The etiquette of tying your dog up outside
February 27, 2017 7:06 AM   Subscribe

I live less than a mile from where I run most of my errands and I would like to start walking to these places instead of driving. I always bring my pup with me for the ride. I'd love to bring my little guy with me to the bank, grocery store etc and leash him outside at these places but I never see it done, so I have some questions.

1. He has a rabies tag but his ID tag fell off. I could make another tag that says "my owner is inside here is her cell #", would that be a good idea?
2. He wouldn't be outside for more than ten minutes, fifteen tops at the grocery store.
3. He is a 90 lb Rhodesian ridgeback and he still has his testicles. I have no worry that he will be aggressive to another dog as he goes to the dog park almost every day and has been leashed up outside at our camp with other dogs around. Never been aggressive even though he is a hump magnet for other dogs. He's 4 years old.
4. It's winter here but not super cold, 30-40 degrees. Maybe if I put a sweater on him people would worry less?

I may be way beanplating this in which case please tell me.
posted by pintapicasso to Pets & Animals (47 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have seen people do this. Personally I would be worried about my dog's safety but would fell better if I could see the dog from inside the store. If he is well behaved I would bring into the stores with me, although the grocery may frown upon you doing so. We had a Ridgeback when I was a young, they are great dogs.
posted by tman99 at 7:12 AM on February 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

Regardless of what you decide to do, the first thing that you should do is replace that ID tag!

I'm really not a fan of people who tie their dogs outside a business while they're inside.

Besides the fact that you have no way of knowing how your dog will react to strange people and/or dogs while you're not there, a still "intact" pure breed might be too much to resist for a criminal who could make a fast buck selling your baby to some dog fighting ring, or other criminal enterprise. Why would you want to take the chance?!
posted by Hanuman1960 at 7:12 AM on February 27, 2017 [22 favorites]

I've had two dogs I've tried running errands with. One was a fairly anxious one that would bark and lunge toward the door I'd gone through until I came back outside, and I always felt a bit guilty leaving her outside for errands, since kindhearted strangers would feel obligated to stop and try to calm her down with pats and scratches until I came back out. So we didn't go much. My dog now is much more chill, and we tie her up outside all the time, often with other dogs tied up in the same vicinity and plenty of dog-walking traffic back and forth on the sidewalk, and when I come out she's sitting patiently waiting for me not bothering people or other dogs. So I feel a lot better about doing this with her.

I'd say to judge your dog accordingly. Try it once or twice and see how your dog reacts. If he's patient and hangs out nicely for you, keep it up! If he's barking or whining or lunging or otherwise making it hard for people to enter the same business or walk back and forth on the sidewalk, I'd skip it.

I don't see a need to make a "my owner is inside" sign, but I would get a new ID tag made with your phone number, simply because that's just a good idea in case he somehow gets off his leash when you're inside and runs off. (Not that he will, but you never know). I also once, with my current dog, got a call from someone while I was in the grocery store because my dog had decided she wanted to try out the elevator she was tied up next to and kept getting her head caught (gently) in the doors trying to follow people in. (She is cute but not the smartest)

Regarding temperature, it's up to you and your dog. Sitting still on cold concrete for 15 mins can be chilly for a dog who otherwise seems fine in cold weather when he's moving around. Try it once for a shorter period of time, see if he's shivering or uncomfortable, and adjust accordingly if you need to! I also usually try to get my dog in direct sunlight to hang out when it's cold (or in the shade on hot summer days) when I tie her up to mitigate this.
posted by olinerd at 7:13 AM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I guess I should caveat my above answer and say I've lived in very dog-friendly and dog-populous neighborhoods in Boston, Sydney, and San Francisco, and it has literally never occurred to me that someone would steal my dog.

(Is your dog microchipped? Might be a good safety in addition to the updated ID tag)
posted by olinerd at 7:15 AM on February 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

You've got a few concerns here

- Whatever the local rules are about this sort of thing. There is probably an animal control officer in the town and I'd run it by them. Get a new ID at the bare minimum.
- Whatever is safe for your dog, think about if your dog has a place to put his butt down and what the weather is like.
- Etiquette. For better or worse, some people are very afraid of dogs and larger intact dogs can be offputting even though you know your dog is lovely. So making sure you tie him where he's not going to be blocking someone's access to wherever you are if they don't want to walk near him.

