The Nation’s Hotels Are Embracing Dog Employees

Soft sheets and a friendly dog? What's not to like?

Dog walking
The concierge makes his way to the desk.
Getty Images

There’s something inherently pleasant about checking in at a hotel. Maybe that comes from the sense that you’ve arrived at your destination; perhaps it stems from some feature of the space itself. But there’s one very easy way to make that experience even better: throwing a friendly dog into the mix who’ll greet you with a wagging tail and a friendly bark.

There’s a growing trend among hotels in the U.S. to partner with animal shelters to get some canine companionship. Nashville’s Bobby Hotel is the latest establishment to discover the joys of having a “lobby dog.” Writing at The Points Guy, Tanner Saunders explained the Bobby’s “Dog-in-Residence” program, which finds the hotel partnering with the Nashville Humane Association to bring a new dog to the lobby each year.

Once the dog’s time in office is up, it’ll move on to a new home with a veteran seeking canine companionship.

The benefits of dogs at the Bobby go beyond the “Who’s a good dog?” factor. For one thing, the training that comes with the position helps get the dogs better suited to socializing with people and dogs alike. (As Saunders notes, the Bobby is also a dog-friendly hotel.)

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Lobby dogs are becoming a more frequent sight in hotels. Today explored this phenomenon in 2019, with a survey of a few spots across the country where rescue dogs were finding new work at hotels; more recently, Travel Weekly chronicled the concept. North Carolina’s The Park on Main has done something similar, with 30 dogs adopted via their version of the program to date. And one St. Louis establishment, Angad Arts Hotel, has been donating a room each month to a rescue dog and shelter volunteer, which has led to plenty of dogs getting adopted via the ensuing publicity.

It’s something that feels very much of the age of social media. After all, people do seem to love photos of adorable dogs online — and if you can market yourself as both a comfortable destination and one where visitors can meet a friendly canine, that’s all the better.


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