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Dogs at Work?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by overedge, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    A friend of mine works at a college that is considering putting in a policy of "no dogs at work" (except of course if they're working dogs like guide dogs). Currently, there is no policy at all and a number of people - a few - bring their dogs to work regularly. There are also some students who bring their dogs on campus and into classes.

    However, someone complained to the occupational health and safety committee, who brought an inspector from the workers compensation board to visit. The inspector said that even if the dogs are well behaved, there could be other students or employees, or visitors to campus, who are allergic or who have dog phobias. If something happened to any of them because a dog was around, the college could be liable.

    I'm curious if anyone here works at a place that has any yes-to-dogs or no-to-dogs policy - if so, what does it say? If dogs are allowed, are there rules about where they can be or when?
  2. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    Slightly off topic, but a girl I studied with used to bring her children to lectures. It was tremendously disruptive, especially if they were sick, or bored, and sometimes if she left the room, the kids would start interferring with university property.
  3. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    The boss at my first ever job brought his dog to work. But of course he was the boss so he could do that however I did not mind because the dog was just a big puppy. A rrrreally big shaggy puppy!. hehehe
  4. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    I used to work in an office that was decidedly dog-centric. All of us brought our dogs to work. It was awesome. But we had 3 employees in the office. In a larger office, particularly one that serves a large population, I can see it causing problems. Aside from the allergy issues, if you've got 20 employees in one office, how many can bring their pets to work? How does one decide who gets to? what if one dog is not properly trained and has to be banned? Do you really want to expend energy developing/enforcing policies related to pets?

    That said, if I ever had my own business, it would be dog-friendly.
  5. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    Why would anyone want to bring their dog to work...? :confused:
    cholla and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Bunny Hop

    Bunny Hop Perpetually learning Dutch Waltz

    I know this doesn't answer the question that was asked, but speaking as someone with a dog phobia, I think I would be uncomfortable working in a place where people brought dogs in to work. As a child I was very scared of dogs, and whilst as an adult the fear is controlled, it's very much still there. The logical part of my brain knows it's an irrational fear, and I'm okay with dogs on leads or otherwise controlled nowadays, but I can't imagine spending every working day being tense because of the presence of a dog - and that's what it would be like.

    I would imagine that any dog friendly policy would also have to be made clear to any prospective candidates for jobs at that company, so they could decide not to work there if that made them uncomfortable. But that could also potentially open the company to accusations of discrimination.
  7. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    Because dogs are fun to be around.

    Bunny Hop, I understand the problems with making someone with a fear of dogs work near one - it's a reason that I think it works best in small offices, and of course prospective employees would have to know up front.
  8. LadyNit

    LadyNit moving right along

    I work at a company with approx 200 employees. We are located in a downtown office bldg next to a city park on the waterfront. Dogs are welcome in the office, provided they are quiet and not disruptive.

    I love it. Immediately across from me is a woman who brings her two tiny Yorkies in every day. Another co-worker brings her poodle-mix dog in at least once a week. We've got an italian greyhound, a boston bull, a labradoodle, a basingi mix, a smooth coat collie, and a rotating family of border collies who frequent our floor.

    For me, it is the fastest, most positive cure for office stress evah:

    If I'm :mad: then I :scream: :dog: and I can :rollin: :dog: until I feel :cool:

    All these animals are like my personal therapy dogs. I can hunt one down and have a doggy lurrrve fix whenever I want. The dogs are a total stress reliever within a high pressure tech support environment.
  9. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    A couple of my professors would occasionally bring their dogs to work, which was amusing because it was an academic biology lab building. :lol: They certainly didn't bring them every day, and they were VERY well-behaved and only hung around their respective owner's office.

    Except one time when big goofy Phoebe the golden retriever (no kidding, the dog had 20 lbs on me) wandered into the cell bio lab because she was lonely and the prof said sternly, "Phoebe, this is no place for dogs!" and she goofily wagged and backed out, satisfied that she had gotten some attention. :rofl: :dog: She was a sweetheart.

    I don't think a dog-friendly policy would fly in a large company though. As mentioned, many people aren't comfortable around dogs and some people have allergies. It worked out in college because many students went without their dogs at home and having a furry friend around was nice. :lol:
  10. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

    The other day I was in one of the dorms at my school and the SPCA is bringing dogs in for some playtime. It's part of the wellness centre's stressbusters.

