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Should dogs be allowed on the school run?

As I have said before, I am surprised to find myself sharing a home with a dog. But Ollie is different: he’s family!

Family time, out and about with our dog Ollie

There is one aspect of our life that he is not involved in and that is the school run. In the whole time we’ve been a family, Chris has brought Ollie along for the school run on less than 5 occasions and has always taken him off round the green rather than tying him to the gate.
The vast majority of the time, Ollie stays home, having dedicated walks with Chris in the morning and evening instead. Ollie is an old man, in his eighties and set in his ways, but I think we would continue this pattern even if we got a new dog at some stage in the future.
I understand that it could be convenient to take the dog on the walk to school and indeed it is getting more and ore popular at my children’s schools for dogs to be brought along. But I have reservations about it and would never do it myself: here is why…
Dogs like to sniff and investigate, it is part of their nature and I feel sorry seeing them straining to slow or stop when in the morning rush for the school gates.
Poo. Busy parents having to stop to take care of any mess and then carry it around until a bin can be located. Not hygienically ideal if you need to hold a child’s hand or lunchbox.
Some children are very scared of dogs while others are very confident. Not all dogs are friendly and could react in a negative way if approached by an unknown child. I have seen other children too afraid to approach the school gates as there is a dog tied up next to it.
Urban streets are not an ideal place to walk dogs as in summer the pavements are too hot and there is often glass or litter that could injure their feet. It can also take up a lot of space and be awkward for people to get past due to leads and the extra canine person taking up room.

dogs walking on pavement with family

I asked my fellow bloggers what they thought on this subject:
I don’t think that dogs should be left outside the school gates. In everyday life you can avoid coming into contact with dogs if you or your children don’t like them or are allergic etc. However, when they are tied up at the entrance to the school it’s very difficult to avoid contact. Which can lead to children resisting going to school. Sarah Www.boorooandtiggertoo.com
This realllllly annoys me. Even dog walkers that let their dogs run about on an obvious school run route. So many children are scared of dogs. My child isn’t but got bitten by a dog on the school run and he was just walking in silence holding my hand.
I do understand that this could be the only time to walk dogs but it should never be on the school run route. Lisa https://www.thefamilyticket.com
I’m going to go against the grain here and say yes. I sometimes take my dog on the school run due to time constraints and she is tied to the rail outside school with the lollipop man (school caretaker) for company. She is incredibly popular with the school kids (and their parents) and loves all the fuss. It’s a great social experience for her but also children who are nervous have seen others stroking her and now they come over to say hello as well, so it’s helped them to overcome their anxieties around dogs. There is plenty of space for people to pass her without contact if they want to. I’ve only ever had a positive experience of taking her with me. Katie Www.mumof2point5.com
I don’t mind them being walked on a lead with the kids to school, I get that people have busy lives and it does kill two birds with one stone. But if possible they could be walked on the other side of the road away from the masses of kids – less stressful for kids and the dogs. What I don’t like is them pooing near the school, yes most people clean it up but it’s not always possible to get it all, then the kids tread in it. Clare Www.thismummysalwayswrite.com
My son is petrified of dogs and people walking their dogs on the school run really scares him. My daughter is obsessed by them which is more problematic as she’s constantly trying to play with them and touch them but as an excitable 4 year old doesn’t have good etiquette and risks getting bitten. What’s more of an issue though is how much dog poo is left on the school run from people not picking it up. That enrages me. Naomi www.nomipalony.com

dogs being walked

No. Absolutely not. I mean I get it, multi tasking and all that, but I definitely don’t agree with it. Aside from the fact that some clueless parents take them into the playground, as opposed to leaving them at the gate, my son is terrified of dogs and sometimes he cant even get through the school gates as there are multiple dogs tied up. It’s not fair. Sarah http://www.whimsicalmumblings.co.uk/
I completely understand walking dogs on the school run but I don’t think they should be off the lead or tied up near the school. Also it shouldn’t need saying but cleaning up after them is really important as well as general manners like not letting them jump up etc. I’m a dog owner myself and I absolutely hate people that let their dogs jump up and get people muddy! Sophie Https://www.sophobsessed.com
I don’t see it’s an issue if the dogs are under control and on a lead, and picked up after they’ve pooed. Several parents in the village walk their dogs up the track that goes past the school after dropping kids off. The children get to help walk the dog, it’s time that works for the family in busy working days, and the ones in our village have always been under control. I was scared of dogs as a child but I just didn’t go near them. Maybe it’s less of a concern because ours is a small school. Dogs also get invited to do the school fun mile rambles on sports week along with parents. (The head has a dog so she loves it as do the kids). Maybe its a good way to get scared children to meet nice calm dogs and get over their fear. Emma  https://bubbablueandme.com
I don’t see a problem, as long as the dog is under control. I think that most kids who’s families don’t own dogs, are naturally scared of them at a young age. I live in a fairly rural location and we see loads of dogs (on and off the lead every day) and it has really helped my lot with that fear and also learn how to recognise a friendly dog against a potentially unfriendly one. My middle boy is asthmatic and allergic to most things furry. It has also helped him build a natural immunity to dogs. I guess it will depend on where you live also, being honest, it’s not unusual for us to see a horse tied up outside the school gate. But people that don’t pick up their dogs poo! Don’t get me started on that…………. Ian www.dadsdeliciousdinners.co.uk

