This is a first in a multi-part series called Dogs Under the Desk – taking your dog to work.
Thousands of people take advantage of the unique opportunity to take their dog to work with them. Until now, very little has been written about office dog etiquette. Can your dog work with you all day and then come home and still want to lick your face? We will cover the highs and lows of sharing an office with your dog in our continuing series.
According to this author and her 3 Busy Dogs, the secret is having a clear understanding that pet parental bliss doesn’t always translate into career bliss. You have to go into it with your eyes open and your scents on high alert, indicates the youngest 3BD, Quigley with his many entertaining facial gestures. It may be cool to hang out with Mom/Dad all day but you’ve got to realize there will be challenges and necessary boundaries.
Show your dog your office and explain which areas are off limits, which papers cannot be chewed, who’s cube he cannot enter, and where he can park himself without tripping anyone up. Knowing when to stop or take a break is very important. If it’s just you and your dog, you might create a cord-free area under your desk because that’s where they always end up. Get used to tucking your feet under you unless he is a willing to be a foot rest.
Explain to your dog that you will be getting up and down many times and that doesn’t mean he has to jump up and follow you EVERYWHERE.
Dogs get restless and they need to know how to speak up when they have to go out, or when the urge to catch a Frisbee is climbing to DefCon 5.
At the end of the day, we turn work off for dinner, says this author. Dinnertime is sacred and dogs are very keyed into their nightly routine, followed by play or a walk. If they have been entertained all day by people at the office, they might be more forgiving if you have to work a little late. But if it’s just hanging with you, you’d better be ready to scoop some kibble because their internal clock is more accurate than anything you’ve got on your desk.
The key is not to lose sight of your personal relationship when mixing it with a working one. Signs that you might be getting too focused on your work are: incessant whining, a slight tugging feeling on your shirt, a callous paw scraping across your leg, outright barking, and guilt-inducing facial expressions (we’re talking about the dog in this case).
Here are some things you can do to maintain a successful relationship:
– Maintain your Master-Dog relationship. Letting him take over the office will not transition well at home.
– Don’t play the blame game. If he pees on your carpet, perhaps you didn’t look up from your computer or phone in time to see his tinkle dance.
– Analyze the pros and cons of taking your dog to work. If you work at home, forget it – you’re stuck with each other.
– Make your time together special. Throwing a Frisbee while chatting on you iphone doesn’t say “I’m here for you”. You don’t want your “Good dog!!” to sound hollow and insincere.
– Remember that you chose your career and he’s being the supportive of you. If he gets a little bored, remind him that there are many dogs sitting in shelters that don’t have it half as good as he does.
– Give him a good head rub and belly scratch every day!
Next time we’ll cover telephone etiquette for dogs.