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Stress is a major contributor to employee absenteeism, morale and burnout and results in significant loss of productivity and resources. But a preliminary study, published in the March issue of the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, found that dogs in the workplace may buffer the impact of stress during the workday for their owners and make the job more satisfying for those with whom they come into contact.
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A working dog is a canine working animal, i.e., a type of dog that is not merely a pet but learns and performs tasks to assist and/or entertain its human companions, or a breed of such origin. In Australia and New Zealand, a working dog is one which has been trained to work livestock, irrespective of its breeding.
The vast majority of dog breeds in existence today were bred to do a job. Australian Shepherds were designed to assist the shepherd or rancher. Rottweilers pulled wagons; Great Danes protected property. The list goes on and on.
WORKING DOGS breed group table:
Today many of these dogs are mainly pets. However, they still have the instincts to work. Many dogs get into trouble in the house and yard because they feel like they should be doing something, and they have nothing to do. When you give these dogs a job to do on a regular basis, they are thrilled, and very often problem behaviors decrease significantly.
Working dogs work. It is that simple. Dogs take on a number of jobs, and normally perform those jobs with or under the supervision of a human counterpart. Often, extensive training is necessary to get the pooch in tiptop occupational shape, but many duties come naturally to a working dog. Perhaps the most popular working dogs include those that debut on our favorite television shows, but other working dogs include cattle herders and service and assistance dogs. A working dog is more than a companion.
The term "working dog" is often used as a catch all term that covers all dogs that are more than just pets. Some working dogs are bred for a specific occupation, while others just take on jobs because of extensive training and responsiveness. Because of their responsiveness and temperament, working dogs can make great pets. However, if the dog is bred and exhibits a natural tendency to work, the owner should make sure that the dog is given work to do. If not, the owner should be highly active with the dog. Working dogs that are left alone for long periods of time or those that are not allowed sufficient exercise or mind stimulation often resort to destructive behavior. Digging, chewing, excessive barking, and attempting to escape are all behaviors that a bored working dog may exhibit. Often, working breeds end up at animal shelters, because the owners were unable to foresee the time, attention, and care the pet needed.
Herding dogs are often seen with cattle, sheep, and geese. Bred to herd, these dogs have a natural tendency to guard and move the livestock. Even if the dog exhibits these natural tendencies, he still must undergo training. The dog needs to be able to understand and respond to the owner's commands. Some dogs work better with certain type of herds, but there is a variety of herding dogs. Popular breeds of herders include the Australian Shepherd or Australian Cattle Dog, the Border Collie, the Koolie, and the Newfoundland.
Bird Dogs - comprised of several types of dogs - pointers (German shorthair), retrievers (golden or Labrador), setters (English, Irish), flushers (cocker spaniel, springer spaniel), and water dogs (poodle, Portuguese water dog) - these breeds were developed to help hunters of fowl find and retrieve their game.
If your home is run by one of these happy go lucky breeds, you can be sure of two things. First, she has a lot of energy. Second, she probably jumps in the water any chance she gets. Smart and loyal, she will do best if given an outlet. Things like fetching, obedience, and dock diving are great. With all that energy comes a lovable, happy personality that makes bird dogs great with kids and amazing for therapy work.
The use oftherapy dogs is continuously rising in popularity. A Therapy Dog is one that is trained with specific commands to provide comfort and affection to people in long-term care, hospitals, retirement homes, schools, mental health institutions, and other stressful situations to include disaster areas. Therapy Dogs provide people with animal contact. People who may or may not have a form of disability. Therapy Dogs work in animal-assisted activities and animal-assisted therapy. The dog is commonly owned by the person handling it, who considers the dog to be a personal pet. Therapy Dogs often work with their handler/owner during sessions. Handlers of these dogs might be health care professionals who are members of the staff of a particular facility, or volunteers. Therapy dogs must show a love and warmth for all people. Often, the dogs enter nursing homes and hospitals to perform their work. Once there, the dogs visit patients and provide companionship. The use of therapy dogs mainly raises patients' spirits, but it has shown medical effects such as lowering blood pressure. The dogs are often trained to perform cute tricks. It is extremely important that the dogs show good temperament and are properly socialized; they must allow strangers to pet and play with them. There are several organizations that train Therapy Dogs, and these dogs provide an invaluable service by visiting hospitals, VA centers, nursing homes, schools, etc.
As strange as it may seem, mascots are also considered working dogs. Mascots represent schools, organizations, and teams. Since they normally make appearances at public functions and may perform tricks, dogs that take on a mascot roll are, in fact, working.
A Service Dog is a highly skilled dog that is to be used by the client themselves for their own rehabilitation. They are specialized to work with clients with PTSD and other psychological disorders, autism, mobility impairment, hearing impairment, epilepsy and diabetes detection, and medical alert, etc. Service Dogs are allowed access to any public place and any airline as long as they behave in accordance with Service Dog policy – no excessive barking, and no aggressive behavior. The only places that are legally allowed to deny entrance to Service Dogs are places of worship and military installations. Service Dog Express will work with their clients if they encounter any access issues, even places of worship.
Hunting dogs also perform work, but many kennel clubs do not put working and hunting dogs in the same categories. Hunting dogs are trained for a variety of hunting tasks. They can point to the prey, stalk the prey by sight, stalk the prey by smell, and locate and retrieve the prey. Many breeds of dogs excel in hunting jobs, including Feists, Terriers, Setters, Spaniels, and Retrievers.
An Emotional Support Dog (aka Emotional Support Animal - ESA) is a domestic animal that provides therapeutic support to a disabled or owner through companionship, non-judgmental positive regard, affection, and a focus in life. If a doctor determines that a client with a disabling mental illness would benefit from the companionship of an ESA, a doctor may write a letter supporting a request by the client to keep the ESA in "no pets" housing or to travel with the ESA in the cabin of an aircraft. ESAs are not task trained like Service Dogs are. In fact, little training at all is required as long as the animal is reasonably well-behaved by pet standards. This means the animal is fully housebroken and has no bad habits that would disturb neighbors such as frequent or lengthy episodes of barking. The animal should not pose a danger to others or show any aggression. There is no requirement for basic commands or mitigating tasks since ESA's are not generally taken anywhere pets would not ordinarily go without permission, the exception being to fly in the cabin of an aircraft, even if the airline does not ordinarily accept pets.
Dogs trained to protect people and homes are guard dogs. Guard dogs often receive bad publicity due to aggressive behavior. However, a properly trained guard dog will alert the owner by barking at the trespasser. The dog may be trained to attack, but this is an illegal practice in many areas. Most breed of dogs can be trained as guard dogs, but like all forms of work, certain dogs excel in the task. Dobermans and Rottweilers are often used as guard dogs; there size only helps scare away an intruder.
Sight Dogs is a bredd for helping hunters track prey by sight, breeds like the greyhound, Saluki, and the Irish wolfhound, are intensely visual and extremely fast. They will chase anything with quick movement (cats, kids, squirrels) and can be highly energetic. Like many working dog breeds, they too, can be reserved around strangers.
For those who own or are thinking about getting a Sight dog, stimulating their naturally acute eyesight is key. Activities such as fetch, disc dog, and lure-coursing, are thoroughly enjoyed by these breeds. Although this group includes the fastest dog breeds, they are known for being "couch potatoes" at home - if there is nothing to chase they are quite content to lay by their human pack leader.
Trackers are like sight dogs, tracking dogs were bred to help hunt prey, but instead of using their eyes, they use their noses. Popular breeds like the beagle, bloodhound, and coonhound belong to the tracker group. Their amazing sense of smell is so instinctive that even dogs with no formal training will "track" a scent they pick up. If your dog picks up a scent, beware, he will most likely tune out everything else as his scent drive takes over.
Letting a hound off leash without proper recall training is not a good idea. A scent dog that finds a scent will be long gone, having tuned your voice out completely. With training, however, these amazing dogs are great for search and rescue and scent work.
Terriers are one of the most notorious groups, terriers were bred to be ostentatious hunters of game. The group, which includes the American Staffordshire terrier, the infamous Jack Russell and the perky West Highland terrier (westie), is well known for their stubborn, overbearing, energetic personalities. Often referred to as "terror terriers," dogs in this group need a firm hand when it comes to training or your house will be destroyed. Since they were bred to kill, these dogs love to rip, shred, chew, and shake anything they get their teeth into. Nip training and socialization are extremely important. Their intelligences makes them great for almost any type of activity, including agility, obedience, disc dog, and therapy work.
Regardless of what type of dog you love, if you understand your dog's drives, you can train them to suppress their urges or to aim them at something acceptable,such as a chew toy rather than your Italian leather couch. Most importantly, take time to realize how incredible your dog's natural abilities are and celebrate them.
Trailing dogs follow a trail composed of small particles of tissue of skin cells left by the person as she or he travels and that corresponds to the scent article they were given as a reference. They can not work if no scent sample is available.
Air Scent dogs also work without scent article, but by picking up traces of human scent that are drifting in the air, rather than following a track close to the ground. This type of dog will generally not be able to discriminate between scents of different persons, so the presence of other people within the same area may affect the results. They are particularly useful in disaster work (collapsed building search) to detect human scent within and around a debris pile. They usually work off lead.
Water search dogs focus their attention on the bodiy gasses that rise up from under the water. They work in team with their handler from a boat or from the shore-line, and with a diver ready to search the area indicated by the dog.
Disaster dogs are trained to find humans in very unnatural settings as they are found after tornadoes, earthquakes and other disasters. They must be able to work in small, confined spaces and on unstable surfaces without being distracted from their mission. Disaster dog must be relatively compact and short-haired, and capable to work off lead. Shepherds are most often used.
Avalanche dogs are trained to detect human presence burried under many feet of snow.
Dogs perform a variety of everyday jobs. The ones listed here are only few specific jobs from a long list of occupations. Some breeds of dogs show natural tendencies to work or perform certain tasks, while others learn their occupational skills through training. If you are interested in getting a working dog, then remember that they can make wonderful, loving pets. However, you must provide a working dog with a job, or he may resort to unwanted behavior.
While many people are familiar with Guide Dogs, those that assist people with vision loss, not as many people are aware of the other types of assistance dogs working today. Here is a description of the various types of assistance dogs:
Guide Dogs Assist people with vision loss, leading these individuals around physical obstacles and to destinations such as seating, crossing streets, entering or exiting doorways, elevators and stairways. Service Dog Express does not train Guide Dogs
Service Dogs for People with Psychiatric Disabilities According to the ADA, they are simply called Service Dogs - not Psychiatric Service Dogs – Assist and alert people with many psychiatric and emotional disorders, including PTSD, TBI, anxiety, depression, bipolar disease, schizophrenia, etc. This type of Service Dog can provide a sense of security, calming effects, and physical exercise that can make a positive difference in the life of those that suffer with PTSD and other psychiatric disorders. Training may include providing environmental assessment in such cases as hypervigilance, paranoia or hallucinations, signaling behaviors such as interrupting repetitive or injurious behavior or reorienting clients during flashbacks, and guiding the client away from stressful situations. These Service Dogs can help a client remain calm by preventing people from crowding around or rushing up behind the client in public places, which will provide a comfortable space for PTSD sufferer. The dogs can also help adjust the "feel good" neurotransmitters in the brain - serotonin, oxytocin, and can help lower blood pressure and tachycardia.
