I love your dog. I would like nothing more than to play with him and pet him and let him wrestle me to the ground as he licks my face off. But one of the greatest challenges in my life has been learning that everyone doesn’t think like me.
Some people are allergic to pet hair. Doing burpees or stretching on the floor poses a real problem for them if pet hair is present. Some people are fearful of dogs. Whether their fear is rational or irrational doesn’t matter. That’s how they feel, and they can’t turn that off. They also will not speak up to object about dogs in the gym when asked, so I can’t assume they don’t mind because they lack a loud voice.
So we need to create some ground rules about pets in the gym. Here goes.
- Your ADA recognized service dog is always welcome at CrossFit Impulse and can go anywhere humans can go in the gym. We haven’t yet had an athlete train with us who used a service dog, but I would welcome the opportunity to train them while their pupper stands by to assist. That would be really cool.
- If your doggo isn’t a service dog, here’s the scoop:
a. He can’t come inside. I know. Sorry. It sucks, but it’s necessary. There’s just not much in-between on this one.
b. He can stay outside while you workout inside if you
i. Keep him in your car with either the climate control running or the windows down. He’s got to be both comfortable and safe.
ii. Keep him on the elevated concrete pad behind the gym, next to the grass and trees. Ensure he has enough water and shade. And if it’s too hot or too cold for this option, don’t do it! We care about your pupper’s safety and comfort as well as the safety and comfort of our athletes.
3. He can be anywhere outside when he’s on leash under your control. If you want to go on runs during open gym with your dog on leash, that’s great. During class, coordinate the request with your coach and ensure he stays within the bounds of this policy when you’re not controlling the leash.
4. He can’t stay in the office. This has worked in the past, but we just can’t continue. The office needs to be easily accessible by our coaches. They often have just 15 minutes between classes. If someone needs administrative help, time is of the essence. If they have to prevent your happy puppy from escaping every time they open and close the office door, this adds unneeded time and frustration. If he does escape and run through a class in session, that’s really dangerous for your pup. It’s also impossible for you to find all the potty training accidents when you pick up your pup after class. We know you’re not wilfully ignoring them. But our cleaning staff finds them when they start cleaning the office, and this adds time and frustration for them as well. So it just makes sense if dogs don’t stay in the office.
I understand this is a change. If you’re directly affected, we have already reached out to answer your questions and convey that we love you and your fur-baby, but this is what makes best sense for our gym family as a whole.
If you think of a good mitigating strategy for bringing your dog to the gym, let me know! I’m all about compromise when it makes sense.