June 24th, 2011

Practice Good Pet Etiquette During “Take Your Dog To Work Day”

by Jacqueline Whitmore

My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Oliver, hard at work.

Today is Take Your Dog To Work Day and in honor of this special occasion, here are some etiquette tips courtesy of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

When you show up with your dog at the office on Take Your Dog to Work Day, make sure he is prepared to meet several new people and possibly other dogs. He should have lots of practice with polite greetings before the big day so that he knows what your expectations are.

When your dog is greeting new people, have him sit politely until released for greetings. Not everyone in your office will want to meet him, and those who do will be especially pleased with his manners.

A cute trick never hurts. Teach your dog to shake hands with people that he meets by holding your fist up to his nose. When he lifts his paw, even a little, praise him and give him a treat. Practice this until he can give up his paw on command. Then have him practice with different people so he is an expert.

When greeting new dogs in the office, your dog should also be able to sit politely until asked. Ask permission before you allow your dog to greet another dog, in case that dog isn’t as friendly. You don’t want to cause an office squabble!

Keep dog-dog interactions short or break them up periodically by calling your dog back to your side to calm down. Even friendly dogs can escalate if their playing styles don’t match so allow your dog a break and reward him for listening.

Remember to always keep a loose-leash when allowing your dog to greet. If you are pulling tightly on the leash, your dog may think you’re nervous, which may cause him to growl or snap. Allow the dogs to greet in their own time. Don’t push them into a greeting or prevent normal interactions, such as rear sniffing. Even though your dog may be in your office, dogs will still be dogs!

First celebrated in 1999, Pet Sitters International’s Take Your Dog To Work Day® was created to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs. This annual event asks pet lovers to celebrate the humane-canine bond and promote pet adoption by encouraging their employers to support TYDTWDay by opening their workplace to employees’ four-legged friends on this one special day.

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