June 8, 2013

Teach dog manners around the office

By MONICA COLLINS, Ask the Dog Lady

---- — Dear Dog Lady,

I work in a very dog-friendly office. For the past few months, employees are allowed to bring their dogs to work on Fridays. I brought Max, my large shepherd mix, only once because he didn’t mix well with others. He barked, sniffed everything and everyone in sight, knocked things with his tail, tried to steal lunches. I spent all my time chasing him and trying to get him to be quiet when I hitched his leash to my desk. It was not fun.

I avoided the dog-friendly office holiday party because I didn’t want to wrangle Max. My supervisor has been chillier. I’m worried about my standing in the company. Should I bring Max back to work? —Ray

A: Your business sounds dog-friendly to the extreme, which is great because dogs don’t play office politics the way humans do. Nothing about Max’s demeanor seems untoward. He didn’t bite the bean counter nor did he poop in the corner office. He is a dog, doing what they do — sniffing, roaming, knocking over stuff, begging for belly rubs, scrounging for food while too excited to lie down and sleep. By the way, how do the other dogs behave? Surely, on “Fido Fridays,” yips and yowls are acceptable. Understand the canine corporate ladder is now part of your office culture — unconventional as the concept may be. It was foolish for you not to attend the holiday party because the social setting was an important opportunity to schmooze.

Do not leave Max home alone when you actually have the chance to bring him to work each week. Dogs are part of your company’s best practices so follow the leader. As the leader for your dog, teach Max acceptable office behavior.


Dear Dog Lady,

I want to help out at a local dog shelter near my house, but I was wondering if any of my three dogs would be upset by my coming home smelling like “another dog.” I have a 5-year-old Jack Russell and two rat terrier Chihuahua-mixes, 4 and 3 years old. What do you think? —Jeff

A: Lipstick on your collar will tell no tale on you. Neither will the smells of other dogs. Congratulations for volunteering at a shelter, which is a fine activity on the side of the angels.

Your own pack is bound to be more intrigued than angry. They will inhale the shelter bouquet and think, “Gee, Jeff’s been somewhere very exciting.” Your dogs will be titillated by your new smells; they won’t be upset or jealous. The latter emotion plagues humans, not dogs.

Monica Collins offers advice on dogs, life and love. To ask a question or make a comment, visit, or email her at