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Doggydoos And Don’ts

Here’s a question for the Ehell readers and administrator: What does a hair stylist do when a client brings in their pet AND expects you to allow that pet (usually a dog) inside? I’m a stylist in Southern California, and a lot of people bring their dogs with them on a leash, in their arms, in a purse or a stroller (you read that correctly.) I have had clients accuse me of not liking pets (not true, I adore animals, just not in my salon) or suggest I was cruel for asking them to keep their dog outside, or come back when the animal is at home.

I understand that there are salons meant for dogs… But they are held at a different level of sanitation and do not work on humans. In a “human” salon, we have lots of chemicals (that may have dripped on the floor) that can kill your pet, and frequently serve beverages/snacks to clients. It is also a place to come to relax, and you can’t do that if you are allergic or afraid. For some reason, clients think that it’s okay to bring their dog in as long as it is small, even though the coffee shop and restaurant we are next to would never dream of that. What’s worse is some stylists ignore the sanitation factor and LET THE DOG IN because if they didn’t they wouldn’t have made money from the client. Really? What if you dropped a hot curling iron on that dog in the person’s lap? We certainly don’t drape the dog to be protected from that. Since when is this okay? I’m the youngest one here and I think it is absolutely rude to other customers and me, because I will not allow this in my own chair. What can I say to clients or co-irkers who want to break this rule? Something nice sounding, as I don’t want to offend my customers. 0529-14

Readers?   I’m sure someone is far more witty than I am this morning.   But OP, do realize that no one matter you phrase it, there will be people who will still be deeply offended that their furbaby cannot accompany them to the salon.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • JO July 10, 2014, 7:32 pm

    So many managers, employees, or owners are so afraid of offending the dog owner and losing their business. Apparently, they don’t realize that by bending the rules, they risk offending all the other patrons of the business. So really, this is a “pick which side you want to offend” situation. A business CAN be dog friendly. Or not. But it can’t be both.

  • Marozia July 10, 2014, 8:08 pm

    I am the owner of 2 pit bulls, which, here in Australia, is a highly restricted breed.
    I would never think of taking my dogs into someone’s business and offending them. I always abide by the rules that the council and country set. My dogs are always muzzled and harnessed when being walked and always wear council-approved collars (which come at great cost here).
    Respect the business owners and don’t bring your animals (except service animals) into their businesses. Like it or lump it, that’s what I say!!
    As a side note, my husband, myself and dogs went for a walk through one of our popular nightspots here in Perth. Dogs were muzzled and collared. We stopped for coffee, I ordered, told the waiter we were outside because of the dogs (plenty of people bring their dogs). An inebriated ‘gentleman’ decided to plonk himself down on a seat near us, complete with 6 pack of beer and proceeded to verbally abuse people who walked past him. It’s illegal to street drink here and the police were called, who promptly came, took one look at my dogs and DEMANDED to see their papers, completely ignoring drunk guy. THEN gave drunk guy a ‘move on’ notice. I got their numbers and names and put in a complaint to the police and the mayor. I got an apology from the cops too!!
    BTW, the pits were laying down on their blanket sleeping, not growling, barking or viciously stalking anybody.

    • NostalgicGal July 11, 2014, 11:54 pm

      I have met a lot of pit bulls. Properly raised, trained, socialized, they are gentle friendly dogs, good family dogs. Too bad you were the ones that got the undeserved attention. Bravo that at least you got an apology.

      • Ginger0630 August 14, 2014, 9:26 pm

        Thank you for saying that about pitbulls. 🙂

        ANY dog can be raised to be violent and aggressive. It’s all in how you raise them, just like kids! I have a pit mix and we’ve trained him. He is obedient and sweet. So many people are surprised that he’s not aggressive.

      • Linda October 31, 2016, 7:48 pm

        For a long time I was afraid of Pit Bulls, then, a few years ago, I had a great experience with my neighbor’s Pit Bull. I was having some work done on my yard during the summer. The landscapers had a number of “casual laborers” doing much of the “grunt work.” Since I am a small woman with a disabled husband, I am extremely careful about men whose background I am unaware of. Well, “Pittie” the pit bull, came over to my house, made himself at home on the deck, and didn’t leave me until the workers had all left. I truly owe much to that dog. Now, anytime he makes an appearance, a milk bone is cheerfully give.

    • Ginger0630 August 14, 2014, 9:25 pm

      I have a pi t mix and people are amazing that he isn’t aggressive or violent. Pitbulls have a bad rap. Those cops were idiots for even targeting your dogs when they did nothing wrong and ignore the drunk guy breaking the law. I’m glad you got their names and numbers and reported them! I’m so sick of people saying pitties are bad and violent. It’s totally in how you raise them, just like kids!!!

