Friday, June 22 is the 14th annual Pet Sitters International “Take Your Dog to Work Day.” While the ‘howl-o-day’ invites canines into the cubicle, failing to prepare can quickly lead to a professional faux pas.
Celebrity dog trainer, animal behaviorist and radio host Harrison Forbes offers some helpful tips on appropriate office etiquette for your four-legged companion.
Practice Makes Perfect: Before to bringing your dog into the office, practice polite behavior by taking them out to public places. Letting Fido tag along on your next trip to the park, pet store or café patio, will help them become more acclimated to new people, places and animals. This will help them learn proper behavior when greeting people and help them relax in new settings.
Plan, Prepare and Protect: Plan ahead and check with your co-workers to make sure everyone is allergy-free and comfortable with dogs. Also, prepare your work space by hiding electrical cords, and setting out a dog bed and water bowl. Most importantly, make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccines and protected from fleas and ticks that can be passed from other four-legged office mates. Use a monthly topical treatment like PetArmor®, which is the fipronil-based preventative that offers the same protection as Frontline® at about half the cost.
Walk This Way: Learn leash manners before stepping foot into the building. A trick to combat leash pulling is to stop walking or stop and walk in the opposite direction. When the dog stops and the leash becomes loose, start walking again. Repeat this exercise until your dog learns to walk with you instead of pulling ahead. This can be a long and frustrating process, but it will be effective in the long-term.
Sit and Stay: Condition your dog to sit and stay on command. This is the proper way to greet co-workers, and will help ensure your work day is productive. Teach “sit” and “down” by practicing ahead of time out in public, and offering a small treat for every successful command. Keep training sessions short and gradually build up to an hour. Once at work, encourage your dog to sit or lie down in its bed while in you’re working in your office.
Getting to Know You: Avoid office disputes by asking permission before you allow your dog to greet another dog, and don’t force your dog to become ‘friends’ with another dog; let them meet in their own time. Try to keep a loose leash when introducing your dog to another. Pulling tightly on the leash may cause your dog to become nervous and to growl or snap.
Are you planning to take your pooch to work with you on Friday?