How to take your dog to a coronation street party, by top trainer Ben Randall

The upcoming celebrations across the land can be fun and enjoyable for all the members of your family, whether they have two legs or four. Ben Randall explains how to take your dog to a street party.

The coronation of King Charles III will be an amazing moment for the country, as we all come together to celebrate the ceremonial beginning of the new reign.

And long standing tradition dictates that street parties will be a big part of the festivities, just as we saw with the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last summer.

These things are great fun for people of all ages — but what about our four-legged friends? This week’s reader emailed me via looking forward to her local event, but concerned that it all might be all a bit much for her young dog.

Dear Ben, we thoroughly enjoyed last year’s Platinum Jubilee street party, and another is planned down our way for the coronation. But I’m a little concerned about the dog that we’ve since got. She’s a lovely golden retriever, almost a year old, good with people, and has been doing well with her training. I feel like she’d enjoy going along — and I know the neighbours would love to see her and make a fuss over her on the day. Will it be too much for her, though? — B.R., Kent

This is a tricky one to answer without knowing the individual dog and its temperament. In my years honing my BG (Beggarbush) training, I’ve come across all sorts of dogs; and if you were dealing with a pet that had suffered trauma at the hands of a previous owner, I’d suggest erring on the side of caution and staying in.

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But despite your (very sensible) wariness, you do sound confident in her ability to enjoy what could and should be a lovely day for you all. I can give you a some suggestions of what you can do to condition the dog to an environment like this.

How to help a dog get used to noisy parties and places

1. Start long before the day itself — and use your phone to get your dog used to the noises

This is a tip that’s particularly effective when used with a younger dog‚ and it’s actually something I do as a matter of course with all my dogs from the time they’re puppies.  Jump on your phone to find a Youtube video of street parties featuring loud music, noisy chatter and perhaps even fireworks, and place the phone near the dog while you’re with him or her. While the noise is playing, make sure you’re right next to your dog, calmly reassuring and petting them, and offering the odd reward of kibble from your hand.

This is something you can do this while you’re around the house, in the garden, out on the street, walking to heel, during feeding… any time you’re together, essentially. The key is to make sure the dog always sees the sound as a positive, since it’ll associate it with being safe and looked after next to you. Keep calmly praising him or her every so often, and you’ll be reassuring them that there’s nothing to fear.

2. Find a busy place full of people to get used to crowds

Getting your dog used to sounds will be a big help, but getting them used to lots of people being around is also a great idea. If you’ve got children of school age then pick-up time is a perfect opportunity: get permission from the school to see if you can take your dog along at pick-up time, then take it into the playground or yard to get used to being around people coming up and seeing and interacting with them. Make sure you’re right there as before, calmly reassuring and giving treats every so often, letting the pupils come up and say hello and perhaps give your pet a stroke. Your dog will quickly get used to the idea of being comfortable in a crowd, with you there the whole time letting them know they’re safe.

If there’s no local school, then a Saturday or Sunday morning down at the local rugby, football or cricket club can work really well too. There will be noise, cheering and crowds of people; just follow the golden rule and make sure that all the time your dog is within that environment, you calmly reassure them with praise and the odd piece of kibble. Assuming that’s all going well, then I also like to do a little simple training practice within this environment: some simple teaching your dog to sit or stay put — particularly useful while talking to people — and also some heel work.

3. If you see signs of stress, back away

If your dog becomes nervous in any way as you approach or enter this busy environment, simply withdraw slightly, continuing the praise and reassurance. Wait patiently until your dog becomes more comfortable and confident, and starts to trust you and the environment he or she is in. Then build up that confidence by moving closer, bit by bit, to the busy, noisy environment.

4. At the party, always keep your dog on the lead — no matter how tempted you are

It might sound a nice idea to let your dog go and see people or other dogs under its own steam, but it’s absolutely not. Once you’re there, please absolutely ensure that you keep the dog on the lead and connected with you.

A dog running free at a street party can become a special kind of nightmare, as the potential for him or her to get stressed out by other people — no matter how well-meaning they are — is huge. On top of that, this is a place where there will be chocolate, nuts, fizzy drinks, sweets, beer spilt on the ground… all of which, you won’t need reminding, are on the list of things your dog should never eat. People, and particularly children, can have a tendency to feed dogs at these sorts of events, so keep them with you all the time: supervision and staying connected is hugely important for your pet’s safety. If you do lose concentration and they end up with something in their mouth they shouldn’t, remember that the ‘leave’ command can literally be a lifesaver. But stick to these guidelines, take things calmly, and be ready to have a bit of time out and your entire family — including your dog — can enjoy a truly special, memorable occasion together.

No matter how well the training goes, we’re definitely drawing the line at buying your dog a new hat…

For more details about the new ‘Alpha’ whistle that Ben has co-developed with Acme whistles, go to For more detailed advice about Ben Randall’s positive, reward-based and proven BG training methods, one-to-one training sessions, residential training or five-star dog-boarding at his BGHQ in Herefordshire, telephone 01531 670960 or visit For a free seven-day trial of the Gundog app, which costs £24.99 a month or £249.99 a year, visit

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