THE BLOG

Is the Dog Ban in Public Venues Helpful?

17/06/2014 16:34 BST | Updated 17/08/2014 10:59 BST

So I have been given notice on the venue I use at the moment for my puppy classes in Dalston. Their reasoning is that they can get someone else in who can pay more money than I can. Which I understand, they are running a business as am I.

However I've now spent some time searching for new venues, the overall consensus is 'sorry we don't allow dogs in this space' or 'its a community space so dogs aren't allowed'. What I find the most strange about this whole situation is two fold. One is that surely dogs are part of the community as are their owners and the second is that without a venue how exactly do you expect puppies and dogs to be educated to help them be upstanding members of this so called community?

You see in order for dogs to be taught and for owners to understand what is required of them to be a responsible, law abiding owner, it takes time and it takes space. Using an outdoor space is not practical all of the year with English weather, consideration for other park users and the lack of privacy.

What I also find incredibly frustrating are the likes of the local Council (Hackney in this situation), who like to discuss how much they are doing to combat irresponsible behaviour, dog fouling and education. Yet when I spent a few months applying to use their spaces I got turned down as children would be using the space too, bearing in mind it was a concrete fenced in pen which could be hosed and cleaned down after. What is even stranger is that dogs and humans manage to co-exist on pavements and parks and streets yet the possibility of me using a space which others use is deemed unacceptable.

It seems to be one of the perils of running a business in a city, if we were in the country I'm pretty certain I could make use of a church hall, a rugby club or a horse riding centre. My issue is that if we want our dogs to be properly socialised in the right way, for owners and dogs to be taught, to receive advice and learn then I need to be able to provide a safe and productive space to do this.

Banning us dog owners from any indoor spaces is actually detrimental in the long run, you can't learn without being taught.