bringing your dog to the office? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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bringing your dog to the office?

so i recently started work at an office where i was told by my boss that my dog would be welcome to come in with me.

one part of me is SO excited at the idea of bringing my dog with me, and the other is thinking it'll be a disaster.

facts: i have my own private office away from the cubicles, my boss is aware that it is a 5 month huge shepherd puppy and not a purse puppy, my dog is well behaved and non-destructive, albeit a little excited when meeting new people. and most importantly: i have someone who lives within 5 minutes who would be able to pick him up and watch him until my shift ends should things go awry.

my only real fear is that sometimes, before actually being close enough to people to be pet, he'll let off one bark. it's definitely not a vicious bark, and it's always only one. but even though he's a puppy, he's a ~big scary german shepherd~ , and this usually intimidates people. i don't know if this would be the case with my co-workers though, as a lady there brought in her pit today for a short while and everybody seemed okay with that.

have any of you brought your dog to the office before? how did your experience go?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 02:38 AM
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I don't have any experience - but is your pup crate trained? If he is comfortable in the crate, and you have room - why not set it up in the office and just have whoever comes in toss him a few treats for the first little while (you could keep a basket available by the door or on your desk) - until he's more sure of himself in this new atmosphere?

Also, I AM SOOO JEALOUS!!!!
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 02:39 AM
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I'm a graduate student so no "office" per say, but I do bring my dog on campus and into our labs from time to time.

He is always on leash, either tethered to me or on his bed (a mat on the floor next to me) and I always have him in my sights/leash close enough to grab if needed.

I always make sure to bring a few things with me to keep him busy; frozen kongs, bully sticks, marrow bone, etc. Things that he can't really "play" with but that will keep him entertained. Quiet things are a must as other people are coming and going and working on things in this lab/office so I don't want him to bother anyone.

If you have a private office, I would suggest getting a crate set up in there as well as a babygate or excerise pen to block him in your office.

Quiet, mind stimulating toys are great.

You are VERY lucky to be able to bring your little one to work, I hope to one day find a workplace like that (not likely in Ontario,Canada).

I wouldn't think that one bark would be bothersome, especially if the workplace is dog friendly. It will allow you to work on this behaviour and it might even help it. I think introducing him to everyone willing and walking him around outside your office on a leash giving him tones of treats would be a good way to go too.

I still get people who are intimidated of Stark (21 months, so not really a puppy anymore) but I just keep him away from them.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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he is crate trained so that's definitely a possibility. i'm not sure how big my office is going to be since i'm getting it on monday, but judging by the ones i've seen so far (i've seriously only worked there 3 days, i don't know why i'm already getting my own office) there should be enough room.

the only other thing i'm worried about is for when i have to run out to make the occasional fax or something that he might bark or something. i don't know. he's normally not very vocal, and he really is well behaved, i just am so nervous since this is such an awesome opportunity.

and i KNOOOW. i feel so lucky. the only offices i've really ever heard of doing this are creative art types, like graphic design and such, where there's few actual employees and/or clients in the office. i'm just a telemarketer (i knoow, i know, yes i'm one of those awful people who bug you during dinner about stupid crap you don't want...but being a full time college student it's beating the **** out of mcdonalds and paying a lot more too)
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 03:08 AM
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What about taking it slow... have him come for 20 mins at first (have someone pick him up and bring him home.

Next time, 30mins, and so on and so on..

Is there a possibility you can go in before work starts to work on crate training him in the office? After work?

Crate him and then leave the room for a second and work your way up to a few minutes, etc.. ? Praise and treats when he is quiet.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 03:46 AM
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I've taken various dogs to various workplaces with me and never had a problem. I've never used a crate but my dogs are place trained and the place is whatever I put down on the floor for them (usually a towel or blanket or small bed). If the dog is the hyper variety (like Rafi) then I bring quiet toys and/or something to chew on.

If it were me I would wait to take your dog to the office until you train him not to do that excited bark and teach him any other manners you'd like to have him have in the office setting. That should be easy to do if you take him different places (friends' houses, etc.) and ask for those behaviors at those places.

