Roch: A Universal Dog Friendly Standard & Certification Process

The world's first universal dog-friendly standard and certification process, for the hospitality, retail and leisure industries. Created by dog owners, and designed to make the world a little easier to travel with our four legged friends.

Roch: A Universal Dog Friendly Standard & Certification Process
The Roch Marque

A Dog-Friendly Certification for the Hospitality Industry

The Roch Standard is the world's first dog-friendly standard and certification process, created to assist business owners in promoting themselves as dog-friendly, provide their customers with a clear set of rules for dogs on business premises, and offer a clear definition of dog friendliness & inclusivity.

The standard is designed to be universal and adaptable to different kinds of businesses within the hospitality industry. It enables hotels, bars, restaurants, and retail locations to promote their businesses as dog-friendly through our publicly available directory, our regional and vertical ranking systems, and by leveraging our professionally designed dog-friendly marketing materials for display in the public areas of their businesses and websites.

The Roch Standard was created to provide dog owners with peace of mind when they travel with their dogs. The standard evaluates a business’s dog-friendliness and grades them accordingly from A+ to C. This simplified grading system provides dog owners with a clear view of the most dog-friendly businesses and establishments, enabling them to plan their travels with their dog in mind.

Behind the scenes we give each business a numberical rank when they certify, this numerical rank allows us to compare them against their peers regionally, and within their industry sector, enabling us to identify 'the dog friendliest hotel in Orlando' for example, giving the truly dog friendly businesses in a region an opportunity to shine, and stand out in a highly competitive industry.

What is a Friendly Dog?

The foundation of the Roch Standard is the notion that a friendly dog is almost always welcome, but unfriendly dogs are not. The standard defines a friendly dog as one that is friendly to the business, its customers, and staff. This means that they are not alarmed, threatened, intimidated, or overwhelmed by its behaviour.

A friendly dog is one that is friendly to the business, that does not intimidate, or behave aggressively to others, and does not cause property damage.

Establishments adhering to our Standard retain the right to exclude a dog from their premises at their own discretion, and can cite the Standard's definition of a friendly dog when doing so, leaning into the standard for support. Ultimately, business owners with dog-friendly policies want to welcome dogs, but they also want to retain the right to exclude any dog that may makes them uncomfortable, pose a risk to the safety of their guests, or damage their property.

Cultural & Contextual Flexibility

This definition of a friendly dog enables the standard to be flexible enough to accommodate any given context involving dogs or people. For example, a biker bar may have no issues with a pit bull roaming around freely, but take that same dog into a women’s clothing boutique and they might have a problem. The Roch Standard provides businesses that adhere to it with enough flexibility to decide for themselves what a friendly dog is, in any given cultural context, using our definition and the standard in support of their decision-making.

This flexibility also means that the Roch Standard can work despite regional or cultural differences in the way people perceive dogs. People in some cultures simply do not share the same ideas about dogs that an American or English person might; they may not have grown up with dogs, or through unfamiliarity, be afraid of them. In places where these feelings are the norm, a culturally sensitive approach to dogs is needed, and the standard enables this.

Why Should A Hotel Align With The Roch Standard?

Aligning with the Roch Standard signals your commitment to canine inclusivity, when dog owners feel their canine companions are truly welcome, it instills a sense of loyalty towards your business. Cobranded marketing materials can be used to effectively communicate dog-friendly policies, which serve as an additional promotional tool for the hotel, potentially boosting their bookings and profitability, a favourable outcome for any business. Through inclusion in our publicly available directory and vertical ranking systems hotels are able to outcompete the other 'dog friendly' hotels in their region, and this can significantly enhance their reputation and marketability with dog owners.

The Roch Standard also paves the way for smoother operations within the hotel, with clear guidelines and training materials on dealing with canine guests, staff members can manage pet-related situations effectively and efficiently, ensuring a harmonious environment that caters to all guests, human or canine.

Why Should Dog Owners Align With The Roch Standard?

Over time the Roch Standard will become an increasingly reliable dog friendly compass, directing dog owners towards businesses that warmly welcome their canine companions, easing the often-stressful process of identifying pet-friendly establishments, making travel with your pet more enjoyable and less uncertain.

The Roch Standard's ranking system offers a crystal clear picture of a business's level of dog-friendliness. This transparency allows dog owners to make informed decisions, and to plan their travels with their furry friends confidently and without unnecessary stress. Our definition of a friendly dog helps set the lower bar for acceptable canine behaviour in public places, and this understanding enables fewer conflicts between dog owners and businesses in the process.

Over time, we will come to rely on dog owners to contribute their feedback and help us rank the hotels themselves, their customer rankings and reviews will become weighted in the way we calculate the Roch Rank of a business, the more positive feedback a business gets, the higher their rank climbs.

The Roch Standard respects your cultural and contextual differences in the way you perceive dogs, and this flexible approach ensures that the needs of dog owners are balanced with those of other patrons and the businesses themselves, promoting a peaceful co-existence that benefits all parties involved.

Come and help us shape the future of our Standard by joining the Roch Society.