  • Kat July 10, 2014, 9:55 pm

    I think the safety concerns you mentioned are very compelling and probably don’t occur to pet owners. I think telling pet owners: “I know you love your pet. I love pets too! That’s why they’re not allowed,” and then explaining the safety issues should help them understand and possibly not get offended. (Though of course there will always be those people who seem to want to be deeply personally offended by any slight inconvenience. Can’t be helped!)

  • Elle July 10, 2014, 11:17 pm

    A friend of mine and her husband were one of those people who used to cart around their “adorable”puppy to friends houses, the mall, and anywhere else you can think of. The three of us went to a mall one day because they decided that they wanted to go to the pet store to see about having portraits done of their baby. The whole time we were in the mall people would come up to see the puppy, and friend’s hubby acted like the proud papa. The sad thing was that once they got home, the dog was placed on the ground and ignored. This dog chewed everything in site, ran away when you let it outside, it wasn’t leash trained, and it also wasn’t house trained. When they went out, they carried it like a baby, instead of putting it on the leash. Once it got older, the novelty wore off, and they eventually got rid of it.

    • Guin July 11, 2014, 10:16 am

      I have heard this same story so many times. Pets inevitably become a member of the family (rightfully so) because they sleep with us, eat next to us, and are loved by us. But, they are not human and they crave boundaries, routines and limitations.

      I was a dog trainer for many years, and was happy to help owners understand that by using consistency in their training and daily encounters (i.e. you mustn’t allow the dog jump onto the couch one day and get mad at them the next day for the same behaviour), and by not rewarding the negative behaviours (i.e. jumping up to greet people, so they get spoken to and petted for “being so cute and friendly” when this is actually a dominant stance) they are being loving and responsible pet owners/pet parents.

    • JackieJormpJomp July 11, 2014, 12:20 pm

      Oh my god.
      You adopt a pet for life.
      I was recently talking to a woman whose friend had had a cat with a strain of herpes, shich made it sneeze and leave mucous on things. She HAD IT PUT DOWN. There was no hiding the horror on my face when she told me that story. Thing was, when she saw my reaction, she said “Yeah, I thought that seemed strange too. I should have said something, maybe.”
      I’m looking into adopting a beagle who was rescued from a kill shelter where the family dropped him off because their 3-y-old kept opening the door and letting him out so “it was unsafe”. (they apparently couldn’t lock the deadbolt, or punish the child for this behaviour?)
      Pets aren’t accessories or toys. They are (and THEY believe they are) members of your family. treat them as such.

      • Nicole July 13, 2014, 12:08 pm

        I can’t believe someone would have their pet killed because it sneezed too much. People should be sure they really want a pet before they get one, but if they somehow find themselves in the situation of being truly unable to keep it (e.g., a child is born and ends up being allergic or the family’s financial circumstances change drastically), at least try to find it another home instead of putting it to sleep!

      • k2 July 14, 2014, 3:12 pm

        My sister is a vet at an emergency clinic and she’s told me some horror stories about people wanting pets put down for the dumbest reasons (thankfully most of the time the clinic can talk people into surrendering the animals to them, to be treated and re-homed). The worst one was recently, a college aged guy with a bulldog puppy who wanted the puppy put down because he had to choose between paying for the dog’s surgery and his monthly beer allowance. Thankfully the puppy has a nice new home now with hopefully less callous owners because the owner eventually surrendered him and he was snapped up by another family very quickly.

  • AnnaMontana July 11, 2014, 7:57 am

    My dad always wanted a Staffie (a Staffordshire Bull Terrier for those who don’t know) and finally 2 years ago, my parents ‘adopted’ one from our local dogs rescue. My DH and I got married shortly after the dog ‘joined’ our little family and ‘Lucky’ became my little brother. My Dad asked us a few times if he would be able to bring Lucky to our wedding reception and a few times we said no. Dad listened and didn’t insist on having the dog there. It’s common courtesy to ASK before taking a dog/animal anywhere apart from doggie parlours etc.
    There is a nice ending to my little tale though! The day of our rehearsal dinner, we noticed another couple who both bought their dogs to the wedding that was taking place in the same hotel. So I asked if they had changed their dog policy, was told yes, sure for small dogs, checked Lucky would be allowed to come and had my ‘newest baby brother’ at our wedding. (Lucky, for the record is not small. He’s medium to large but I guess the hotel changed their minds!)

