Pet care education group Pet Sitters International designates the Friday following Father's Day as Take Your Dog to Work Day to raise awareness for pet adoption. Employees around the world participate by bringing Fido and Spot to work, and organizing fundraisers for local animal shelters.
Share your pictures of your pooch at work: Post a comment and a photo below.
Thinking about bringing your pup to work for a day? Talk with your managers to see if your company would allow well-behaved pets in the office for one special day. Pet Sitters says studies have shown that pets in the workplace boost employee morale, productivity and even sales. This internationally celebrated day also makes for great press releases, newsletters and company profiles.
Once you have the green light from your boss, discover professional dog-training tips and find out what to bring with you to ensure a good time at the office for all.
Get your dog prepared for work
How does your dog react when meeting new people out on walks or around the house? For a happy day at the office, make sure your pooch knows which behaviours are acceptable and which are not. We spoke with Laurence Ormond, a certified educational trainer and owner of Alpha Academy dog classes, to find out what skills your doggy needs to make it through a day on the job.
"A well-socialized dog will behave under all situations," says Ormond. "Whether you are going to a rent a movie, visiting the home improvement store, riding the subway or are at friend's house, your dog should come along with you. You should be able to bring your dog everywhere. Have high expectations for your pooch."
What to bring to the office: Essentials
Your pooch will need a few key items to have a comfortable day at work. Make sure to pack these essential items for your dog's big day out.
• Water bowl
• Food and food dish
• Paper towels
• Doggy clean-up bags
• Comfortable walking shoes (for a lunchtime stroll)
• Disinfectant (just in case)
Keep your dog happy with some fun extras
You may consider some of these extras to keep your pup happy and occupied (and out of your desk drawers).
• Chew toy or rawhide chew
• Small dog bed or crate, in case your pooch needs some alone time so you can get some work done.
Page 1 of 3 -- Learn the importance of socializing your dog on page 2Socializing your dog
Socializing is the process of getting your dog used to different environments, and it's an important training opportunity. By taking your dog out of the yard and into new settings, you're taking him out of his comfort zone. This is a perfect opportunity to get your dog looking and listening to you -- you're the one in command.
"Bringing your dog to new places allows him to understand that you will keep him safe under all circumstances and enforces your position as alpha," says Ormond.
Taking our dogs out with us -- including Take Your Dog to Work Day -- is easy, fun and helps build an alpha relationship, where he or she will be looking to you for guidance.
Take your dog to new places
Another thing about socialization is it gets the dog used to new environments. Think about the first time you took your pooch out in the car. Scared and shaking, most dogs are afraid to be in this strange new place. But over time, and with many more car rides, dogs lose this fear and grow to enjoy this time. The same is true for any other experience your dog has.
"When you go for walks or take your dog to new places, make sure you take the time to educate the dog about different smells, noises, people and other dogs," Ormond suggests. This means making sure that, if they are frightened of something that they do not need to be (stairs are an example), you take the time to help them navigate safely. This is critical to building your dog's confidence."
Train your dog to ride in an elevator
For a successful day at the office -- unlike their first car ride or set of stairs -- get your dog used to being in unfamiliar territory. Has your dog ever been in an elevator? If not, he might be stressed going up to your office on the 27th floor -- and he may act out once he gets there.
Page 2 of 3 -- Does your dog have good manners? You'll find step-by-step instructions to help train your dog to calmly meet other dogs in the office on page 3.
Skills for successful dog training
Dogs that come to work with their owners should be able to sit, stay, and listen if you tell them to "leave it," says Ormond. More importantly, they should be patient: If you have taught your dog through patience training, you won't need to worry about having a him bark, howl or whine every time you get up to use the photo copier.
Make your dog wait
To patience-train your pooch, ask him to sit and "wait" (you can tie his leash to something secure if you think he won't stay). Start off small by walking five-10 feet away and then wait. Your dog should wait quietly without whining or crying for you. After 30 seconds, go back to your dog and praise him for waiting quietly.
Over time, you can time and distance apart, walking out-of-sight, and leaving him alone for up to 5 minutes. This training will come in handy when you zip in for a cup of coffee on your early-morning walks and know that Fido is behaving and waiting quietly outside.
Don't let your dog jump too much
Does your pup bark or jump up on people? Even if it seems playful, excessive barking and jumping can be frightening to your co-workers. "Your dog needs to understand that jumping up on people is completely unacceptable," says Ormond. If your dog is able to gives a friendly sniff and can sit or stand still while meeting somebody for the first time, he'll probably do great in your office.
Introducing your dog to people
Your dog will likely be super-excited to make new doggy-friends at the office, but it's important to maintain control over your dog. Ormond outlines the best way to have your dog say hello to new four-legged friends at the office.
1. Both owners should start with having their dogs in a sitting position.
2. Even if you know the other dog owner, you should greet each other first, so your dog sees this new person as friendly and non-threatening. Ask a bit about the other dog: Is it friendly? Does it like big or small dogs? As you become acquainted, you can also gauge the energy of the dog you are about to introduce your dog to.
Tip: Trust your gut! If you're not comfortable with the other dog, you can choose to say no. "It might not be a good time to let our dogs say hello," is an easy way to get back to work if the other dog looks menacing or acts aggressively.
3. If you decide the other dog is friendly, give your dog a loose leash and permission to say hello. Keep in mind that a tight leash can cause aggressive behaviour.
It's important to remember that, while it sounds like a lot of work to bring your dog to the office, it will be a great way for your dog to meet other dogs and make new friends. "Having other dog friend is vital to the well being of your dog both socially and mentally," says Ormond. "Ideally a dog should have between 15 to 20 close friends that it meets regularly -- this is a good indicator of a well-socialized dog to me."
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