And generally it's great that your dog is non-aggressive but it's worth understanding you are betting his life on this. Having a dog on a leash in your yard is a little different than having him leashed where other (leashed or unleashed) dogs may walk by or random people. So do a few test runs maybe to try it for five minutes before you have a 15-ish minute trip to the grocery store and see how he does.
posted by jessamyn at 7:17 AM on February 27, 2017 [12 favorites]

Personally, I think it is fine to leave a dog outside while grabbing a coffee and keeping an eye on him through the front window, but I would never do so somewhere like a grocery store where you can't see how the dog is doing and where shopping can take a while.

I have also seen neutered dogs get oddly aggressive towards dogs who still have their nuts (jealousy maybe?) so even if your dog is never aggressive, I'd be worried about someone else's dog, who might be off-leash, starting a fight.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:18 AM on February 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

Even if your dog is always well-behaved, I worry about other dogs encountering him without you, whether they are leashed or not, and being aggressive unprovoked because he is intact and/or because he is tied up.
posted by juliplease at 7:24 AM on February 27, 2017 [7 favorites]

I asked my vet a similar question, and she said this is basically never a good idea. You have no control over what people or other dogs are going to encounter your dog, and what they're going to do once they do.
posted by Ragged Richard at 7:32 AM on February 27, 2017 [23 favorites]

People in my city do this all the time. I've never heard of an issue, or heard of anyone feeling uncomfortable about it. It means dogs get to run errands and spend more time outside, and that's always a good thing. Obviously no one does this with dogs that have behavioral problems of any kind. When I walk by a dog tied outside, I have complete faith that the owner has a brain and has judged the situation thoroughly, and the animal is not going to chomp me as I walk by. Like anything, there are risks, but this is firmly in the 'go for it!' category in my mind.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 7:34 AM on February 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

Given that this is not the culture where you live, I would proceed with utmost caution. My concerns would be so much more about other people's reactions than my dog's safety and behavior, because in my experience, people who are not dog people are not likely to respond well to this, especially when it's a big dog. A 15-minute trip through the grocery store is something you work up to, not the starting point.

- Get a new ID tag ASAP.
- Start by tying him up outside places where you can clearly see him the entire time.
- Don't actually do any errands, just stand and observe how he does. Does he pace, whine, look anxious, get his leash tangled, try to walk at the door, or does he just lie down and chill? How do other shoppers regard him?

Then proceed based on this information. Good luck, I hope it works out!
posted by anderjen at 7:35 AM on February 27, 2017

Your dog is adorable! I can understand why you'd want to take him along with you while you're running errands. As a fellow dog person, however, my vote is strongly against doing this, for many of the reasons already mentioned. You are risking your dog's life doing this - he could be stolen, he could act in ways he doesn't around you, he could be attacked by another dog (or person), etc.

Our dog's trainer, whose experience and knowledge I trust very much, is strongly against tying up even the calmest and best-behaved dog (she's written articles on it; I'll see if I can find one when I have more time). I know people do it all the time, but I truly don't think that makes it a good idea.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:37 AM on February 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

I would never do this. I used to but now I don't. My best friend (who is a vet!) tied her bitch up outside her grocery store and someone untied and walked off with her. She was only saved because the security guard saw this and grabbed the dog back.

All dogs are at risk but an intact male even more so. The edge case scenario where you spend the rest of your life wondering if your missing friend was used for dog fighting, as bait, or doomed to a puppy mill is absolutely not worth it.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:37 AM on February 27, 2017 [16 favorites]

This is something I've thought about doing a lot but have never done. And it's never because I have any concerns that my dog would get up to trouble (though he'd probably carry on with ridiculous, overdramatic pining) but because I'd be scared for my dog's safety for all of the reasons that have already been listed above.

It's not uncommon here in Chicago for people to leave their dogs tied at the door of shops, but it's just not something I think I'd ever be comfortable doing.
posted by phunniemee at 7:38 AM on February 27, 2017

It's real simple: never ask strangers to trust your dog. They don't know you, the don't know him. It's rude.
Tying a dog outside a market can be done in a non-rude way, but you have to be extra careful. No person walking on a public say should have to come within 5 feet of where the dog's rope ends.

This means it is impossible to politely tie up a large dog on a small sidewalk. It might be fine for you and your dog and most people, but it would make certain people and dogs have to cross the street.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:40 AM on February 27, 2017 [8 favorites]

So much about this makes me say, no... From the theft issues already raised, to the risk that you may innocently and unknowingly present to dog-averse people who now have to to walk past your (sweet) dog, and maybe get triggered or otherwise have a negative experience... kids who are afraid of dogs... there are so many unknowns. It just seems fraught with risk.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 7:42 AM on February 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

Thank you everyone. I called my ACO and she told me that there are no laws against this but he should get an ID tag, she also said there was no history of dogfighting rings in my area.

