest. She said that they don't go anywhere without the vest because too many people want to pet the dog (it is adorable, although I'm extremely allergic to dogs... I actually have to leave the building while they are there). The vest isn't to announce the disability, it's to announce "Back off".

                                            My mother worked rehab and over all those years I had never met anyone ashamed of their disabilities and wanted to hide the fact that their canine companion was a service dog. It was just part of their lives. So, (although) I haven't read the rest of the thread, I'd assume that the OP was *probably* deducing correctly that they weren't service dogs. However, these days service dogs go beyond the once usual breeds of german shepherds and golden retrievers, so it's hard to determine... I've heard of even these small toy (purse) dogs being used as service dogs.

                                            1. re: velochic

                                              Not *ashamed* of their disabilities -- not wanting them to become a barrier or an immediate prejudice -- which happens all too often, sadly. I can completely understand the sentiment of wanting someone to see THEM, not their disability or their service animal.

                                              (when dining with my former colleague, it was not unusual for someone to ask "and what would he like" -- to which any of us with him unfailingly answered -- I don't know, why don't you ask HIM? It wasn't intentional, but the folks I've known who require service dogs don't want to incur any more of that type of behaviour than necessary - they get enough of it as it is)

                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                If you have a disability bad enough to require special parking or a service dog, the last thing you care about is what anyone else thinks. Believe me!

                                                1. re: coll

                                                  Not anyone I've ever known.

                                                  Not calling you a liar by any means -- but that has not ever been my experience.

                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                    I only have my husband's recent experience (which of course I share) so guess I shouldn't generalize. But the rest of the world has ceased to be important to us, as we to them. I can't imagine having such a thin skin and getting through the day, what with all our bigger problems.

                                                    I know my Mom wouldn't be seen without her handicapped tag, bet she'd LOVE a service dog! Good idea for her next birthday.....

                                                    1. re: coll

                                                      maybe it changes over time as a disability becomes less a new and at times, I'm sure, seeming insurmountable challenge to something that's just a part of what and what you are. -- my former colleague said that he prefers to be the capable guy who just happens to be blind, rather than the BLIND GUY who's very capable.

                                                      It's subtle wording, but it's a big difference.

                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                        I really wish our day of not remembering would get here soon!

                                                        In the meanwhile, I'm glad to have learned not to worry about what other people think, otherwise we'd never leave the house. His handicap is very obvious but your fear of people being jackasses hasn't happened to us yet, I take him everywhere and it's amazing how many people rush to help when they see us with the wheelchair. Some people ignore us and don't hold the door, but nothing terrible. Maybe if we could hide it, we would. It's just that I know people who have their doctors write prescriptions for service dogs, when it's just a pet. Or park in handicapped because they had something wrong 10 years ago and kept the tag. Just hope karma doesn't bite them on the ass!

                                                        1. re: coll

                                                          I hope karma bites them long and hard. The doctors, too -- for enabling it.

                                        2. re: eastofnevada

                                          I am handicapped and have a blue placard that I must display when I park in a handicapped parking space. I don't think twice about the fact that others seeing me exit my car correctly assume I have a disability.

                                          Whether or not a service dog is wearing an obvious coat or not, anyone seeing that animal brought inside a restaurant in the US would reasonably assume that the animal is a service dog. Requiring a service animal to be registered as such and to wear a special tag or collar seems like a no-brainer to prevent abuse. Much like the blue parking placard, this is the obvious way of controlling the situation, and I can see no reason why anyone should find this objectionable.

                                2. re: josephnl

                                  I've seen one person with service minature horses - no larger than a golden retriever - but that was definitely a shock to walk in on in a public restroom. I wonder how that would be treated in a restaurant.

                                  1. re: cresyd

                                    heh -- that would be truly surreal in a restroom -- I'd have been looking for the hidden camera!

                                    But as a service animal, they are given free access anywhere their person goes.

                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      It was when I was on vacation and had been told that someone staying where we were had a service horse and all the benefits that a seeing-eye horse provides over a dog (mostly that they are able to remain in service longer, shorter training time, etc) - so it wasn't as much of a shock as if I'd been totally unaware.

                                      I would hope that this horse would have all such access - but I still think seeing a horse in a fine dining establishment would be a shock. I'm not bothered by behaved dogs in restaurants, and in theory would think the horse would have the right to be there. But it'd be a weird first moment.

                                      1. re: cresyd

                                        I love animals and i take my dog whenever i can and i pick up after her. I have never seen anyone pick up after a horse so that could be a problem.

                                        1. re: Alica

                                          I haven't either, but then I've never seen someone using a horse as a companion animal, nor taking horse for walk down a city sidewalk, either.

                                          It's pretty safe to assume that the training association that raises and trains the horses to be companion animals have already figure this out...come to think of it, I've never seen a companion animal actually stop to do his/her business while working, either.

                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                            They definitely do, and my blind friend cleans up after his as well.

                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                              (I figured they do -- and double respect, because that cannot be an easy task to learn when you can't see what you're doing! -- just realized that I've never seen it. My blind ex-colleague just let his loose when the dog wasn't needed -- the dog would go outside and return when he was done with his constitutional. We taught at a high school that was next to a fallow field - the dog visited the field.)

                                    2. re: cresyd

                                      I think I would die happy after seeing that!

                                3. More and more people are claiming their pets are 'service animals,' providing the owner with assistance of some sort. I'm not familiar with this from a restaurant perspective, but from a condo perspective.

                                  Any animal the owner declares to be a 'service animal' must be allowed to accompany the owner wherever (s)he wishes to take it, regardless of local ordinances, rules or regulations.

                                  As I understand it, federal ADA regulations do not permit you to ask what the disability is that the animal is assisting with, nor is there a universally accepted definition of exactly what a 'service animal' is.

                                  If Muffy makes me happy, I can take her anywhere I want -- apparently. What restaurant would tell me I can't bring Muffy to their restaurant, if I threaten them with a Federal ADA lawsuit if they say something to me?

