Friday, June 4, 2010

Are You Prepared? Take Your Dog to Work Day

From Shiloh, Summit Assistance Dog
June 25,2010 is National Take You Dog to Work Day,which began more than a decade ago as an effort to celebrate all that dogs give to us,their human companions while putting the spotlight on all those dogs waiting to find their human. Having your dog with you for the day at the office can a wonderful thing if you and your are prepared... after all, still must work done.  I have been working with a dog at my feet 12 years now,and while it is great there is much preparation require for it to an enjoyable experience.

Tips to a Ensure Everyone (Dog and Human) Enjoy Take your Dog to Work Day:
  1. Bath and Groom your dog a day or two before the event. This will ensure they will not offend others with doggy smells,will be less likely to accidentally scratch people while shaking paws, and will be less likely to leave fur piles behind.
  2. Find out if their is anyone in your office who afraid or allergic to dogs and give them their space.
  3. Bring a Bed, Blanket, or Crate for you dog that was also recently cleaned to help your dog know it's space.
  4. Bring a baby gate to keep your dog in your office/Cubicle when you have to leave for a bit.
  5. Exercise your dog well before bringing them to the office. After all, a tired dog is a happy and well behaved dog.
  6. Follow these Introducing Your Dog to New People and Dogs Tips
  7. Ensure Your dog is solid all the following Basic Behaviors: Come, Sit, Down, Stay, Quiet, Wait, Off, Leave it, Loose Leash Walking, House Broken,and knows which toys are theirs (you don't want to find your printer cord chewed coming back from a meeting). If you dog doesn't have these down yet maybe you should keep working on it to be ready for next year's Take You Dog to Work Day. First impressions are lasting ones and we all want our dogs to make the best one they can.
  8. If Your Dog is working though any of the following problems you may want to reconsider taking them to work with you is likely to be too much for them (and quite probably you): Separation Anxiety, Fear Periods, Specific Fears (i.e cars,specific types of people, new places, new dogs, etc.), Generalized Fearfulness, Aggressiveness, Barking, Territoriality, Resource Gaurding.
  9. No Flexible Length Leashes in the office! Six foot straight lead at the longest. The locks on flexible leashes can pop loose and it is much more polite to have your dog on a leash that is a constant length so everyone knows just how much room your dog has. If you have a very powerful and or exuberant dog you may even want to consider shorter leash lengths for your dog such as four or two feet to ensure they don't they better of you through shear momentum, and help other to feel that you are truly in control of your dog.
  10. Make Sure You Collar and Leash are in good condition.
  11. Bring quiet, non-smelly toys and treats to entertain your dog. A bored dog may just go looking for ways to entertain themselves some of which you may not like, not to mention other people.
  12. Bring Supplies to Clean Up After Your Dog including Poop bags, disinfectant wipes, and a towel.
  13. Be prepared to Catch your Dog Doing Good and Reward them! Bring the treats and use the day to remind yourself and your dog how wonderful and good they are.
  14. Do not allow your dog to Disturb/Greet/ Invade the Space of Working Service/Guide Dogs. It is customary to give handlers of these dogs warning if you need to pass them such as "Dog Passing on the Left/Right" and to keep your dog at your side while passing. If you all cannot pass in the hall or other tight space let the handler know (if they were in the tight space first) that they can pass keep your dog at your side in a sit or a down leaving plenty of room for the team to pass. If you are in the tight space first again let them know you are coming through with a dog keep your dog at your side.  Please know that service dogs are generally not permitted to greet/socialize with other dogs while working as it distracts them from the reason they are there... to assist their partner with a disability. Any team you encounter today will be very grateful if they do not have be on the lookout for or surprised by unknown dogs in their path,because you are looking for them:)
If all of the above is overwhelming to you, consider leaving your dog at home on Take your Dog to Work Day and enjoying the dogs and people that do show up. Remember: Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do it. Make the right choice for you, your dog, and your workplace.

    1 comment:

    Katie said...

    What a fabulous idea! I wish dogs had showed up around my classes and work that day. Thank you so much for these suggestions and ground rules that make great ideas possible for everyone to enjoy.