Ashley
Expert November 2020

Flower Girl or Ring Bearer Dog?

Ashley, on November 6, 2019 at 11:53 AM Posted in Style and Décor 1 17
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Hello!

My fiance and I are having our dog be our flower girl. She is 5 1/2 months old right now but will be 1 1/2 by the time we get married on November 27th, 2020. I would love some advice on what those who had their dog(s) in their wedding did to help make things go smoothly.

*Background information: Our pup's name is Galaga (like the 80s arcade game). She is 5 1/2 months old right now and is 64lbs. She is a Great Dane so she'll be over 100lb by the time we get married and well before then. Haha She is well trained for a pup and knows sit, down, high-five/other one, and hang ten (where she puts both paws up high). We are still working on some other tricks, but I was wondering how people go their dog to not charge down the aisle. Haha I'm think my nephew, who will be 3 years old will "walk" Galaga down the aisle (Galaga is very gentle on the leash when walking and does great with kids).*

Thanks in advance and I'd love to see photos!

Galaga when she was only 14 weeks old and 35lbs!Flower Girl or Ring Bearer Dog? 1


17 Comments

  • Amber
    Rockstar February 2020
    Amber Online ·
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    Omg Galaga is the cutest. You can look at those feet and tell she's gonna be huge (nephew might need a saddle Smiley xd )! I love Great Danes, the gentle giants Smiley heart She'll make the cutest flower girl ever!

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  • Ashley
    Expert November 2020
    Ashley ·
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    Thank you! She is definitely going to steal the show! Smiley heart I sense lots of treats being given at the wedding. Haha

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  • Futuremrsmccormack
    Super February 2020
    Futuremrsmccormack ·
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    I would call the venue and a) see if it's allowed to have her there, and then b) get her used to the environment so it's familiar on the day and doesn't give her anxiety. She also might pull trying to get to "daddy" so maybe your nephew can walk alongside her and have one of your friends/bridesmaids/groomsmen actually hold the leash. One thing I know from working in veterinary medicine is that animals are unpredictable. Unless she's a trained service dog (and I mean real service dog) she may get overly excited or anxious being around a bunch of people in a new place (with delicious new smells). Even the sweetest babies (like your girl) can be unpredictable in an unfamiliar environment.

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  • Ashley
    Expert November 2020
    Ashley ·
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    Thank you for this advice! We've already confirmed with our venue and she's allowed at the ceremony because it'll be outdoors. She's only been there once so we'll start taking her there more frequently so she can get accustomed to it. We'll for sure plan for an adult to walk with her and my nephew just because we are getting married in the Rocky Mountain National Park so there will be high chances of wildlife (though we will be getting married in the winter so wildlife won't be as abundant as it normally is). We're in the process of teaching her "walk pretty" where she kid of trots like a show horse haha so we'll see if that works out. I definitely want to make she she is comfortable in the environment and that she isn't anxious or stressed. Thanks again for the advice!

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  • Mrs. Sarantos
    Master November 2019
    Mrs. Sarantos ·
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    I’ve seen one dog walk down the aisle well. They usually just sniff the guests. So I would do a lot of training.
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  • Ashley
    Expert November 2020
    Ashley ·
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    Smiley xd Sniffing would be the least of my worries, but thank you! I've never seen a dog walk down the aisle, at least not in person. I'll definitely continue training her so that she can be comfortable and confident!

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  • Heather
    Devoted February 2020
    Heather ·
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    So cute!! 😍

    Both of our dogs will be in the ceremony. We have our Great Pyrenees who is 4, she is our Great Flowernees and our Bernese Mountain Dog who is 5, he is our Ring Berner. Our Berner is calmer than our pyr. We are planning on trying some calming treats for both of them to make sure they don’t feel overly anxious the day of.


    We are having people they are VERY familiar with walk them down the aisle. Also, I am planning on spending as much time as I can with them leading up to walking out so they aren’t overly excited when they see me walk out.


    Following the ceremony they will be brought back to the room for the remainder of the night.