                                  1. Coincidentally, there was an article in today's SF Chronicle on the phenomenon of the proliferation of "service" animals. In California, service dogs must were an official tag identifying them as such.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: GH1618

                                      Thanks for this clarification. I can't believe that anyone can claim that any accompanying dog is service dog when entering a restaurant, and the restaurant can't ask for some verification.

                                      1. re: josephnl

                                        They cannot ask for verification. It is voluntary for dogs to wear vests, harnesses, whatever, just so other people can identify a service dog. Some states may ask for special tags, but these tags are not licesences or anything special. Anyone can buy a tag. Pay a price, get a tag. The ADA is a federal law, which supersedes state laws.

                                        However, to your original concern, all service animals are expected to have manners and be trained to not bother other people (barking, begging, whatever .) A business owner may ask the person with an unruly or dangerous dog to leave, even if they have identified themselves as a service dog.

                                      2. re: GH1618

                                        Unfortunately, it has gotten out of control. This is one of those laws that has become a little too lenient. I hope someone changes it so that the person at least has to carry papers identifying the animal as a service dog. Or snake or iguana etc...

                                        1. re: Missmoo

                                          I don't agree, the behaviour of a dog will verify whether it's in fact a service dog and not a spoiled pet.

                                          1. re: hsk

                                            Not always. Sometimes the spoiled pet is the service dog. Not all "service dogs" are trained to be service dogs.

                                            I just want the dog to be out of the way and quiet. And I would prefer the owner not make kissy faces at it or use baby talk.

                                          2. re: Missmoo

                                            Exactly... I'm sure there are plenty of people who benefit from service dogs. Though my guess is most people are just bringing their dogs because they feel entitled.

                                        2. I would rather have a dog on the patio of a restaurant any day than a smoker at the next table!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: gblcsw

                                            I agree, but just because one thing is worse it doesn't make another one right.

                                          2. This would make me pretty unhappy since I am allergic to dogs. I would have to leave the restaurant. This is my disability.

                                            18 Replies
                                            1. re: Helene Goldberg

                                              Exactly. Where is the concern for my disability? HG I have the same issue.

                                              1. re: breakfastfan

                                                Allergies are not treated as a disability anywhere...those allergic to cigars or cigarettes still have to avoid places where smoking is allowed/encouraged...those who have a food allergy have to make it their responsibiltiy to avoid their triggers....

                                                So imagine you're sitting next to someone whose dog has been sleeping on their clothing...or even someone wearing a sweater knit from the shed fur of their late, beloved Golden Retriever (don't laugh - they exist)...your allergies are going to be triggered...and there's not going to be much you will be able to do about it -- and there's not a dog in sight.

                                                Don't get me wrong -- I am sympathetic -- my SO is violently allergic to cats, and my reaction to cigars is downright scary...but there's no way to make the world safe for allergy sufferers, because there are so many variations and intensities to allergies...so we have to take care of ourselves.

                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                  "So imagine you're sitting next to someone whose dog has been sleeping on their clothing...or even someone wearing a sweater knit from the shed fur of their late, beloved Golden Retriever (don't laugh - they exist)...your allergies are going to be triggered...and there's not going to be much you will be able to do about it -- and there's not a dog in sight."
                                                  ---------------------------------------------
                                                  Exactly. Just last weekend, we were eating at a rib place and a couple was seated in the booth right behind us. Within just a couple of minutes, my eyes were watering, got puffy, I started sneezing and wheezing. It was OBVIOUS that the woman who was within inches of my back was a pet owner because it took almost no time for my allergies to explode. Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do about it. I took a benedryl and switched places with my husband and daughter to the other side of the booth and was able to finish the meal, miserably. It sucks for me, but others have a right to own pet-hair sweaters and the disabled have a right to their service pets.

                                                  1. re: velochic

                                                    and how would you deal with it anyway? "Listen lady, take off the dog-hair sweater NOW or I have to leave" or "I'm sorry you have disability issues, but you and your dog have to go, because I'm allergic"

                                                    Neither one of those are going to work, even if an allergy sufferer were brash enough to suggest them.

                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                      Living with such severe allergies, you do have to find ways to "deal" with it, though. First I try to change positions to get as far away from the person. If it is at the beginning of a meal, I ask to be seated elsewhere. Once I had to move even after food had been delivered. If I had no recourse, I would box up my food and take it with me. I rarely dine alone, so I just head out to the car and let my husband and daughter get my food boxed up and they finish. My allergies are so severe that, while I don't stop breathing, I will sneeze until my nose bleeds. Not fun for me, and certainly not fun for other diners to witness. My daily allergy medicine doesn't touch my animal allergies. Benedryl is the only thing that works. Thankfully, it works pretty fast, but not fast enough to avoid all unpleasantness.

                                                      So, there are ways to deal with it without confrontation of the diner. The onus is on me to "deal" with it, and I do so, politely, calling as little attention as possible... although the sneezing and tears running down my face usually give me away. ;-)

                                                      1. re: velochic

                                                        I understand -- I had to leave a wedding at which I was a bridesmaid because I got a face full of cigar smoke (to be fair, it was inadvertent - the guy blew smoke away from me and right into the air currents coming out of the air conditioning vent just out of his field of vision).

                                                        As usual, my lungs closed up immediately, and my boyfriend ended up bringing my inhaler (I'd dashed outside to get clean air as quickly as possible) and going back in to offer my regrets and goodbyes. I spent the next day feeling like someone had gone through my lungs with a wire brush.

                                                        Sometimes we can cope, and sometimes we can't.

                                                2. re: breakfastfan

                                                  So do you think your "disability" should override that of someone who relies on a service dog?

                                                  1. re: LeoLioness

                                                    I guess that I would like the ability to choose my enviroments based on acceptable behavior. Before smoking was banned in bars, I didn't go there. I don't go to zoos or the circus. When I travel I check to see if they are pet friendly, and then choose the ones that say they are not. But here, there has always been a general expectation that indoor restaurants are free of animals. Service animals are needed but I rarely encounter one, and honestly if there was one dog, and I could sit across the room I'd be fine. If there were 10 then I would choose another place to eat, but if folks are using the "service" designation to bring their small pocketbook dogs in, yes my allergy should be considered.

