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Dog friendly - not Oxford

Plymouth, United...
Level Contributor
3 posts
14 reviews
Dog friendly - not Oxford

What does Oxford have against dog owners. We walked round most of the city pubs, none would allow a dog to cross it's threshold.

Does the city have some kind of canine phobia?

The reason given most often is "we do food"!

Coming from Devon we find this strange as almost all pubs "do food" and almost all pubs accept dogs.

Some even have dog treats behind the bar!

Come on Oxford publicans, explain yourselves....

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35 replies to this topic
Bodmin, United...
Destination Expert
for Cornwall
Level Contributor
12,639 posts
84 reviews
1. Re: Dog friendly - not Oxford

They don't want dogs in their premises. That's all the explanation they need to give.

Level Contributor
2,632 posts
2. Re: Dog friendly - not Oxford

Publicans don't have to explain themselves.

I've never come across a food-selling pub in a busy city that accepts dogs. I have come across publicans who know they'll get downgraded in food safety ratings - which appear on the web - if they do accept them.

I'd also suggest that, in a city where pubs can get as crowded as in Oxford, it's highly irresponsible to allow dogs. You may think your dog won't bite anyone: but the publican's the one who'll carry the can if it does, and you can't control the stupid things drinkers do in pubs. Especially most nights in central Oxford.

I agree it's a nuisance. Life often is.

Plymouth, United...
Level Contributor
3 posts
14 reviews
3. Re: Dog friendly - not Oxford

Thanks for the reply.

Not sure why a dog in the bar would have an effect on food hygiene rating.

Same can't be said for some of the humans.

However, I do understand it's the publicans premises, and their decision.


Oxford, United...
Destination Expert
for Oxford
Level Contributor
1,776 posts
91 reviews
4. Re: Dog friendly - not Oxford

<<They don't want dogs in their premises. That's all the explanation they need to give.>>

Very little sympathy for the OP, particularly given the unfair title of this thread. Lots of places in Oxford are 'dog friendly' - the Parks, the river, the canal, the numerous outdoor spaces and cafes. However in common with most urban areas I don't know of any 'city centre' pubs that would allow a dog, yet I suspect if you'd travelled to more rural areas outside the city you'd have found lots - another Trip Advisor example of where pre-research is necessary!

Most of the pubs in central Oxford 'do food' and indeed the food they do is the main part of their business. While some people don't mind sharing the bar with a dog, few patrons (local or tourist) will want to eat lunch or dinner in a restuarant or pub in the company of dogs, regardless of how clean, quiet, and well-trained said dogs may be. For a publican, one post about 'this place is anti-dog' is better than a complaint about 'stinking dogs wandering round the place', because the latter will put potential patrons off and harm business, even if the dog in question was not stinking in any way!

Plymouth, United...
Level Contributor
3 posts
14 reviews
5. Re: Dog friendly - not Oxford

Thanks, I do understand the way some people feel about dogs.

We were expecting a more inclusive attitude from Oxford pubs.

I don't expect to take a dog into a restaurant in this country, unlike other places in Europe.

But a pub used to be for drinking and socialising. Times change.

Guess I'll have to take my flat cap and terrier to Tesco Express for a swift half!

Level Contributor
1 post
9 reviews
6. Re: Dog friendly - not Oxford

It has no effect on hygiene or safety ratings, as long as dogs not on the kitchen.as a landlord it is your choice to allow/ not allow but no legal or safety restrictions. Also, it is the dog owner who is responsible for the dogs behaviour not the landlord.

1 post
7. Re: Dog friendly - not Oxford

This is very true! We have been travelling from Greece through Italy and France and everybody accepts dogs. What happened with our progressive British friends?

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Limassol, Cyprus
Level Contributor
11,286 posts
295 reviews
8. Re: Dog friendly - not Oxford

The country pubs in Oxfordshire mostly accept dogs but the town centre is different. I expect it is the same in London or any big city. They are just too busy and many are crowded and people could easily fall over dogs in a crowded situation.

Bristol, England
Level Contributor
2,609 posts
30 reviews
9. Re: Dog friendly - not Oxford

Quite a few local town pubs in this area allow dogs in the bar, so maybe it's more common here in the South West. I see the OP is from Plymouth.

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
Level Contributor
34,498 posts
111 reviews
10. Re: Dog friendly - not Oxford

Its a countryrich area in the South West and there's a lot of business to be had from dog walkers but it will vary depending on the type of customers and size etc of establishment.

Personally I wouldn't expect to be able to take a dog into a pub or cafe in somewhere like Oxford as a crowded tourist city.

Hope it didn't spoil your entire stay though. Were there places with outside areas that you could all enjoy?

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