Mobility Service Dogsmobility assistance dog Mobility Service Dogs increase the independence of a person who uses a wheelchair, has trouble standing, has difficulty maintaining a steady gait, and/or with ambulating. They perform tasks such as steadying their handler, helping to "brace" if a person falls and needs help getting back up, retrieving dropped items, turning lights on and off, carrying items in a dog backpack, getting help if someone falls, helping people get up from seated positions or into seated positions, opening and shutting doors, pulling a wheelchair chair up inclines and ramps and for short distances, etc.
Hearing Alert Dogs Alert people with hearing loss to the presence of specific sounds such as doorbells, telephones, crying babies, sirens, another person, buzzing timers or sensors, knocks at the door or smoke, fire and clock alarms.
Diabetic Alert Dogs Diabetic alert dogs are trained to give a clear previously defined alert signal when its handler is experiencing a hypo/hyperglycemic episode. These dogs have noses that are thousands of times more sensitive than the human nose and have been reported to detect a change in blood sugars levels up to 30 min prior to the a glucose meter, or a continuous glucose monitor. The dog's natural scenting ability paired with a high level of training helps to improve glucose control, improves quality of life and gives both diabetics and their loved ones peace of mind.
Medical Alert/Medical Response Dogs Alert to many different medical conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, heart disease, adrenal failure, blood pressure problems, asthma problems, etc. Many dogs also alert to certain cancers, such as early stage ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer. Check Pine Street Foundation.
Autism Service Dogs Assist with children who are autistic. Tasks for the autistic service dog include, keeping the client from bolting, keeping the client calm, keeping the client from having to have a human attached 24/7. Children with autism have a hard time focusing, communicating, and verbalizing, yet many can work with a dog. Tasks also include stopping the child at intersections, bringing the child back to the human or house when the child refuses or cannot understand verbal words, and applying deep pressure to the child during meltdowns. These dogs are often fitted with two leashes - one for the child to hold or be tethered to and another one for a parent/handler/caregiver to hold. The dog will accept commands from the parents, thus providing a new sense of freedom and safety for the child and the parent. Some children have been known to give verbal commands to the dog even when they won't speak to anyone else.
Seizure Alert/Seizure Response Dogs Seizure response dogs are specifically trained to help someone who has epilepsy or a seizure assistance - Seizure Alert Response Dogsdisorder. The theory is that dogs can smell a seizure coming on about 30 minutes in advance (prediction), and after the seizure, they can respond (response). Tasks for seizure dogs may include, but are not limited to:
Summoning help, either by finding another person or activating a medical alert or pre-programmed phone
Pulling potentially dangerous objects away from the person's body.
"Blocking" to keep individuals with absence seizures and complex partial seizures from walking into obstacles, streets, and other dangerous areas that can result in bodily injury or death.
Attempting to rouse the unconscious handler during or after a seizure.
Providing physical support and the secondary benefit of emotional support.
Carrying information regarding the dog, the handler's medical condition, instructions for first responders, emergency medication, and oxygen
Additionally, some dogs may develop the ability to sense an impending seizure.This behavior is usually reported to have arisen spontaneously and developed over a period of time. There have been some studies where dogs were trained to alert impending seizures by using reward-based operant conditioning with partial success.
Although most modern dogs are kept as pets, there are still a tremendous number of ways in which dogs can and do assist humans, and more uses are found for them every year. The following list provides an idea of the versatility of dogs:
IPO Sportdog's are trained to an extremely high level of obedience. Competition consists of three phases: Tracking, Obedience, and Defense. Each phase begins with 100 points and points are then deducted for every mistake the dog and handler team make. Each team must achieve a minimum of 70 points per phase, and when temperament and mood of the animal are constantly assessed just passing is an achievement for most competitors.
Turnspit dogs were used as a source of power, they turned a treadmill connected to a roasting spit. Similar arrangements were used for household duties such as churning butter.
Service or assistance dogs help people with various disabilities in every day tasks. Some examples include mobility assistance dogs for the physically handicapped, guide dogs for the visually impaired, and hearing dogs for the hearing impaired.
Therapy dogs visit people who are incapacitated or prevented in some way from having freedom of movement; these dogs provide cheer and entertainment for the elderly in retirement facilities, the ill and injured in hospitals, and so on. The very act of training dogs can also act as a therapy for human handlers, as in a prisoner rehabilitation project.
Rescue dogs assist people who are in difficult situations, such as in the water after a boat disaster.
Search dogs locate people who are missing; lost in the wilderness, escaped from nursing homes, covered in snow avalanches, buried under collapsed buildings, etc.
Herding dogs are still invaluable to sheep and cattle handlers (stockmen) around the world for mustering; different breeds are used for the different jobs involved in stock work and for guarding the flocks and herds. Modern herding dogs help to control cattle and wild geese in parks or goats used for weed control. A well trained dog can adapt to control any sort of domestic and many wild animals.
Sled dogs, although today primarily used in sporting events, still can assist in transporting people and supplies in rugged, snowy terrain.
Performing dogs such as Circus dogs and dog actors are trained to perform acts that are not intrinsically useful, but instead provide entertainment to their audience or enable human artistic performances.
Hunting dogs assist hunters in finding, tracking, and retrieving game, or in routing vermin. Less frequently a dog, or rather or a pack of them, actually fights a predator, such as a bear or feral pig.
Guard dogs and watch dogs help to protect private or public property, either in living or used for patrols, as in the military and with security firms.
Tracking dogs help find lost people and animals or track down possible criminals.
Detection dogs of a wide variety help to detect termites and bedbugs in homes, illegal substances in luggage, bombs, chemicals, and many other substances.
War Dogs or K9 Corps are used by armed forces in many of the same roles as civilian working dogs, but in a military context. In addition, specialized military tasks such as mine detection or wire laying have been assigned to dogs. Military Working Dog is the more formal, current term for dogs trained for use in military tasks.
Police dogs, also sometimes called K9 Units, are usually trained to track or immobilize possible criminals while assisting officers in making arrests or investigating the scene of a crime. Some are even specially trained for anti-terrorist units, as in Austria.
Fighting Dogs is a dark subject, but it has to be included on this list, as the founding dogs of many beloved breeds earned their keep in the fighting pit.
RacingGreyhound racing involves the dogs running around a track, chasing after an artificial rabbit. With welfare concerns of the dogs involved becoming more public, the sport of Greyhound racing has gradually been declining. Only 9 states in the US continue to hold races. Adoption of ex-racers has become a popular way for Greyhound lovers to own their favorite breed.
Truffle Sniffing.There is only one breed of dog that is specifically bred to sniff out these rare mushrooms - the Lagotto Romagnolo.
Show Dogs.While the life of a well-groomed show dog may look easy to you, these canines have to be on their best behavior while they're in the ring! Countless hours of working with their handlers along with a patient personality during rigorous pre-show bathing is a must if you're going to take home the big blue ribbon!
Rat Extermination. The word "Terrier" comes from the Latin meaning "of the earth" - these fearless and feisty small breeds were developed to help keep the land free from pests long ago.
Entertainment. Countless dogs have entertained us on television we have Lassie, Rin Tin Tin and even Eddie from "Frasier". On the big screen we have "Hooch", "Beethoven" and so many more. But more appropriately, we have the dogs we share our lives with. Without them, it would be a boring existence!
Dogs for the Disabled is one of the most well-known types of working dogs are the seeing-eye or dog guides. Specially trained from puppyhood, these dogs guide their blind owners and keep them safe from danger. More recent still, the hearing-ear dog learns to alert their deaf owner when a phone rings, a car is coming, or to the sound of a fire alarm. Another type of service dog works for the physically disabled, helping them with daily tasks such as unloading the washing machine or getting in and out of bed.Lastly, although it isn't a "job", some dogs are used for visiting senior homes and hospitals. The companionship of a dog is so beneficial, even for the health of a human, that it is used as therapy, especially for long-term care patients. They are usually called therapy dogs.
Dogs are sometimes used in programs to assist children in learning how to read. The Reading With Rover program in Washington pairs trained dogs with children who read aloud to the dog. This process builds confidence and reduces stress.
MYTH: Service dogs are "certified" or "registered" after completing training Staff cannot ask about the person's disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrates its ability to perform the work or task. There is no such thing as a legitimate ID card or certificate in the United States that "proves" a dog is a trained service dog. There are, however, many scam sites that claim that their products are not only legitimate but required. They are nothing more than a scam, seeing as one cannot buy into the federal law, that's just not how it works. It is because of such scam sites that this misconception exists.
MYTH: Service dogs are only for the blind or deaf This used to be the case several years ago, but since then, trainers have discovered an amazing variety of disabilities that service dogs can help with. Today, service dogs are used by people with mental illnesses, autism, seizures, diabetes and countless other conditions.
MYTH: Training only takes a few months Technically speaking, training is never over. Service dogs must be able to learn new things and adapt to their handlers' needs as they may change over time. Additionally, it is not uncommon for "fully trained" dogs to need a little bit of touch-up work on things they have already learned how to do. From start to finish, it takes about 2 years to train a service dog. It is very expensive and time-consuming, but certainly worth it in the end!
MYTH: Service dogs work all the time and never get time to "just be a dog" This couldn't be further from the truth! Being a working dog is arguably the best life a dog could have. They are able to be with their handlers almost all the time, no matter where they go. They have a job and a purpose, and most get a higher quality of care than human companions.
MYTH: Bully breeds can't be service dogs. Actually, a dog of any breed, shape, size or color could be a service dog provided they had the right temperament and training. Businesses, services, and housing cannot legally deny a service dog solely based on breed. Many bully breeds make fantastic service dogs.
MYTH: People with service dogs are lucky because they get to bring their dog everywhere with them At first glance, it's understandable why someone might think this. However, disabled people certainly do not see it that way. The dog is only there because the person has a disabling condition that impacts their major life functions. The purpose of the dog is so that the person can be more independent.
MYTH: Service dogs know if there are any drugs on you One might be surprised by the number of people who are fearful of service dogs because they think they are there for narcotic detection. Technically, sure, the dog could probably smell it, but service dogs and detection dogs are completely different. The only person a service dog should be focused on is their handler anyways.
