Most CrossFitters love dogs, myself included. I’m pictured here with my beloved Cocker Spaniel who we officially named Irish, but we nicknamed Landshark. Irish loves to go BYE BYE in the car like most of the dogs I know. So please heed and read my advice knowing that I love dogs too.
It’s your call whether or not to allow dogs in the box. But should an incident or accident occur that gets you pulled into litigation, what happens next is a jury’s call should you get drawn into suit.
Dogs are unpredictable. Barbells and dogs don’t always mix, but they both move fast. If one is falling and one is dropping, the result could be tragic. If the owner of an injured dog is faced with costly vet bills, even if they are on staff or your best friend, they could come after YOU.
If a dog is tied up on your property, you could be liable for anything that occurs. True, most dogs are listed on their master’s homeowners policy, but should a dog be tied up in front of a business and the dog belongs to someone inside the business, the business could be liable.
Clients can be allergic. Burpees are bad enough, but if an athlete is doing burpees into a face full of dog hair and they are allergic, they aren’t going to be happy. Even though it seems irrational to dog lovers, you will have those who are also deathly afraid of our four legged friends. And let’s face it, not all dogs are box-broken. Should a client see a dog having a bathroom break on your floor, it won’t be pretty. Consider their feelings as you make your decision.
It’s one and done. Most dogs I know have never ever bitten anyone, until they do. We all know what happens after a dog bites a human. So even if a member assures you their dog is so gentle and is just going to lay in a corner and watch the WOD, we can’t underestimate how the animal will react to the sound of a dropping barbell. When it comes to dogs, history does not always predict the future.
Even the teeny tiny dogs can be dangerous. An Affiliate Guard box is about to enter litigation over an injury caused by a 8-pound dog. (Refer to Number One.) A very dog-friendly athlete was running around the box playing with said pooch before class began. The athlete tripped on the tiny dog, and to avoid crushing the dog in her fall, she fell awkwardly and broke bones in her foot! Letters from the dog lover’s lawyer followed.
No jury will ever ignore a child who has been bitten. The picture shared by the plantiff’s lawyer will say a thousand words, so I don’t need to say another one.
Even though we love them, dogs can be a serious liability. Ask yourself, “How is allowing dogs on site going to benefit my gym?” If you decide to have a dog-friendly environment, I will help you protect yourself. I will insist that there is a safe area away from your floor where the dog can be protected and that no dogs are on site when kids are present. Call Vaughn at Affiliate Guard today to learn the risks so you can make an educated decision.