    I like the idea though it would definitely depend on the culture of the workplace.
  11. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    As Genevieve and Lady Nit said, dogs are fun and a great stress reliever.

    Generally, dogs get along well with each other and with people. Unless you're dealing with a small pup, most dogs would not disrupt the work environment, they would be happy just to hang out and get some treats and belly rubs.

    I agree its a concept suited to a small rather than a large office, but see it as a win-win. Especially since it makes it easier for people who work an eight hour day to have pets. Having pets makes people happier and happier people are better, more productive employees. :)
  12. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member


    As someone who has a dog phobia, I don't believe a dog should be in a workplace unless it is a service animal.
  13. rvi5

    rvi5 Active Member

    Perhaps that is exactly what you need to overcome your phobia. Sure it would be uncomfortable for awhile, but constant exposure in a controlled environment may eventually dispel your fears.

    (...not that I believe dogs should be permitted in a work environment, unless the business is small and everyone agrees to it).

    Although I was afraid of dogs when I was a small child, I lost that fear when we obtained our first family dog (a mixed breed). Since then, my mother has had poodles (they snarled and bit because she didn't know how to properly train them), and a cocker-spaniel (he was nice). I myself have had four Dobermans over the years (still have two). All four Dobes were/are friendly.

    Despite being accustomed to dogs, I am uncomfortable when walking down the sidewalk and an unleashed dog comes charging out growling and barking (but that would be normal, since you can't be certain what type of dog owners trained the dog).
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  14. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    I have three dogs at home; 2 pugs, and a lab mix (all are inside dogs.) I can't imagine anything remotely fun about taking them to work. Dog hair shedding, dog farts, dog breath, trips outside to potty - yup, that sounds really fun...
  15. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

    Doesn't sound like they are any fun at home either. Why do you have them in the first place?
    LadyNit and (deleted member) like this.
  16. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    I have seen someone bring their dog to work at my large (corporate office-type) company. He was kept in a crate under their desk all day, and she apologized for having to do it. Their heater had broke and it was under 40 degrees in her house. The dog whimpered a few times, but you couldn't hear it.

    I don't think it makes sense for most people to bring their dogs to work, but I suppose what kind of work you have.

    I've been to quite a few shops that kept dogs there. And my college's mascot was a dog that went to all the classes with her handler. (There is a tradition that if the dog barks during class it's because she is bored, and so the class should be ended. Some professors still keep with the tradition :) I never had her in my class though.)
  17. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

    I brought Muttley to work with me when I was having construction done on my house and the noise was stressing him out. There were no problems - I work on a mostly empty floor and the only people who came near us were the cleaning ladies who loved Muttley. One week I was alone on the floor and Muttley provided company (and a small amount of protection - just in case!).

    That ended when a woman five floors down saw me walking Muttley in the parking lot and complained because she is allergic. So now Muttley for me. :(
  18. Wiery

    Wiery Well-Known Member

    Mr. Wiery and I own a small business, and when we only had one or two employees our animals often came to work with us. However, once we had more than two or three employees, people started complaining: some have allergies, some have phobias, which we think are legit reasons to keep animals away from the workplace. We also used to have a shop cat to keep our rodent population down, but she often climbed up into the ceilings of the buildings, get stuck, and yowl incessantly until someone got her out. We also have a group that rents some of our offices; one day they were conducting a client meeting in the conference room, the cat got up in the ceiling, knocked down a ceiling tile, then stared down at the people and yowled until someone got her down. Luckily, everyone involved had a good sense of humor about the whole episode because one grumpy client could have resulted in our tenants losing a sale, and us losing a paying tenant. Said cat now resides full-time at our house.

    I think pets at work are a great idea on paper but don't always work smoothly in real life.
  19. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    One or two well-behaved and potty trained mutts are fun to have around at work, but any more than that and the work place becomes a smelly, noisy fur flying mess.

    Do dogs really fart? Like human?
  20. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    I'm shocked anyone would find that acceptable to begin with. No, it's no okay unless it's a guide dog; in any public place.
    Cherub721 and (deleted member) like this.
  21. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    I have no opinion one way or the other but a couple questions come to mind.

    What if a dog bites someone or has an accident and someone slips and falls? Is the employer or the dog owner responsible?

