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2 Quick Questions to Help You Decide.

Wedding Picture

Me and my hubby at our recent wedding, our dog Dexter stayed home.

Here is a quick questionnaire that will help you decide if your dog should be in your wedding. As a professional dog wrangler I’ve helped out at a number of weddings to drop off and pick up the flower dog or ring bearer pup and can honestly advise, even if you plan on having your dog IN your wedding it is probably best to plan on NOT having him or her there the entire time and here’s why:

Dogs are unpredictable. You on the other hand have planned all the details of your wedding down to the exact time of cocktail hour and which hors d’oeuvres will be served when. Do you really want to leave it to chance that your dog is going to behave? Or that the person who agrees to look after him or her is actually going to remember to do that? Dogs can become restless and bored or they can become over-stimulated. This can lead to bad behavior such as jumping up on people (and who wants that when we’re wearing our best) OR pulling food off the tables such as the counter surfing they might do at home. And, consider that as the bride you do not want to be worried about watching after your dog. No bride ever should have to pick up dog poop on her big day and especially in her wedding dress.

Some dogs simply do not like strangers and small children can be especially troublesome for them. Given all the excitement of the wedding, it is easy for your dog to become over excited him or herself and growl or nip at someone.

1.)  Is your dog socialized? I mean really, really socialized with zero episodes of biting, growling or other aggressive behavior. If your answer is no, stop right here and be confident your dog is going to be happiest at home. He will be just as happy watching the wedding video with you and rejoicing with the fact that you are on TV! Wait until he hears your voice, you will love the reaction.

Couple with their dog.

This happy couple had their dog Collins be their flower girl. But she only stayed for the ceremony.

But what if your dog is tremendously socialized? What if you have a big lovable Golden Retriever that would literally not hurt a fly? Can your dog be in your wedding then? Well my next question is:

2.) Is your dog well trained? Does your dog understand commands? Both hand signals and the spoken words? Remember, you will be up front saying your vows and you don’t want them to include the words down or sit!

So, if your dog is incredibly socialized and excellent listening to commands not just from you but also from ANYONE that uses them correctly I say, Yes! Go ahead and have him or her in your wedding but just be sure to make sure they get home before the dancing starts. As always, your dog is happiest at home in familiar surroundings.

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