The Czech Republic is definitely a dog nation; even one of their most famous fictive creations, Švejk, had a job as a dog-breeder before enlisting. Unsurprisingly, dogs are pretty welcome in most places and their owners are quite well provided for.
Taking the lead
Generally speaking, it is not necessary to always have a dog on a leash (lead). According to the Prague City Police website, every owner or walker of a dog has to decide whether the dog is dangerous and whether or not the dog requires a leash. If the dog attacks someone, then the owner or walker is liable.
Having said that, there are certain circumstances when a leash will be necessary. Two examples are on public transport (more on that in the section about public transport) and in most parks. When visiting a park, the best thing to do is see if dogs can run free (Volný pohyb psů povolen) or not (Volný pohyb psů zakázán).
Here is a list of parks where dogs can run free, though it is a couple of years out of date. Despite the rules, chances are you will see many people letting dogs run free.
Taking your dog for a drink, shopping, a film or to work
Dogs can be brought into many pubs and restaurant, especially those with outdoor eating areas, and the waiter will usually bring them a bowl of water. Though welcome, a dog shouldn't walk around free, but should be kept on a leash next to or under the table, or if small enough, on your lap.
Dogs are welcome in most small shops but not in large supermarkets or anywhere they could cause damage. Albert has a strict ‘no dog´ policy. Usually, there will be a sign on the door telling you if dogs are prohibited from entering.
The cinema Aero will even let you bring dogs to the cinema, but it must be on a leash the whole time. They even had a film festival for dogs, Aero Pes Fest
, last year.
Bringing a dog to work is not unheard of and will mostly depend on your boss and colleagues. As a rule of thumb, it seems more common in small companies than in larger ones. Of course, bringing a dog everyday would probably test the patience of everyone concerned, probably even the dog, but if it's necessary, it doesn't hurt to ask.
Out for a Ride
Dogs can be brought onto trains, trams and buses. However, they must be on a leash or in a portable cage or dog carrying bag. Whether on leash or in a dog bag a dog should be muzzled, according to Prague Public Transport regulations
. A dog not carried in carrier is charged the full fare as required for the length of the journey. Dogs can only enter via designated doors and cannot be placed near prams with children. The owner/carer of the dog is responsible for any injury, damage, or mess the dog creates.
Whether or not there are bags for collecting dog poop will depend on which quarter of Prague you're in, or which town. Regardless of whether bags are provided or not, you have to clean up after your dog, so if you're not sure bring your own. Failing to clean up after your dog can result in a fine of up to 20,000 CZK.
While a complete stranger may come up and say hello to your kid, people are usually more courteous with your dog and will ask before patting it.
From my experience, either from friends or just listing to people call out to their dogs, most Czech dogs seem to have English names. One explanation I was given was that only working dogs in the country will have Czech names, whereas city dogs will have English names. To be honest, I think it's more a fashion thing. Actually, the only people I know who have a dog with a Czech name are a non-Czech couple.