I am going to start with going to return a book at the library where I can watch him out the window for less than two minutes. I don't think the grocery store would be a good idea because I can't see him from inside the store. I go to the library a few times a week so I am happy that sparky will be included in at least one errand if all goes well today.

The more I think about it the more I do not want to leave him unattended without my eyes on him in a public place. It would be terrible if someone were to steal him. Thank you to everyone who responded. Sometimes I use Askme to gauge if my initial perception of a situation is reasonable and in this case your answers really helped guide me.
posted by pintapicasso at 7:46 AM on February 27, 2017 [10 favorites]

It's not uncommon here in Chicago for people to leave their dogs tied at the door of shops, but it's just not something I think I'd ever be comfortable doing.

My local Trader Joe's in Lakeview got rid of their dog station because people were abandoning their dogs for hours while using the Next Space internet cafe next door. Last summer animal control was called for two dogs left outside of the starbucks down the street for hours.

So you have both the risk of bad actors and good Samaritans.

People still do it but people do all kinds of dumb things.
posted by srboisvert at 7:58 AM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would not, for all the reasons previously stated, but since you are going to I really think that you should get him microchipped. At the very least, his tags shouldn't be attached to the same collar or harness that his leash fastens to, since if he pulls a Houdini you don't want him to leave his tags behind.
posted by Kriesa at 8:00 AM on February 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

This doesn't seem to be the popular opinion, but in every city I've lived in (mostly Canada, though so...) the default is dogs are tied up outside, it's not a big deal (provided your dog is ok with it, obviously a very anxious dog who raises a ruckus is an exception).

For most dogs, training them to be quietly waiting is not hard to do. I do, however, make a point of making sure that my dog is tied up such that there is a lot of space between where passers-by are going to be walking, and where she's sitting or lying down. I avoid narrow sidewalks and so on. I also don't leave for too long. Quick grocery run (15 minutes max.) is as much as I'll do, but mostly because it doesn't seem very fun for the dog.

While dog thefts do happen, I'm going to guess it's like a lot of these things in that the actual risk / incidence is one or two orders of magnitude less than you think. In my case, of course, not having a pure breed is probably helpful

I also question people who are worried about a dog sitting for 10 - 15 minutes at 30 degrees F. Umm... that's not actually cold for most dogs (again, a thin coat dog like a Rhodesian could be an exception). Below 0F (-17C) is where I start making sure that there is shelter from wind and keeping my errrands short, but that's even a generous margin, as temperatures here are regularly below -5F (-20C), not including wind chill. Dogs are tougher than you and I.
posted by bumpkin at 8:00 AM on February 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think you got a good perspective and trial plan. Just wanted to clarify: I think ~2 minutes is a whole different ballgame than 15 minutes (or hours), and keeping line of sight intact dramatically changes my opinion of the etiquette for the positive.
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:19 AM on February 27, 2017

What a beautiful dog!

I've owned two Rhodesian Ridgebacks before (purebred neutered males), and one of them would have been ok with this, but the other would have hated it if I did this to him. The one guy was a sweetheart and would have just sat there dutifully waiting. But the other basically considered himself a person; he would have been insulted by the gesture and would have stood there barking at me through the glass the whole time wanting to be brought inside, too.

I never did this with either of them. They were ok with being left in the car to wait for me while I made short errand runs, though.

I like a lot of the answers/cautions above, and if you end up trying it out, I like the idea of testing the waters with a quick run into a store where you'll be able to see each other through the window. (My Ridgebacks handled the cold great, so I wouldn't worry about that except for what other people might think.)
posted by cyclopticgaze at 8:19 AM on February 27, 2017

Don't do it. There are plenty of horror stories about this. Dogs get stolen and turned into bait dogs, used in breeding mills, or sold for profit to someone else. What if your dog chewed through its leach and ran off into traffic? What if a child wandered up to your tethered dog and was injured? (Tethered dogs in unfamiliar settings could be frightened and potentially bite when stressed.) Why would you leave a beloved member of your family tied up in public (in the cold) where harm could come to them? I understand the guilt of leaving a dog at home while you run errands, but would you have more guilt if your dog were harmed or stolen? Once you leave your dog's side, you have no control over the situation. Just don't do it.
posted by ATX Peanut at 8:22 AM on February 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