                                                    1. re: breakfastfan

                                                      I think that is the main point. I too have to avoid homes, hotels, parks and now planes that allow dogs. I am glad that most restaurants don't allow dogs so I don't have to avoid them. People tend to downplay how serious some allergies can be. I have an autoimmune disease that can be triggered by an allergic reaction that is life threatening. I certainly understand that some people require service dogs, I just hope they don't abuse this at the expense of people with other disabilities.

                                                      1. re: Helene Goldberg

                                                        May I kindly ask, will you have attacks - for what seems to be no reason - if a pet owner who perhaps just groomed their animal is seated next to you? I know this is sounding like an accusation of psychosomatic symptoms, but I'm sincerely wondering.

                                                        1. re: thegforceny

                                                          Yes, allergy sufferers, depending on their particular sensitivities, can have attacks near a just-groomed animal.

                                                          For many allergy sufferers, the animal doesn't even need to be present -- I've seen attacks triggered by cat hair remaining on clothing, and triggered in households where the cat had passed away a few weeks earlier -- the animal doesn't even need to be present in many cases.

                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                            I was out last year sitting at an outdoor cafe and at the next table was a couple with their just -groomed golden retriever. The hair from their dog was flying right into our food, huge dust bunnies of golden dog hair landing in our burgers. Now I like dogs and have 2 of my own but even this was too much, the couple apologized but there was nothing anybody could do except for us to leave. I suppose we could be grateful it was clean dog hair!

                                                            1. re: smartie

                                                              Yike. and Yuck.

                                                              1. re: smartie

                                                                That is just a disrespectful dog owner. We love going to restaurants with our well behaved dog. In the summer many restaurants allow you to sit outside with your dog. We sit her between us and we always make sure she is quiet and nonintrusive to others. We love her and her company. Often people do not even realize that she is there.

                                                            2. re: thegforceny

                                                              For me, yes, absolutely. See my reply above to sunshine.

                                                          2. re: breakfastfan

                                                            Thanks for your answer. That makes sense.

                                                            Is this something people commonly see? I live in Boston and I've seen dogs in a couple of bars (where food is not served) and adjacent to outdoor patios. Never seen a dog (except for seeing eye dogs) in restaurants here otherwise, ever.

                                                            1. re: LeoLioness

                                                              I live in Cambridge and I saw it more in Baltimore and NoVa. But I know that when I lived there people in Baltimore were fighting to make it more dog friendly and that Alexandria promotes themselves as being a very dog friendly city. Here, I haven't seen really seen any dogs in restaurants many on patios or tied to a tree. Though I did see a woman with her little dog wandering around the Lord & Taylor's on Boylston (?) a couple weeks ago and someone else with a dog in their purse @ the Banana Republic in Copley (?).

                                                              1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                Actually I'm in out Metrowest and don't eat out all that often, but I even noticed the pocketbook dogs in the malls around the holidays. And I originally replied to support Helene Goldberg's opinion, that she was not alone in feeling this way.

                                                      2. Of course, as this discussion points out, we don't know if the pooches in question were service dogs or not. Assuming they were not, it surprises me to hear that dogs were allowed INSIDE the restaurant.

                                                        I'm in southeastern PA, and I can think of a couple of places in my neighborhood where dogs are welcome on the outside dining patio, but not inside the restaurant. In fact, one of these places, the Four Dogs Tavern in Marshalton, even prepares pooch platters upon request.

                                                        1. Though I have never had a dog who was well-behaved enough *at all times* to take to a restaurant (my dog would bark, dependably and incessantly, at a certain type of human), I wouldn't mind the presence of dogs who don't cause a scene when I go out to eat. I'd prefer a dog at the next table than a smoker, someone with too much perfume/lotion/other smelly junk on, or the great majority of children.

                                                          I knew someone who had a service dog. The dog always had on a blue coat that IDed him as a service dog. The *person* has such personality issues, though, that a lot of people used the presence of his dog to preclude serving him in their establishment. It was kind of a catch-22, as the person's problem with personal interactions stemmed from his disability.

                                                          1. Apparently Martha Stewart took her prize-winning chow, Ghenghis Khan, to the Plaza Hotel before the Westminter dog show. For a meal in the restaurant. He was sitting on one of the chairs at the table, I saw photos online. How can this be legal?

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: BeeZee

                                                              Different jurisdictions have different laws.

                                                              1. re: BeeZee

                                                                That was a fabulous picture of Martha and her winning dog. Where I live a dog can't go in a restaurant unless it is a service dog. Many restaurants allow them on the patio, however. They even have a list of "dog-friendly" restaurants in the city. I've never run into a poorly behaved dog on the patios. Mine usually goes to sleep under the table after she gets her bowl of ice water.

                                                                1. re: BeeZee

                                                                  There are those people for whom the rules do not apply.

                                                                  1. re: BeeZee

                                                                    Oh come on, this was a total photo opp. (Rolls eyes)

                                                                    1. re: BeeZee

                                                                      I don't know about the Plaza, but there's a long-standing tradition, I guess, for the winning dog to eat at Sardi's. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/...

                                                                    2. Don't care if they are there as long as they are not being disruptive.

                                                                      1. Wow. I see my first comment about dogs in restaurants has been cut. Guess the hard reality is too tough to face. Such a 1st World luxury to be able to feed your pet more in a week than the average Indonesian family can afford to eat in a month. Personally I find dogs in restaurants far more offensive than lighting up a fine cigar at the end of a nice meal.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Iowaboy3

                                                                          The typical dog on a restaurant patio here doesn't get fed restaurant food by their owners. Some restaurants will provide water bowls for dogs, but other than that, they generally are stuck hoping that the toddler at the next table over drops them a chicken finger or a few carrot bits.

