Visiting Coffee Shops and Restaurants With a Puppy

June 21, 2022

Retriever sitting at a restaurant

If you have checked out our Houston’s Dog Friendly Guide, you may have seen our list of dog friendly restaurants, patios, and bars. If you’ve checked out any of these local hot spots, or if you’ve found one of your own, we are going to talk through the benefits of taking your puppy with you to your favorite hangout. Other than the obvious adorable coffee shop companion!

dog visiting Starbucks coffee shop


We talk about socialization a LOT, and there’s a good reason for it! It is such an integral part of your puppy’s development. If you would like to learn more about socialization and the impact on your puppy, check out some additional information here.

Socializing your puppy, although important, doesn’t need to be scary. Simply taking your puppy out with you to a morning coffee run can be a perfect way to get them exposed to the big world around them. The biggest thing to remember is that socialization, at its core, simply means exposure to new environments and stimuli. Keeping their visits to the new world, fun and positive, will lead you in the right direction!

We Love these Local Dog Friendly Coffee Shops:

dog looking out window at Pucci
*image from Pucci

If a morning coffee session works up an appetite, you can find a few places to grab a bite to eat with your pup that we love on our Top 10 list!

Obedience, Training, and Calm Behavior in Public

If you have been practicing obedience with your puppy at home, taking them out in public is a great time to start making obedience a little more challenging. When visiting coffee shops and outdoor spaces, the top commands we love to practice are leash walking, down stays, and auto sits with strangers.


You’ll probably notice that the excited feelings are mutual between strangers wanting to pet your puppy and your puppy wanting all the attention! We absolutely want to encourage positive interactions with strangers, however, we do recommend teaching your puppy how to appropriately earn attention. Teaching an autosit, and getting your puppy to work for that attention is a perfect win-win.

Trainer Tip: If your puppy is having a hard time not jumping up on new people, you can step on their leash with just enough slack to where they are comfortable, but not enough that they could jump up. As your puppy sits down, reward them with treats and allow the stranger to pet them. 

Puppy practicing down command at a restaurant

Down and Reinforcing Calm Behavior 

Teaching down can be such a helpful tool in so many scenarios. When visiting local patios, working on a down stay is a great way to encourage calm behavior in public. If you haven’t quite taught down yet, check out our trainer tips below.

Trainer Tip 1: Focus on Reinforcing Calm Behavior

If you are looking for your puppy to engage in more relaxed behavior in public, hold your leash or tether your puppy under the table you are sitting at, ensuring it’s safe and secure. As soon as your puppy sits or lays down, you can say “good!” and reward them with a treat. Do this every single time they offer a sit or down. If they stay seated or lay down for longer periods of time, reinforce this behavior with treats too.

Trainer Tip 2: Bring an Appropriate Toy or Kong for Them to Chew On

While you are out, to prevent boredom and unwanted attention maintained behaviors such as jumping, play biting, or barking, bring along a few of your puppy’s favorite toys. We recommend hard toys such as kongs filled with treats/paste), antlers, cow bones, etc. to keep them entertained and engaging in more appropriate behavior.

Leash Walking

Although sometimes we wish they would stay little forever, for most of us, inevitably our puppy’s are going to grow up into larger and stronger dogs. For that reason, we recommend starting loose leash walking and encouraging good positioning as soon as possible. Establishing good positioning early will be a huge jumpstart to achieving your walking goals as they get older and bigger.

We love to see members of the Houston community taking their puppies out, so if you happen to go out, tag us on IG at @beyondthedog so we can show some love to your page. If you are interested in learning more about training and socializing with your puppy in a more one-on-one setting, we’d love to help! Get in contact with us today.