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A guide to working from home with your dog

As more and more of us have left the office to work from home - some for the foreseeable future and others permanently - many have swapped their human [...]

As more and more of us have left the office to work from home – some for the foreseeable future and others permanently – many have swapped their human colleagues for a four-legged furry one. If we didn’t have a pet dog before, the fact we are now in the house all day has meant that those of us that want one, have been able to get one. 

They are wonderful company and lovely to have around but, if you have a needy pooch or a young pup, then you may be finding it difficult to get anything done. 

Perhaps your dog barks in the background while you are on important calls which leaves you red faced and feeling mortified? Maybe they whine at your feet until you show them some attention, so you end up typing with one hand while fussing them with the other – and as a result tasks take double the time they should. 

Sound familiar? Then here’s how to work from home with your dog, so they help relieve stress rather than causing it.  

Go for a morning walk 

A brisk walk and fresh air will be beneficial for both you and your dog. It’ll give you a chance to stretch your legs before sitting at your desk and staring at a screen all day. Importantly, it will also give your pooch the opportunity to go to the toilet and tire themselves out, so they – hopefully – nap as you start your day. 

Seperate your spaces 

Separate where you work and where your dog plays or snoozes – this will be beneficial for all dogs but especially if you have a particularly needy one. This can be done simply by using a gate to keep them in a separate room while still enabling them to see you. They will quickly get used to spending their time here but, to help, make sure they have everything they need including bed, toys and water.  

Provide mental stimulation 

Choose toys that will mentally stimulate your dog. If your dog is bored they could become destructive and you might have to keep stopping work to tell them off and avoid your furniture being destroyed. Mentally stimulating toys will keep them occupied for hours. Take a kong which can be filled with treats and give it to them just before you go on that important call. They’ll be too busy trying to get it out to disturb you or cause any chaos in the background while you are chatting. 

Play on your lunch break 

Take a break from your screen and spend about 20 minutes of your lunch break playing with your pup. This is a good break for you and they’ll appreciate this time with you. They will also get used to this routine and so shouldn’t pester you throughout the day. If it’s sunny, get out in the garden for some fresh air.  

Don’t give in to whining 

If your dog is whining, barking or nudging at you then it can be hard to ignore but try not to give in to it. If you do, they will think this is how to get your attention and will continue to do it. If you ignore it, however, they will start to realise this won’t work and will eventually give up – especially once they realise they have your attention, in the morning, middle of the day and evening. 

Try an anti-bark collar 

If your dog really won’t stop barking and it’s disturbing your concentration and interrupting calls, then try an anti-bark collar. This can be used while you are training your dog not to bark – even when you aren’t around. They won’t need to wear this permanently, you’ll soon find they stop barking without it once they develop a good habit. 

Make a few changes and you’ll find your furry colleague a joy to work alongside – and not someone you wish you could complain to HR about.  

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Laura.Bartlett
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30/11/2020
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