Since lockdown the surge in puppy purchases has gone through the woof! From Chihuahuas to Great Danes – it feels like half the population got a dog to keep them company when the boredom kicked in during lockdown. But now things are slowly starting to re-open, those needy pups can’t be just left at home, while their owners get back to being social butterflies on the art world circuit. A dog is not just for lockdown after all!
Cue the gallery dog – a welcome distraction to the seriousness that can linger in the air of a gallery.
Gallery dogs are canines who chaperone their owners to the latest gallery openings, who are at home amongst the artworks and who enjoy getting pats from the visitors. Some gallery dogs even become artist’s muses and over-pass the number of their owners Instagram followers!
The Art Gorgeous even dedicated a whole magazine issue to dream gallery dogs, including dogs like Bertie Bert the chocolate Pomeranian who works at the The Hole NYC art gallery according to his Instagram that has 436k followers.
William Wegmans who practically look like helping hands in the studio.
And who could forget Miss Pickle, who is now retired from her gallery days. She had a penchant for fine art back when she was rubbing shoulders with famous art patrons.
However, the rise to art world stardom was not plain sailing for these pooches. Training was required from their doting owners. So here, we offer tips to make your dog ready for the art gallery.
First things first
Make sure you can bring your dog to the gallery! Not all galleries are dog friendly – boo! But art can be priceless, no matter how well behaved your dog may be, accidents can happen. So, make sure you ask or look up the rules online, before just showing up with your dog in tow.
Patiently training your dog and choosing the right pet friendly galleries is a good start. Once your dog is behaving well at home, it’s time to test out the gallery. But you can’t just decide one day to take your dog to the busy art opening in the centre of town! With every new experience, the most important thing is that you set your dog up to be successful. You should begin by going to a gallery that you know will be quiet.
Take it up a notch
Next, take it up a notch, by taking your dog to an event that you know will be busier. Ease it into the place slowly, and before you know it, your dog will be contently sitting on the gallery floor awaiting pats.
Be sure your dog relieves itself before you arrive at the gallery. Keep it off the furniture, and away from the art works.
Even if you have the perfect dog, being out together means you’ll need to split your attention. While enjoying the gallery and chatting with your friends, you’ll also need to keep an eye out for possible issues.
Be sure to have your dog’s special treats to reward them for not reacting to something that would normally upset them, or for simply being well behaved. Also give them lots of vocal reinforcements. They need to learn that coming to the gallery can be a fun experience, rather than a drag!
We all have those dog days
We all have bad days. Dogs included. And you can’t plan for everything. So be prepared to leave if your dog is not happy, or if people around you are not happy with your dog being there.