    Flower Girl or Ring Bearer Dog? 2
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  • A
    Expert August 2019
    Ami ·
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    We thought about this as well, but decided animals are too unpredictable. So we chose to include our pups in the engagement pics instead.
    She may be very well trained, but that isn't in a high stress environment with a ton of new people, music, etc...
    Also, I would cry if my dog got scared and jumped up while I was wearing my wedding dress.
    Think about who will watch her before, during, and after the ceremony.
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  • Meghan
    Super September 2019
    Meghan Online ·
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    We had dog ring bearer and flower girl (see profile pic). We had a couple of younger relatives walk them down the aisle because we figured otherwise they'd stray from the aisle. Haha. We took them there for the rehearsal so the wedding wasn't the first time being there. After walking down the aisle they sat with their respective people (flower girl with my parents, ring bearer with H's parents) and overall they were well behaved and just sat/laid down during the ceremony. But definitely have someone who can take her away if she gets rowdy or needs to go to the bathroom (flower girl dog had to go out to pee during our ceremony). You could bring a bone or other quiet toy if you're worried about her getting bored (all of the dogs in our wedding are on the older side).

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  • Ashley
    Expert November 2020
    Ashley ·
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    Ooh! Calming treats sound like an incredible plan! Having someone she's comfortable with is great advice too! Your pups are precious! Smiley heart

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  • Evans
    Beginner August 2020
    Evans ·
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    Lots of treats and practicing! We are having our dog apart of our day too! I would also pick someone to walk with her that she is used to having handle!
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  • Ashley
    Expert November 2020
    Ashley ·
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    As weird as it sounds, I'm actually not worried about my dress. I know I sounds insane. Haha I know lots of people say this, but I wouldn't put my pup in an environment or situation I don't think she would be comfortable in. We have over 1 year to train her more and get her comfortable with the environment and 90% of the people at our wedding have met her already so strangers are not an issue. Thank you for the forewarning though; I definitely want the good and bad to ensure we've completely thought this through. I love that you are including your pups in your engagement photos though; we unfortunately cannot afford the photographers that include an engagement session otherwise we'd include them in those too!

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  • Ashley
    Expert November 2020
    Ashley ·
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    Yay! We will probably have my FH walk her down and then hand her off to my best friend who is one of my matrons of honor because she's been around her since she was a puppy. I hope you'll share photos! Smiley heart

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  • Ashley
    Expert November 2020
    Ashley ·
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    Aww I love your photo! I'll probably have her sit with my parents because she is more familiar with them. I'll definitely bring some non-speaking toys for her and of course her favorite: moose antlers! Smiley heart

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  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
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    Our dog, Lucky, was our "dog of honor" at our wedding. At the time, she was 4 years old. We dropped her off with her sitter the Thursday before our wedding & she brought her to the ceremony on Saturday, then took her back home after pictures and kept her until the end of our honeymoon. She exercised & bathed her before so she would be tired and relaxed. Our dog is super good in large crowds and is in that situation a lot, plus she does great off leash. The only thing I wish I changed was I should have bought a flower leash & collar.

    our sweet girlFlower Girl or Ring Bearer Dog? 3


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  • Evans
    Beginner August 2020
    Evans ·
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    Yes I will! She tried it on her bandanna the other day and she is excited too!
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  • Katelyn
    Savvy June 2020
    Katelyn ·
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    I love the idea! I considered doing it myself but my venue is not the most dog friendly. I’ve seen a seller on Etsy that makes “flower dog” collars. I haven’t ordered one myself, but the reviews look good (and it might be a good project to try yourself if you are in to diy stuff!)
    https://etsy.me/2Q5y4KF

    As for training, I might suggest teaching it like a trick or command, and take it a step further and teach her how off the leash. This way even if she does get distracted or loose, you can say a specific command or signal and she will know the correct spot to go to. I’ve taught my dog some more technical tricks like fetching a water bottle, playing dead, and army crawl, and I’ve found the easiest way is to break it onto steps, but saying the unique command after completing the trick then rewarding with a treat. So I would consider starting with the “walk pretty”, and practicing walking nicely across the room on a leash next to your FH, then saying your wedding command word and reward with a treat. There are some no pull collars I have bought off amazon to help with training leash behavior. After she is able to consistently do this for a week or 2, I would have her do the walk, then have her sit next to FH before saying the command and rewarding. Then the next step would be practicing off leash or outdoors until you feel comfortable. Tricks like this take a whole lot of reps, I recommend using small pieces of cheese or lunch meat as rewards because they are easy to break into tiny pieces so your puppy doesn’t get too full on dog treats.
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