It’s the perfect time of year to get out and enjoy the crisp autumn air with your pup. From Rural Hill’s sheepdog trials to PuppyUp Lake Norman’s annual event at Davesté Vineyards, November’s dog-friendly events in and around Charlotte don’t disappoint.
And if you’re looking to get a jump on dog pictures with Santa before the holidays get into full swing, check out our list of 40 Charlotte spots where you can take holiday pet pictures this year.
You know your dog best. Consider your four-legged friend’s comfort around crowds, noise and other dogs before venturing out to these events – and remember not all humans are as eager to say hello as your dog can be. All canine event-goers should be leashed, friendly and vaccinated unless otherwise noted.
Pop-Up Dog Training: Puppy Socialization
Join Humane Society of Charlotte for its final pop-up dog training class of the season at NoDa Brewing’s North Tryon location. This week’s topic: puppy socialization. You’ll learn basic obedience and dog manners rooted in positive reinforcement and a fear-free approach. HSC keeps classes small to allow for lots of one-on-one attention.
Head to Stumptown Park in Matthews for a fun-filled day for dogs and their people. Pawsitively Matthews will feature up to 60 dog-friendly vendors on-site, plus food trucks, craft beer, demo areas and live music. Pressly Animal Hospital will also be on-hand with low-cost clinic services, including $15 rabies shots and $20 microchips.
‘Gone Dogs’ Launch Party
If you’re looking to get a jump on your holiday shopping, this might be the perfect place to start. Stop by Moxie Mercantile in Plaza Midwood to pick up Gone Dogs, a collection of 50 celebrations of dogs loved and lost. While you and your dog are there, you’ll get the chance to meet the local team behind the book, get your copy signed and explore other local goods perfect for dog lovers and everyone else on your list.
You Drink, We Donate: North Meck Rescue
Here’s one of the easiest ways you can support an animal welfare group doing good work in our community. All you have to do is show up and order a beer at NoDa Brewing’s North Tryon location. The brewery will handle the rest, donating $1 from every pint sold in the taproom to North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue, a private, donation-funded no-kill rescue.
Rural Hill Sheepdog Trials and Dog Festival
The hallmark of this late-fall event just north of Charlotte features champion border collies and their human handlers herding sheep through a series of gates and pens using only voice and whistle commands. Canine Agility Club and Carolina Dock Dogs will also be on-hand to delight with land and water shows. But the fun’s not just for show dogs: Your pooch can get in on the games on Saturday, when UNC Charlotte hosts a Harry Pawter Quidditch Tournament and costume contest.
Additional highlights include North Carolina beer and wine from NoDa Brewing and Shelton Vineyards, as well as food, shopping and one last opportunity to explore the Amazing Maize Maze for the season for a $5 donation.
Barks & Bluegrass Benefit
Dress your pup in his or her best turquoise bandana and head to Divine Barrel Brewing for an afternoon of fun benefiting LUNG FORCE, an American Lung Association effort to raise awareness and research funding for lung cancer. The event will feature live music, food trucks, craft beer and the FIDO’S FORCE Top Dog Competition. Meet the dogs in the running – and vote for your favorites – online through 4 p.m. on event day.
This is your last chance in 2019 to check out this pup-friendly (flea-free) pop-up market featuring 50+ vendors, food trucks, live music and craft beer. Look for Uptown Flea at the corner of Tryon and 7th Street near Duckworth’s. Pro tip: bring cash. It might get you a discount with select vendors.
Santa Paws in the Park
Take a short drive up to Lake Norman for one of the first opportunities of the season to take your dog’s picture with Santa. In addition, this dog-friendly event at Robbins Park in Cornelius will feature plenty of pupper gifts perfect for the holidays. You and your pup can also join a 1-mile guided walk through the park’s scenic trails.
See more places your pup can meet the man in red in our round-up of holiday pet portrait events.
PuppyUp Lake Norman Walk
Now in its seventh year, PuppyUp Lake Norman is part of a nationwide effort to discover common links between canine and human cancers. This year’s event at Davesté Vineyards features a 2-mile walk and cancer research fundraiser to benefit both pets and their people. There’ll also be free treats for all participants, including a glass of wine for humans and a baked treat for pups.
No dogs allowed
As much as we enjoy bringing our four-legged friends along, not all events are dog-friendly. For the health and safety of attendees, dogs are not permitted at these November events:
• Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade (technically allowed but discouraged)