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Should My Dog Be In My Wedding?

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What was the number one question you had before planning your wedding?  Did it have to do with the wedding venue?  The colors?  Your dress, tuxedo, or suit?  Maybe you’re a foodie and the most important thing was the main course or the hors d’oeuvres?

I think the number one question on my mind was should my dog be in my wedding?

It’s kind of a no brainer isn’t it?  Well, I’m assuming your reading this blog because you love your dog!  So, should my dog be in my wedding?  I think a resounding “YES!” is what I hear everyone saying. 🙂

And so it was at our wedding…

Ali, Colby, Archer Wedding Pic
The Bride: Ali;  The Groom: Colby;  The Puppy In Training: Archer

But wait…not all dogs are going to be happy at a wedding.  While Archer (pictured above) couldn’t stop wagging his tail and was born, raised, and socialized for this type of occasion not every dog is cut out to be the best man, ring bearer, or groomsman (at least the doggy versions of those titles).

In fact we have 4 dogs at home and only Archer came to the wedding.  Lets take a closer look at our 4 dogs:

A Tale of Four Dogs…

LINUS (Australian Shepherd Mix) – Our first puppy is 11 years old!  Rescued from the Carson Animal Shelter Linus is a great dog, but he does have some anxiety issues.  A wedding with so much activity would not have been a great outing for Linus.  While we’d love to have all our dogs join us for such a momentous occasion we prefer the happiness and well being of our pups above all else.

STETSON (Black Labrador Retriever) – Our first guide dog puppy in training.  Stetson is a career changed guide dog and was bred, raised, and trained to socialize at a fun filled event such as this one.  He would have done fine at the wedding and found his spot right next to his fellow GDA friend, Higbee.  However, we decided to only invite service and guide dog puppies in training.  I think Stetson was content to guard his spot on the couch at home.

RAVEN (Golden Retriever) – Raven is long term foster and grew up in the kennels.  Unfortunately she wasn’t exposed to much in the early part of her life.  She does great at home and loves hanging out with her family and other four legged friends, but outside of the house she’s not as confident.  We’ve been working on her outings, but still keep it light with her most adventurous outing being her trips to PetSmart.  Like Linus, Raven has some anxiety issues and an event as hectic as a wedding would have been too stressful for her.

ARCHER (Yellow Labrador Retriever) – As we said earlier Archer was born, bred, raised, trained, and socialized for exactly this type of event.  While he’s still very young I was confident that he would do well at our wedding and we were glad to have one of our pups on board for a few photographs.  During the wedding I noticed Archer was not hesitant or anxious, but eager, excited, and his tail was wagging a mile a minute.  We had a couple of our our puppy raising friends take Archer for the night and the report back was he was overly energetic and excitable.  I did see him go into puppy zoomie mode a couple times.  We have Archer for another 12 months so it gives us time to keep him calm and collected during upcoming outings.

So the answer to your question, “should my dog be in my wedding” is not quite as simple as you think.  Take a close look at your dog and make sure you make the best decision for him.  Would he enjoy the day or would it be a stressful, anxious, nerve racking time for your dog.

Remember, just like with all of your guests your moment to hang out with your dog is small (in our case probably about 60 seconds while we took this pic).  Be truthful with yourself and do what’s best for your dog.

How about your guys?  Have any of you had your dog in your wedding?  If so, tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.

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  1. Dog as a ring bearer would have been cool! Unfortunately, Archer was a little too young and energetic for that role. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I think you should have your dog in your wedding if you want to – forget what anyone else thinks or says! It’s your day, so do what you want with it!

    I also love the idea of having a doggie ring bearer, if you could somehow train them to carry it up the aisle 🙂

  3. Thanks! Archer actually wasn’t “in” our wedding either. At 6 months old he was a little too much puppy to be well behaved walking down the aisle. If he were closer to a year old he might have been the ring pup 🙂 Your wedding sounds perfect for a dog to attend. Small and outside at a park. We had 3 total dogs at our wedding Archer, a 6 month old service dog puppy in training named Porter, and a 17 month old guide dog puppy in training named Higbee. Every one was very well behaved at the wedding 🙂

  4. Congratulations on your marriage! We had Ace at our wedding. He wasn’t “in” the wedding. He was just there. We didn’t have anyone in the wedding actually (no bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc.). We had about 40 guests and it was held outside at a park. It was great having Ace there. Sure, he stressed me out a bit with his whining for my attention but it was worth it. I think I’m the only one who remember his whining.

    Of course, Ace is a friendly, social, gentle and fairly calm guy so I knew he’d do OK at the event.

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