                                                                          1. re: beachmouse

                                                                            I agree with beachmouse. The dogs on the patio of the restaurant I frequent (including mine) are getting their cold water and a nap. Most of them have been jogging along the parks trails by the restaurant and it's nice for the owners to be able to sit down with friends and have a drink while the furry running companions soak up the shade and the ice water.

                                                                        2. I think we talked about this awhile ago on CH. I am of the camp that finds it very annoying. I am a lifelong pet owner, I love pets. They are NOT children. You do not need to bring them with you to go to a restaurant. The whole "treating pets as people" thing really irritates me. I don't want to sit next to your dog. I don't want it's tail banging into my table or to eat it's hair that has wafted through the air, I don't want it coming over to say hi and smelling my crotch, and why can't you just leave it at home. I know pets are "like" family members, but they are not people. There are plenty of fun places to take dogs and dog-centric activities, why do you have to bring your pet to a people restaurant? As someone above pointed out, if it's ok to bring your dog because you are super close and they are SO well behaved, may I also bring my well behaved pet ferret and sit it around my neck like a stole? Or my cat, who can sit and clean herself in your view while you eat? Or my pet birds? I mean, why are dogs ok but not all others? Is it a zoo or a restaurant. Can you not be without your pet for a dang hour?

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                            The sad thing is that (in the US) people are considering their pets as children and there is a demand for "dog friendly" places and products. But I don't mind if a store or restaurant decides to be dog friendly, they have (or should have) the right as a business to do so. And I get people wanting/needing to be able to take their dog on vacation or day trips which leads to them needing a dog friendly restaurant. My college roommate's parents had a diabetic mini poodle that they couldn't leave at home. So when they came to visit, Brandy came with them. But if a restaurant wants to remain a "people restaurant" and not allow pets, dog owners need to be understanding. My problem is the segment of the population who feels that their dog as the right to go wherever and then raise a stink when they are asked to leave. And those who take advantage of it being a "service animal". God knows I could have traveled more, enjoyed lingering dinners, and not have my rental options limited if I have my diabetic cat certified as my "service cat".

                                                                            1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                              Yes, this topic's been visited before, and I remain firmly in your camp. Central to the joy of eating out is trading all the creature comforts (no pun intended) of home for a different set of norms and expectations.

                                                                            2. I have a severe allergy to pet dander and I do not consider it a "disability". If I were dining at any restaurant and another diner brought a dog near me, I would inform the management that if the dog stayed, I would be leaving. Service dog or not. If offered another table, it would have to be far away from fido in another room. Even without the allergy, service dogs only in restaurants please. Dogs are pets. How about a pet python or pet skunk next to you?

                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Enigma3

                                                                                Well, fortunately the pet python (or "service python") can probably be kept out of a restaurant because the risk of salmonella. Unfortunately the python can easily be hidden in a scarf or pocketbook. So as long as it doesn't escape, it can go undetected.

                                                                                1. re: Enigma3

                                                                                  As I asked above - will you have attacks - for what seems to be no reason - if a pet owner who perhaps just groomed their animal is seated next to you?

                                                                                  1. re: thegforceny

                                                                                    Unfortunately, that is a real possibility. It is rare, but it has happened. Going to concerts is more of a problem because people sit so close and some of them carry dog dander on their clothes. My allergy is serious enough that I wouldn't consider buying a used car because the previous owner might have had a dog. I do what I can to protect myself, but I hope that it doesn't become more common for dogs to go to restaurants or fly in the passenger section because that would make my life much harder.

                                                                                    1. re: Helene Goldberg

                                                                                      What happens to you when you breathe in dog, Helene?

                                                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                                                        Not Helene -- but I have a good friend with very severe cat allergies -- he can have an asthma attack (requiring an inhaler) even if the cat isn't there.

                                                                                        Dog and cat allergies are largely NOT psychosomatic -- they are very real, and far more severe than most people think they could possibly be.

                                                                                        1. re: Jay F

                                                                                          I start out with some respiratory problems that turns into itching all over my body by the next day and fatigue and dizziness. If I'm lucky it stops there, but it can also turn into severe bronchial asthma and trigger an autoimmune response of Sjogren's Disease that can last for months. It can be totally debilitating. Each attack can over stimulate my immune system and make the next one worse.

                                                                                          1. re: Helene Goldberg

                                                                                            Oh, that sounds awful. I'm allergic to some cats, but it's not as severe as that--or at least, each attack doesn't last as long. If I'm around a blue point Siamese, for example, I get these itchy welts on my face, but they go away in a few hours. I don't even have to touch the cat.

                                                                                            A friend is allergic to most dogs (he has a Bichon Frise and a half-Bichon/half-Maltese), and he has similar reactions to yours, Helene. Same with perfumes, Glade, dryer sheets, and things like that.

                                                                                  2. I think that is the main point. I too have to avoid homes, hotels, parks and now planes that allow dogs. I am glad that most restaurants don't allow dogs so I don't have to avoid them. People tend to downplay how serious some allergies can be. I have an autoimmune disease that can be triggered by an allergic reaction that is life threatening. I certainly understand that some people require service dogs, I just hope they don't abuse this at the expense of people with other disabilities.

                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Helene Goldberg

                                                                                      and again -- at the time of this writing, allergies are not considered a disability.

                                                                                      I hear what you're saying, and I understand about allergies and have a few of my own. But at this moment, they are not a legally recognized or protected disability.

                                                                                      Until that changes, those of us who have allergies simply have to deal however we have to deal.

                                                                                      (and please heed my advice about not visiting Europe. Dogs are allowed - nay, welcomed - everywhere except grocery stores. And for the record, yes, we take our dog with us -- and yes, we ask permission before he ever sets a paw across the threshold.)