    Wouldn't an animal need some exercise and/or care during the workday? Does that happen during the employee's lunch and break time?
    deltask8er and (deleted member) like this.
  22. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    Worse, much worse. :lol:
  23. jp1andonly

    jp1andonly Well-Known Member

    at my doctors office one of the doctors brings his schnauzer in. The dog usually stays with him in his office but occasionally she comes out. She's super friendly and even though i dont like dogs i dont have a problem with her checking out the waiting room. FYI my doctors office deals with a lot of HIV/AIDS patients and I'm sure her presence is very calming. On the tv screen where they put up important information a blurb about Casey is on there and if you are allergic or afraid of dogs you just let the receptionist know and they just let that one doctor know so he will keep her in his office.
  24. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    I worked at a place that had "bring your dog to work day." Two of the dogs hated each other on first sniff. The entire day was spent making sure that the two dogs didn't go after each other. That was our last doggy day.

    Frankly, I'm old school. Work is work, home is home. I don't appreciate mixing the two.
  25. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

    It would make my work day immeasurably better if I could have my dog at work. :dog:

    However, I don't think it can work to bring dogs to work in most ordinary work situations, starting from the fact that some folks have severe allergies and moving to the fact that some dogs may not get along if you have multiple dogs being brought in.

    Its a shame for us doggy-dog folks but I think its for the best overall.
  26. Satellitegirl

    Satellitegirl New Member

    If I'm having work done on my apartment, or my dog needs observation due to being sick or something, they don't mind if I bring her to work(just keep her in my office). Several people bring their dogs in occasionally, but not on a regular basis. It's a small company though, so we can get away with that easier.
  27. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    NOT.NOT.NOT. I can not believe that you suggest this as a "solution"

    from the second thread my post:
    I don't know of any dog or non dog employer policies, but I do have a comment or two.

    I am terrified by dogs - little dogs, medium dogs, big dogs. Doesn't matter. For some of you that seems to be an irrational fear. For me it is a real fear rooted in what I don't know. All my kids have dogs - I am on edge everytime I am at their houses. It is like being on a roller coaster at the top and never knowing when you will drop. I absolutely freak out when the dogs want to kiss/slobber all over me. And when the kids kiss their dogs.
    I also have asthma and the shedding on the furiture, etc. - unless I run around with a portable washstand, I will inadvertently rub my eyes/nose and then start wheezing. So for me, I would need to seriously consider another place of employment. Yes - I know that there are major studies that indicate how much your quality of life is with your pets in the workplace or even as a companion for an elderly or house bound person. I am most likely the exception rather than the norm.
    Cherub721 and (deleted member) like this.
  28. Kasey

    Kasey Correcting President Trump's grammar on Twitter :)

    I work in a hospital ICU. Yeah, no dogs at work for us.

    Besides, how limiting and discriminatory! I have cats, why don't I get to take THEM to work? Why can't my friend bring in her fish? Why can't someone else bring in tarantulas? Etc, etc, etc!

    Bad idea IMO, unless it is a 3-person workplace and all agree, or something similarly unique.
  29. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    I interviewed at a company where the employees could bring their dogs to work. There was a dog in the office as I interviewed, going in and out, etc. I chose not to work there.

    I know it's un-American, but I just don't love dogs. I mean, they're fine, but I'd prefer not to have one. In the workplace, I'd find them disruptive. So I chose not to work there, as that company obviously was not a fit for me.
    numbers123 and (deleted member) like this.
  30. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    OMG that sounds like paradise. (So long as you consider paradise to be a little bit insane, that is.) Lucky you!

    Aside from what others have said about the potentially positive effects on the work environment, it's also good for the dog. I'm not able to have a dog myself (condo bylaw) but if that ever changes, I still wouldn't get a dog unless I was able to take it work with me. In my view it's just not fair to the dog. They're social creatures, and leaving them alone for 10 hours a day is just not right IMO. So if the work environment allows it and the dog is well trained ... ideal.

    Which also answers the question of why this issue comes up with dogs but not cats or guppies -- it's because they're different animals. I'd love to bring my cat in to work, but that wouldn't be fair on her. She is decidedly not a social creature (or at least not with anyone but me), and she sleeps 20 hours a day anyway. :lol: (Plus she hates going in the car.)