I did this 30 years ago with a Lab/Brittany Spaniel mix (Hannah) who would sit and stay for 15-20 minutes (didn't need to tie her), but I doubt I would do so today. Hannah was a med-large dog and even though she was exceptionally chill, some people are afraid of dogs and should not have to deal with my pet in their space when they're out doing errands.
posted by she's not there at 8:26 AM on February 27, 2017

I only do it if I can keep my eye on her and am less than 40 feet away. Places have become more dog friendly, so it is possible that you can take him in to lots of places. Because he's a Rhodesian and not neutered, he may be a valuable target for some tool, so that would weigh against leaving him, for me.
posted by Vaike at 8:38 AM on February 27, 2017

Here in Portland, Oregon, we have dog parking outside grocery stores and it gets frequent use. The most I would worry about would be the dog getting fed lots of treats.
posted by aniola at 8:42 AM on February 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think it's great that you are being so careful, checking in with other dog owners and calling your city before doing this. I would not recommend leaving him tied outside for a variety of reasons people have already stated above, but I'll add one more. Your intact fella may be chill around other dogs, but that doesn't mean other dogs will be chill around him. In our local park, there is a beautiful Golden Retriever the owner has left intact for breeding purposes. He's an incredibly sweet-natured dog who has never shown aggression; in fact, he's a therapy dog for children and the elderly. However, three times now he has been attacked by other male dogs while walking in the park. Though he is not aggressive, his smell is terribly agitating to other dogs, and they react violently to him. It would be awful if your pup were attacked at all, but being attacked while tied up and unable to run away or defend himself would be even worse.
posted by lieber hair at 8:54 AM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've done this at work when I just need to run in and move some science experiments around real quick on a weekend. I don't have a direct view on the dogs from my workspace and I was a little nervous about someone walking off with them (they're good dogs, poster!) or calling to "help" them, so I flipped a notebook open and wrote "our owner will be back in 5 minutes!" and set it on the ground just out of dog reach in front of them. Also echoing the comments above about making sure your dog has a place that is out of the way to be. My one dog loooooooves people and if given the chance will plonk himself directly in front of doorways so that you must scritch him. Not everyone wants that, despite his best efforts to convince them otherwise.
posted by deludingmyself at 9:02 AM on February 27, 2017

One other reason to be careful tying your dog up: some sweet, loving dogs turn absolutely ferocious when they see/hear a power wheelchair. (I think it might be the sound the engine makes?)

The number of dogs I have seen do a transformation from utterly adorable to terrifying in 5 seconds flat when they see a wheelchair...

and when a barking, lunging, snapping dog is blocking the footpath for a wheelchair user

it's incredibly frustrating

and it can cause massive detours

having to go out onto dangerous busy roads to get around the dog.
posted by Sockpuppets 'R' Us at 9:04 AM on February 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

Chiming in with an I'm-sometimes-afraid-of-dogs opinion:
--tying him up outside the library where you can see him is a good idea to see how it goes. If he's at all anxious, he'll draw more attention to himself.
--nth-ing making sure he's tied up such that he can't block the entrance
--it would be good to leave him tied up somewhere that you can see him but he can't see you and just watch what he does for a while. If I had a nickel for every dog owner that says "oh he's really friendly!" but has no effing clue that it's not true because they've never seen their dogs behavior when they're not around...
--definitely needs an ID tag
--one other thing to consider: how does he behave on a leash when other dogs on a leash come by? What would he do in scenarios where you're not there?

Side note: please, don't bring your dog into stores and stuff. Especially grocery stores. (You might find there are are particular rules around dogs in restaurants and grocery stores.)
posted by purple_bird at 9:41 AM on February 27, 2017

In my experience, one slightly counterintuitive thing that might help reduce stress for your dog and for other shoppers would be to tie your pup up off to the side instead of directly by an entrance. Obviously within sight is preferred, but off to the side gives folks more of a chance to avoid the dog, and it means that the dog doesn't have to interact with EVERY SINGLE HUMAN who goes in and out.
posted by redsparkler at 10:29 AM on February 27, 2017

i've seen kids, wholly unprovoked, kick a dog that was left tied up outside a store. i would never leave a dog tied up somewhere in public where i couldn't immediately murder someone who tried to harm them.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:32 AM on February 27, 2017 [8 favorites]

