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Karen B. London
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Whole Family Is Welcome at Church
Yes, that includes dogs
Should dogs be welcomed in churches, temples, mosques or other places of worship?

Covenant Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles allows dogs to come to its Sunday night prayer services, which are led by Reverend Tom Eggebeen. Welcoming canines to places of worship is a growing trend that reflects an increasing recognition of the strong bonds that people have with their dogs. The goal behind canine-friendly services is to make people feel more comfortable at church.

 
Sometimes dogs do become a bit unruly and need to be taken outside to relax, but Reverend Eggebeen says that happens with unruly kids on occasion, too. He says that if all the dogs start barking, they usually quiet down when the congregation sings “Amazing Grace.”
 
Many people are supportive of dogs being in church, but others have been critical of the policy. What do you think about dogs coming to church? Would you be in favor of having canines at your place of worship or against it?

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Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by Jane | March 6 2010 |

I'm in favor of well behaved dogs just about any where. I recognize that people with allergies or aversions to dogs might raise objections. I don't know what specific objections this church received, but it sounds like they do several services and there is one designated for people to bring their dogs. That seems reasonable. But again, it is probably difficult to determine what "good dog behavior" is at church. It's hard enough at my local parks. Many of those issues have been written about on this blog. I would just enjoy taking my dog with me any time.

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