Two dogs in a clothing shop

Our tips on keeping your canine calm and relaxed in busy shops following John Lewis announcement

We welcome the announcement that John Lewis will allow all dogs into its high street stores and are providing advice for dog owners who want to take their four-legged friends shopping with them.

The department store recently confirmed to its customers that dogs are now welcome in its shops, as long as they are "well-behaved" and "on a fixed lead at all times".

While it is still just one of a handful of major high street brands allowing dogs on its premises, many independent shops allow dogs to enter and so we are providing advice on best practice for taking your pooch shopping.

Top tips for shopping with dogs

  1. Always keep your dog on a lead.
  2. If you have a small dog, consider carrying them around to prevent them being caught underfoot on a busy shop floor.
  3. Consider how sociable your dog is and whether they will be comfortable walking through the hustle and bustle of the retail jungle, with distractions around every corner.
  4. Be respectful of other shoppers, not everyone is going to be as comfortable around dogs as you are.
  5. You know your dog best, so consider what they might get excited by in the store, how they might react and any areas of the store you may need to avoid.
  6. Check whether there are restrictions for going into certain areas of the store.
  7. Be aware of other dogs in the store. If you do meet a dog when out and about, always approach them slowly, calmly and quietly. Don’t walk directly towards their head or face. Always greet a dog from the side giving them as much space as possible.

A Dogs Trust spokesperson said:

"We are pleased to see a major high street brand open the doors of its stores to all dogs, reducing the risk of dogs being left at home, unattended in the street or in the car for long periods of time.

"If we want more stores to follow in their pawprints, it’s important for all dog owners to make sure their dog's etiquette in shops is up to scratch.

"It’s vital for dogs to be properly trained as puppies, and our Dog School classes help owners read their dog's behaviour and build on their training skills to ensure they are calm and well behaved in a shop environment, and be confident around people."

One way to help ensure your dog is well-behaved in public is to come along to your local Dogs Trust Dog School classes, where dogs of all ages learn important skills such as walking nicely on a lead, settling when required and learning not to touch things when requested.

Dog School will also educate owners on signs to be aware of if their dog begins to feel stressed or anxious in a public place, such as a busy shop.

For more information visit