• Market Team

Let's talk about dogs

Updated: Mar 25, 2019




"Are dogs allowed at your market?"


We get this question every month, so before the 2019 Night Market season begins (April 11!!!!), let's set the record straight.


The answer is, "No."


Here's the thing though. We love dogs. Believe it or not, we are dog owners ourselves, and the decision was not arrived at lightly.


"But dogs are allowed at Saturday morning market!" you say.


We know that, but we have some very specific reasons why we think it's a good idea for you to leave your pup at home.


First and foremost, safety is a concern. Our market is significantly smaller and more condensed than Saturday market. With thousands of people in an already tight space, adding dogs into the mix in an area where people can't spread out if confrontations between dogs arise is a potential safety risk that isn't worth it to us.


Secondly, we spent many months having planning sessions with our vendors as a group, about half of whom also vend at other markets. The request to not allow dogs came specifically from them, with nearly unanimous agreement that dogs at markets cause problems on the vendor side of things. For example: swiping food off tables, marking territory on or near booths that owners do not always clean up, bumping into tables and knocking over displays, barking/growling/confrontations between animals, etc.


We 100% agree with what you're probably thinking: "Dogs are just curious/hungry/playful/whatever, and can't help it! Owners allowing the bad behavior is really the problem! One negligent owner ruins it for the rest of us! I'm so responsible, my dog wouldn't do that!"


Unfortunately, our feedback from vendors is that this is actually not a rare occurrence from just a handful of bad apples in the bunch, things like this happen regularly every week.


We are just two women who organize this event with a handful of volunteers, so to try and monitor dogs' behavior onsite would be not only too time consuming, but would also get us into a gray area of allowing this dog but not that dog based on subjective interpretation, which is also unfair to owners. What is acceptable to some is not acceptable to others, so this is another reason we decided to make the blanket rule of "no dogs."


We have also never kicked anybody out for bringing down a dog. We want people to still enjoy their time onsite, and it's unrealistic for us to assume everybody reads our market shopper rules before coming down to the market. We simply have a conversation with the owner asking them to leave Fido at home next time.


We hope this clarifies what may seem like an "unfair" rule. We really want everyone (who walks on two legs) to be safe and have fun.

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7th-9th Street on Jackson

Dubuque, IA 52001

millworknightmarket@gmail.com

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