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dogs in the workplace

(14 Posts)
DearestMommy Mon 22-Jun-15 15:11:32

OK so tell me I'm a grumpy old bag.
Essentially the guys here are allowed to bring their dogs to work. All good there you would think. But here's the problem. When I started working here over 5 years ago there were no dogs. We've had the odd visiting dog by owners that maybe had a day when they couldn't do anything else but not regularly. Just over the last six months or so two of the people have gone out and got puppies. That entailed crates, mats down to catch wee wees and doors closed to contain said puppies in the individuals office. We have an open door policy here. It needs to be for our work to be effective. The two guys that have the dogs often need to speak to us or we need to speak to them. So the problem is that we need to open the office door to speak. One opens the door and the puppy escapes and often jumps up excitedly at having a visitor. The person opening the door get's moaned at for letting the dog out! FFS I am just trying to do my job here!!! The office smells to high heaven because there has been accidents on the carpet and empty food bowls that have been left unwashed on the floor. Chews and the like are scattered all over the floor. They disappear out for walkies for half an hour or so every so often. The guy in the office next to me often has to go out for meetings so he brings said dog in, dumps it into the office and leaves it howling. The cleaners won't go into the offices to clean if there is a dog so rooms are getting very dirty too. Cables and furniture have been chewed necessitating repairs or new equipment. Latest is the most senior manager has said that the open door policy must be adhered to so one of the guys goes out and get's a stair gate. All good. The other guy (more senior) just folds up the crate (heavy metal one) and leans it against the door frame. This has fallen over on more than one occasion. Again, this is the guy that leaves the dog in the office for hours while he goes off for meetings (?). Am I being unreasonable to get a bit pissed off. I think this is a lifestyle choice made by them. I don't want to have to share my working environment with a stinky dog. I have to add that I do have a dog myself but I leave her with my partners mother each day who is elderly. She sees it that we share a dog. She does the loving and petting and I do the walking and feeding. But if I hadn't that option I wouldn't have the dog and to be fair she came with the partner.
So am I being unreasonable to ask them to be leave the ruddy dog at home on occasions or?

gobbin Mon 22-Jun-15 15:16:54

How do they manage people who are highly allergic to dogs (like me)?

I'd have to get another job if that was the policy in my workplace.

tabulahrasa Mon 22-Jun-15 15:18:19

The issue isn't that they have dogs at work...the issue is that they have dogs at work and aren't doing it sensibly.

They need to be keeping dogs in crates/pens to allow doors to be open, stop things being damaged and allow cleaners in, they also need to clean up after their dogs...

Is there no-one higher up to complain to? Not that there are dogs there, but about the other stuff.

BlueKarou Mon 22-Jun-15 15:18:26

I am fortunate enough to work in a place which allows pet dogs in the office. I say 'fortunate' because I have a pet dog I bring to work. I do work somewhere where there are likely to be dogs around due to the nature of the business, and so one of the interview questions is about being ok with dogs in the office. I'm assuming you wouldn't have had that sort of thing laid down as an expectation.

The thing is, we have a lot of rules and guidelines - expected behaviour; dogs must be insured, can't come in until the owner has had it for 30 days, etc. there must be a nominated back up to take care of the dog if the owner is out of the office. Basically the rest of the office has to be able to continue working as normal and the dog being there is a perk; not an entitlement.

You are more than within your rights to talk to the dog owners. Or, if this is too awkward/too likely to lead to confrontation, then you should be able to voice your concerns to a manager/HR/Facilities as it definitely sounds like a safety issue.

DearestMommy Mon 22-Jun-15 15:33:10

There is a process they are meant to go through to ask if anyone has an issue before they bring the dog in. But sadly two things happen. They bring said dog in and then ask the questions. Also those that do have an issue are reportees to these two people and as such, we are too scared to say anything. Line management and all that malarkey.

There is one lady that really doesn't like dogs, doesn't have one and on the days the dog have been loose in the office she's locked her room door. But she just won't say anything.

PandaMummyofOne Mon 22-Jun-15 15:35:40

I'm a dog owner (and lover) but I totally disagree with this. For one what is someone was allergic, two what if someone has a genuine dear of dogs, three you don't want dog hairs all over your clothes if you don't own a dog. Four you don't want the office stinking to high heaven. Five it's just dangerous and not productive.

I could go on. I would never think about bringing my dogs to work unless they were specific to a lesson I was running. In seven years I have not come across a reason as to why...

ChuffinAda Mon 22-Jun-15 15:48:12

We have two staff members with assistance dogs in our office and our employer has basically said their needs trump those with allergies.

Personally I love having the dogs around but then I'm not allergic to them nor are they puppies in fact they're highly trained well behaved individuals

Tinklewinkle Mon 22-Jun-15 16:01:11

Dogs are allowed in the office at the company I work for.

There are expectations with it, and if you take the mick, then that's it. There's no messing about with crates or closed doors. If your dog can't snooze under your desk with the occasional stroll round the block, then you don't bring it in.

I take mine in on days I go into work. He snoozes at my feet, he goes for a good run round the fields at lunch time and if I have to go out I take him with me.

Due to the nature and location of the office, it is expected/necessary that there are dogs around, so if you're allergic/phobic/just don't like dogs, it would be difficult to work there

I don't think dogs in the office are a problem, it's the way they're doing it. I'd speak to HR

ReginaBlitz Mon 22-Jun-15 17:30:46

Sorry but it's wrong if you work full time and want a dog either Arrange care for the dog or don't get one. It's not fair on the dog. Where my dp used to work the boss's daughter had a dog she used to bring to work everyday that still wasn't housetrained at 3 yrs old so pissed everywhere. And it would also attack customers once drawing blood it's unprofessional and ridiculous

ftmsoon Mon 22-Jun-15 19:35:36

I can't think ofa ny profession where it would appropriate to bring a dog to work. Our vet does and I think it's ridiculous as the receptionist has to look after it and it always scared our rats because of the smell. A work place is for working, dogs are for fun and the two don't mix IMHO. You wouldn't take a baby to work.

monkeysox Mon 22-Jun-15 19:38:49

Omg never heard of this before. I'd be royally fucked if there were dogs in my workplace.

toboldlygo Mon 22-Jun-15 19:48:18

I work somewhere where dogs are allowed in the office but if people were as inconsiderate to their colleagues as your describe then words would be had and/or a request made to find alternative care for the dog. Here all dogs reside in a kennel or crate, all chews/toys/potential destruction is contained therein and they go for a walk at lunch times and in break times only. It works very well but we are all in an animal-related profession so perhaps a bit more switched on to appropriate behaviour with dogs.

meandjulio Mon 22-Jun-15 19:50:26

Where is the risk assessment for bringing dogs to work and who is responsible for reviewing it?

There needs to be one. That should cover hygiene, work culture and conditions and threats to it (open door, howling dogs), needs of workers with allergies, needs of visitors with allergies, needs of visitors where it's not known whether they have allergies etc etc. What if every single worker brought a puppy in? Is there any numbers limit?

If there isn't a risk assessment or any plans for one, I would actively look for a visitor to bring in with a (mild) allergy to animal dander and ask about the arrangements for them. Say you don't know how bad the allergy is and it could be severe. You can always cancel them. If your manager has to say that you will need to meet the visitor elsewhere, that is your way in to say 'I think we need to put a bit of structure around the dogs as I'm going to have to spend more time than I want to going to this meeting'.

I'm not a dog person at all but I think anyone would say that allowing PUPPIES in the workplace is ridiculous.

Cabrinha Mon 22-Jun-15 20:33:16

I have worked in a dog friendly office and - done right - it's lovely!

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