What you’ll learn in this episode:
- The joys and struggles involved with intentionally creating a community of dogs along with their owners (a pack!)
- What exactly is That Dane Bar: Bark Park & Brews?
- Great Danes: personalities, training, utilizing as dog park monitors
- “Reading” dogs and their owners to keep the park and the “pack” safe.
- Helping aggressive dogs and shy dogs overcome their struggles and join in the fun with other dogs in the park
Welcome to another episode of Free Range Dogs Podcast
In this episode, Web speaks to Benz, the owner, and creator of That Dane Bar: Bark Park & Brews in Lake Havasu City, AZ. Benz explains that this endeavor originally started as a joke that went a little too far. Her facility is centered around an indoor dog park that includes a bar for humans (beer and wine).
Benz’s passion for Great Danes started when she encountered one that touched her heart. She opened That Dane Bar 5 years ago (anniversary on May 1, 2023) with her first Dane, Rogue. She currently has three Danes: Rufus, Jade, and Johnny which she got when Rogue sadly passed away. She describes them as her business partners.
Although Benz, in her own words, “runs a tight ship,” she has intentionally created a genuine community, or pack, of dogs along with their owners who frequent the Bark Park and the Dane Bar. That community provided solace and helped her cope with her grief when Rogue died. The community provides support for each other during difficult times, and she describes how they coped during the pandemic when she had to close.
A large and important part of running a tight ship involves being able to “read” dog behavior as well as human behavior, and intentionally keeping problems out of the park and the bar. This requires diligence on her part, as well as compassion and empathy. Dogs who appear too aggressive or too shy or anxious to enter the park are allowed into a separate area and given special training and the opportunity to join the rest of the dogs when they are ready. She describes what she looks at when she is reading a dog.
Benz discusses how one of her Danes, Jade, monitors the dog park for problems and intervenes to defuse issues and gets Benz’s attention. The other two dogs, Johnny and Rufus, are a bit younger and are in training.
Overall, That Dane Bar serves an important function as a community gathering spot for dogs and their humans. Future plans include hosting live entertainment events and expanding to get employees in order to provide more services.
FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE: Lisa Benz
Owner of That Dane Bar: Bark Park & Brews
2213 W. Acoma Blvd., Ste 100 Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403