Office Dogs: How it works to take your dog to work
Which dogs are suitable as office dogs?
Basically, it does not depend on the breed whether a four-legged friend is suitable as an office dog or not. He should naturally tend to have a calm, peaceful disposition and not react aggressively or wildly to strangers. If you want to take your well-trained dog to the office, it is important that he does not distract either yourself or your colleagues from their work. Furthermore, four-legged friends at work should have no problem lying in their place for a while without getting fidgety.
In the case of a puppy, it is recommended that you do not take it to the office until it has received a certain amount of basic training. Life is so exciting for young dogs anyway, and they should get used to you as their owner before many more people come along. It makes sense to take an extensive vacation at the beginning or, if possible, to work from home when a dog moves in with you. Puppies will sleep up to 18 hours a day for the first few months, so you won't be too distracted from work during this time.
Ask your supervisors and colleagues for permission
Unfortunately, it is not a matter of course to take your own four-legged friend to work. So you should also be prepared for the fact that your wish for an office dog could be rejected. Reasons for this might be fear of dogs or simply an allergy. However, once you have received your employer’s approval, you should also talk to your colleagues in your department. Because just because the boss is a dog lover, individuals can still express concerns that you may need to respect and accept.
Where is a good position for my dog in the office?
Once you have obtained all the necessary approvals, you can start setting up the berth for the dog. To do so, your desk should be in a suitable position, with enough room for a dog blanket, basket or bed. Of course, a water bowl should not be missing either.
A quiet spot with little traffic is ideal, so that the dog can relax in the office. Since your furry buddy cannot accompany you to every meeting and you will also need to go to the toilet once in a while, the dog should feel comfortable in his new resting area, also alone. It is an additional advantage if your desk neighbour also has a good relationship with your dog (and vice versa), so that he or she can be looked after if necessary.
Getting the dog used to the office
Accompanying the owner to the workplace daily is a big change for dogs, which is also connected to stress, due to many new impressions and strangers. Give your darling time to get used to the new situation. It helps to bring an object like a blanket or a pillow from home that has a smell the dog is used to. This way, he will accept the new place more quickly.
It is also very important to educate colleagues from the beginning: What is the dog allowed to do, what is it not allowed to do? You should communicate this clearly and unambiguously in order to maintain your dog's training level. The same applies to the feeding of treats and snacks; make it absolutely clear that your dog may only be fed if this has been clarified with you beforehand. Your colleagues must also be informed that the dog needs rest when sleeping and does not want to be disturbed.
As an occupation in the rather monotonous office routine, you can, for example, hand your dog long-lasting chewing snacks, deer antlers, buffalo horn or sticks made of coffee wood. Just make sure that the associated chewing noise does not disturb your colleagues at work.
Lunch breaks with office dogs
Now that your four-legged friend has been lying in the office all morning and has received less attention than usual, his highlight of the day follows: the lunch break. Here you should not focus on your own needs, such as trying out the new restaurant around the corner with your colleagues, but only take care of your dog. During an extensive walk, your darling can exhaust himself, sniff and discover. After he has had enough and has let his urge for movement run free, he will surely be tired and spend the afternoon at work snoozing and sleeping until it is time to go home again.
Special case: several office dogs
If there are other dogs at your workplace, it may be useful to set up a digital dog calendar that all dog owners can access. This makes it easy to coordinate that not too many dogs are in the office at the same time, in case playing is considered disturbing. On days like these, it is especially convenient to be able to share the supervision of the dog with friends or a partner.
Also not to be neglected: Without exception, every dog needs its own spot, which belongs solely to him. There, he can withdraw at any time; in addition, he knows that in case of insecurity there is always a safe place just for him. Furthermore, there should be certain taboo zones for those four-legged friends in the office. Not only that some colleagues might find dogs in the kitchen unhygienic, for example, but jealousy about food can also become a big problem when several dogs are present at the same time. It is important to stop this at an early stage - if the dogs start begging, it can spark off a huge argument, which unfortunately is not soon forgotten. For the same reason, it makes sense to always feed your own dog at home, where no other dogs will notice.
In order to enable several dogs to work together harmoniously in the office right from the start, it is generally helpful to arrange a walk together on neutral ground before the first meeting at work. There, nobody has to mark his territory and can let the encounter take place in a relaxed manner.
A dog sitter as an alternative to the dog in the office
If it turns out that either your dog or your employer is not compatible with your desire to bring your four-legged friend to the office, you should consider hiring a dog sitter. Even without a lot of overtime, your dog will have to be left alone for up to ten hours during the week, including commuting to work. He will be longing for attention and of course, also for walks. Just ask around in your neighbourhood and circle of friends - besides professional dog sitters, pupils and students are often happy about a small additional income.