MYTH: It is okay to pet a service dog if the handler is not looking In the service dog community, people who do this are called "drive by petters." They wait for the handler not to look, and they pet the dog as the walk by. Not only is this highly disrespectful, but it's distracting to they dog who needs to be focused on working. Not to mention that in some cases, distracting a service dog is a crime.
MYTH: People with service dogs always want to chat Sometimes, I just want to get milk and go, it should not take 20 minutes just to get through the store. People who often have good intentions ask really rude and sometimes invasive questions just out of curiosity. Service dog handlers just want what other shoppers want, to get their things and go. Just because they have a dog doesn't mean they want to share their life story with nosey people.
MYTH: Emotional support dogs are the same as service dogs There is a very clear legal difference between the two, and they should not be confused. An emotional support dog is legally defined as an untrained pet who emotionally supports their handler. With a doctors note, support dogs are allowed to fly in the cabin of an aircraft and live in no-pets housing free of charge. A service dog, however, is not legally defined as a pet - they are considered to be medical equipment, no different than a wheelchair or insulin pump. Service dogs must be specifically trained to do work or tasks relating to the mitigation of a person's disability. Emotional support, comfort or calming effect, do not count as work or tasks for a service dog.
MYTH: Businesses are never allowed to ask that a service dog be removed Just like disabled people have rights, businesses do too. If a dog is out of control, acting aggressively, or not house broken, a business can and should ask that the dog be removed.
MYTH: Any dog can be a service dog with training Most trainers agree that training is only half of what makes a good service dog. Genetics play a huge part in it as well. A service dog must be healthy and have a stable temperament to be able to do the work.
MYTH: Service dogs are a hassle One might believe that service dogs can be a hassle in public or at home. The truth is quite the contrary. Each dog's temperament is tested at 7 weeks of age - only to guarantee you end up with the best, most obedient service dog for you or your loved one. Service dogs will use undisruptive signals to notify you in public. Dogs for autism and diabetes won't always bark when they detect change. In most public settings such as classrooms and stores, your dog will paw or motion to alert you something is wrong.
MYTH: Assistance dogs are only for people with "real" physical impairments Assistance dogs have something to offer for people with all kinds of impairments, diseases and disabilities. As you know, autism, asperger's and diabetes are not always obvious diseases to the eye. People mistakenly assume service dogs are only available to help guide the deaf, blind, and physically impaired. In reality, they provide tremendous support not only to the blind and deaf, but also to those with asperger's, diabetes and autism.
MYTH: Service dogs are not pets Though our service dogs are strictly professional in public, they become a part of your family at home. Kids and families will enjoy their dog as an undeniable part of their family. In many instances, families of become extremely attached to their loving and caring assistance dogs.
MYTH: Service dogs Are unaffordable As a service dog provider, SDWR knows first hand how much a service dog can become an essential need in the homes of people with autism, aspergers, or diabetes. We also know you might not be able to afford the up-front costs associated with a service dog. Luckily, SDWR provides the option for families to pay via payment plans. Service dog fundraisers are also a great way to raise money. You can find creative ways to host service dog fundraisers in your community, at school, through your family, or online through dozens of non-profit and crowdfunding websites, such as www.gofundme.com.
MYTH: Service dogs are required to wear a vest Similar to the registration, service dogs are not required to wear a vest while they are working. The only requirement is that they are harnessed, leashed, or tethered unless any of those devices prevents the dog from performing its task. It is important to note that handlers who choose to work their dog without a vest may have a very good reason for doing so. The vest could interfere with the dog's task, it might be too hot out for the dog to wear a vest, or the handler may have lost or forgotten the vest. Since it is the dog, and not the vest, that performs the task to mitigate the handler’s disability, the vest is simply considered a courtesy to inform the general public that a dog is a service dog. Therefore a business cannot ask a handler to leave because they have failed to mark their dog as a service dog. The two questions signify a verbal agreement between the business owner and the handler that the dog is, in fact, a service dog. Furthermore, if a dog is being disruptive and its handler makes little to no attempt to bring their dog under control, the ADA states that the business may ask that person to leave the facility.
MYTH: All service dogs are trained and sold by a specialized training program Another common misconception about service dogs is that anyone with a service dog is training it for a program. The general public might arrive at this conclusion if a handler is not obviously disabled. When you see a service dog in public, even if the handler looks healthy, this does not necessarily mean the dog is being trained for a program. Many handlers prefer to mark dogs that are in training as such. If it is not obvious, don't assume that the dog is not assisting the handler. Remember that some disabilities are invisible!
MYTH: Service dogs never make mistakes No amount of training can prevent an event like the time he vomited in a grocery store. Anyone who works with the general public will tell you that people have accidents. Dogs do as well. While we would like to always have control over our bodies, that isn't actually the case. Service dogs can have accidents for a number of reasons. The accident may involve a bodily function that is barely voluntary, such as diarrhea or vomiting, or it might appear as a lapse in training: a dog that barks once or twice while working, or tries to greet somebody that doesn't want to be greeted.
MYTH: A service dog is an invitation to ask about a person's disability Having a service dog is NOT an invitation to ask a handler about their disability. Mention this one, and you are sure to hear the groan from service dog handlers around the world.
MYTH: Service dog handlers look sick It's best to not assume you know a person's medical history simply by looking at them, and as I discussed in point number eight, asking about their medical problems is very rude. Accept that you aren't going to know what is wrong with them and move on.
The Mind of Police Dog Several studies and tests have shown that drug-sniffing dogs, scent hounds, and even explosive-detecting dogs are not nearly as accurate as they have been portrayed in court. A recent Chicago Tribune survey of traffic stops by suburban police departments from 2007 to 2009, for example, found that searches turned up contraband in just 44% of the cases where police dogs alerted to the presence of narcotics. An alert is a signal, such as barking or sitting, that dogs are trained to display when they detect the target scent. In stops involving Hispanic drivers, the dogs' success rate was just 27%. The two largest departments the Tribune surveyed - the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois State Police - said they don't even keep track of such information. But don't blame the dogs - their noses work fine.
In fact, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently conceded, after 12 years and millions of dollars of research, that the canine snout, fine-tuned by millions of years of evolution, is still far more sensitive and reliable than any technology man has been able to muster when it comes to detecting explosives in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The problem is our confusion about when dogs are picking up a scent and when they are responding to cues from their handlers. Dogs can be valuable investigative tools. They are great, for example, at following a scent in searches for suspects or sniffing out survivors after a disaster. The bomb-detecting dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan are successful because their handlers have no preconceptions about where bombs may lie. Indeed, they are putting their lives in the dogs' paws.
With no cues from their masters to cloud their judgment, the dogs are free to go about their task unbiased. But while Canis domesticus retains many of its wilder relative's sensory abilities, it is in many ways a man-made animal. When we don't take that reality into account, a dog can be worse than useless. But that's not the dog's fault. It's ours.
MYTH: You can hide contraband, like drugs, from a security dog by covering the contraband with another strong scent, like coffee or perfume? False! Security dogs have this amazing ability that allows them to separate odours. For an average dog, more than 12% of the brain is devoted to processing smells, however in a human's brain, less than 1% is devoted to this process. With this in mind, it can be difficult to understand how dogs can distinguish between smells and not be tricked by contraband being covered by another scent. Imagine you are being served a stew, you can see the difference between the onion, the carrot, the potato, the meat, yes? However, as humans we can't distinguish between the smell of the carrots, the onions, the potatoes, etc. Dogs can. Whilst their sight is not as sophisticated as ours, they have this fantastic ability to separate mixed odours, and so this is why masking contraband with different odours simply does not work.
MYTH: Security dogs are only trained to find drugs and they won't be able to find anything else? False! There is a great misconception that "sniffer dogs" can only detect the smell of drugs. However, this is far from true. Our canine friends have a remarkable sense of smell, as mentioned above. Security dogs can not only detect the smell of drugs, they can be trained to find explosives, concealed weapons, firearms, fire accelerants, blood, and more. Security dogs can even be trained to detect the smell of bank notes. Drug detection is only one of many things that security dogs can be trained to detect.
MYTH: German Shepherds are used because they are a naturally ferocious and savage breed That's not truth! Many people fear German Shepherds because there is a great misconception surrounding the breed. Generally, people believe they are a popular breed for security dogs because they are an aggressive and hostile breed. This is not true. They are a popular choice for security dogs because they are a highly intelligent, extremely loyal, and courageous breed. The security dogs are trained to bark and growl when presented with a threat, or when they are commanded to by their handlers, German Shepherds are not a wild and ferocious breed by nature, despite the common misconception.
MYTH: Security dogs might just attack or bite people unprovoked because they are trained to be aggressive Incorrect. A security guard dog will not attack or bite a person unprovoked. A security guard dog will alert the handler by barking or growling, but security dogs are extremely well trained and are never unaccompanied, they will always be in the presence of their well-trained handler. A security dog will not attack, or maul, or bite a person in an uncontrolled, frenzied fashion, like they are presented in many movies. Security dogs are obedient and disciplined - they are used for protection and prevention. Security dogs are trained to aid their handler for security purposes. They are not trained to be frenzied and violent beasts.
MYTH: Security dogs are just misbehaved and deviant guide dogs False. Whilst it is true, that many security dogs begin their lives training to be guide dogs, there is a great misconception that security dogs are disobedient and undisciplined guide dogs. Handlers identify qualities and characteristics in the dog such as, a particular strong sense of smell, or a highly energised nature, that makes the handler realise that the dog would be better suited to a career in security rather than aiding the blind. It is a great misconception that it is because they are disobedient. For a dog to be in either profession, a high level of obedience and discipline is an absolute necessity and requirement.
MYTH: All police dogs are aggressive animals Police dogs play an important role in the criminal justice system. They help law enforcement officials uncover drugs, find fugitives, and detect bombs in high stakes situations. While the idea of a police dog attacking on command strikes fear into many peoples' hearts, many misconceptions exist about what these working canines actually do. Police officers most commonly use dogs to find evidence including dead bodies, drugs, bombs, and electronics. They are carefully trained to protect police officers and detain suspects during a pursuit, and rarely attack in unprovoked situations. To remain safe, however, no suspect should try to flee or attack an officer if a police dog is around.
MYTH: Any dog can serve as a police dog Police forces carefully choose the breed of dog they choose for certain tasks. German shepherds are popular choices for their strength and intelligence. Labrador retrievers may also help police forces. The trainers choose dogs based on their unique abilities to track, obey commands, and detain suspects.
MYTH: Police dogs know English commands like any other pet Most police dogs learn commands in German or Dutch. The commands clarify communications between a dog and his or her handler. Also, many police dog training programs exist in Europe. When the dogs arrive in America, their handlers need to learn the commands the dogs understand. Many formal dog training programs rely on commands in a different language.
