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Take Your Dog to Work Day
updated: Jun 09, 2012, 10:15 AM
Dear Inquisitive Dog Parents,
I'm one lucky dog in that I love to work, have a job, and get to share an office with my mom. So, in
honor of Take Your Dog to Work Day, which is observed June 22, 2012, I thought I'd provide my pooch's
perspective on steps you can take to help make your dog become employee of the month.
Here are the four tenets of my Mutt Model:
Know Your Animal!
Is your dog the type that does or would enjoy your place of business? Is he or she a fan of the hustle-
and-bustle, high-energy work environment? Does your dog like being around various types of people,
or, are they more the home-office type? If it's the for-mer, great. If it's the latter, then decide if taking
your dog to your office is something they can learn to enjoy. If you don't think it is, and that they'll end
up being uncomfort-able all day, stay at home and set up office meetings via a webcam. This way, they
can be at work but feel safe and comfortable.
As for your workplace, know your employer, your fellow employees, and your com-pany's polices. Are
dogs allowed? If so, where and when? If not, ask if your company might want to start such a program, or
if they'd be willing to make an exception for this special day. As much as we love this event, we still
want to encourage people to play by the rules.
Are other employees comfortable having dogs in their space? If the answer's yes, then whooo-hoo!
Maybe they'll even allow your dog to hang out with them. If not, would you be permitted to keep Fido
confined to one specific area?
After you investigate and decide if you're going to include your bow-wow-buddy, you'll then want to
determine what their job duties are. Regardless of the work environment, he or she will most likely need
to know the basics: sit (especially when greeting others); "Watch me" (good for gaining their attention
when needed); down-stay (while you have to actually work); and walking nicely on leash (for walking to
and from the office and tak-ing potty and exercise breaks). You'll also want to teach them to come to
you when asked, if they should decide to wander off to the break-room in search of snacks. Yes, I speak
Speaking of snackies, you'll want to make sure you pack a doggy-bag for your dog. This should include
water, food/treats, interactive food toys to help keep them busy, a bed or mat for them to lie on, a
leash, and waste bags. Toys are also fun for break-time activi-ties.
Reward, Reward, Reward
It's best to train it before you need it! That's why I'm posting now: to give you time to prepare. Even if
your dog has savvy office etiquette, I still suggest you practice, prac-tice, practice, especially in new
settings! As a matter of fact, if you can set up a few dress rehearsals in your own office, even once or
twice for a few minutes, it'll make it easier on your dog, and you, when you're there the entire day.
Similar to fire and earth-quake drills, you'll want to have practiced behavior "drills" with your dog before
the big day!
Do you want to bring your dog to work but aren't sure if you'll be able to give them the time and
attention they'll need? Taking your pooch for potty and play breaks, monitoring them throughout the
day, and introducing them to other people--and possibly other dogs--can all eat into your work hours.
If you believe you're inclined to be the ideal co-worker to your dog, then go for it! If you have any
doubt, it might be best to switch to Plan B: share stories, pictures and videos of your furry friend with all
the other pet par-ents around the water-cooler.
Paws and Reflect
Whether your dog is already an employee of the month or still developing their good manners, it's best
to plan ahead! Determine what you want from your dog, develop a strategy, and practice to help set up
everyone for success. Not only will your advance planning help promote this event, but it just might set
the stage for you to bring your dog to work additional times. Sounds like the perfect situation to boost
For additional information, check out the Take
Your Dog to Work Day website. You can also register your office to participate in this paw-raising
Poncho Mayer is a 10-pound inquisitive canine who knows a lot about human and ca-nine behavior.
He and his mom work together running the family business, providing dog-training services to other
inquisitive canines and their humans. For additional train-ing and behavior tips, subscribe to their blog.
Got a question about behavior, training or daily pup life? Email Poncho directly at
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