    • Shoegal July 14, 2014, 3:20 pm

      My dog, Scout, a german shorthaired pointer, my sister’s dog Harold, a golden retriever were allowed to my wedding reception. My sister and I consider them our children. I was rather fortunate having been allowed to have them there. It made the day extra special.

  • kjr July 11, 2014, 8:50 am

    I am a dog owner and pet lover. I am fortunate to be a partner in my business, and am able to bring my dog to work. If we have a client come in that I don’t know if they like dogs, I either ask ahead or leave my dog at home. It is great to bring him in, he is a good dog and pretty much lies at my feet all day (everyone loves him), but I completely respect that not everyone is comfortable with a dog in a business establishment.

    If it were me trying to bring the dog into the salon, I wouldn’t be offended if I was asked not to, and honestly, the minute I’d hear the words “it isn’t safe” it would be a done deal.

  • Mariana July 11, 2014, 11:19 am

    People who break the rules for pet owners don’t seem to realise that a lot of other people don’t like dogs or are afraid of them. I would not go back to a hair saloon that allowed dogs, I’m afraid of them and tense up when they are near. People with pets (dogs specially) never seem to understand other people can be afraid of their pet, even if it’s a tiny breed and very friendly. When they tell me “oh, it doesn’t bite” I always think to myself “yeah, it doesn’t bite you… What guarantees that it won’t bite me? It’s a dog!”

  • PokaDottedRose July 11, 2014, 6:55 pm

    I’ve seen a supposed ‘comfort animal’, had a vest and everything but it was the most spoiled, nasty thing I’ve ever seen and had a habit of peeing all over when excited.

    As for letting dogs in stores I haven’t seen too much of it, the only one that sticks in my mind is a video rental store I used to go to. There was a machine where it popped popcorn and you could either buy a big bag of fresh popped stuff or there were little sample bags you could fill to munch on while picking out a movie.

    One time I went into the store, some woman was holding her poodle under one arm while getting popcorn out, the poor little dog half way in the machine itself while she dug it out. I promptly brought it to the clerks attention. The next week I was in there, there were signs plastered all over the doors that no animals were allowed inside.

  • littlebosammy July 11, 2014, 7:07 pm

    If someone from the health department dropped by your salon and saw non-service dogs in there, you-know-what would hit the fan. The owner or general manager needs to step up and put a stop to this nonsense. Post a large “service-dog-only” sign and let the dog-toting princesses chew on that for awhile. They’ll either be back or they won’t but I don’t think you’ll be losing customers. I wouldn’t go to a salon that allowed “purse-dogs” and I’m sure many other people feel the same way.

  • Glasses Girl July 11, 2014, 8:16 pm

    I work at an optometry clinic and was shocked when a customer brought in a small dog and allowed it to run loose in the store! No pet stroller, no leash, just a small fuzzball who actually got behind the counter and laid itself down! We have wheely chairs, chemicals, expensive machinery and tons of stuff that can hurt a dog. Not to mention the customers with allergies, and the tendency for people to bring in their small kids to get checked.

    Oh, and don’t even get me started on the time a customer tried to make me buy him lunch because he bought glasses. I’m still wondering what the heck was up with that!

    • NostalgicGal July 12, 2014, 12:09 am

      Maybe he was trying to get a date with you anyway possible and too cheap to spring for food…

  • Sharon July 11, 2014, 11:04 pm

    I have found that a lot of those people who take their dog with them to inappropriate places are the most selfish and bad pet owners around. They care very little for their pet’s safety and even less for the safety of others around them.
    I absolutely love my little Cairn terrier. In fact, I love her so much that I do not take her places where she might get hurt or hurt others. There is no reason on earth for anyone to bring any animal with them to a hair salon unless it is a service animal.
    One idiot brought their 80 pound dog to our family reunion! (Even though the owners of the venue said plainly NO PETS AT ALL.) There were about a hundred of us there, what if we had all brought our dogs??? We would have had about 75 or 80 dogs!

  • NostalgicGal July 12, 2014, 12:20 am

    Years back when I lived in big metro; walked into my bank branch, they know me… and someone else stopped in and walked in at same time, with his cream toy poodle (a small one too) trotting along like it owned the world with no leash. Security guard moves up and is going NO DOGS ALLOWED IN HERE and I back up and point at the other fellow and step AWAY. I proceed to the runner between the velvet ropes on poles to queue up, and he’s trying to explain the dog is harmless ‘and never does anything’. Another guard seated at a small desk by the hallway to the offices (if you want a loan etc) watches the dog going around and lifting his leg and signing the poles that hold the ropes, a wastebasket, and one of the legs of the standing desks provided before queuing for writing up stuff (filling out a check or deposit slip) and one of the potted plants… I left as the fellow is now talking to city’s finest and one of the bank people has found him some cleaning supplies to clean up things…
    His dog never does anything because he never pays attention to what the dog does…. I did reaffirm to one of the security guards as I left, that was NOT my husband, my last name is (not easy to forget) and just check that fellow’s ID. Siiiigh…..

