Thanks to Mara, our July contest winner for the suggestion that we riff on hotel etiquette when traveling for dog shows.
Traveling with your dog can be fun. For those of us that trial with our dogs, hotels are often necessary, and you can always tell which hotel is serving as the host hotel of a dog show. From the giant vans taking up three parking spaces to the ex-pens set up with hordes of dogs on the hotel’s nicely manicured lawns, we’re pretty sure hotel managers dread seeing Dog Shows on the schedule. So, we’ve compiled a list of how to behave with your dog when travelling for those big events.
1. Clean Up Your Shit… literally.
We don’t care if you have one dog or thirty with you… you still have to clean up after your dog. Bag it AND make sure it makes it to a trash can. Piling your bags of poop by the door is gross. Also, just because you have a tiny dog does not mean that you don’t have to take it out. Pee Pads in a hotel room are gross–don’t make the maid deal with that.
2. Barking Dogs
Newsflash, dog show attendees are not the only people staying at hotels. The Johnson family is trying to enjoy a nice family vacation and doesn’t need to be kept up at all hours of the night by your horde of prize Shelties. If you can’t train your dog to stop barking, try investing the show entry fees into training.
3. You are not a Leopard. Stop trying to mark your territory.
Pretty easy, right? There is a limited amount of space. Limited space doesn’t mean “I’ll take all of it so that bitch with the Pomeranians has to prep on the bar.” Nope. As we were all taught in kindergarten, space is for sharing and by spreading out your crap so thin that we can literally park a Great Dane between your crate, you’re making us forget that “No biting/hitting/screaming thing.”
4. Clothes are not optional.
This is not Nevada (And even if it is, put it away hussy). We are not selling ourselves like wares on the street. For the love of god, at least put on a robe if you’re going on a walking jaunt at 6am.
5. On-leash doesn’t mean off-leash because you’re special.
On-leash means, let us break this down for you, On A Leash. It’s not “Oh he’s well trained”; it’s certainly not “Oh he’s too scared he won’t leave my side” and it is decidedly not “Oh I forgot it.” Leash rules are for our dog’s safety as much as yours. My dog may jump yours like rival gang colors just got flashed, but if my dog is on a leash where a leash rule is in place I’m not liable and you’re the douche-weasel who just got their dog injured and possibly mine. Thanks. We hate you.
6. X-pens are not for your dog aggressive English Mastiff.
Does this really need explanation? There is a realistic physical limit to what an open-topped metal cookie sheet ring can contain. Also, if you have a known aggressive dog (We’ve all been there, it sucks), don’t make yourself a pariah and please park yourself appropriately far from the melee that is the show ring crush.
7. It’s a small world, don’t be a twatwaffle.
The number of people who show or trial their dogs is getting smaller all the time. Locally, if we don’t know you, we have a mutual friend and we know all your dirty, dirty behavior. Everyone loves good gossip so your goal should be not to give us any. Like really, we can spread that shit around like John Deere, and hotel etiquette is important to us. If we find out that you’re the reason why we now have to stay an hour away from the showgrounds at a more expensive hotel, expect a Dog Snobs feature complete with a poll to suggest nicknames. Pro-tip, they will all involve poop.
8. Lobby behavior
When you’re in the lobby with your dog… make it behave or you need to leave. While waiting for Fang in the lobby at Eukanuba, Potnoodle observed three different dogs peeing on various parts of the lobby and one particularly nasty Cocker Spaniel lunge at everyone in the lobby, nearly connecting with a bell hop. A swift kick up the behind of the owner/handler would not have been out-of-line, but alas there would have been no hose to rinse off the flip-flops.
**Did we miss any cardinal rules of staying at hotels during dog events? Do you have a story of a particularly egregious incident? We want to hear, so share below!**