Please don't do it. I have a kid with a serious dog phobia, and it is just awful for us when someone has tied up their dog so we can't give it a wide berth at an entrance to someplace we need to go. I had a hell of a scene one time when someone left their dog (face-level to my child) right outside a public restroom we really needed. And that's on top of the risk to your dog. It's your dog, not some community mascot. Keep it under your control.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:56 AM on February 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

There may be a third option here: Many places of business welcome well-mannered and leashed dogs inside. I've taken my pup into banks, bookstores, galleries, and so forth. Health laws (at least everywhere in the US I've lived) prohibit their entry into establishments with food - hence restaurants and groceries are off-limits - but I've been surprised at how many of the places I visit regularly are dog-friendly.
posted by DrGail at 11:32 AM on February 27, 2017

Just because the already-busy and probably not-all-that-well-paid retail employees of a business haven't stopped what they're doing to tell you to get your dog out of the store, doesn't mean it's ok to bring your dog inside wherever you go. It only means that nobody has taken it upon themselves to point out how rude you are being by violating the obvious social norm of not bringing your dog into places of business.
posted by fingersandtoes at 11:45 AM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

1+ to the idea that this is an enormous and potentially dangerous problem for people who use wheelchairs.

Plus maybe twice in my entire life have I ever seen a dog who's seemed genuinely unfazed by being tied up alone outside a store. Most of them are a hot mess--they shake and whine and lick their lips or stare unblinking at the doorway where they last saw their owner and look actively bereft and it's just heartbreaking.

If you can't see your dog from where you are, and no one you know is watching your dog for you to tell you how he is, you just can't be sure he's OK. Don't risk being mean to your dog accidentally.
posted by jesourie at 11:46 AM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Grocery or anyplace with food - don't bring him in. And I wouldn't leave him for more than 20 - 30 minutes anywhere. Many banks are dog friendly.

Look for a place to tie him that so that people who are not comfortable with dogs can easily use the sidewalk, entrances, etc., without detours.

Make sure he is securely restrained. I've seen plenty of calm dogs waiting for their owner. OTOH, my son was attacked*, at age 6, by a dog who'd been left in a vehicle, and the windows open enough for the dog to leap put and attack my son. All dogs are at risk for this; be cautious. Use a muzzle if in any doubt.

Many Walmarts have machines that make a tag on the spot. All it needs is your name and phone number(s). I used to have an escape artists - the tag got a workout.

He was fine, and loves dogs, but the owners were really irresponsible.
posted by theora55 at 12:32 PM on February 27, 2017

I take my dog on every errand I can, and I heartily suggest that when it comes to places like the bank, you just try to take your dog in with you. Just poke your head in and ask if it's okay first (which is easy at a bank where there's probably a security guard in front) or be prepared to leave immediately and politely if they say no.

I've been shocked how dog-friendly most non-food (and, ahem, some food) businesses are. I take my medium-sized guy (with permission!) into clothing stores, electronic stores, hardware stores, liquor stores, furniture stores, my therapy appointments, restaurants with patios, etc...I find that pretty much every store that doesn't have a "no dogs" sign on the window is happy to have him come in. Local stores and higher-end stores especially, but even some chains are accommodating on a case-by-case basis (my local TJMaxx is consistently happy to have him, for instance). I never hide him, I always try to check up-front, and I'm always happy to leave if asked...but I literally don't think I've ever been asked.

Obviously I'm careful that his behavior is not disruptive and we leave immediately if it's looking like he might have an issue (he's a fearful dog, so it's always a concern). Regular dense-area-walking rules like keeping him focused on me and far from others' space go double in stores. We also work on store-specific behavioral training since it's such a big part of our routine. Bringing him is a great thing for our lives - with his separation anxiety and the fact that I walk almost everywhere I go, it makes my errands easier and his walks more interesting.
posted by R a c h e l at 12:34 PM on February 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

Also, I'll push back on what fingersandtoes has to say - just because there aren't typically dogs in some stores, doesn't mean that the stores are against it. If it's not a place I already know to be dog-friendly (because of experience, "dogs welcome" signs, or dog-friendly corporate policy, e.g. Nordstrom), I always ask someone in the store - ideally the greeter or security guard at the entrance, but if there isn't one, an employee inside - and I most often hear something along the lines of "we LOVE dogs! does he want treats?" Maybe it's my area's culture, I don't know.
posted by R a c h e l at 12:44 PM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

As someone with a dog phobia (although it's lessened over the years), I still get nervous when I see unaccompanied dogs, even if they're tied up. Personally I hate that people insist on bringing their dogs into businesses with so much frequency, especially places that serve food.

