Taking Your Dog to Work
June 22th is take your dog to work day!
Before you bring your dog to work
- Ask your supervisor and/or boss if it is okay to bring your dog to work. Also check with building management. There are often rules that won't allow dogs to come to work.
- Seriously ask yourself if your dog would be a good candidate to take to work. Do they have low arousal; sleep continuously, okay in uncertain situations and with smells? Do they love people and other dogs? Will your dog LET you work or will they continuously paw at you and cause issues. You want your dog to be a ambassador of this great day.
- Exercise, Exercise, Exercise! When a dog has gone on a long walk they are much more likely to sleep at the office. If you want to get any work done, exercise is the key!
Items to Bring
- A dog pillow, blanket or travel crate. Keep in mind a new environment can be a stressful experience for your dog, causing apprehension and uncharacteristic behavior.
- A leash to walk your dog from the car to the office. The leash will also help you control him in the office.
- Food or familiar treats along with a water bowl so your canine friend can stay well hydrated. If you have an office with a door you can hide treats and ask your dog to find them! This is a great game to pass the time for your dog.
- A dog toys or puzzle, such as the Buster Cube® or KONG® to help your dog pass the time.
Situations to Avoid
- When nervous, dogs tend to shed, so be sure to brush your dog prior to the visit.
- Nervousness sometimes brings on the need for unexpected bathroom breaks, so walk your dog prior to the visit and take him out frequently throughout the day.
- Don't let coworkers give your dog human food or unfamiliar treats. Bring along nutritious treats that your dog is accustomed to for those coworkers who just have to give him a cookie - and not too many.
- Don't leave your dog alone with other dogs. If you must leave for a meeting, isolate your dog in a closed office or have a dog-familiar friend sit in until you return.
- Other dogs might not be as well behaved as your dog. Watch for signs of dog aggressiveness, such as growling, staring, raised hackles, and stiff body posture. Diffuse potential conflict by removing your dog from the area.
- Don't try to force unfamiliar dogs to "become friends."
- Check with your supervisor to get an okay to leave work early if your dog can't handle the new environment. If he becomes too stressed, overexcited or inhibited, it's best to just take him home.
- Needless to say, leaving your dog in a vehicle while you continue to work is not an option.
Stopping a Dog Fight
- Obviously, the best solution is to avoid bad situations altogether by closely monitoring dog interaction.
- If a dog scuffle occurs, don't lunge in and try to break it up by hand (you could get bitten accidently). Use your dog's blanket to throw over the heads of the fighting dogs. This will confuse the combatants long enough for you to defuse the situation.
Keys to Providing Good Leadership
- Establish a clear leadership role with your dog before the office field trip. One way to do this is to ignore all requests from the dog, such as nudges to be petted or to play. Ignore him by breaking eye contact and turning away from him. When he has "given up" trying to get your attention, call him back to you to be petted or to play. When he responds to your requests and actions, versus you responding to his, he sees you as the leader.