                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                        In England, dogs aren't allowed or welcomed everywhere by any means. We regularly walk our friend's guide dogs (seeing-eye dogs) and mainly frequent dog-friendly pubs which are close to parks. If we go to a restaurant with them, I would always check first that it was acceptable. It helps that they are bona-fide service dogs, with the appropriate tags, and very well-behaved. If our friend is with us, it's not an issue as the dog is allowed in all shops and restaurants by law., but I would still mention it when making a reservation. I wouldn't take them to a fancy restaurant in the evening.

                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                          I wouldn't take a dog to a fancy restaurant anywhere, regardless of how welcome they were. Just my choice.

                                                                                          We don't go into a restaurant without asking if it's okay ahead of time -- simply because of a space issue -- many European restaurants just don't have the space for a medium-to-large breed spreading out for a nap on the floor.

                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                            Russ the retired guide dog (large labrador) has a somewhat embarrassing habit of spreading out in exactly the wrong places! Luckily people usually don't mind having to step over him to get to the loo. The new dog, Acorn, is much more discrete in pubs and will usually settle down under the table.

                                                                                            Interestingly, our friend will often opt not to take his dog with him when going out in the evening to a bar or restaurant if he's with a sighted person who can help him as it's just easier that way.

                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                              yes -- the Labs and their tendency to sprawl was what was on my mind when I wrote that!

                                                                                      2. re: Helene Goldberg

                                                                                        What would be an example of a person with a service animal "abusing this"?

                                                                                        1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                          I was going to say this same thing Lioness . . .

                                                                                          People needing service animals are clearly not abusing this - it is the non-disabled people who are abusing this. And yes, non-disabled people do abuse the service animal designation and protections to be able to take their dog places where they couldn't normally.

                                                                                          1. re: thimes

                                                                                            and as I mentioned above, this puts them into the same category as people who park in handicapped spaces because they have an ingrown toenail. Sorry, lazy-ass, ignorant pigs.

                                                                                            You can only hope that karma reaches its payback point quickly and severely.

                                                                                            (In Europe, handicapped parking spaces are almost always labeled "If you take my parking place, make sure you take my handicap, too". Indeed.)

                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                              I'm right there with you sunshine.

                                                                                      3. At a Michelin *** in Paris last spring where at a two top sat a man and in the other seat, his small dog. Tables are far apart, no one cared and the dog was better behaved than some of the human guests.

                                                                                        1. Unless you have a service dog, when going to a fine-dining restaurant, leave Fido at home or tied to the bumper of your car.

                                                                                          1. nasty

                                                                                            1. I love my Bulldogs, and spend a great deal of time with them. They are well-behaved, and hardly every cause a problem. However, I would never, never think of taking them to any restaurant. When we entertain at home, they are fed early, and spend most of the time in their kennels. It is only well after the "crowd" has thinned out, and maybe the gentlemen are doing cigars and Port, that the Bulldogs will ever interact with any guest.

                                                                                              Now, I do not mind others' dogs in a restaurant, so long as they are well-behaved, and are not bothering me, in any way.

                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                I have an odd situation that has forced me to ask restaurants to allow my pet in while we dine. My husband and I live in a different city from all of our family and friends. We frequently travel to that city to visit said family and friends, but over the last 8 months, my mother has been in serious condition in the hospital. She and my father were our go-to dog sitters when in town and wanting to dine out in restaurants. In fair weather, our 3-lb Chihuahua is fine waiting in the car for us, but if it is very hot or very cold out, it is simply not safe to leave him in the car. In good weather, we can find a patio or even take food to go and eat in a park, but when it's subzero Canadian temps and we have no heated parking lot to keep him warm enough, sometimes we have to beg restaurants to allow him in, either in a carrier or in my arms. He curls up in my lap and doesn't make a peep. He does not beg or get fed from the table. The most that will happen is that he will sit up and two eyes and ears will be visible above the table. He usually just changes position and lays down again.

                                                                                                When refused, we look elsewhere and never hold any grudge against a restaurant just following the rules. We never expect restaurants to say yes, but are very grateful when they do. We don't have our own apartment there, so there is no "home" at which to leave him behind. My parents' home is not familiar enough to him that he could stay alone and be trusted not to whine and howl, feeling abandoned. Even in a crate, he might make noise that would disturb other tenants.

                                                                                                What to do? Kennels are out of the question 20 weekends of the year. We love travelling with our dog and he loves car travel with us. We take him on airplanes and on vacations. I absolutely understand how allergy sufferers feel. I have my own allergies and have to be careful what I ingest. It is not out of a sense of entitlement that I appeal to restaurant owners, but out of desperation. I know some will say that having a dog means having to sacrifice restaurant meals. Just stay in. We certainly do stay in more often when visiting family, but it's not always possible. If my dad has been at the hospital with my mom all day and we arrive in town near dinner time, sometimes the only option is to eat out. We try to choose small, ethnic restaurants that welcome our business and wave us in, even with the dog. These places are often either not very busy and happy to have customers, or are very family-friendly and have kids meandering loose in the restaurant and often making a lot of noise. We aren't fans of unruly kids, but we tolerate them because everyone there is tolerating my purse pooch. I'm not sure if the patrons of those types of restaurants just don't have the same allergies that we do or whether their tolerance levels are on a completely different level, but as seemingly-small minded a point I'm attempting to make, the fact remains that the places that welcome the dog right inside tend to be hole-in-the-wall ethnic places, which suits us fine, as we prefer those types of food experiences.

                                                                                                Make no mistake, though. If anyone ever suggested that they are allergic or had a big problem with the dog being in the restaurant, I'd immediately leave, even if in the middle of eating. My husband would just have my (or our) food wrapped up and bagged to go. We only enter and stay if welcomed to do so.

                                                                                              2. "If I brought a pet rat would it be ok if I put him on the table to take a few nibbles on my bread?"

                                                                                                It would certainly be OK with me. Pet rats are the best!

                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                                  after having had a mouse jump onto my shoulder and run down my arm to take a crust of my bread (in a white-tablecloth restaurant in the Caribbean) -- um, no.

                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                    Well, she must have been hungry:) Although I do love my pet rats (thus my screenname), my post above was a joke - I never bring them anywhere where I think humans might have a bad reaction to them, like a restaurant.