  • Nicole July 13, 2014, 11:59 am

    Why not just place a “No pets allowed” sign on the door or window where everyone will see it as they come in? I think people will be less likely to be offended if they understand that it’s a blanket policy, not a personal rejection of their precious pet.

  • Lady Anne July 13, 2014, 3:03 pm

    I have a pit-greyhound mix (I know; that mating must have come with an instruction sheet!) and the only place I ever take him is to the pet store, on a leash, and to the knitting group at church. Every body there knows him, he truly is well behaved, and he’s in love with the church secretary. (Or the treats she gives him – not sure which.) There is another group which meets at the same time, and Blazer will go over and sit in front of each person as they come in (official greeter), waiting for a pat on the head, but if that is not forthcoming, a simple “by me” will have him back at my feet.

    There are only certain times of the year when I will leave him in the car, long enough for me to pick a prescription or gallon of milk. Even in the winter a car can heat up quickly on a sunny day.

    Into a beauty salon or other place of business? Never. I don’t even take him to visit my friends unless he is on a leash and I am certain of how he will behave around their animals. You don’t just “drop in” for a cuppa with a dog in tow.

  • Ginger July 13, 2014, 10:25 pm

    I adore my three cats and dog, but I know there are places that I can’t bring them…restaurants, stores, salons, nail places, etc…I wouldn’t expect an employee to break the rules for anyone. I’m guessing a lot of the clientele think they are famous or socialites who can bring their little dogs everywhere with them. I would be straight with them: “What an adorable doggie! What’s his/her name? I know you want to be part of every part of your life, but I’m afraid that this isn’t a safe environment for . There are chemicals on the floor and dangerous tools, such as curling irons. So I’m afraid I won’t work with you if is here. I would be happy to reschedule when you can find someone to watch .” Don’t worry about what your other coworkers do with their clients.

  • Jenn50 July 13, 2014, 10:38 pm

    I have a yellow lab that I adore, but I can’t fathom feeling the need (or desire) to drag her along everywhere I go. Besides it being safer for her at home, she’s an extra thing to worry about when I’ve got enough to deal with, no matter how well behaved she is. But then, I grew up in a small farm town, where dogs were lucky if they were allowed in the house, much less a place of business. It was considered kindness to treat a dog like a dog, and cruel to dress them up or carry them around, as it was against their nature. And there will come times and places where you cannot have your dog with you, so why not let them learn to be content at home without you constantly fussing over them when they’re young, so they aren’t traumatized to be left home alone later on? Legitimate service animals, including those for mental health are one thing; they have a job to do, and the real ones are impeccably trained. But I think it should be illegal to call something a service animal unless it is trained and registered as such. What is the rationale for not requiring someone to provide documentation in the U.S.? Can anyone tell me?

    • Cecilia July 14, 2014, 11:49 am

      Jenn50-I’m not sure of the exact wording, but it can be a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. From the 2010 ADA revised requirements web page:
      “When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.”

      This and other information is available at the ADA website:

      Some people are just so entitled, they think the rules do not apply to them. These are the kinds of people that would take the time to learn all the loopholes to the service animal rules and exploit them.

  • Angel July 14, 2014, 8:45 pm

    “You know I appreciate having you as a client, but I can’t accommodate Fido. There’s a lot of chemicals and dangerous stuff in the salon and I would hate for something to happen to him. I would be glad to reschedule you at a more convenient time. Thanks for understanding.”

    If the client gets bent out of shape at this, that is a huge red flag and you probably don’t want this person anywhere near your salon. Having a dog in a salon is a liability on both sides–what if the dog bites someone while it is there? Even small dogs can still bite! I think that if you allow 1 dog in the salon with the exception of a service dog–then it will open the floodgates and EVERYONE will want to bring their dog. You can’t think in terms of pacifying the dog owner–imagine everyone else who did not choose to bring their dog in a salon. Personally if my salon started allowing dogs–I would not patronize that salon any longer.

  • Jo July 17, 2014, 8:01 am

    Put a sign on the door clearly stating NO PETS ALLOWED. That way, if someone shows up with one, just point to the sign and show them it’s a general rule, nothing against them personally…