We have been asked to do a list of dog friendly venues in Northumberland, and I think that’s a great idea. I like to be able to take my dog in somewhere while I have a cuppa or a snack and it’s wonderful to see other people doing the same. But before we do a list, I think a few things need to be pointed out.
There is an unwritten code that everyone should abide by – not just in cafes or tea rooms, but everywhere in public. And that means taking responsibility for the behaviour of your dog. It should go without saying, but unfortunately there are a minority of owners who have dogs that are aggressive to other dogs or even people. If a dog is aggressive and snacks, growls or barks at other dogs, I personally don’t care about excuses. I don’t care if it ‘doesn’t like big dogs’ or ‘it’s a rescue dog’. It’s up to the owner to correct the behaviour and, frankly, if they can’t then they shouldn’t have the dog out in public. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t teach a dog how to behave, it will teach itself.
Now, all that having been said, it doesn’t have to be like that. If your dog is aggressive for whatever reason, be it fearful or otherwise, you can actually do something about it. Seek professional help!
This weekend I visited a couple of places with one of my dogs, Sam the German Shepherd in tow, and will be doing more as time goes on. First stop was Ingram and the Valley Café. Tucked away in Ingram Village, there are signs directing you to this little oasis. As well as tea, coffee and snacks, there is a wide selection of art and crafts, books, maps and free wi-fi. Nearby is the Bronze Age settlement on top of Brough Law or if you aren’t feeling quite energetic enough to make that climb, settle for a walk along the delightful river Breamish. A picnic area with tables and seats is next to the small car park.