When you do bring into the office be sure to bring lots of yummy treats! I would also take him there for short periods initially so that he gets comfortable and used to the space.

And finally, I would take him for a very long walk every morning before you take him to work and then another shorter walk at lunchtime. That's what I've done with my dogs and it has worked great.

Good luck!

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by elisabeth_00117 View Post
I always make sure to bring a few things with me to keep him busy; frozen kongs, bully sticks, marrow bone, etc. Things that he can't really "play" with but that will keep him entertained. Quiet things are a must as other people are coming and going and working on things in this lab/office so I don't want him to bother anyone.
While it's a good idea to keep him busy, I would strongly advise against bully sticks in the office at first
If it were me, I'd take him to the groomer so he makes a good impression and smells lovely and clean for the non-dog-people. Bring him in really early so he has time to sniff around the office, maybe an hour before people start showing up and let him get comfortable in his new place and people will start trickling in around him as they come in to work.
When he reaches that moment when you know he's going to let out his bark, distract him with a super delicious treat so he doesn't scare anyone.
If there are people that you suspect are scared of dogs, I'd stay away from any items that may make him look tough, like chain collar, leather leash, bones to chew, etc. I'd distract from that fact that he's a GSD with things like funny clothing, dog shoes, stuffed animal toys, brightly colored leash & collar (you can man him back up when people get to know him )
...And to keep him busy, I'd start off with "normal" (to non-dog-people) toys like a kong stuffed with peanut butter... When people are all acclimated to him, THEN break out the stinky dehydrated bull... uhm... thing
Also, have several lint rollers ready to offer people if they suspect a dog hair has landed on them somehow
(You can probably tell by now what kind of office I work in )
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 09:38 AM
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I used to work at a boatyard and they were totally cool with me taking my dog to work with me. I worked in the yard supply office where the guys would come to get bottom paint, tools, etc so Pyrate had a great time. I had an outside opening to my office so he could be on his 30' lead and go out and come back without me having to worry about him getting in the way of the travel lift. The boat yard owners had two labs to play with. After I got laid off I was worried how he would feel about being left at home, but then I got this great job I can do from home. I only have to go the office on Fridays. It's been great because I was able to get Raina and get her through the puppy stage easily at home. Now when I go to the office on Fridays I can take one of them with me if I want to. I have a folding crate I can take in. If it's busy I leave them home but really miss them. It's great to work at home. If it's a nice day I can take a break and play with my two furry kids. I have no real schedule except that things have to be done by a certain time so I can start late or early or work late if I want to. I love it.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 09:57 AM
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Strongly second the lint roller idea. It also helps to have a bottle of Febreeze or something like that for the people who might not like that "dog smell". Most of us never notice it and wouldn't complain if we did.

A couple of years before I retired, our sheriff's office moved into a brand new Law Enforcement Center. The squad room was about 1/2 of the floor and was a cubicle land. We sergeants had offices along one wall.
There were about 100 deputies in that room, sharing cubicles and some of them didn't like dogs so all of us K9 guys always made sure to have everything we figured we would need.

Lint rollers (we used the tear off tape ones), some kind of odor spray. We used Febreeze pet odor strength (mostly for show) and wet wipes for everything else. Try and think of anything you might need and try and have it so if something does happen, you can take care of it. (We used a lot tape for the rollers, but we wear brown polyester pants)

The treat jar for the dog sounds like a good idea. (None of us used food treats for our dogs) Maybe a treat jar for people as well. Not too many people are going to complain about stuff if you're giving them treats!!!

I would also get there as early (to start out) as you think it would take for your dog to check things out so he seems comfortable with the area before people arrive for work.

Every time we went into the office, RJ would work that entire room to find out which cubicle had someone in it.

You are very lucky to be able to work to take your buddy to work with you.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 11:55 AM
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maybe you should wait untill your pup is more socialized
and trained before taking him to work. on the othe handr you could
take him to work to train him how to behave when in the office. keep him there for a short period and have your friend pick him up. slowly increase the time he spends in the office. once he learns how to behave in the office and you're taking him to work with you i'm going to be so, so jealous.
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