MYTH: Dogs want to find drugs, because they are addicted to them Drug dogs undergo training to associate toys with the smell of drugs. In the field, the drug dogs find the scent of drugs, because they think they will find their favorite toys. A trained dog can smell very small amounts of drugs. They can analyze smells 40 times better than a human, making them ideal for finding trace amounts of substances during a search. If you don't want a dog to find something, you must remove all trace evidence.
MYTH: All police dogs are males Police forces use male and female dogs for police work. The ability of the dog determines if an individual animal will work for a local police force, not its gender.
MYTH: Police dogs never get to have fun Police dogs live very fulfilling lives. They live with their human partners and receive retirement benefits when they leave the field. Off the job, police dogs enjoy play time, walks, runs, and treats just like other pets. In many ways, their lives are more fulfilling than the average dog. Police dogs enjoy using their training and receiving rewards for their work.
MYTH: I can hide from a police dog In addition to an amazing sense of smell, dogs also enjoy a more finely tuned ability to hear. A police dog can hear someone make small noises next to relatively loud equipment or machinery. To get out of range, you'd need to move really far away. While highly trained and loyal animals, police dogs can and do cross the line in some cases. K9 animal handlers must train regularly and never stop building a relationship of trust with their dogs. If a handler misuses a dog or a dog commits an act of aggression not in line with its training, the police department could face repercussions. In most cases, police dogs do exactly what they were trained to do. Our advice: Never flee from a K9 officer or try to attack him or her. Against a highly trained police dog, the dog will almost always win.
GUARD DOGS Guard dogs tend to place fear into the hearts of others. That's their job. They intimidate and protect by whatever means necessary. They are very possessive and protective of their masters and their homes, meaning that anyone toying with the idea of trespassing may want to think twice. They are highly trained, hopefully, and can tell the difference between an intruder and a friendly neighbor. That being said, guard dogs are very likely to suffer from abuse, neglect, and unfair stereotyping, regardless of their high levels of intelligence and obedience. Due to lack of training and poor breeding in the past, guard dog breeds have become synonymous with violence and aggression. With media emphasis being focused upon any negative guard dog reports, rather than on the benefits of having such pets, it is easy to understand why most have misconceptions about these animals.
MYTH: Guards Dogs Do Not Need Affection How you treat your guard dog should depend upon your desire for his effectiveness. If it is your desire to build a guard dog that is completely unpredictable, who cannot control his aggressive urges, and who may even turn violent toward you, deprive him of your affection and care. If you would prefer to have a guard dog who is highly trainable, obedient, and loyal to you and your loved ones, go ahead and treat him in the same manner as you would any companion dog. Guard dogs are no different from companion dogs in their need for love and a relationship with their masters. In fact, they need a great deal of socialization to prevent overly aggressive behavior, and this exposure to others should begin while they are still very young - immediately, if possible. Dog owners tend to have the mistaken belief that they are responsible for somehow "hardening" their guard dogs, and that treating them in a loving manner will soften their temperament. In reality, a guard dog must be treated with affection in order to create in it a sense of loyalty.
MYTH: All Guard Dogs Are Natural Killers Guards dogs tend to be treated as wild, untrained animals with an uncontrollable instinct to kill. This attitude is unfortunately seen in both owners and non-owners. These animals are judged as being vicious and dangerous, regardless of their temperaments, and are often treated as such. However, although there have definitely been legitimate reports of guard dog violence, this reputation is undeserved. The fact is, guard dogs that are this aggressive are usually poorly trained, and are in need of professional intervention. A guard dog that is properly trained from birth will exhibit loyalty, mild aggression, and self control. The well trained guard dog is obedient to his master, and is able to distinguish between visitors and intruders. He will also refrain from unnecessary attacks on other animals, as well as nuisance barking and other problems associated with untrained guard dogs. While some breeds are indeed naturally more aggressive than others, most can be trained to control their urges quite well. Indeed there is always a danger involved when approaching a guard dog, trained or not, however most will only size up incoming visitors or simply warn them of trying anything inappropriate.
MYTH: Guard Dogs Are the Only Protection a Home Needs With criminal activity always on the rise, there is no limit to the amount of protection that one may find themselves desiring for the safety of their loved ones and homes. This is no secret to the home security industry. They are well aware of the increase in crime rates, as well as the increase in the average homeowner's desire to protect themselves. That is precisely why so many home protection devices are on the market today. From motion sensor lights and warning systems, to security plants and fake video cameras, there is little that the home security industry does not provide. Many guard dog owners purchase their pets in order to have a live protector in their homes at all times, as well as to avoid expensive security devices and false home security claims. While owning a guard dog is a great protective measure, it may not need to be your only line of defense.
Those expecting their guard dogs to be infallible creatures, unsusceptible to mistakes or failure, will be sorely disappointed. The appeal associated with owning a protective animal is simple. They represent aggression and immediate consequences for potential intruders, and they also work as an alarm for any sort of impending danger. Guard dogs are living, breathing alarms and crime deterrent systems, all in one impressively strong and intelligent body. For the protection of your home, family, and your protective companion, it may be wise to utilize at least one other protective measure for your home, such as an alarm system. It is unfair to use any animal in such a way that will leave him defenseless against dangerous individuals. While a predator may be willing to get past one deterrent, it is unlikely that he will be willing to overcome several, especially when an easier target will always be near by.
18 OUTSTANDING WAYS TO KEEP YOUR DOG BUSY AT DAY WORK This article proudly presented by WWW.PETS ADVISER.COM
Most modern pet parents lead very busy lives with jobs and children, and our dogs often end up spending a good portion of the day home alone. A lonely, bored dog will find a way to occupy her time that can be destructive to your furniture and clothes and potentially harmful to herself. If you give you dog "jobs" to do when she's by herself, she's much less likely to raid the trash or chew on your favorite pair of heels.
Some Cautions As with all toys and treats, you should monitor your dog before leaving him for an extended period of time with any of the above mentioned delights. It is important to watch your dog at first when he is interacting with any toys and treats to ensure safety. Also, make sure that you use the appropriate size and strength KONG and Tug-A-Jug to prevent other complications. Most people are concerned about their pets when they leave home, but with a little bit of care and effort you can easily keep your dog entertained and happy while you're at work.
Here's a list of ways to keep your dog busy while you are at work!
1. Let your dog watch television. Turn on your TV to the Animal Planet station and up the volume. The sights and sounds of barking dogs and mewing cats helps to stimulate your dog's brain in a quiet house, keeping her from finding ways to get in trouble.
2. Provide ways your dog can look through a window or door. Open the curtains or blinds to a back window in your home so that your pooch can watch whatever is going on outside your back door. If you have a small dog or a toy breed, set a cushion or chair by the window so that your pup is comfortably able to see out.
3. Fill a hollow toy with peanut butter Stuff the toy with your all natural DOGSBUTTER. Most dogs love the smell and taste of peanut butter and can take hours finding every last dollop in a Kong. To provide an extra challenge, freeze the toys after stuffing them. Some examples of food puzzle toys you can find at your local pet store or online include the Kong Toy, the Buster Cube, the Tricky Treat Ball, the Tug-a-Jug, the Twist n Treat, the Atomic Treat Ball and the TreatStik.
4. Scavenger Hunt
Make your dog hunt for her meals by hiding stuffed food puzzle toys or small piles of her kibble around your house. Scatter a couple of handfuls of kibble in the areas where your dog hangs out during the day and she'll have fun hunting her treats while you're at work. You can also hide one of her meals or puzzle toy right before you leave home so that she learns to associate your leaving for the day with a positive - as opposed to a negative - emotion.
5. Calm your dog! If your dog becomes nervous, anxious, or overactive when you're not at home, you can try these ideas: Apply a combination of calming essential oils - lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, wild orange, and frankincense whichever smells best to you on your pet's bedding. Add Sleepytime Tonic, an all-natural herbal tonic to your dog's breakfast meal and she'll calm down after about 20 minutes. Keeping your dog relaxed while you're gone may help alleviate any barking issues that disturb the neighbors.
Use a dog pheromone.
If you sense that being alone causes anxiety in your dog, try using a dog appeasing pheromone collar, spray, or diffuser. The pheromone released by these products is similar to one that a lactating mother would emit to calm her newborn puppies. This pheromone will be familiar to your pup and create a sense of relaxation. You can place the diffuser in a room that is usually occupied by your dog, apply the spray to a dog bed, or have your dog wear the collar.
6. Give your dog a puzzle There are loads of interactive dog toys on the market that will keep your dog occupied for hours. The one's we like best are from Nina Ottosson.
7. Get your dog a furry brother or sister. Adopting or rescuing another dog as a companion to your furry friend helps both animals. You give your existing animal someone to socialize with during the day and you save a life. This is entirely a personal choice on your part, but you need to ensure that any new animal coming into your home is healthy, has been vaccinated and vetted, and gets along with your dog. Reputable rescues will often allow you to foster first, and then adopt the dog of your choice to make sure the animal fits well with your family.
8. Give your dog a block of ice to play with. Place your dog's treats or some suitable food in an ice-cream container, fill with water, and freeze. Alternatively freeze a toy like a knotted rope in some water. As the ice melts, toys and treats become available for your dog.
9. Schedule a Puppy Playdate! Schedule playdates with the pets of a trusted neighbor or family member. Allow a pet parent you trust and who owns a dog that your pet knows well - to come over and have a playdate with your pup. Make sure that both animals enjoy each other's company and play well together before trying this activity. Leave your veterinarian's name and phone number with the other pet parent just in case of an emergency.
10. Enroll you pooch in doggy daycare. If your dog is well socialized and enjoys the company of other pets, send her off to doggy daycare while you're working. Reputable pet care facilities employ staff trained in ways to keep your pup safe and active. Find one in your area that fits your schedule and schedule a tour and an interview with management and staff. Make sure you get references and recommendations from pet owners that use the facility before you leave your precious companion for the day.
11. Employ a dog walker to exercise your pet daily. Many reputable pet care facilities include a dog walking service. They send a bonded, experienced person to your home to walk your pooch on regularly scheduled visits. For those pet parents whose workdays run long, a dog walker may be the only way your pooch can get some much needed exercise.
12. Purchase dental chews Giving your dog plenty of her own toys and dental chewies will help prevent her from gnawing on your things. Additionally, dental chews help to keep her teeth clean and freshen her breath.
13. Introduce a new toy. A new toy can add some excitement during the day while your dog is home alone. A tough chew toy that can't be torn apart while you're gone is best, just in case your dog likes to gobble things up. Also rotate her toys, after a day or two, put one toy away so it's out of sight and mind, and bring out another to replace it. This will keep all of your pet's toys fresh and exciting.
