Working Like a Dog? Important Lessons to be Learned From Fido!

For many pet parents, the worst feeling in the world seems to be leaving for work in the mornings. As you walk out the door, reassuring your pet that you will be home soon, a set of twinkling, disappointed eyes followed by whimpering cries linger in the doorway. Luckily, “Take Your Dog to Work Day” exists, eliminating the pain of departure from your furry friend.

Although some employers might consider this day to be a distraction, many have found dogs in the office to be a learning experience. Pets have a lot to teach us, and thus positively influence people in the workplace. In a book written by business and pet owners Ellen and Patrick Galvin called Secrets of a Working Dog, the Galvins highlight the lessons that they have learned from taking their boxer, Bella, to work daily. Below are four of the books most important points:




1. Keeping focused.

When observing Bella at the workplace, the Galvins notice that she can focus on a single red ball, pouring all of her energy into it for long periods of time. Ellen explains, “When she plays with it, she gives it her full energy and talent. I realized I have to do that in my own work.” This is a lesson to all employees: Focus on one particular thing and pour all of your energy and devotion into it. Set your mind to something and carry out the task using your full attention and all of your effort. This means eliminating any distractions such as social media websites and email while working on a specific project.

Dog at work
Be careful your dog doesn’t get too comfortable at your workplace

2. Work hard, Play hard.

Another valuable lesson that is evident in the behavior of pets is the importance of play. Although work is extremely vital in the office, it is important to be able to take frequent breaks so as to not wear yourself out. Having a dog in the office forces one to take a break from work in order to play with or take out the dog for a walk. When you return to the desk, you will come back refreshed with a clearer, more focused mind. As Ellen Galvin explains, Bella will often drop a toy in front of her feet as to remind her to take a break and throw around a ball for a little while.

A dog can be a perfect work-day companion
A dog can be a perfect work-day companion

3. Gratitude.

Showing thanks is an important act that pets help us to remember. Dogs are extremely good at showing appreciation from giving thank you kisses to wagging their tails in happiness at the attention that is given to them. As the Galvins have explained, the appreciation that Bella shows helps to remind them to show their gratitude in the workplace to both their associates and to their clients. Ellen has stated that she often sends “Thank You” cards to those who have sent her a referral, and that this has helped her company to stand out.

dog using computer

4. Don’t dwell on the past.

Lastly, the Galvins have noted that Bella really only lives in the present. Instead of constantly reflecting on what could have been done differently, it is important to learn to focus on the present and what needs to be done in the current day. The Galvins have learned to make a list of what should be done at the beginning of each day, so as to focus on the present rather than dwelling on the past.

In addition to the Galvins’ book, Wendy Diamond’s book, How to Train your Boss to Roll Over, gives advice and instruction on successful dog training strategies in the workplace that will create a healthy office environment. Wendy Diamond, Animal Fair’s best selling author, animal advocate, and pet lifestyle expert, has written a witty novel that allows readers an inside glimpse on how to succeed and get ahead in the business world.

If you’re looking to adopt a furry friend to take to work with you, don’t forget you always adopt!


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