                                                                                                    1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                                      in hindsight, it must have played like a comedy scene in a movie -- I jumped up (you think?) and the maitre d' came rushing over telling me to sit down, and telling those around me that I sat on a pin. (really! and REALLY?)

                                                                                                  2. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                                    Hey, whatever "Little Chef" wants, I will not stand in his way...

                                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                      Ha! my favorite food movie ever.....

                                                                                                      1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                                        As a dog lover and owner of two well-behaved terriers who do accompany us to outdoor restaurants, I'm torn about this issue. Some dogs shed an awful lot, and it's distasteful to find pet hair in one's food; of course, it's also distasteful to find human hair in the food. Some dogs are better behaved than others (which is the responsibility of the owner, rather than the dog). As someone who is allergic to cat dander, I can relate to those who suffer from dog allergies, so that is another issue. I've always thought that most areas, other than parts of Europe and the UK, have ordinances forbidding pets in restaurants for hygienic reasons. Our rescued terriers hate other dogs, so we have to be vigilant when we eat out with them, but we've been fortunate to have just two experiences where we had to take them back to the car. Weather permitting, they don't mind waiting for us outside if they're not permitted to eat with us. I'll be curious to see how this issue plays out in the future.

                                                                                                  3. I have mild asthma - I had my second asthma attack today due to an animal sitting nearby in a restaurant in Maryland. I rushed to finish eating and get out, because I knew the dog was so close that it would probably trigger an attack. For the record, I love dogs and I wish I could be an owner of one, but I can't due to the asthma. It's so sad and seems so unfair that people with asthma and allergies have no rights in this situation.

                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Trish57

                                                                                                      I know this is an old thread that has been reopened...but I am curious. What did you say to your waitperson?

                                                                                                      1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                        This is a restaurant that I visit at least 3 to 4 times weekly and have done so for at least a year. It's very casual and serves coffee, sandwiches, soup, and salads. I asked the employee who seemed to be in charge what the restaurant's policy was on dogs, since there was one in the restaurant. She replied, "they allow service dogs - it's the law" I said to her, so what about those with asthma, what are they to do - her reply was "I have asthma and I have a dog and I'm never bothered by it" That certainly wasn't the reply I expected - since it really didn't apply. Upon leaving - within 1 minute or so, I began to feel the results of the dog brushing against my clothing. I went back in to the restaurant, I was going to search out the employee to let her hear how rapidly the allergy to the animal was setting off the asthma . However, with her initial reply, I felt it would be useless and the stress of confronting the situation would only make me more ill. Frustrating - but it appears as though there was nothing that the employee could have done anyways. If anyone knows any differently - I would love to hear from them. Thanks!

                                                                                                        1. re: Trish57

                                                                                                          yes - if it was a service dog, then the dog is legally allowed to be with his partner.

                                                                                                          (and while I totally sympathise with your allergies/asthma, as we are an allergy household, too -- some empathy for the person who needs a service dog is not uncalled for, either.)

                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                            I definitely feel empathy for anyone who needs a service dog. It's hard to say who is taking advantage of this law though. Especially since they cannot be questioned. Maybe there should be a compromise, a separate area for the service animal or one for those who have asthma and allergies to animals. But, it's as though the asthmatic doesn't matter. If someone has a bad case of asthma, such as my son, exposure to animal dander could be deadly. I have to add, the dog in this case, was very well behaved. The owner of the dog, on the other hand - was not. She was giving the dog water from her glass, the dog was licking the water out of the glass and around the edge of the glass, then she would take her glass and fill it up again. But, the employee at the restaurant had no problem with this. I thought it was just plain gross behavior - there should be some guidelines, at least.

                                                                                                            1. re: Trish57

                                                                                                              Why do you care if the dog was drinking from a glass? I suppose the woman could have asked for a soup bowl, would that have more appealing to you?

                                                                                                              1. re: Trish57

                                                                                                                as was mentioned several times upthread -- asthma and allergies are not recognized as disabilities at this point in time.

                                                                                                                Should the dog's owner let her dog go thirsty (which can lead to health issues) because you're grossed out? I'll agree that it would be better to have a bowl...but you don't know anything about her situation that day.

                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                  I said it was gross because the dog had licked all over the glass and then the owner pressed the glass that the dog had licked against the lever that everyone else uses when getting their drink. Who knows what the dog had been licking before it's tongue was licking the glass and then the glass touched the lever...that should be against health department code and regulations.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Trish57

                                                                                                                    what's in the dog's mouth is no more virulent than what is in peoples' mouths (very different types of bacteria, but no more hazardous to humans) . Several studies have confirmed this.

                                                                                                                    http://scienceline.org/2008/04/ask-ji...
                                                                                                                    http://www.amnh.org/learn-teach/young...

                                                                                                                    The glasses are washed after use.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Trish57

                                                                                                                      Was this at Old Country Buffet (or something similar)? If so, I guess I'm safe. You really should have made your point with more clarity the first time around.

                                                                                                                      With the exception of most service dogs, I don't want to dine with anybody's dog in a restaurant. I suppose it would be ok at a casual, outdoor bar/restaurant, but I would not really appreciate being too close then either.

                                                                                                        2. I don't think dogs (or any animals, for that matter) should be allowed in restaurants, especially fine dining restaurants. I agree with the OP that the situation outlined is ridiculous.

                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                            what about service animals?

                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                              No. No service animals. No any animals. The problems of others shouldn't be my problems, and I disdain any that make their problems mine. Pretty simple. Don't make your issues the issues of others. Animals have no place in restaurants. Fin.

                                                                                                              1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                Karma has a sneaky way of dealing with folks like you. Pray that it doesn't put you in a position to actually need a service animal.

                                                                                                                1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                  MonMauler

                                                                                                                  "No.No service animals.No any animals." as a problem for you, objection of yours

                                                                                                                  Do you have a solution? A satisfactory,reasonable plan B for a blind person?