14. Add a fountain. Making sure your dog has enough water for the day while no one is home is very important, and a dog fountain can provide a constant supply of clean fresh water while also piquing your dog's interest. Many dogs love water and the running water of a fountain can create a diversion for your dog. Be sure to have the regular bowl of water out just in case your dog does not take to the fountain while you're away.
15. Run Off That Energy! Possibly one of the easiest solutions to this problem is to increase the amount of exercise your dog gets, especially before you leave. The common underlying cause of why dogs have destructive behavior problems is that they have not expended the amount of energy they have each day. The more your dog is using his energy in acceptable ways such as through exercise and training, the less chance he is going to become destructive when you are gone.
16. KONG Is King If getting up at the crack of dawn and taking your pup out for a healthy jog isn't realistic, there are toys that can keep your dog occupied. Some popular toys are manufactured to help improve cognition and allow your dog to improve his problem-solving skills. Among these playthings are KONGs. The simplest use is to stuff one of these hard rubber toys with peanut butter and leave it out for your dog. For a more time-consuming use of your KONG, mix up a concoction of kibble and wet dog food and put that inside, and place the KONG in the freezer overnight. Before you leave for work, put it out for the dog and allow him to eat his meal slowly while he works on getting the food out as it thaws.
17. Busy Bucket Other than commercially made dog toys, you can make a "Busy Bucket" for your dog. To create these homemade time-consumers, take a sturdy plastic or aluminum pail and throw some treats at the bottom. After the treats, put one of your dog's favorite toys in the pail, and then fill the surrounding space with a hand towel. Continue to layer and tightly pack the bucket with toys, treats and towels that promote problem solving, as well as big chew treat to top it off. As the dog searches through the pail, he will find layers upon layers of entertainment.
18. Doggie Popsicle To follow the trend of homemade entertainment for your pet, you can create a doggie popsicle. Pour some chicken broth into a Tupperware container and toss in some pet treats. I like to drop a couple dollops of peanut butter into the broth too. You can also put in a few baby carrots or your dog's favorite treat. Once you have created what looks like a porridge of canine happiness, put it in the freezer overnight. Before you leave the next morning, run some warm water over the Tupperware to loosen up the popsicle and pop it out. Giving this to your dog is a fun way to keep him hydrated and is best given outside on a warm day. It is particularly good to give your dog this treat if he has any degree of separation anxiety. Frequently offering your dog something like this when you leave will help him create a positive association with your departure.
Replacements, Ltd. Did you just break a plate from Grandma's beloved antique china set? If so, Replacements, Ltd. may be able to save the day. The company is the go-to place to find a missing piece of fine china, crystal or silver. One would think that china and dogs wouldn't be a good mix, but Replacements, Ltd. has been a dog-friendly workplace for years. A news release from 2003 touts the relaxed, blue jeans atmosphere where more than 30 employees have brought their furry friends to work. The company has also been featured in articles about dogs in the workplace by both USA Today and CBS News.
Google Google is home to one of the most employee-friendly workplaces in the world. Employees can eat lunch at one of the company's free gourmet cafes, visit the onsite hair salon or laundry center, get a massage — and bring their dog to work. Google's dog policy provides employees with a basic set of guidelines including cleaning up after the dog makes and being mindful of allergic co-workers. The Google Code of Conduct specifically addresses cats at work, and the news is not good for feline fans: "Google's affection for our canine friends is an integral facet of our corporate culture. We like cats, but we're a dog company, so as a general rule we feel cats visiting our offices would be fairly stressed out."
P&G Pet Care Iams and Eukanuba are just two of the many brands under the Procter & Gamble label. Employees of P&G's Pet Care division in the Cincinnati area are welcome to bring their dogs to work every day, not just on Take Your Dog To Work Day. The company even has a V.P. of Canine Communications, Euka (pictured right). Euka, a cross between a Labrador retriever and a Bernese mountain dog, will be retiring next year after eight years of service. P&G Pet Care recently announced that Pawl Griffin, a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, is already in training to jump into the V.P. role.
Ben & Jerry's If you're an ice cream lover, Ben & Jerry's offer to employees of three free pints of ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet every day is a big perk. If you're also a dog lover, Ben & Jerry's could be the ideal place to work because you can bring your pooch to the office. Sean Greenwood, public relations spokesperson for the company, describes what interviewees may see when they visit the company, "If they sit in the lobby for a few minutes, they're more than likely to see a dog going outside. They are just like your co-workers."
Autodesk Autodesk employees are offered a generous benefits package including a six week paid sabbatical every four years, paid time off between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day, discounts on a variety of group insurance options and, of course, the option of bringing their dogs to work. About 5 percent of the company's nearly 7,000 employees take advantage of this benefit. According to Michael Oldenburg, Autodesk spokesman, "Having a pet also encourages employees to take breaks during the day that they may not take if they didn't have a pet."
Build-A-Bear Workshop Build A Bear Workshop has taken a love for stuffed animals to a new level - children of all ages can visit a Build-A-Bear Workshop and create a custom stuffed animal to cherish forever. The company's love of animals goes beyond the stuffed kind, however. Employees at the World Bearquarters, a.k.a. the world headquarters, can bring their dogs to work. The company even has a chief executive dog, Milford, who celebrates his birthday every year by throwing a grand party for the other company dogs. Build-A-Bear Workshop's dog-friendly workplace policy is just one reason the company has been named one of Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For three years in a row.
Klutz Klutz's product line includes fun crafts, drawing books, games, puzzles, chicken socks and more. The company, which was founded in 1977 in Palo Alto, Calif., had a rather casual approach to allowing dogs in the workplace. Klutz co-founder John Cassidy shared his story with Carrie Boyko of the All Things Dog Blog, who wrote: "When an employee with a well-behaved dog expressed interest in having his furry friend tag along to work, John felt there was no particular reason not to okay it." And with that, Klutz joined the growing list of dog-friendly employers.
Humane Society Believe it or not, the Humane Society headquarters facility in Gaithersburg, Md., didn't become a dog-friendly workplace until 2007. While one would have expected the Humane Society to be a leader in the dogs at work movement, the organization took its time to ensure that everything was done right. To bring their dog to work, employees must submit an application. Once the application is approved, vaccinated dogs are placed on a six week probation. If everything goes well, the dog can become a permanent member of the workplace. The organization's careful planning has paid off; since its inception four years ago, no dogs have been removed from the program.
Amazon Internet retail giant Amazon is also a dog-friendly workplace. Visitors to the company's corporate headquarters in Seattle can expect to find between two and three dozen dogs on any given day. Any employee interested in bringing a pet to work must first register the animal as a workplace dog, ensure that the dog is up todate on vaccinations and once in the workplace, the dog must remain on a leash unless it is behind a baby gate or in an office with a closed door.
Hitachi Data Systems Hitachi is participating in its sixth Take Your Dog To Work Day. "We ask our employees to only bring dogs that are human- and dog-friendly and who won't experience unnecessary stress by being around the large group activities and unfamiliar surroundings," Long says. "We also ask dog owners to keep their dogs on leash and to use the specially located "facilities" and clean up after them."
Etsy Since 2005, Etsy has had a dog-friendly office policy, even going so far as to create a "canine operations team." Employees say the four-legged associates lower stress levels and increase levity at work. "It's funny because I notoriously dislike dogs, but I love having them here," said employee experience manager Sarah Starpoli. "They make people smile almost universally, and I think they allow anxiety to diffuse when they suddenly skitter by. I have a tough time hating my email when Hoover comes over to say, 'hey.'"
Tito's Handmade Vodka While most companies limit employees to bringing in dogs, Tito's has no such restrictions. Employees are encouraged to bring in any animal-even rabbits. Dogs do get most-favored status, though, with their own play area next to the distillery, and they're allowed to roam free around the office. The company is also committed to animal rescue, with employees serving as fosters and donating goods for fundraising efforts for rescue and shelter organizations.
American Kennel Club It's probably not a big surprise that an organization so dedicated to dogs would allow them at the office. What is surprising, though, is they're only allowed at the Raleigh, N.C. headquarters of the American Kennel Club (AKC). New York City staffers have to leave their pets at home. Dogs have to be at least six months-old, and hold a Canine Good Citizen certificate (or hold an AKC Obedience, Rally or Championship title). They're not allowed in meeting or break rooms, and if you're going to bring your pooch to the office, you'll need to have a 'dog buddy' to watch over Sparky when work calls you away from the immediate area.
Mashable Mashable community director Meghan Peters brings her dog Holly to work every day, giving her a nudge to get outside and move throughout the workday.
Bark & Co Developer Dan Hunter's decision to join the pet supply subscription company was largely influenced by their pet-friendly policy. He now brings German Shepherd Kayla into their uniquely pet-friendly offices. Editor Laura Hartle says having her dog there is a great stress relief; Audrey's "not above soliciting belly rubs and pets from trusted co-workers, who are happy to get in on that cute fuzznugget action."
Refinery29 Pets are a conversation starter, bringing coworkers together who might not interact otherwise. "Having a dog in the office helps everyone decompress a bit and feel generally less stressed," says Beauty Director Megan McIntyre, who brings Elly with her to work. "I mean, it's hard to feel agitated when you have that furry face staring so sweetly at you!"
Zynga You're unlikely to find many companies more dog-friendly than Zynga. (The company is named after former CEO Mark Pincus's dog, after all.) Employees can take their canines for walks on the "wooftop" dog park or take them to lunch outside the cafeteria's dog-friendly "barking lot." The company even provides health insurance for employees' pets.
Oscar Health "You know those moments where you are stuck on a hard problem and you've hit a wall?" says Mackenzie Kosut. "At Oscar health, you look down and there's a smiling Pomeranian ready to help you tackle the problem. It helps having a fluffy pup roaming the area and brightening peoples days."
Village Green For the last 11 years, Detroit-based property management company Village Green allows employees to take a break from working like dogs to work with their dogs as a part of Pet Sitters International's Take Your Dog to Work Day. Village Green employees pay $25 to bring their dogs to the office and participate in events and an auction throughout the day. All proceeds from the day go toward supporting a local animal shelter, the Animal Placement Bureau.
Bissell This is a vacuum cleaning company that is seriously committed to animal causes with their Bissell Pet Foundation to promote pet adoption and animal welfare with the goal of awarding more than $250,000 in grants annually. CEO Mark Bissell and his wife, Cathy, have three Labs and fully 72 percent of their employees are pet owners. Not only are workers encouraged to bring their dogs to the office, but the company actually constructed an animal-friendly space called The Bissell Pet Spot, complete with indoor kennels, a bathing station and outdoor play area.
TRX When Randy Hetrick started his fitness equipment company, TRX, in his garage six years ago, his dog Blueberry joined him every day for work. As the company has grown, that has not changed.
