A Dog Snob Guide to Staying in Hotels with Dogs

13 Jul

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.

Climb out of the trees, kids.


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.

She gets paid thousands of dollars… she can at least pick up my poop.

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.

Sheltie people can’t even be mad. You know they’re guilty.

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.”

Try putting your crate here now, Bitch.

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.

The Dude abides…basic dress code etiquette.

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.

Pretty fly for a Boston.

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.

Assholes must park their shit at least 50 yards away

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.

Poop flavored syrup

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.


Make it $10 and you’ve got a deal.

**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!**

18 Responses to “A Dog Snob Guide to Staying in Hotels with Dogs”

  1. Cyn July 13, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    Dear Dog Snobs,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. As a former Deputy on the Poo Patrol and then Hospitality Chair at the Specialty the very next year, I fall at your feet in gratitude.

    Also, I plain old travel with my dogs. We all like roadtrips, until we can’t find a room because the manager says oh no effin way ever again because a hoard of ill mannered idiot humans bearing dogs left their grounds and hallways knee deep in pee and poo. (fwiw, I never really resigned my Deputyhood, and still chase people around with the spare bags I carry around) (“Did you forget your bag? Yoohoo? Need a bag? Hey you, yes you asshole with the JRT leaving a log and walking away, I just took your picture so please take this bag and clean up after your dog there.)

    Also, may I please rip the don’t be an asshole picture off your blog here? It’s one of the 7 Wonders of the Dog World. And the rest of the world, too.

  2. Amy Crawford July 13, 2013 at 12:34 am #

    Why the hell would you even bring a dog-aggressive dog to a dog show? It would seem pretty obvious to me that you’re going to come in to contact with other dogs. That kind of temperament should be grounds for disqualification.

  3. melissa July 13, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    I had NEVER seen x-pens at a hotel till I went to a cluster. Personally I think x-pens have no business on hotel grounds. It is disgusting to see pens lined with newspapers and 30 toy poodles in them. You are dog show competitors, not a puppy mill!

  4. Vicki Smith July 13, 2013 at 1:10 am #

    “Douche Weasel” ??! I’m stealing that, right now! I’m saving twatwaffle for when my sister has something spicy in her mouth that will shoot up her nose. Revenge sucks.

    I travel for work and I am fortunate to be able to bring my dog – an 8 month old Dobe puppy. I see a variety of hotels from 4 stars to whatever will accept pets that gets me to my location and I can say without hesitation, that whenever I go out, poop bag in hand, I ALWAYS find poop on the grounds. Small dog poop, generally. Maybe the bigger dog people realize that pile isn’t going to hide discretely in the grass.

    One other point about hotels – if your dog is going to sleep with you or jump all over the bed – bring your own sheets or something to cover the bed. Or bring a sticky lint roller which does a great job on dog hair. These days, even Motel 6 has gone to the all-white sheet and comforter look, so I try to make sure my black dog and I can come back

    • Judy July 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

      I’m stealing “twatwaffle” for the next time my husband’s sister blows into town on her double-wide broom.

    • karen October 21, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

      I used to work in an emergency clinic, sometimes a dog(especially any breed with little pencil legs) would come in with a broken leg (I’ll tell you right now it’s not cheap) and what happened to cause this? “Oh he just jumped off the bed or the couch, he’s done it a million times.” Not to mention there are things you can catch from your dog. You should have your dog’s own bed for it or a blanket on the floor if necessary. BTW large dogs are not immune to this, my friend’s dog (dobie/rottie mix) also spent a lot of time on the couch until…let’s just say it was a holiday and a horse vet had to put the dog down, so sad, a leg fractured in two places 😦

  5. dogascopilot July 13, 2013 at 1:55 am #

    I am disabled and I use a service dog to navigate my daily life. My dog helps me with my balance. I was recently staying at a pet friendly hotel for a conference and while traversing the lobby a small fluffy thing came running out of nowhere and startled both me and my dog. Billy took a big step to the side, to move away from the oncoming fur missile, and pulled me right off my feet. Billy then did a good impersonation of Bugs Bunny doing the Bullet Dance, while trying not to get bitten by the little mop-dog.

    The owner of said dog, came over and yelled at ME for not having my dog on a leash and loosing control of him and putting her precious fluffy-kins in danger. Didn’t I know he had a show later that day? Now he would never win and it was all my fault.