                                                                                                                  1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                    Interesting that you would end you proclamation with "fin" when dogs in restaurants are quite common in France.

                                                                                                                    1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                      Just as a point in reference, dogs in France are not 'quite common'. On this visit l have been to @ 25 restaurants in rural Pays Basque as well as Paris thus far and have not seen one dog. Only dog in interesting locale was a Pomeranian on a TGV train in a handbag. Granted in outdoor cafes, you may see a dog or two but certainly not prevalent. One of my friends always travels with his Alsatian, but leaves it either in his car or outside on the street when eating in a restaurant.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                                        and I see dogs at nearly every moderate restaurant we visit -- including a very spoilt chihuahua sitting ON the table at a Hippopotamus a few months ago. (that's the one and only time I've ever eaten at Hippo, by the way)

                                                                                                                    2. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                      Wow...you disdain blind people, autistic people, deaf people, any disabled people who, with the assistance of service dogs, can enjoy a restaurant meal from time to time? Now your problem is that you don't like animals, but it is ok for your issue to be the issue of others....just....wow.....

                                                                                                                      1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                        Now you've gone too far. Service animals cannot be excluded, and should not be. Society's rules are not going to be rewritten to suit you.

                                                                                                                        1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                          " The problems of others shouldn't be my problems, and I disdain any that make their problems mine." But you apparently do not live by this "rule" yourself.

                                                                                                                    3. In France, I've seen more dogs than children in restaurants - and in every case, the dog was
                                                                                                                      better behaved than a lot of kids I've seen in US restaurants. I really don't mind the dogs as
                                                                                                                      long as they're unobstrusive but I can see some people might be bothered by it.

                                                                                                                      1. This thread came to mind today. I was walking down Main Street of a suburban town and passed a large gastropub with outdoor seating. The specials blackboard outside the front door read: "Wednesday Special dogs eat free." So apparently not only do they welcome dogs, they feed them as well. (I assume the dogs have to remain outside given local laws--except aid dogs of course.)

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                          One of the best gastropubs in London has crispy pig's ears for dogs! Our friend's dog is in canine heaven when we take him there (especially as there is often a toddler dropping food - despite all his guide dog training he's a terrible hoover!).

                                                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                            your dog MUST be a Lab...they are the original hoovers!

                                                                                                                        2. Unless the dog is a service dog (and thus well behaved and acting the way service dogs do), that restaurant has lost my business if there is a dog in it.

                                                                                                                          1. Since I'm mildly allergic to dogs, I'd prefer to sit away from them if I'm inside a restaurant. On the patio I wouldn't mind, unless as someone posted up thread they are shedding everywhere (GROSS) But it's up to me to ask to be moved if I have a problem. Just like it's up to me to fly airlines that don't allow pets in the cabin and move to a different area of the train when riders come on with their service dogs.

                                                                                                                            1. Dogs in restaurants are acceptable if they're stuffed and mounted.

                                                                                                                              1. doesn't bother me but maybe it should ;:-/
                                                                                                                                it's common in Paris where there were (2 cats even) at our dinner table-I think they smelled my steak but were very well behaved.' and who knew the dogs in France speak French?

                                                                                                                                1. if a dog is quiet and well behaved (as any polite restaurant patron should be - talking a reasonable volume, not slamming plates or glasses about, and reasonable general manners), i see no reason it should not be welcome. if well-behaved canine companionship bothers or otherwise disturbs someone, that person might wish to seek out restaurants with explicit no-pet policies. i suspect the number of persons falsely claiming service dog status is an insignificant number in total (or perhaps others are just more clever than i am? it never occurred to me to lie about it!).

                                                                                                                                  in my area (seattle) more and more establishments from coffee shops to stores to nicer restaurants are becoming increasingly pet-friendly and i happen to think it's very nice, and most dogs are exceptionally well-behaved and inobtrusive. for that matter, my cat used to ride the trains with me all over japan, and was never anything but well-mannered. a quiet mew or two as a kitten was quickly shushed, like any child whimpering would be, and she soon learned to ride politely in silence either in her carrier or on my lap. she was usually quite the attraction on her leash in the stations - i can't imagine how many japanese people have saved photos of her in their cell phones!

                                                                                                                                  1. For the 'no dogs' people -- what do you do if you are invited to dinner at the home of someone who has pets? (allergy sufferers are exempt from answering -- I get it)

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                      I decline the invitation. I'm not going to enjoy a dinner if I have a dog jumping on me and lunging for my food. Why would I go?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: MrsBridges

                                                                                                                                        And what about people that insist on bringing their dog to dinner at your house, or else they won't come? We have three cats so they just can't come unfortunately. But it is an issue.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                          It's not an issue for me. My invitations say "no pets, please." People who won't come without their dogs can stay home.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: MrsBridges

                                                                                                                                          are you really saying that every dog on the planet has been so ill-trained?

                                                                                                                                          Apparently you haven't been around many dogs...and even fewer who've been properly trained.

                                                                                                                                          That's too bad -- for everyone.

                                                                                                                                      2. All the pro-dog posters here seem absolutely confident that the dog owners won't bring dogs that are inclined to misbehave, and also that dog owner whose dog misbehaves will promptly pay the bill and comply with the request to leave. My experiences with dog owners does not allow me to share this confidence. I know far too many dog owners whose conception of "misbehavior" is very different than mine. I've heard dog owners insist that a dog who, without provocation, loudly barks at, charges at, and pins front paws on a person isn't aggressive, but playful. Or a dog who shoves intrudes at the dinner table and shoves his or head at the plates "is just being curious." And they resort to the ever popular blame-the-victim, telling the unfortunate guest whose meal has just been consumed by the dog that she should have been more firm with the dog. (As if I'm responsible for training their dog!) My sympathies are with the diners whose dinner out is ruined, and the manager who has to comp customers who are unlikely to ever return.