Printing for Less This company is the nation's first commercial online printer. Almost from its start it allowed dogs, the first being Jessie, belonging to the founder, Andrew Field. Many more followed, with around 15% of their workers now taking advantage of this policy. Their headquarters was designed to be dog-friendly, with concrete floors and trails around the building, that includes a waterfalls and pond system that the dogs love to swim in. All dogs have to be "interviewed" and abide by their official dog policy including that they cannot be aggressive or disruptive, and need to be housebroken. People must sign a waiver of responsibility too. They have a three strikes and you're out rule in effect. As Field has noted, when people come in for interviews and see all the dogs, they know it is a dog-friendly environment, so if they aren't comfortable with that, they might consider working elsewhere.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Could the secret behind this long running television show's success lie with it's open dog door policy? Read Bark's exclusive profile of the dogs of The Daily Show and learn why we deemed it the Best Place to Work. If you love dogs or are a dog!
Petplan Chris and Natasha Ashton saw the need for pet insurance after their cat fell ill and the couple faced major medical bills. In 2003, the Ashtons founded Philadelphia-based Petplan, a pet insurance provider, to give animals the same right to care as their owners. Today, the employees of Petplan not only work for animals but also work with them. On a daily basis, four of five dogs are in their offices, fostering collaboration and camaraderie among employees, while also helping Petplan emphasize it's mission. "We are a pet health company, not a faceless insurer,". "We care about our own pets enough to bring them to the office. And we'll care about yours, too."
Clif Bar & Company Clif Bar operates its business based on five aspirations: sustaining our planet, sustaining our community, sustaining our people, sustaining our business and sustaining our brands. Part of the sustaining our people aspiration is allowing employees to bring their dogs to work. Clif Bar's furry friends are featured in the company's blog from time to time - including a story about Scrubby, who made off with someone's bagel during a company meeting. Clif Bar's dog-friendly workplace policy helped the company earn a spot on Outside magazine's Best Places to Work of 2010 list.
1. Dogs Reduce Stress and Improve Engagement This study found that people who bring their dogs to work, as well as those who work with a dog nearby, experience less stress at work. This then leads to better performance and less absenteeism. The study also found that people who have access to dogs at work have higher morale and are more engaged.
2. Dogs Encourage Regular Breaks When we're busy or engrossed in our work, it's all too easy to work straight through the day without taking a break. However, studies show that regular breaks actually boost our productivity. They also help us solve problems and think more creatively. With regular toilet trips the order of the day, breaks are unavoidable when you have your dog with you at work. Even taking short 20 or 30 second breaks away from your computer screen, to stroke your dog or give him a treat, has benefits for your health and productivity.
3. Dogs Help Build Workplace Relationships If you have ever owned a dog, you'll know that they make great social ice-breakers - people who don't give me a second look when I'm alone often make a point of chatting when I'm walking Tilly through town or waiting to get served in the pub.Research shows that dogs help us build good relationships at work too. Notably, the presence of a dog in the office increases the level of trust between team members and encourages people to collaborate.
4. Dogs Promote Exercise From long rambles in the country at the weekends, to brisk walks around the block at lunchtime, having a dog is a great way to stay active. This is great news for companies that employ dog owners. Not only does regular exercise keep us healthy over the long term, but it has short-term benefits too - studies show that exercising on a work day makes us more productive, gives us more energy and helps us concentrate. There's no getting out of exercise when you have a dog, either - with their wagging tails and ability to show you their "sad eyes" in an instant, dogs are incredibly persuasive. This gives dog owners an edge over people who need that extra spark of motivation before they hit the gym or lace up their running shoes.
5. Dogs Make us Produce Happy Hormones When we stroke animals, our bodies release Oxytocin, a hormone that not only brings us closer together with the people around us, but also makes us feel more confident and optimistic - traits that every employer will embrace. Interestingly, we also release Oxytocin when we look people lovingly in the eyes and when we have a cuddle. So you know what to do if your boss says "no" to dogs in the workplace... Of course, we're not suggesting that dogs will be appropriate in all work environments, and it's important to take our co-workers needs into account as well. But there are certainly many compelling benefits for your boss to ponder.
6. Productivity increases (believe it or not). A large majority of employees, both at my company and at large, are required to sit for lengthy periods of time. One study on new software that prompts users to take periodic breaks from their computer found that short breaks actually improve both accuracy and overall output. Dogs are better than software-they're an even more organic reminder to get up and take short breaks, which will improve your employees' overall morale and productivity.
7. Pets stimulate creativity. Having dogs around establishes a company atmosphere that is outside of the box, setting the pace for innovation and creative thinking. Providing natural pauses in workflow, well behaved dogs generate short, productive “brain breaks.” Recent research indicates that people who interact with pets have lower depression rates and elevated levels of serotonin. We see this phenomenon at PFL, as dogs infuse vibrant energy into the workplace.
8.Provide a bonding mechanism. Building camaraderie is an inherent advantage of having pets to gather around. The positive vibe established by a dog-friendly workplace facilitates conversations among co-workers too.
9. Increase health, decrease employee sick days. Numerous studies as highlighted on WebMD-have shown that having a pet is a good investment for your health. Stress depresses immunity. The American Humane Association reports that dogs are proven to have a therapeutic influence, lowering cortisol levels in the body.
10. Naturally alleviate stress. On days when work gets tough, dogs provide unconditional acceptance and comfort. At our company, we notice that this improves employee focus and job satisfaction.
AND FINALLY Ask for a trial run! Start small by asking your company to allow dogs for a short trial period of a week or two to demonstrate that having dogs in the workplace is a feasible option for your company. A one-day event can be fun and a boost to morale, but employees will need to spend most of the day focused on their pets and may not be very productive! A longer trial period gives the dogs a chance to adapt, relax and become good officemates.
TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORKDAY This article proudly presented by WWW.GUIDEDOGS ORG.UK and WWW.MNN.COM and WWW.WIKIHOW.COM and
Working like a dog Allowing dogs at the office can be beneficial to a company's bottom line. Benefits of dogs in the workplace include increased morale and productivity, happier employees, lower absenteeism rates and even improved relationships among co-workers. A recent study out of Central Michigan University reveals that dogs in the workplace can lead to more trust between co-workers and that leads to more collaboration among team members.
A 2006 survey from The American Pet Product Manufacturers Association reports that nearly one in five American companies allows pets in the workplace. The following 10 companies are just a few of the thousands of dog-friendly workplaces across the U.S.
Print off this page for your employer! When a guide dog owner first brings their guide dog to work, most people are a little uncertain about what they should do. Here are answers to the questions people often ask:
How should I behave towards the dog? The important thing to remember is that a guide dog is a working animal, not an ordinary pet. It expects to work with its owner and knows that when it is wearing the harness it is on duty. When it is working it needs to concentrate on the job, so please don't distract it by touching, feeding o talking to it.
Where will the dog stay during the day? When not working the guide dog should rest quietly undisturbed. The owner will provide a bed or blanket which should be placed in a draught free position close to their work area. If the workplace is unsuitable for a dog, because of machinery for example, Guide Dogs may be able to help by providing a kennel and run.
Can I feed the dog? Definitely not! All guide dogs are fed carefully balanced diets and titbits will affect their health and the way the work. It is also helpful if your own food is kept well out of temptation's way.
Can I talk to the dog? Please always ask the owner first! Particularly when the dog is new in the workplace, it is important that it is not given too much fuss which could overexcite or overwhelm it. Please don't be offended if the owner says 'No', especially while the new dog is settling in.
Can I play with the dog? A guide dog has been trained to lie quietly where it is placed, so it is a great help if you do not encourage it to run around the workplace. It may have some toys to play with but they should not be loud or squeaky and the dog shouldn't chase them around the work area.
When does the dog go out? For the first few weeks, the owner may need to take the dog out for five minutes to relieve itself three or four times a day. Once the dog has settled in and is used to the routine, one or two longer breaks will normally be enough.
Where does the dog relieve itself? The guide dog owner will have discussed with the employer and with the Guide Dogs instructor the most suitable place nearby on the premises or off-site. The owner will take the dog to relieve itself and arrangements will also have been made for the disposal of waste and cleaning the area; support from the company would be very much appreciated.
Who looks after the dog? The owner. The dog is regularly taken for health check-ups and is routinely wormed and vaccinated. The owner is trained to groom the dog regularly to keep it clean and try to reduce the number of hairs on the carpet. The dog will be fed at home and it is the owner's responsibility to ensure that water is available for the dog at work as well.
What happens if the dog misbehaves? Applying discipline is part of a guide dog owner's responsibility. There is no need for you to put up with disruption caused by a guide dog misbehaving. If problems do occur, please discuss them with the guide dog owner, who will be keen to make sure that their dog isn't causing a nuisance. If the problem does not resolve itself, contact your nearest Guide Dogs Mobility Team for help and advice. Always say something before matters get out of hand.
Does someone check on the guide dog's work? Each guide dog and owner is visited regularly to check all is well. Visits to the workplace may be necessary in the early settling in days. If difficulties arise, a Guide Dogs instructor will come more often to offer help and support.
CHECK YOUR COMPANY FOR BEING DOG-FRIENDLY
1. Determine if your company plans to participate. Before you start picking out the appropriate outfit for your pet to wear to work, find out if your company is already on board with celebrating the day. Talk to your human resources professional to see if this is day they plan to recognize. If it's a completely new concept, ask HR if you can direct them to the "Take Your Dog To Work" day (TYDTWD) website and try to get their impression of how they'd feel about celebrating the day. If there are no major concerns, take the next step and talk with your boss (or ask if this is something HR needs to present).
2.Discuss the idea with your boss. The official TYDTWD site has several ways to "win over" your boss; however, a few simple steps you can take include planning what you will say to him or her ahead of time, addressing any concerns about having dogs roaming the office during work hours and liability drawbacks. Inspire your boss with talk that emphasizing how productive it can be to have dogs at work and how dog-owning employees will embrace this opportunity and see the workplace as inclusive of their pets.
3. Share the benefits of participating in the day, such as the stat that 55 million Americans believe that having a pet in the workplace leads to a more creative environment and 38 million people find that the work environment is more productive if a pet is present. You could also show your boss how some offices, like Red Balloon, actually own an office dog that is cared for by everyone and even taken for walks by employees at lunchtime, all in the name of making work fun (and therefore, more productive).
4. Download the TYDTWD Action Pack to get started at WWW.TAKEYOURDOG.COM. Of course, you can participate and celebrate the day without registering your company; however, the organization offers special tips and ways to make the day run smoothly.
5. Consider partnering and or sponsoring a local adoption organization or shelter. One of the best ways to show your affection for your four legged friend is to promote adoption through rescue. Show your support by either asking representatives to come to your office with adoptable pets or bring information about their organization to be handed out to employees and clients.
Contact your local humane society. Every country has a chapter of the National Humane Society, so conduct a quick Internet or phone book search for a location near your office.