dog running along path


I’m a dog owner and it’s a no from me. I know too many kids/adults who are afraid of dogs and it just isn’t the right time. Too much going on for the dog and too many things to go wrong. If I took them when i took my kids on the school run I would be worn out by the way, it’s a non negotiable 🤣 Emma readyfreddiego.com
I don’t think you can police when someone walks their dog but my child’s school has banned dogs from the grounds as one person brought their dog in then it was like crufts every day at pick
Up. Schools are meant to be places where children are safe and even the most well mannered dog could fight with another and inadvertently bite someone. The exception is my chihuahua who I do sometimes sneak in down my coat 🤭 Emma farmerswifeandmummy.com
I do empathise with parents of children who are afraid of dogs but don’t think avoidance is the solution. People should certainly take it into consideration though and think about the personality of their dog and the surroundings. Dogs should be under control and not tied up and left unattended in my opinion though. I personally won’t take my dog at the moment as I often need to go into the nursery, but would consider it when my son is older if I felt it was safe and suitable. Christy www.welshmum.co.uk
I take my dog on the school run but like when I take him anywhere I don’t allow him to get close to people. I walk him on the inside to stop this and then leave him away from any children for the couple of minutes at drop off. He’s really friendly and well behaved but being the responsible dog owner that I am, l don’t allow him to approach people and being a responsible parent my kids aren’t allowed to approach other people’s dogs Lisa www.babynotincluded.co.uk
Dogs on the school run has been a positive for us. My daughter used to be really scared of dogs but lots of small, positive experiences of dogs, many of which took place on the school run, has helped her get over it to the point where we now have a dog who she adores. I do take him on the school run but we are lucky that the way our school gate is laid out multiple dogs can be tied up and still be well away from the actual gate but if that wasn’t the case, or if my dog barked when left, I’d reconsider taking him.Josie Methemandtheothers.com
I don’t mind dogs, we have a dog but I can’t take her up the school as they aren’t allowed on the school grounds and there’s nowhere for her to be tied up outside which is a shame really as it would make a nice walk to do with her. I understand that some children are scared of dogs but I do also believe that in order to help with that they need to be introduced to dogs. Of course, I’d never expect them to be put in front of an aggressive dog but then I’m sure that would be very rare to have as a family dog. I think more schools could be more accommodating for dogs to come and be safely left outside of the gates.Emma  Https://emmareed.net

dog on lead

I haven’t got a dog but really don’t mind seeing dogs on the school run as long as they are friendly and on leads – my two love to see them Lianne www.anklebitersadventures.co.uk
We take our giant newfoundland on the school run, she’s has been there ever since she was a puppy and everyone loves her, I take the small children into school and my older daughter carries on walking her past the school, I would never leave her tied up or unattended and if there’s a big crowd waiting to go in we always cross to the other side of the road Mandi www.eastangliafamilyfun.co.uk
I’m not a dog owner (anymore) and have no problem with people taking their dogs on the school run as long as they are responsible owners. I walk to school with a 5 year old, a 2 year old holding onto the buggy and pushing a 14 month old. The amount of times that I’ve had to clean dog poo off the buggy wheels or shoes is unbelievable, I just can’t believe people don’t pick up especially outside of the school grounds. It infuriates me! Having had a dog we picked up EVERY time regardless of where we were. I also teach my boys not to approach any dog unless the owner says it’s OK. I might feel differently though if my children were scared. Emma Https://dirtdiggersanddinosaurs.com
I think yes, of course! Why not take the dog with you, as long as the dog is under control and on a lead, I see no problem at all. Kelly Ourtransitionallife.com
Every day at our (primary) school there is a large dog that gets tied up to the fence and it barks constantly until the owner returns. It’s a deep gruff bark. So I’d say no. It’s scary for the children but generally it’s just really irritating too Kate. Https://www.katelili.com

So what are your thoughts on taking dogs on the school run?


  1. I hated dogs when I used to do the school run. My teen is terrified of dogs and seeing them tied up at the gates just added to the stress of getting her into school. The poo just left annoys me even more. Ugh!

  2. Nope. I don’t think dogs should be taken on the school run. There’s a parent at my child’s school who insists on taking her pooch to school and back every morning, but the dog is nervous. It doesn’t like cars, pushchairs or noise. The school is fairly rural and the pavements (where there are any) are narrow. On several occasions I’ve had to push the pushchair with my youngest in it on the actual road, because of this woman and her dog.
    I appreciate not all dogs are like this, but it just seems bonkers to me. The school run is usually chaos enough without adding pets into the mix.

  3. My daughter isn’t at school yet but I don’t take the dogs on the nursery run. They would go mental if I tied them up outside to collect my daughter, which is stressful for the dogs as well as the children and parents. I think it really is an individual decision and depends on the temperament and obedience of the dog. Either way, as a dog owner you should always be respectful of other people passing by and respect that not everyone is a dog person. #DreamTeam

  4. My boys love seeing all the dogs on the school run. They mainly accompany the KS2 parents as they aren’t allowed on school grounds. My only beef is when they leave droppings near the school, that’s entirely about the owners and not the dogs! #DreamTeam

  5. Ahh this is such an interesting one. If you’ve got a beautifully behaved dog, then I don’t see why they can’t come on the school run. However, I personally wouldn’t want to tie mine up outside the school gate OR bring him in (which you aren’t allowed to do anyway). So I guess, if there’s two of you and one to wait with the dog outside the gates then I would say yes, and if not, then no. #DreamTeam xx

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