                                                                                                                                        13 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: MrsBridges

                                                                                                                                          I could say the same thing about many children.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                                            You must have known some seriously disturbed children if you've experienced many children charging at you, shouting aggressively, baring sharp teeth, and trying to push you against a wall or to a chair. When children behave like that, the authorities get involved. When dogs behave like that, it's "Poochie's just being friendly!"

                                                                                                                                            1. re: MrsBridges

                                                                                                                                              My point was that neither (ill behaved children, ill behaved pets) should be allowed in restaurants. No where in public really.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                                                That doesn't solve the problem of the customer whose dog has wreaked havoc in a restaurant but refuses to leave. And yes, I do think that's a more serious issue than an ill-behaved child. I've been annoyed by children many times, but no child has ever caused me the sort of distress I feel when a dog comes aggressively charging at me.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: MrsBridges

                                                                                                                                                  I am sorry you have a dog phobia.
                                                                                                                                                  As one with neither particular fear (I love both kids and dogs) I have had poor (and great!) experiences with both. Still, I'd have to say that ~my~ personal "worst behavior" incidents have involved a human child (don't even get me started on the parents, LOL).
                                                                                                                                                  I still understand that there are times and places where neither canines nor small humanoids are appropriate. ;) I wish cafes and restaurants would post their policies on BOTH on line and then adhere to those. I know there may be some legal implications and I am mindful of those. Still....it helps to know if a restaurant will be filled with families with kiddos under 10 and/or a patio ripe with canines before one makes plans(and reservations) to eat there.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MrsBridges

                                                                                                                                                    It sounds like you have a severe dog phobia. What you describe as "comes aggressively" and "baring sharp teeth" and "lunging" are probably frightening to you as such, but the average person might not feel as distressed by normal, average human-canine interaction.

                                                                                                                                                    That said, I love dogs but don't particularly miss their presence in restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                                                                      It's my person, my bodily integrity, and I maintain the right to set boundaries for both man and beast. I don't want dogs invading my personal space, I don't want their paws on me, and I don't want them competing for food on my plate. If dog owners are going to dismiss my preference as a wacky neurosis, that just confirms my suspicion that dog owners have no intentions of controlling a dog's behavior.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MrsBridges

                                                                                                                                                        I'm pretty sure that you are logical enough to realize that your assertations that all dogs are vicious, greedy thugs hellbent on causing physical harm cannot possible be the truth. (their existence in human households, including those with children, and the relative rarity of reports of dog attacks, pretty much precludes this.)

                                                                                                                                                        I don't know what trauma you have suffered with dogs, but I'm sorry that it happened to you. Phobias are real and genuine -- hey everybody has one! -- but they don't reflect the reality of the issue or the situation (that's why they're called phobias, and not normal behaviour.)

                                                                                                                                                        .

                                                                                                                                                2. re: MrsBridges

                                                                                                                                                  Since I am not a Doctor, nor do I play one on TV, I cannot diagnose "seriously disturbed children". But I have had an injury to my back from an un-tethered child running across my path while shopping. My choice was to either injury the child by not stopping my cart in time, or accepting the injury to myself. I have had items dropped down my neck and back, by children in the booth behind me, while the parents ignore the behavior. Ear-splitting shrieks are far, as in about a million to one, more likely to be heard in a restaurant than a dog's bark.
                                                                                                                                                  As for "shouting aggressively" (I shall think you mean this as the equivalent to a dog's bark) I do frequently hear that in stores and places where families dine, sometimes even by the children.
                                                                                                                                                  It is clear that you dislike dogs and perhaps have some fear of them. So you see each dog in that light.
                                                                                                                                                  I dislike Intolerance. I dislike when people wish to have basic human rights for themselves, but find reasons, based on their own Intolerance/fear/phobia, to deny them to others. A person with PTSD, serious brain trauma, epilepsy, and other invisible conditions, has every right to dine out and expect reasonable accommodations as you or any other. And it is also the LAW. It is a Federal law, which in part says "The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (P.L. 101-336) is the most comprehensive civil rights legislation adopted to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities."
                                                                                                                                                  Title III - Public Accommodations, specifically states "Public accommodations must not exclude, segregate or treat people with disabilities unequally.".

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                                                    A reasonable accommodation in this context means a properly trained service dog that stays quietly by its person and does not intrude on others. Allowing anyone to bring any dog to a restaurant, and allowing the dog to run free, heedless of other customers' right to enjoy a peaceful meal, is a grossly selfish abuse and distortion of civil rights. I have never seen problem behavior from a genuine service dog. But I worry that allowing everyone the unfettered right to declare a dog a service dog, no questions asked, would lead to abuses. Arguing in favor of this is a huge insult to disabled persons who legitimately have the right to a service dog and who would never use that right as an excuse to inflict obnoxious canine behavior on others.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MrsBridges

                                                                                                                                                      There are, indeed, abuses wherein some people want their "companion animal" to have the status of a service dog. Real service dogs for genuinely disabled persons are well-behaved animals.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MrsBridges

                                                                                                                                                        No one on this thread has suggested it is appropriate or acceptable for dogs to be allowed to run free in a restaurant, or that restaurants and customers should tolerate poorly behaved dogs under any circumstances. Service dogs are not the only well behaved dogs out there. Personally, my "sister dog" could never behave herself in a restaurant, she is very sweet but high energy and excited, so we limit her outings to the dog park. On the other had, my "cousin dog" is perfectly content to lie down under the table and enjoy the sights/sounds/smells of a restaurant patio without disturbing anyone. She gets to enjoy the occasional evening out at restaurants that welcome dogs in their outdoor seating areas.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MrsBridges

                                                                                                                                                          I have never, on two continents, been in a restaurant where dogs are allowed to run free and to interrupt other diners. Even when the dog belongs to the restaurant owner and is allowed to move about without a leash -- it's hardly "running free" -- they walk in; they walk out.

                                                                                                                                                3. It seems like everything there is to be said on this subject has already been said, and now the conversation is just going in circles, and growing increasingly unfriendly. We're going to lock it now.