Lancashire's local landlords declare they will welcome canine visitors as Wetherspoons brings in dogs ban

Local landlords declare they will still welcome man's best friend as pub chain Wetherspoons brings in its ban on dogs. David Nowell finds out more.

Friday, 7th September 2018, 3:53 pm
Updated Friday, 7th September 2018, 4:56 pm

Dog lovers are baffled by the decision by pub chain Wetherspoons to ban their pets from its outlets.

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But the pub company’s loss is a gain for many of Lancashire’s hostelries who welcome canine visitors.

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J D Wetherspoon has announced it will no longer allow dogs into its pubs from Monday.

It explained it had always technically had a ban in place – excluding guide dogs - but was now enforcing it more rigidly.

Weatherspoons spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “Wetherspoon has a policy of not allowing dogs in its pubs, including all outside areas, assistance dogs excepted.

“This policy was introduced shortly after the company was founded in 1979, although in recent years we have allowed a few exceptions.

“After much consultation, we will now be strictly enforcing this policy everywhere.

“In order to give those affected time to adjust we have set a deadline of Monday, September 10.”

Mr Gershon said Wetherspoons served a lot of food, which was one factor in the decision.

And the pub chain was also concerned about the effect dogs had on children.

He added: “Even well behaved dogs can be unpredictable.

“We welcome a lot of children and families – younger children in particular can be unpredictable around dogs and many are scared of dogs.”

Wetherspoons, founded in 1979 by Tim Martin, has around 900 outlets around the country.

Pubs in the central Lancashire area include the Grey Friar and the Twelve Tellers in Preston, the Leyland Lion, and the Sir Henry Tate in Chorley.

‘Moving with the times’

Pubs have to remain inclusive if they are to remain competitive, say industry experts.

And that means changing with the times as tastes change- including welcoming dog owners.

Preston has recently seen the loss of several iconic boozers, including the Sumners and the Pear Tree at Bamber Bridge.

And campaigners have revealed a shocking 25 pubs a week are closing down in the UK.

The latest data from the ONS shows that between 2016 and 2017, 655 pubs and bars across the UK called time for the last time.

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, said that pubs play a vital role in communities.