Austin Dog Friendly

Welcome to the Original Austin Dog Friendly list where Mouse and I have enjoying dog friendly hangouts since 2002.  Dog socialization is just as important as human socialization.  There are consequences for not socializing your dog.

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Thank You so much to all the Austinites who keep me up-to-date on the latest.  And a big THANKS to all the establishments for being dog-friendly. 


Welcome to the Original Austin Dog Friendly list.  The mission of Keep Austin Dog Friendly is to maintain a healthy relationship between the dog community and local Austin business.  Local business have given us the privilege of bringing our pets with us so that our pets may socialize Please Keep Austin Dog Friendly by following some general guidelines.  By surfing this website, you agree to Keep Austin Dog Friendly.


General Dog Etiquette:

  • Keep your dog on-leash at all times (unless otherwise specified).  I cannot stress this enough.  Keeping your dog on leash will prevent entire hosts of problems, particularly at locations where the parking area is not physically separated from patrons.  These places include South Austin Trailer Park, South Congress area, Sunset Valley Farmer’s Market, and Draught House.  Problems with off-leash dogs (even friendly ones) can result in car accidents, dog fights, orsomeone’s lunch or dinner being eaten.
    Here’s just a few excuses I’ve heard regarding not leashing their dogs:

    • The management allows it. Perhaps the management doesn’t notice or they don’t want to upset customers. Business owners contact me about this issue regularly.  Regardless, it is city ordinance.  Should an incident occur, you were breaking city ordinance. That’s a citation.
    • I’ll watch my dog. That’s what this young woman said right before her daschund ran into a moving car headfirst.  The little dog’s head was crushed.  Even a very large dog is difficult to see in the rear view mirror.  Allowing your dog off leash not only puts your dog at risk for being hit by a vehicle, but it also put the mental pain and guilt of hitting an animal on the driver of the car.  Dog watching skills also decline dramatically after drinking alcohol.  Drunk human and unsupervised dog is just a recipe for disaster.
    • My dog is friendly. My dog has never done that before.  That’s what dog owners say right after a dog fight or aggression incidence. Truth of the matter is that most people cannot read canine body language; a dog may be giving signals that it is unhappy long before it reacts.  Also, dogs are not 100% predictable.  Even the most well-behaved dog can have a bad day.
    • My dog likes other dogs.  Allowing your dog to run up to other dogs is just plain rude, it is not expressing like.  It can be seen as a challenge, and the dog people run up upon may become apprehensive or confused.  It is the same as if I ran up to a stranger’s table at a restaurant, jumped on the table, and started throwing insults. That’s poor dog behavior. While it usually turns into nothing more than sniffing, it can turn into something much worse.
    • Nothing has happened before. Consider yourself lucky then. Prevent car accidents and dog fights from happening. If you love your dog, leash your dog.
  • Keep in mind that it is a privilege to bring our pets to these businesses.  If the businesses cannot accommodate you and your dog because they are busy, please be understanding and gracious.  If you and your pet is asked to leave due to behavioral issues, please do so in a gracious manner.
  • Only bring well-behaved, human and dog friendly pets.  Please seek professional training to address those issues before taking your dog out.  Aggressive dogs have been one reason businesses have changed their policies. Do NOT bring aggressive dogs out in public.  See our supporters page for training recommendations.  Canine Good Citizen Testing is also a good idea for all dogs.
  • Keep your dog under control, always on leash per city ordinance.  Do not allow your dog to go wherever he pleases.  Do not allow your dog to pull you around. If your dog is not under control, please seek training prior to taking your dog out. Do not allow your dog to bark incessantly.  See our supporters page for training recommendations.
  • While you may allow your dog to eat human food, don’t allow your dog to eat other people’s food.
  • Makes sure your dog is reasonably clean.  No one wants to have lunch next to a stinky dog.  Nor does anyone want fleas.
  • Make sure your dogs are up to date on shots.  Carry your rabies certificate in the car.
  • Please only allow your dog to only potty away from the main areas, and please clean up any accidents.
  • Not everyone loves dogs (yes, I know).  Respect those people’s wishes.  Please do not allow your dog to approach people without their permission.
  • Not everyone has common sense or decency.  People will yank on your dog, sit on your dog, feed your dog things they shouldn’t eat, and hurt your dogs in other ways. Don’t be afraid to correct those people’s behavior for the sake of your dog.
  • Do not allow your dog to socialize or play with other dog unless it is safe.  Do not allow your dogs to romp and play when it is crowded. Someone may get side swiped.  Do not allow your dog to approach other dogs without the owner’s permission.

Please follow these guidelines with visiting dog parks.  Support City Code 337 and Bull Creek Clean up.  Keep our parks clean.

Links to dog etiquette blogs:

Items to bring when socializing in public:

  • Poop clean up bags
  • Baby wipes
  • Water and bowl for your dog
  • Rabies Certificate
  • Hand Towel (if you have a drooly one)
  • Treats

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