Sponsor a national adoption group. Organizations such as Adopt a Pet or the ASPCA are always in need of support.
Reach out to local rescue groups. Some local rescue groups specialize in certain breeds so if your office is full of Labrador Retriever lovers you may want to sponsor a local Lab rescue organization, for example.
6. Establish rules about what dog owners can and can't do while their dog is at work. Although many dog owners may contend that they have a very well behaved, adaptable dog, a room full of dogs that do not know each other can create pandemonium. Before inviting employees' dogs to work, establish some clear cut rules to minimize the insanity.
Leash rule. Unless your pup is in your office with either the door closed or the area blocked off (with a baby gate, for example), consider asking each dog owner to have their dog leashed in order to minimize any chances the dogs could fight or run away.
7. Inspect offices. Many dogs will eat virtually anything so have each employee inspect their office for any poisonous plants, candy and chocolate, other foods bad for dogs, hanging electrical cords or any small items a dog may want to chew or eat.
Ask each pet owner to come prepared. This means employees should bring dog food, bowls, treats, toys and even bedding. Additionally, ask owners to bring a pooper scooper and baggies to remove waste from your grounds. Also, pet owners should bathe and groom their pup before the big day at work to minimize shedding and bad odors.
Inquire about each dog's temperament. Some dogs may love to interact with dogs and humans, whereas others may become frightened or even aggressive. If an employee has a dog that has a few emotional issues, suggest he or she bring photos or videos of his or her pup to work instead of putting the dog through the trauma of exposing him to office conditions.
8. Promote and prepare for the special day. In addition to providing employees with enough time to get their pup ready to come to work, promote your support for local animal rescue efforts.
Send internal emails and post flyers. Depending on how your company communication works, send a detailed memo or email describing why you plan to celebrate the day, what each employee can do to support the cause and rules and regulations surrounding pets at work.
Find fun ways to celebrate employees' pups. From inviting a photographer to take family pet photos or holding a cutest dog contest to holding a doggie relay or dress up, consider adding a fun event that involves both dog and owner.
Choose a slower time during the day to have a dog party. Pick up a dog-friendly cake from a local dog bakery along with snacks and plenty of water to celebrate and mark the day.
Set up an area in your office to accommodate your sponsor organization. Depending on how you plan to sponsor your dog rescue or adoption organization, set up a designated area for rescue professionals to disseminate information and/or keep animals on-site for adoption.
9. Take photos of the day your dog came to the office. Pin photos of each dog participant and employees on a bulletin board to remind everyone of what fun the day was. Add photos to online newsletters or the intranet. Try to keep the connection with dogs alive in everyone's minds you just never know, this may become a more regular event than once a year!
Every dog has its day and this year it's the 23rd of June where companies up and down the country will be celebrating Bring Your Dog to Work Day. It's a day where we honor our furry friends by welcoming them into our work places to celebrate the mutual adoration, love and support between owner and pet. The aim of the National Day is to raise money for charities dedicated to the welfare of dogs. This will be the fourth Bring Your Dog to Work Day and boasts participation from This Morning, The Guardian and Yahoo to name a few. Beyond the novelty of taking your dog to work, a recent collaboration with global giant Nestlé and the BBC claim that dogs are great for stress busting in the office. So, if your company isn't pet friendly here are a few reasons to consider bending the rules on the 23rd. While pet owners get that annual reprieve from the pangs of guilt that come with knowing their furry friends are sitting at home, bored out of their minds and probably peeing on something in revenge or is that just me? There are some tips to remember for a successful "Take Your Dog to Work Day." Fifty million people surveyed by the APPA said they believe having pets in the workplace helps people get along better. And 55 million said they believe pets in the workplace leads to more creativity.
Take Your Dog to Work Day might seem like extra work for the owner at first, but some employers find that allowing canine companionship at work actually boosts office productivity.
Know the rules. Make sure in advance that your office allows dogs. Due to lease agreements, concerns about allergies and other health issues, and management styles, Take Your Dog to Work Day may not be an option with your company. Double-check with your manager. If you get the OK, talk with coworkers to make sure they're comfortable with dogs before visiting their cubicle with your pup.
Make a Guest List Not all dogs have the right temperament to do well in an office, especially somewhere they've never been, and on a day when they'll be exposed to lots of other dogs and people. Ask your co-workers to sign up if they plan to bring in their dogs, and make sure they know that their dogs will be expected to be quiet, well-behaved and potty trained.
Find out if any of the dogs have problems with other dogs, and either discourage their owners from bringing them in or temporarily relocate the person to an area where there aren't any other dogs. If any kind of fight ensues, separate the dogs immediately and send them home.
Bring a Doggie Bag!
Don't come to TYDTWD empty handed. To ensure that your dog is comfortable and safe, bring the following:
Leash: Keep your dog on leash all day, even if you are in a private room. You may need to catch him quickly if he bolts for the door or gets into a confrontation with another person or dog. Crate or exercise pen: Although not strictly necessary, bringing a containment device for your dog will give you a break from constantly monitoring him throughout the day. Food, treats & bowls: If your dog is on a special diet, post a sign on your cubicle wall letting people know they shouldn't give him treats. Likewise, ask others before you give their dogs treats. Pet stain remover: Even if your dog is reliably housetrained, accidents still happen. Stay in the good graces of your boss and cleaning crew by cleaning up immediately. Poop bags: Set a good example and clean up after your dog when you're walking him.
Just like there is no "I" in "Team," there is no "Pee" in "Office." Let's keep it that way. Your co-workers may think Spot is oh-so-adorable, but just wait and see how the friendliness wears off when there's a wet spot or an odorous present under their desks. If you are bring your dog to work, remember to take care of its bathroom needs before you come in to work and at regular intervals during the day.
Just because you love your four-legged furchild, not everyone will feel the same way. A dog in the office will attract all the animal lovers within a 500-square foot radius. Let them come to you and do not force your dog on people who may be trying to work or would rather admire Fluffy from a distance.
Check around with your immediate neighbors to see if they have an allergy to dogs. Some people have severe allergies to pet dander that can cause asthma symptoms, swelling of the face and severe itching or rashes. This doesn't mean Fido can't come with you but consider trading offices or desks with a co-worker to give your sneezing neighbor a break.
Keep water and healthy treats on hand for your dog. Your dog will probably be thirsty from all the excitement of going to work with you. And rather than risk an upset tummy from lunch leftovers doled out by your well-meaning co-workers, keep a baggy with some favorite treats for those that want to dote on your dog.
Make sure your workspace is a safe haven for your dog before your four-legged best friend comes for a visit. This means cleaning up any food (both on top of and under your desk,) finding a new home for the day for your plants and removing or organizing any loose wires. And if you've got a puppy, remember to bring some chew toys so he doesn't decide to find his own in your chair.
Keep in tune with your dog. Some may bask in all the attention and revel in fast-paced office life. But others, including older dogs, may be overwhelmed by all the stimuli. If your dog begins acting anxious or panting excessively, give him a little break in your office or under your desk. Similarly, if you have a dog that you know ahead of time will react badly to office life, it's probably best to leave him at home and bring in a picture instead.
Bring something comfy for her to lounge on. Eventually probably around the time of that big staff meeting nobody has prepared for the novelty of having a dog in the office will wear off for your co-workers. So bring a bed, a fluffy blanket or a crate to stash beside your chair or under your desk where Snookums can hang out and watch you work.
Remember to do your work even if Mister Fuzz is giving you puppy eyes and licking your hand. Your boss was kind enough to allow your dog to join you for the day. Don't make him or her withdraw the offer next year.
Brush up on etiquette. If your dog greets visitors by jumping on them or can't seem to remember what "sit" means, brush up on commands and make sure the pup understands that you're the leader before venturing into an office setting with him.
Get social. Plan a few trips to a dog park beforehand. If your dog is uncomfortable meeting new dogs there, she might not be ready for Take Your Dog to Work Day yet. "If dogs are very needy or get uncomfortable or territorial in strange places, they need more socialization first," Armistead suggests.
Check your vet records. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations before taking him to the workplace (for a full list of pet vaccines, read Are Annual Vaccinations Really Necessary?). If your pup's on any meds, be sure to pack them for the big day at work.
Come prepared. ASPCA says your doggy daypack should include food, treats, bowls, a leash, paper towels, and something to clean up any accidents. You can even bring a baby gate to cordon off your doggy area. And be sure your pet is wearing a sturdy collar with an ID tag.
Get ready for the big day. Make sure your dog is exercised and well hydrated and fed before heading to the office. "They're going to be a lot less stressed out and more accepting of new environments," Armistead says. Be sure to have a water bowl at work, too.
Schedule a meeting. When integrating a newly arrived canine into the office scene, put the dog on a leash so it can meet with the other dogs and pet parents outside. If your dog is nervous, meet up with just one or two other dogs, not a large group.
Avoid triggers. Don't bring your dog's favorite toy. Although it seems like a good idea, she could get very possessive over her favorite item, potentially triggering a fight with another dog.
Schedule around personality differences. If two office dogs just can't seem to get along, work with other pet's parent and stagger office visits so the dogs aren't there at the same time, Armistead suggests.
Look for signs of nervousness. Obvious signs of nervousness or stress include the tail between the legs. Small dogs may even shake. If your dog is stressed during your day together at work, go on a short walk outside during your break, and avoid introducing him to a large group of other dogs.
Know where your dog is at all times. This goes without saying, but Dogswell learned this the hard way when one of their own was discovered riding the elevator by itself in the middle of the workday!
And finally - have fun! Bringing your dog to work with you has many benefits. According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, nearly one in five companies allows their employees to bring their dogs with them to work on a regular basis.
The Benefits for You... There are many benefits to bringing your dog to work. For example a number of scientific studies have found that keeping a dog in the office is an instant stress reliever, which helps to encourage production of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol. As well as this, animals in the work place are excellent for team bonding, working as talking points that bring staff together. If the job you do is particularly sedentary, a dog in the office will help you to keep active as interacting with the dog will get you on your feet and away from your desk for short periods of time. As a bonus short breaks have been found to increase productivity, whilst studies have also shown that employees are more willing to work long hours with a dog in the office. Ultimately, bringing your dog to work improves your work/life balance as it means that you have a little piece of home away from home. This can be both a real comfort and source of joy during a stressful day at the office.
The Benefits for Your Dog... Many dogs suffer daily from separation anxiety, as they are left alone for long stretches of time whilst their owners are at work. This is because dogs are social animals that thrive on interaction, company and affection. Bringing your dog to work means that they would receive all of the attention they desire regularly and without the fees of doggy day care. Furthermore, if you struggle to find the time or energy to take your dog for a walk there are plenty of people in the office who would be willing to exercise he/she for you, taking him outdoors on lunch breaks and playing with him. Bringing your dog to work therefore means that your dog would have more time outside and in different environments than if he were just sitting at home. If your dog is a little timid, a day in the office is a great opportunity to get him in the mix with people as well as canine friends, whilst remaining at the comfort of your side. Socialising is extremely important for domestic animals as it ensures that they know how to behave correctly.
