Increasing numbers of employers are starting to appreciate the benefits of an office dog. A dog can help to create a good mood among employees and generate positive energy in the workplace. But for a canine colleague to be seen as an enrichment rather than a nuisance, there are some things you should pay attention to, particularly in relation to the nature of the dog.
What characteristics should an office dog possess?
An office dog should not only be well trained but also well socialized; it should also have had no negative experiences with humans and, of course, should not be in any way aggressive. If the dog, for example, demonstrates pronounced territorial behaviour or a strong protective instinct in respect of its owner, then colleagues won’t have much fun with the dog, and problems are almost guaranteed. And a dog which barks a lot will wreck concentration. All these points should be carefully considered when choosing a dog.
Which breeds are suitable as office dogs?
It is not necessarily a question of breed which determines how comfortable a dog feels in the workplace and how it behaves. Nevertheless, some breeds tend to be better or worse due to their typical characteristics, although of course there are exceptions to the rule.
If the dog is extremely lively or completely hyperactive, it will not be happy to lie in one place for hours on end. This also applies to the ‘work animals’ of the dog world - the breeds that need a task to challenge them, such as the Border Collie. On the other hand, breeds that are somewhat quiet by nature are well suited as office dogs. Livelier dogs, in general, are more demanding in terms of keeping them occupied. It goes without saying, that the dog should like being with people. Here are some examples of suitable breeds.
• Golden Retriever: The beloved family dog is intelligent, friendly and good-natured, and would certainly enhance the office environment;
• Equally friendly, warm hearted and balanced is the intelligent Labrador Retriever - a sociable and child-friendly family dog;
• Impressive in stature is the Newfoundland - a real ‘bear’ of a dog. It is considered one of the most good-natured breeds;
• English Cocker Spaniel: So that the happy and relatively active spaniel enjoys office life, you will need to treat it to a little walk every now and again;
• The little Maltese is a sociable, affectionate and intelligent dog with a lot of spirit;
• The Havanese is also happy to be with people. Just like the Maltese, the small, very bright dog with an aptitude for learning, needs to be kept occupied.
Of course, there are other breeds and mongrels which, due to their nature, are particularly well suited to being office dogs. If you already have a dog that you want to take to the office, read our tips on ‘Office Dogs: Conditions and rules to keep in mind’ to increase the chances of your dog enriching the workplace for everyone.