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Be Happy, Be Productive: Take a Dog to Work

by Sheron Long on June 20, 2013

Poodle fetching a file in a happy and productive office on Take Your Dog to Work Day

Overheard in a happy and productive office on Take Your Dog to Work Day:
“Fetch the Poodle file, will you, Sport?”
© Big Cheese Photo

Pooch Power in the Workplace

This Friday, offices around the globe will be the very vision of a happy and productive workplace. That’s because June 21, 2013, is Pet Sitters International’s Take Your Dog To Work Day®.

Dog and worker at a desk in a happy and productive office, illustrating a possible scene on Take Your Dog to Work Day

A day at work is less stressful with a dog.
© Photodisc/RyanMcVay

Begun in 1999, Take Your Dog to Work Day is designed to showcase dogs as the great companions they are and to encourage adoptions.

The idea is that co-workers, who see the warm bond between canines and humans, will be inspired to adopt a best dog friend of their own.

The special day also offers employers the opportunity to support their local pet community.

Oh, I see the fun of this right away!

Any business can use more paws on deck, and we’ll be adding some highly specialized skills at least for a day.

I can just picture my office now, humming with pooch power, when all these breeds pad in.

Dog breeds, illustrating the variety of talents that dogs can being to a a happy and productive office on Take Your Do to Work Day

Any kind of dog can offer a helping paw on Take Your Dog to Work Day.
© iStockphoto

I boned up on their behaviors and talents and figured out some good assignments for the day.

Border Collies to the Conference Room!

Border Collies are the sports cars of the canine kingdom, built for speed and able to “hairpin turn” on a dime.

Border Collie herding sheep, a talent needed for meeting management in a happy and productive office

Nothing beats a Border Collie for meeting management!

Clocked at over 30 miles per hour, they also know how to keep both eyes on the ball. They are set to move across departments in dogged pursuit of the management team, nipping especially at the heels of the sales manager, who is perpetually late.

For once, our Friday morning meeting will start on time.

Border collies also have a hearty bark, good for meeting management when someone goes on too long. And, with just a hand signal from me, they’ll hop up and herd the managers out just as fast as they herded them in.

Ah, a meeting may end on time, too!

Puppies to R & D

The creative job of any Research and Development group requires play, with time to explore and dream, and it takes perseverance like you see, well, in a dog with a bone. It’s the perfect place for the special talents of puppies.

Four active puppies showing traits of workers in a happy and productive office

Active puppies fuel creativity in the R & D department.
© (top row) iStockphoto; (bottom row L to R) Fuse, Zoonar

Why puppies?

—Maybe it’s their freshness, the newness that comes when you haven’t yet learned the word “no.”

—Maybe it’s that they’re into everything, always “digging a little deeper.”

—Maybe it’s that they unleash the “aw factor,” in the creative staff, a group whose productivity rises when they feel good.

No matter, puppies and creative types are a good match.

Comfort Dogs to HR

The welcoming face of the Golden Retriever—how can anyone resist it?

Goldens (and other breeds), with red jackets saying simply “Pet Me!”, wander through airports in San Jose, Los Angeles, and Miami to lower passengers’ stress levels. Seems like that could work in our Human Resources department, too.

Golden Retriever in an easy chair at a happy and productive office, illustrating a possible scene on Take Your Dog to Work Day

The doctor is in!
© Fuse

When the stress of deadlines or disagreements with colleagues gets too great, it’s time to visit the company’s Golden Retriever. Never judgmental and always eager to please, the Golden gets it right—he listens, acknowledges, and lets you pet him until blood pressure and stress level go down.

Sniffer-in-Chief to IT

Dogs are all super sniffers, able to make surprising detections—diseased beehives, bed bugs, drugs, explosives, composition of whale poop, pirated DVDs, different kinds of cancers, and when a cow is in heat.

Beagle at a computer in a happy and productive office, illustrating a possible scene on Take Your Dog to Work Day

The Beagle gets off task during
Take Your Dog to Work Day.
© iStockphoto

The Beagle, with 225 million scent receptors, is the Sniffer-in-Chief. Compare that to the human who has 5 million, and you get a sense of this dog’s talented nose.

The Beagle will be on special assignment to the IT Department this Friday to sniff out computer viruses.

I know he’ll be successful if he doesn’t get distracted, surfing the Web for other passions.

The Beagle will work an 8-hour day with a lunch break in the company kitchen, where he can sniff out the fridge for old lunches to trash.

Very smelly ground, that fridge.

Boston Terriers to Customer Service

Big ears, no bark—that’s what you need if you work in customer service.

Boston Terrier with large ear, illustrating the ability to listen well in a happy and productive office

The Boston Terrier’s big, upright ear is the best receptor for listening.
© iStockphoto

All dogs hear in dog decibels that detect a much greater range of sounds than humans can. Breeds with large ears that stand up have the best receptors for listening well when customers call.

Though breeds like Chihuahuas have the ears for the job, they may not have the temperament—too much barking and even biting.

But the Boston Terrier fills the bill:

—big ears


—sensitive to moods

There may need to be some professional development on the snorting, snuffling, wheezing, and snoring front, however.

Irresistible Dogs to Sales and Marketing

If I know Sales and Marketing, they will press into service the cutest, most adorable dogs who grace our office.

Puppies advertising a sale, illustrating how the Marketing department can put dogs to productive work on Take Your Dog to Work Day

Call me irresistible!
© iStockphoto

Ads with an irresistible dog make products irresistible, too. And, hey, how about this adorable poodle—maybe he can create a music video with a howling testimonial!

If video does not display, watch it here.

Should Every Day Be “Take Your Dog to Work Day”?

Despite the fun of matching dog talents to tasks, the real value of dogs in the workplace is that employees feel better and engage more with other colleagues.

A study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and headed by Randolph Barker (no kidding about the name) compared stress levels in employees who did and did not take their dogs to work.

Stress levels went up during the workday in employees without dogs and stayed the same for employees with dogs. Employees with dogs also reported greater productivity.

Oh, I see (with apologies to Jonathan Swift):

Every day must have its dog. 

And it will be a happy and productive day indeed!

If you want to work for a company that allows dogs in the workplace every day, check out DogFriendly.com’s database. See these tips for ensuring a successful experience for you and your co-workers.

Pet Sitters International (PSI) also knows it’s ok and often necessary to leave your pets at home whether working or vacationing. It provides guidelines on choosing a pet sitter and offers a database for locating certified pet sitters

Comment on this post below, or inspire insight with your own OIC Moment here.


One thought on “Be Happy, Be Productive: Take a Dog to Work

  1. Great article. I love the beagle since I own one and I work in IT. We’re a perfect match! Also, I know of some Goldens that would excellent in HR, and border collies who would be great at rounding up the team for a meeting.

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