Thinking back to the start of my career, I couldn’t imagine the idea of bringing your dog into the office. And no, I’m not all that old! But I’ve noticed a trend over the past few years of seeing dogs in more and more places, especially non-traditional places that didn’t necessarily welcome dogs in the recent past. They are appearing in bars, on patios of restaurants and inside stores.
At our place of employment, people often bring their dogs to the office. I’m not talking about service dogs; these are everyday, regular pets. Through casual observation, I began to recognize some very positive benefits of bringing your dog into the office. And I also began to understand that by observing people’s behavior around their dogs, it can show some insight into who that person really is.
Breaking down walls
Dogs help to break down walls. The presence of a dog may be the sole reason that people communicate who otherwise may not normally talk with each other. The conversation may be about the dog itself, or it may branch out to other experiences the people have had with other dogs. Or, the conversation may branch out to things that the two people may have needed to discuss, but haven’t for whatever reason. The dog becomes a conversation starter.
Dogs do entertaining things. They are always the center of attention and they give us things to comment on, laugh about and discuss. People that may normally be very reserved in an office setting may immediately begin talking and interacting with the dog, showing off an entirely different side of their personality.
Dogs help us reveal who we really are
We can get some insight into a person’s behavioral style by watching how they interact with dogs. In the presence of dogs, we act naturally, the way we would if we were alone at home with the pet. Our adapted “office behavioral style” tends to be momentarily forgotten and we just become our true selves. Dogs have an amazing ability to do that to us.
If we are the person bringing in the dog, the mere presence of the dog and how the dog acts can be reflective of who we are as people. Is the dog behaved and obedient? Does the dog run wild? You can tell a lot about the owner simply by watching the dog.
Things to observe about a person in the presence in the dog include: how does the person and dog interact? Does the person control the dog or does the dog control the person? Does the person treat the dog better, the same or worse than they treat their coworkers? Observing a person’s behavior around their dogs can be a strong indicator about their EQ and how they handle situations in their natural environment.
Dogs help us relax
Our pets, especially dogs, provide a sense of comfort and happiness. You could say that they help us get through ruff days. (I couldn’t help myself there.) The presence of dogs helps people move away from little distractions and minutiae that add up in the office, such as deadlines, distractions or overwhelming workloads. It’s hard to be uptight in the presence of dogs, and they act as a “whole room cleanse” uplifting the people within the office.
Since dogs are part of home, they are an extension of home when we are at the office. No matter how much we like our jobs, most people would prefer to be at home. Dogs make us feel as if we are already there. Feeling a sense of home while at work, a person will often have a reduced level of stress, making them more productive.
Dogs are a conduit to conversation and communication. They give us common ground with people in which we would otherwise have nothing in common. Dogs create conversation with their actions and become a topic of conversation themselves. They lend insight into what a person is truly like in their natural state because, around dogs, most people will react naturally instead of to their adapted behavioral style. As long as your dog is behaved and housebroken, many advantages exist to bringing the dog into the office with very few disadvantages. Not only are dogs man’s best friend, they are windows into the true selves of their owners.