Canberra dog friendly cafés – training your dog

Canberra has some great dog friendly cafés. Here's some tips on how your dog should behave at cafés and how to train them to be café friendly. And when you've finished reading this, check out our recommendations on the best Canberra dog friendly cafés. You can also follow us on Facebook to keep up with more Canberra Dog Walks news and advice.

»Keeping our dog friendly cafés 'dog friendly'

Make sure we can continue to patronise these establishments with our four-legged friends by heeding some good advice about café dog etiquette. Otherwise Canberra might become another Gold Coast where the Council banned dogs at cafés. How backward! So here's the rules:

  • Don't feed your dog from the table.
  • Don't let your dog approach other tables or beg for food.
  • Don't let your dog approach other patrons unless invited.
  • Don't let your dog approach other dogs unless invited.
  • Don't let your dog bark, whine or otherwise create a nuisance that could annoy other patrons.
  • If you can't control your dog, cut your visit short and try again another time.

»Training your dog to be café friendly

It's important to train your dog to understand that visiting a café means quiet time lying by your side. We trained our dog by bringing a special 'café'  blanket each time so that she learned whenever it was laid by the table, that meant quiet time. When she was young, we also brought a chew or toy to help keep her occupied. We started with short visits gradually making them longer over time. It also helps to walk your dog beforehand so they settle more easily.

Our tips for training a café friendly dog are to:

  • start your dog young so they learn to be calm around a lot of people and distractions
  • walk your dog beforehand to get rid of excess energy and any toileting needs (check out our great Canberra dog walks that nearly all start and end at a dog friendly café)
  • bring a chew or toy to keep your dog occupied, especially when young
  • make sure your dog is as comfortable as possible - not too hot in the sun, not too cold in the shade, not lying on a cold or scratchy surface
  • find a spot away from foot traffic so your dog won't get tripped over or get in the way of chairs being pushed back
  • don't feed your dog from the table - ever - otherwise they will never really settle. And some patrons will hate it and complain
  • reward good behaviour - remember to pay your dog some attention when they are quiet and well-mannered not just when they misbehave.

You can learn more about socialising your dog with hands on help by joining one of Canberra's not-for-profit dog training clubs.


Got any questions or comments? Use our contact form.

The locations of our favourite Canberra dog friendly cafés are marked in the map below. Find out more in our Canberra dog friendly cafés blog.

»Dog friendly café location map

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