Talking from Experience ... In recent years hundreds of companies have jumped on board the pet at work policy, not least of which is Google. Google describes itself as a "dog company" believing that dogs represent fundamental qualities such as loyalty, playfulness and tenacity, which form part of the company ethos. At Amazon, their senior public relations manager is living proof of the bonding that can take place through bringing your dog to work, claiming that he has met over three-dozen people simply because of his dog. At the corporate headquarters of Nestle in London, all 1000 employees can bring their dogs to work if they so wish, whilst the company Firebox allows all staff members to bring in pets, asserting that the pets have a positive impact on the office - they bring everyone together, and provide almost endless entertainment value. Other companies that share this policy include Etsy, Build-A-Bear workshop, Pets at Home and The Blue Cross. It so seems that companies are really taking advantage of the benefits of bringing your pet to work. But before making this decision for your business, it is worth considering whether a pet policy is conducive to your company. Health and safety may be a factor if you work in a sterile environment, whilst small offices may not have the space for pets.
The Big Day... To participate in Bring Your Dog to Work Day all you need to do is make a donation online or via text message. To make sure that the day is for you, you should ensure that nobody in the workplace has animal allergies. At Nestlé the company operates a ‘Pawthorise’ policy, which means that all dogs must first be assessed before being allowed into the office space. Although this may seem a little extreme for one day, it is still a good idea to ensure that your dog is well trained and able to cope with the exposure that comes with being in an office where there may be a number of people, and possibly a number of other animals. If your dog is prone to anxiety or feeling overwhelmed it might not be such a great idea. Also think about whether your dog is toilet trained. Will it go tearing up the office and cause more stress than relief? Are you confident that you can trust your dog to wander freely and socialize in a friendly manner with everyone in the office? If your dog barks or whines for attention all of the time, this could also be a hindrance or distraction. In conclusion participating in Bring Your Dog to Work Day is great for the animal, office morale and productivity. The furry companions get all the attention their hearts desire, their loving owners have a little slice of home at work and petless staff get their fair share of puppy love. On top of all of the benefits for animals and employees, proceeds generated from participation in the day go towards fighting for better welfare and care for man's best friend.
TIPS FOR DOG WORKDAY! This article proudly presented by WWW.ABCNEWS GO.COM and Leah Zerbe
Do's: 1. Make sure coworkers are on board with the idea. Even if dog will be staying in your office or cubicle, his presence might give pause to people who are allergic to or afraid of dogs.
2. Pack dog's "briefcase." At the Naples, Marco Island, and Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau in Naples, Fla., Executive Director Jack Wert, who is bringing his two Miniature Pinschers to work, says participating employees are expected to provide for all their dogs' needs: food and water dishes, toys, treats, a bed, poop bags, or anything else the dog might need during the day.
3. Groom dog as if he were going in for a job interview. Give him a bath, brush his coat until it gleams, and brush his teeth so he has nice breath when he meets the boss.
4. Dogproof your workspace. To prevent dog from chewing on cords, tipping over the trash, or swallowing that thumb drive with the report that's due tomorrow, prepare your area.
5. Do a good deed for dogs. Have a raffle to benefit your local shelter or bring in animal health and adoption groups to provide information about pets and services. Even people who don't bring in their pets enjoy the opportunity to interact with other people's dogs and meet vendors, says Chief Human Resources Officer Nancy Long at Hitachi Data Systems in Santa Clara, Calif.
Don'ts: 1. Don't bring Fido in if you can't rely on his good manners and housetraining. A dog who jumps up on clients, howls in the middle of a meeting, or takes a dump in the conference room won't be an incentive for your employer to participate in future events.
2. Don't bring Fido if he's sick. If he has a contagious illness, other employees could unknowingly carry it home to their dogs. And a digestive disturbance could cause him to upchuck or have diarrhea. If he'll be bow wowing with other dogs, his vaccinations or titers should be up to date.
3. Don't let Fido wander around off leash. You should know where he is at all times and where he should be is under your control. Use a baby gate or other barrier to keep him confined.
BREED CHOICES Many breeds of dog have been experimentally drafted into the assistance dog field. The most popular for service dog work are the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever. Samoyeds, Smooth Coated Collies and Rough Coated Collies are some of the newer breeds that are showing promise. Some of the more unusual breeds out there assisting disabled handlers are a Pointer, an Otter Hound, a Dalmation, an Irish Setter, a Papillon, and a Greyhound, showing you can't always judge a book by its cover. Guide dog schools primarily use Labs, Goldens, German Shepherds, Lab-Golden crosses, some Smooth Collies, a few Flat or Curly coated Retrievers, a few Vizslas, a few Standard Poodles, an occasional Boxer, some Australian Shepherds and a small number of carefully screened Dobermans. Some of the breeds placed by Hearing dog schools include Welsh Corgis, Poodles, Shelties, Springer Spaniels, Labrador and Golden Retrievers. Also many mixed breeds adopted from animal shelters have become hearing dogs, generally ones that appear to be of spaniel or terrier ancestry or a collie mix.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER FOR A BREED CHOICE: Size at Maturity: What is the Size Range of the breed that interests you? It is especially important to investigate this if selecting a breed for mobility assistance work. While a large male Samoyed, 23" high, 65 lbs. in weight could pull a wheelchair and haul open heavy commercial doors, a small female of the species may only be 20" high and 40 lbs. at maturity, which is much too petite for this kind of work. A small female Newfoundland 27" high, weighing 100 lbs. might be invaluable to a man with Lou Gehrig's Disease who weighs 250 lbs, needing walker dog support and future wheelchair assistance, whereas the typical male of that breed would be much too large as he couldn't fit into taxis, buses, airplane cabins or under a table at a restaurant, etc. Identifying a very knowledgeable breeder who can accurately predict the size of her pups or young dogs at maturity is the next step in ensuring that the dog's size will be compatible with the job he is supposed to do.
As a rule, a dog should stand a minimum of 22" and weigh a minimum of 55 lbs. for wheelchair assistance work, if pulling a child or a small woman. For adults weighing over 130 lbs., the dog should be 60 lbs or larger in size. Dogs trained for walker dog support work typically are a minimum of 23" in height for an average size woman, if a harness is available with a sturdy handle tall enough to bridge the gap between the human's hand and the dog's withers. Lacking such a handle on a harness, just gripping an ordinary nylon harness for balance support, a much taller dog is needed, 27" to 30" tall so the person's hand can rest on the dog's back.
Longevity: - Another factor to investigate is the average lifespan of a breed. For example, the majority of Bernese Mt. Dogs only live to be about six years old. Most large breeds have a 10-12 year lifespan. Small and medium size dogs might live well into their teens. One giant breed only has a lifespan of four years, while another averages ten years. It is unwise to make assumptions. If not sure, research the answer prior to taking the plunge.
Coat Care - the Amount of Work and Expense: An important consideration in breed choice is the physical ability and/or financial ability of an assistance dog partner to manage the grooming needs of a particular breed. Some long haired breeds may require a two hour long comb-out each week. Some only require intermittent Pin-brushing. A breed with a hypo-allergenic coat like a Standard Poodle will need weekly comb outs and expensive visits to a professional grooming shop on a regular basis. A short haired breed like a Labrador Retriever will only need to be brushed about five minutes per week and receive a bath once or twice a year to remain healthy. Shorter hair does not mean less shedding; daily shedding is probable on a year round basis.
A Doggy Odor versus An Odor Free Coat: - Some breeds like the Samoyed have a completely odor free coat. Some like a Smooth Collie may be odor free if bathed several times a year. Some like a Golden Retriever or Labrador Retriever exude an unpleasant aroma when they get wet from rain, snow or a swim. Some breeds have a faint persistent odor all the time. A perfumed spray/coat conditioner can be useful in masking a doggy odor. Having the dog sleep on a cushion stuffed with cedar shavings also is helpful. The odor issue is irrelevant to many dog lovers but for someone who has a spouse or family member or a co-worker who is likely to complain if there is a "doggy odor," this may be a factor to consider in choosing a breed.
Hereditary Breed Traits: - Each breed was developed for a purpose. If considering a breed developed for hunting, herding or guard dog work, realize that the traits that made a dog of that particular breed an excellent hunting dog, an effective sheepdog or a successful guard dog do not disappear just because the traits are no longer highly desired by most dog owners. The ancestral urges to hunt, swim, chase livestock, sound an alarm, kill predators or drive away strangers that dare approach are lurking under the surface. Some of these traits will interfere with an assistance dog's reliability.
Breeds classified as Guard Dogs, Flock Guardians or Fighting Dogs have aggression related breed traits that are particularly worrisome. Assistance dog partners who do not have previous experience handling a dog with a strong Protection drive, a fierce Territorial instinct or a hereditary dog aggression problem should not attempt a partnership with one of these breeds. Those who do choose to work with one of these breeds must respect the darker side of its nature, learn how to avoid triggering it and never ignore the potential for a misunderstanding. Occasionally one hears of a Doberman or German Shepherd or a Rottweiler that seems to lack the normal hereditary breed traits that earned such dogs the reputation of being formidable guard dogs. But atypical specimens like that are extremely difficult to find, nor do they come with a lifetime guarantee. Realistically, your odds on a pup from those breeds growing up to be an adult that lacks his breed's guard dog instinct is very slim. Hereditary breed traits should always be considered part of the package when making a breed choice.
Gender: A female dogs usually is smaller in stature and lacks the profuse feathering and coat length of the male in many breeds. If spayed, a female is equal to a male in terms of competency in this career. If unspayed, a female's usefulness is compromised by her bi-annual menstrual cycles. Drawbacks include hormone related behavior problems, the risk of many unplanned pregnancies and days of messy blood spotting that require confinement and clean up.
Male dogs may be easier to manage in the presence of unspayed females and intact male dogs if neutered. However, neutering is not a "cure-all" for behavior problems. Neither is spaying. It will not eradicate inappropriate aggression toward people. It seldom treats the root causes of dog aggression in a particular dog. You can't cure hereditary temperament traits, poor socialization, dominance issues or psychological trauma with surgery. It is just not that simple.
On the plus side of the coin, millions of satisfied owners can attest to the fact there is no detectable change in the dog's personality after a sterilization procedure. Fears a dog may lose her sweet femininity or a handsome male dog may become less masculine after the operation have proven to be groundless.
Age:One of the most important decisions to make is whether to start out with a young puppy or to seek an adult dog, age 18 months to 3 years old, which can commence training immediately.
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