Even if the store employees don't care, there probably will be some patrons who do.

As a kid, I probably wouldn't have gone into a store if I saw a dog out front, mostly because the owner isn't around to control the dog if something were to happen. Just understand that this can be an inconvenience for people for different reasons, but there's also a stigma against people who are scared of dogs so you're probably not going to hear about it.
posted by girlmightlive at 12:53 PM on February 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

From the perspective of someone who isn't a dog owner and has no particular phobia of dogs, I really hate it when someone leaves a dog unaccompanied outside but tied up. It makes me think whoever's doing it is an irresponsible pet owner, as they pretty much have no control over what the dog does or what happens to the dog in their absence. I have no way of knowing if they owner popped in for 2 minutes or 2 hours, and if there was trouble with the dog, I'd be more likely to call 911 instead of attempting to get near enough to read the tag.

Now, not everyone is like this, but I guarantee you, there are other people with this mindset out there, and if you value your dog, maybe don't do this.
posted by Aleyn at 1:38 PM on February 27, 2017

I used to do this with my dog all the time. I don't see what the problem is.
posted by trbrts at 1:49 PM on February 27, 2017

I wouldn't do this for a few reasons. 1) My area is known for people stealing dogs (sometimes jumping fences into backyards) to use them for dogfights, or to sell them if you have a designer dog worth decent money. In a place where people steal baby prams (really!) I'm pretty sure my dog wouldn't last long tied outside a store. And 2) my neighbour actually did this with her fox terrier cross. When she came back, her dog was being persecuted by a boy with a stick. As a result, the dog now hates children, especially boys and has tried to attack my own kid out of fear aggression. It's just not worth it.
posted by Jubey at 1:55 PM on February 27, 2017

I had a friend do this, tied her dog up for literally less than two minutes when she went into a bank and someone took her dog and turned him over to a dog rescue without even going inside to look for the owner, because they thought it was the equivalent of leaving a baby in a car (the rescue called the owner and she got the dog back). There are a lot of overreactive animal activists out there, so be wary that someone might try to 'rescue' your dog.
posted by greta simone at 3:02 PM on February 27, 2017

The stigma against people who are afraid of dogs means you are never going to hear about the fear and discomfort that your dog is causing people.

Seriously: to me, all you people bringing your dogs into the bank and the farmer's market and the store and the plane are putting the burden on me of publicly declaring my fear and acting put upon if I do. The cashier doesn't speak for me. And I'm not the problem - I didn't come into your house or your dog park and demand you remove your dog - you are the one bringing your dog where it doesn't belong, and considering yourself entitled to make it Dog Space just because nobody was confrontational enough, and eager to take on the work enough, to come to you and ask you to adhere to a basic social norm.

Don't pretend that "I never heard a complaint" means that you don't know that people in the world are afraid of dogs and would rather not have them inside. Just say "I don't care."
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:02 PM on February 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

Please don't take your dog into a grocery store or restaurant. I used to live in a neighborhood where there were always dogs in the Safeway and it drove me nuts. When I called the health department to complain they told me that store employees can only ask if it's a service dog and what type of service it provides. They technically can't ask the person to leave their dog outside. I'll admit I'm not really a pet person, but I appreciate health regulations regarding animals near my food.

(To me that kind of disregard of the rules smacks of entitlement, but that's a pet peeve of mine.)
posted by bendy at 6:10 PM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

There was a post here on the green a long time ago about a dog that had shown aggression in the owner's apartment hallway. None of which applies to you, but one of the answers there stuck with me. You are responsible for your dog's safety, they have no one else to look after their well being except you. That should be your main concern, keeping your dog safe. If you can do that while leaving him tied up outside, then go right ahead. But I don't think you really can. I would never do it, because I don't think it would be safe for my dog.
posted by raisingsand at 7:23 PM on February 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

I do this in my neighborhood, but only at places where I am literally in and out (less than ten minutes). I tie her away from the door so that no one has to come by her for any reason. (Though at one grocery store, I tie her to the mostly unused bike rack, leaving room for any bikers.) She sits and waits without fail, and she isn't a barker. I have to say that not a lot of people do this in my town--because there just aren't a lot of walkers, but I've never had any issues.
posted by RedEmma at 8:57 AM on February 28, 2017

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