Reader letter: Pubs should be for people, not dogs

PUBLISHED: 15:03 01 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:17 02 December 2019

The Acle Bridge Inn at Acle has been named among the most dog friendly in the East of England in a poll decided by a public vote Picture: Acle Bridge Inn

The Acle Bridge Inn at Acle has been named among the most dog friendly in the East of England in a poll decided by a public vote Picture: Acle Bridge Inn


Is there a place for dogs in pubs? One of our readers doesn’t seem to think so.

With reference to the article "Pubs for pups", and at the risk of making myself unpopular, might I ask why dogs have to be taken into a pub in the first place?

As a dog lover, and dog owner for four decades of my life, I never found the need to take mine into a pub, or any other eating establishment.

Indeed, I would have considered it improper to do so, and to be inconsiderate of other people and presumably most of the population were of the same opinion as dogs were banned from virtually anywhere that food was being served.

It really puzzles me that if our four-legged friends were able to amuse themselves while their owners enjoyed a meal or a pint in those days, why oh why can't they do so now? They are not children (who incidentally were not allowed in pubs either), although they are treated like them.

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Why can't they be left at home or in the car for an hour or so?

I appreciate that most owners are responsible people and will ensure that their pets lie quietly and discreetly under the chair, but why do dogs even need to be there? Certainly not every diner will love them. There is nothing worse than trying to eat a meal while somewhere close by a pet is scratching, yapping at some perceived canine threat that has trotted in, or worst of all, licking its nether regions.

To survive these days, pubs need to encourage trade in any way they can, and often it is the "Baby Boomers" who are supplying it. They are the ones who are healthy and active in retirement; whose children have been replaced by dogs and who in many cases have plenty of disposable income.

In today's climate it would be mad for a landlord to ban dogs altogether, and like any other business the pub trade must adapt to the times.

Historically there has been a two-tier system where people were segregated for whatever reason — a "posh" saloon room for the well-to-do, and a more basic bar for everyone else. In more recent times we've had smoking and non-smoking bars.

Maybe the time has now come to have a "dog friendly bar" separated from a "people friendly bar". Or, even better for myself and many others, would be a "people only" pub!

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