Survive Take Your (Herding Breed) Dog to Work Day
Celebrate Take Your Dog to Work Day -The Herding Dog Way!
Have you heard? It’s Take Your Dog to Work Week - so celebrate, celebrate, bark to the music! Well, herding dogs across the country are definitely barking up a storm in honor of this dog-friendly work day. Herding Dogs + work = very happy canine companions.
Mark your calendars folks! Take Your Dog to Work Day 2016 is on Friday, June 24th, but can be celebrated all week long. On the Friday after Father’s Day, you and your faithful herding companions should definitely take a bark of faith and join in the furry fun.
History of Take Your Dog to Work Day
Take Your Dog to Work Day had its humble beginnings in the United Kingdom in 1996, with the United States following along just a few short years later, in 1999. Originated by Pet Sitters International, Take Your Dog to Work Day, or TYDTWD, was created to help spread the word that dogs ROCK! With the intention of encouraging dog-less co-workers to get better acquainted with the benefits of dog ownership, this annual event allows your canine companions to be ambassadors-in-action. After all, word of mouth, or in this case, bark of mouth is the best advertising.
Why Bring Your Tail Waggin’ Tag Along?
Why not? You love your herding dogs and the feeling they get is mutual. Bringing your dog along with you to work can only serve to brighten you and your co-workers’ day. Herding Dogs are awesome and FUN - they are amazingly intelligent, funny (great personality), socially adept, serious, and will stick around as you go about your business.
In the mind of a herding dog, accompanying you to work is just a natural transition from accompanying you around the farm, backyard, or wherever you call home. It’s all work. It’s all good!
Go Figure-The Facts and Figures
Facts tell it like it is and the fact that Take Your Dog to Work Day continues to grow each year, speaks volumes! Since its launch in 1999, TYDTWD participation is increasing exponentially - 300 businesses participated in the premier celebration and the number of businesses participating doubled from year four to year five, resulting in approximately 10,000 dog-friendly companies taking a bark of faith and opening up their doors to their employee’s canine companions. Wow! That’s a LOT of furry fun!
Popular talk show hosts, Jay Leno and David Letterman, even gave a “bark out” to this awesome event.
More recently, the website is a hit! Takeyourdog.com gets hits in the 100,000 plus range. It just goes to show dogs are great companions at work! So, who needs sheep? Do you want to add your happy herder to the payroll? Well, we’ve rounded up some great advice that’s sure to help you and your furry herding aficionado have a successful TYDTWD!
Herding Dogs and the Workplace
The Herding Dog Friendly Workplace
Taking your herding breed dog to work should be a positive experience for you both. And it will be as long as you take into consideration the following factors:
Boy Scouts aren’t the only ones who need to be prepared. By being fully prepared, you help to ensure the success of this annual occasion. The more positive of an experience you have, the more likely it is that you will want to continue this great tradition.
First things first - spread the word by posting flyers, sending out emails, etc. so that everyone is aware of the event. Be sure to consider those unfortunate co-workers who may be allergic and work with them to find a mutually respectful solution such as having them relocate to a conference room, a different office space, or perhaps even work from home on that Friday, if possible.
Set some basic ground rules! No dog is perfectly behaved 100% of the time. However, an untrained, noisy, or accident-prone dog is definitely not man’s best friend in or out of the work place. So, make sure all co-workers who plan on bringing their dog to work fully understand what is expected of them and their canine companions.
Here are some basic guidelines to help you get started:
- Dogs must be healthy, parasite free, and up to date on shots!
- Dogs MUST be potty trained!
- Dogs should be quiet and well-trained
- Dogs should get along well with other dogs
- Dogs should be kept on a leash, no matter how well-behaved they are. (This just shows respect toward
those who may not be “dog people”.)
- Dogs should accompany owners when they step away for restroom, meal, or coffee breaks; otherwise,
dogs should be contained in a crate.
- If by chance an accident does happen, be responsible and clean up after your dog.
Following these simple no-nonsense rules will help to ensure that the day goes smooth! Remember, it’s all about establishing mutually respectful relationships between you, your dog, and your co-workers … with or without furry companions is essential. It’s essential for two reasons - first, the better the experience, the more likelihood there is that this event will become an annual event that everyone looks forward to and second, a workplace environment where co-workers respect and care about one another is just a better, more productive place to be.
The Herd-Happy Briefcase
Having the right supplies on hand can mean the difference between a having a good day and a not so good day. As a savvy herding breed dog owner, you’ll want to have a few basic supplies on hand. Besides the basics such as a leash, food and any medications your dog may be on, there are a few essentials you’ll need. Having a few favorite toys, something to chew on, a ball or frisbee for exercise breaks outside, and perhaps a container of healthy treats to reward your well-mannered co-herder is a recipe for success! Also, it’s always a good rule of thumb to have cleaning supplies on hand, just in case. And, during walks and exercise breaks, be sure to have bags for scooping the poop. A workplace that is just as clean at the end of Take Your Dog to Work Day as it was before, is a workplace that will happily welcome back you and your dog again and again. And, don’t forget to bring a bowl for water!
Space matters! Especially, when your furry friend tags along to work with you. Depending upon the job you do, providing adequate space for a furry co-worker may or may not pose a challenge.
Herding dogs cannot be expected to stay holed up in a closet size cubicle for hours on end. It’s just not natural and it could lead to misbehavior. However, if you’re able to break free of your small space regularly, move about, work outside for short intervals, etc., you and your herder should be fine.
Type of Vocation
Again, just as space matters, the type of work that you do will affect your decision as to whether or not you choose to have your dog accompany you. Consider if your dog will be a distraction to you or to those around you. Will your dog get underfoot and cause accidents, or prevent you from doing your job well? Or, will its herding instinct kick in and have you scrambling to put a stop to the co-worker corral! Ha Ha! Seriously though, perhaps taking your dog to work with you would just not be practical. In that case, it’s always better to err on the side of safety and leave your furry friend at home where he or she is most comfortable and you don’t have the added stress and worry.
Always Have a Plan B
Having a viable plan B, just in case, is wise. Just in case your herding dog is uncomfortable accompanying you to work, it’s necessary to have an alternate plan of action. Have someone who knows your dog well at the ready to either come and pick up the dog or to pet sit at your house if need be. Hey, life is unpredictable. Just in case your dog becomes ill or is uncomfortable for whatever reason, you need to know that someone is waiting in the wings to care for them.
The Not So Dog Friendly Workplace
If, unfortunately, your place of work is not a dog-friendly environment, you can still participate, but on a less furry level. First of all, you can politely approach your boss, supervisor, etc. and ask them to consider allowing dogs inside the workplace for just this one day each year. If they are, without a doubt, still opposed to the idea, no worries. There are other ways to celebrate and help to spread the word.
You can still post flyers! Advertising will help spread the word as co-workers can share the news with family and friends outside the workplace. You may also want to put out a donation jar or box where employees can donate money or drop in cans of food, leashes, toys, blankets, etc. to be distributed to local shelters.
It’s All in a Day’s Work
So, Take Your Dog to Work Day was an incomparably awesome experience! Now, while you may be headed home to relax, sit down to a delicious dinner and catch up with your family, your herding dog may only be a hop, skip and a tail wag away from play. Or, is that work? Being the overachievers that they are, herding dogs are herding machines and yours will probably have a bit more pent up energy than normal. So, don’t take the “round-a-bout” way home because your herding dog is ready for his own work!
Image courtesy of Deanna Raeke from For the Love of the Dog Blog
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