Fort Lauderdale, Florida —June 04, 2009—With the 11th Annual “Take Your Dog to Work Day” approaching (Friday, June 26), Home Dog Training of South Florida offers helpful tips for the 43+ million U.S. dog owners on how to prepare and manage their dogs for the workplace experience.
“We celebrate this day in support of its creator, Pet Sitters International, and its 2009 sponsors, PetFinders.com and Dog Fancy magazine,” said Robin Edwards, dog behavioral therapist and trainer. “This event educates the public on the benefits of responsible pet ownership, raises the awareness of the importance of the human-animal bond, and supports the efforts of our local animal shelters, rescues and humane societies. At Bark Busters, every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day.”
“When it comes to taking your dog to the office,” said Edwards, “the key to a safe and successful experience is to prepare yourself and your dog in advance and to recognize potential problem situations before they can happen.”
Edwards offers these pointers for dog owners who plan to bring their canine companions to work:
Items to Bring
- Recognize that this can be a stressful experience for your dog. It is a new environment, which in itself can cause apprehension. Bring along his dog pillow or blanket so he has something familiar to comfort him.
- Bring a leash to walk your dog from the car to the office. The leash will also help you control him in the office.
- Bring food or treats and a water bowl so your canine friend can stay well hydrated.
- Help your dog pass the time by bringing along dog toys, such as the Buster Cube® or KONG®.
Situations to Avoid
- Don’t leave your dog alone with other dogs. If you must leave for a meeting, isolate your dog in a closed office or have a dog-familiar friend sit in until you return.
- Other dogs might not be as well behaved as your dog. Watch for any signs of dog aggressiveness, such as growling, staring, raised hackles, and stiff body posture. Diffuse potential conflict by removing your dog from the area.
- Don’t try to force unfamiliar dogs to “become friends.”Check with your supervisor to get an okay to leave work early if your dog can’t handle the new environment. If he becomes too stressed, overexcited or inhibited, it’s best to just take him home.
- Do not opt to leave him in your vehicle while you continue to work.
Stopping a Dog Fight
- Obviously, the best solution is to avoid bad situations altogether by closely monitoring dog interaction.
- If a dog scuffle occurs, don’t lunge in and try to break it up by hand (you could get bitten accidently). Use your dog’s blanket to throw over the heads of the fighting dogs. This will confuse the combatants long enough for you to defuse the situation.
Keys to Providing Good Leadership
According to Edwards, preparing for a safe and successful “Take Your Dog to Work Day” includes making sure that your dog accepts you as his leader.
- Dogs crave good leadership. If they don’t get it from their owner, they’ll take charge. That leads to bad behaviors, such as barking, jumping, aggression and pulling on the leash—each examples of the dog taking charge. Dogs will challenge for leadership in the home (and in the office), just as a wolf in the wild will do. The dog owner needs to win all challenges to demonstrate good leadership.
- Establish a clear leadership role with your dog before the office field trip. One way to do this is to ignore all requests from the dog, such as nudges to be petted or to play. Ignore him by breaking eye contact and turning away from him. When he has “given up” trying to get your attention, call him back to you to be petted or to play. When he responds to your requests and actions, versus you responding to his, he sees you as the leader.
- If your dog misbehaves, correct his behavior with a forceful, low-toned sound/word, which is a form of communication that your dog can understand. As soon as he stops, offer pleasant, high-toned praise. He will understand his mistake and respect you as his leader.
- In the wild, the leader physically leads the pack. Establish your leadership by always leading your dog— up and down stairs, through doorways, and especially on walks. Remember, the leader always leads. This establishes you as “top dog” and gains your dog’s respect.
“Most dog owners simply accept the bad behavior of their pets because they don’t know how to change it,” Edwards said. “Learning how to communicate effectively with your dog in a language he understands, through voice control and body language, is the key to providing the leadership needed to have authority over your dog at all times.”
For more information, call us at 954-424-0170 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.