    Never mind that HER dog was the one that was off leash and running around the lobby at top speeds, and my dog was in a working harness, and never moved more than three feet away from me, despite the little fluffy piranha. Once she had her dog in her arms, I had Billy help me back to my feet and I lodged a complaint right in front of her with the front desk about off leash dog in the lobby. She sniffed and stormed out.

    I have no love for owners of uncontrolled dogs, especially when they make my dog’s job that much harder.

    • cynontheworld July 13, 2013 at 2:37 am #

      You did report that assault to the manager, didn’t you? Because that sort of behavior violates service dog law in every state.

      • dogascopilot July 13, 2013 at 3:11 am #

        Of course. If I or my dog had been injured I would have reported her to police and had her charged with assault with a deadly piranha-fluff. In the state we were in, she would have been charged too, which is nice.
        In my state that is not the case because the law here only protects the blind.

  6. Julia July 13, 2013 at 2:16 am #

    yeah. At my National specialty last year the TWs in the adjacent motorhome seemed to think is was fine to leave ten ( count ’em, TEN) German shepherds out in 4 x 4 ex pens barking their heads off until 11 :30 at night while they partied it up under the awning drinking wine and sharing tales of daring-do in the conformation ring. Those of us who had to be up at oh dark thirty with our OBEDIENCE dogs were not amused. Hey, I paid for my RV space too, you DOUCHE WEASELS ( I so love that) so if you wouldn’t act that way at home, don’t do it here. They probably do act that way at home, which is why some people hate dogs so much and make it hard for the rest of us.

  7. Julia July 13, 2013 at 2:23 am #

    Oh and then there was the show where owners of some really big Bernese Mountain Dogs decided to wash their hairy beasts and hose then blow dry them off outside the hotel leaving what looked like black Sasquach pelts sticking four feet up the side of the building…and my all time favorite: a gal takes her GSD out to warm up before obedience and it has a giant poo pool right in the in middle of the lawn walkway where everyone has to go back and forth. She starts to walk away and I point out the indiscretion. “Oh, she’s a *RESCUE* so she gets really nervous before we show..” Oh. OK then. I didn’t realize RESCUE crap didn’t stink or stick to your shoes, so , please, carry on.” Actually I told her she better find some sawdust or leaves or SOMETHING to at least cover it up so the rest of us didn’t have to deal with it.

    • dogascopilot July 13, 2013 at 3:08 am #

      Why would someone bring a dog that was so stressed out that she had liquid poo to any sort of event like this? That’s horrible!

      • Pat F. July 13, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

        I had a dog once who messed in the ring – she had never done so before; it was embarrassing. I only had her shown a few times after that; she never enjoyed showing the way her champion mother did; but thankfully she never had another such accident in the ring again. And she never had accidents in the hotel; no dog of mine did. Of course, I always picked up after my dogs outside, on hotel grounds or elsewhere.

    • Rebecca July 13, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

      Lmao! Black Sasquatch pelts !!

  8. Ipleadthefifth July 13, 2013 at 4:46 am #

    dogascopilot, it’s so everyone can admire how wonderful she is for rescuing the poor dog. Not about the dog, that’s for sure, he’d rather be home with his blankie.

  9. Diana July 13, 2013 at 5:03 am #

    Once stayed in a hotel for a cluster where an AKC Agility rep was staying and ran into her in the elevator taking my dogs out for a potty. As we stepped off the elevator, we both saw an owner try to nonchalantly pull her pooping LARGE dog through the lobby like there was nothing large and steamy flying out the dog’s backside. (Seriously, I have seen actual dogs smaller than this poo.) I have never been happier to see a Douche Weasel (Love it!) caught in the act. I didn’t get to see the whole show (dogs had to potty and didn’t want them to get any ideas), but I later heard that it was an obedience competitor who was too special to poop outside or acknowledge that her dog was capable of bodily functions.

  10. Jenn July 13, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    I HATE people who leave their barking dog alone in the room while they go out to dinner. Yes, everyone around you has a dog too. But i was responsible and got take out so I could stay in with my dog like the hotel rules say and your barking dog is drowning out my TV show.

  11. Rosemary February 16, 2016 at 8:19 am #

    My dog sleeps onthe hotel bed with me. My Elkhound friends carry a sheet to put over the bedspread. This reduces the amount of fur left behind and also keeps the dog away from anything left on the covers by previous guests. I have not only learned to do this, but I do it when staying with friends as well. They have been uniformly happily surprised that I do this.

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