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If you take your dog to work, what does s/he do all day?

(24 Posts)
Ruibies Tue 22-Jan-19 09:30:18

This is mainly for office-based dogs, though if you have a dog who has an actual job I'd love to hear about that just for curiosity's sake!

I'm currently fostering a 1 year old mongrel, who comes to work with me. For the most part everything is ok, sometimes she will sleep for most of the day, but at other times she gets very bored in the office. I can't play with her all day as I obviously need to work, so I'm looking for some ideas of things to keep her busy and entertained, with minimal impact on anyone else.

She has a kong which I usually fill with peanut butter and freeze, but she dispatches that in about 20 mins. She loves soft toys but just tears them up, which is fine, except it's not super professional to have bits of fluff strewn all over the office. She has a tug of war rope but won't play with it on her own. Today I made her a snuffle box thing, scattered some kibble in a shoebox and covered with bits of paper, cardboard etc for her to sniff out. This lasted about ten mins. Sometimes I tuck treats into a rolled up sock and she works at getting those out, again this will last about ten minutes and results in torn up sock all over the office. She is not interested in rubber toys unless they are food-related so any kind of nylabone/rawhide/rubber ball etc just gets ignored.

If she doesn't have something to do she can be found chewing paint off the walls, chewing people's belongings, scratching office furniture.

This will sound extremely harsh but we will only have her for another month as she has a home lined up, and I have already spent close to 450quid on her in the last 8 weeks as she basically arrived with nothing, so I'm not looking to spend much on exciting new toys that the new owner will just inherit for free.

So, TLDR: looking for quiet, not too messy, not too expensive things that don't require a lot of time to set up and supervise, to keep my foster pup entertained when I have the audacity to actually work and not play with her all the time. Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Tue 22-Jan-19 09:35:46

I work from home a lot and try and keep my dog occupied with things like licky mats and deer antlers.

Ruibies Tue 22-Jan-19 09:48:41

Hi @BiteyShark - deer antlers is a great idea, thank you! I had a look at licky mats but couldn't find one I was prepared to buy just to have her move on from us in a few weeks, I will have another look though.

How long would you say your dog is interested in the antlers for? I bought her a deer leg bone once and she chewed on it nicely for an afternoon, but after that was bored and although the lady in the shop said it would last around 2 weeks, she pretty much ignored it after the initial session.

OP’s posts: |
ILoveMaxiBondi Tue 22-Jan-19 09:52:06

Does she get a walk before work? And maybe a small one at lunch time too?

BiteyShark Tue 22-Jan-19 09:53:36

Mine will only chew it for about an hour and then when he leaves it I take it away so the next time it's still 'special'.

Paddingtonthebear Tue 22-Jan-19 09:55:44

Mine comes in for 5 hours a day, three days a week. She is 2 years old and she just sleeps really! Has 4 walks a day around that though

simplepimple Tue 22-Jan-19 09:56:14

Swap her toys round as much as possible keeping some away from her for a short time to allow for her interest to rebuild. Perhaps consider getting some cheap teddies from the toy shop - making sure the eyes are sewn ones and can't become unattached - take the stuffing out and leave her just the skin - it will be like a cheap version one of those 'roadkill' toys - she will likely still shred it but less to collect up without all the stuffing.

Frozen carrots can be good too.

Remember though she is only a year and therefore her attention span is short - is there any where in the office you can take her every so often for a quick game of fetch to tire her out and decrease her boredom?

CandyMelts Tue 22-Jan-19 10:01:48

Work from home quite a bit (Ddog would love my office if he could go, there's food everywhere!), and tbh he mainly sleeps but kong, lick mat, wobble kong and treat ball are all favourites. But appreciate you don't want to spend much more so: frozen carrots? Can you walk her during the day even if for a quick pee and sniff to tire her out a bit? Sniffing out treats around the room? Rolled up towel with treats in, can't shred it like socks etc?

I used to think that one activity was plenty as didn't want him getting board of the same things but now he gets them all if he wants them. He wouldn't care if he had a kong every day for every more! So I'd have something for every hour to break up the day even if just a bit of paper scrunched up with some kibble in

simplepimple Tue 22-Jan-19 10:02:43

'stuffed bones' are also really good - similar to the kong. {also a smear of peanut butter round the inside is harder to get to than filling it up} Remove the filling from the stuffed bone and then fill with kibble that has been softened in hot water and freeze. This can be given straight from the freezer and if given as replacement for her dinner she could have 4 or 5 a day.

Ruibies Tue 22-Jan-19 10:20:15

Re exercise: She gets 45 mins with DP 6.45-7.30 and then walks 45mins into work with me 9-9.45, we go out for a couple of pee breaks round the block during the day or if she's really lucky a trip to the nearby dog park to have a run off lead at lunch, then she walks 45 mins home with me again. I actually wondered if this is too much exercise, maybe she is over stimulated? I left her at home this morning and picked her up at lunch because DP said she was quite crazy on the morning walk. Maybe she needs more downtime?

Cheap teddies are another great idea and she will definitely still love them without the stuffing (we have a very sad empty frog at home that she still nibbles every now and again) so I can get some of those this week - thank you!

I usually bring a bag of cut up carrot, kibble and frankfurter/chicken to drip feed her during the day - hadn't even considered giving her a whole frozen carrot! That is super easy so will try this tomorrow.

With the peanut butter in the kong, she is getting better but at first she was lazy and would only lick until the top layer had gone, as soon as it started to seem like hard work she was done. She does now keep going until most of the peanut butter is gone so I guess smearing round the inside is the next level up of difficulty, I will try this!

I do appreciate that she currently probably doesn't have enough variety, I haven't brought that many toys into the office so she probably gets bored of the ones here too quickly. Thanks for all the ideas so far which I will definitely be using and which will hopefully make life a bit more interesting for her!

Just to add we don't ignore her all day, people absolutely love her (and she loves people) so she will often be played with every so often, or go and sit on the sofa with colleagues during a con-call/meeting. She is super loved on, but since we've had her it's definitely been off-peak season at work and now things are picking up again I would love to know that she is keeping herself entertained a bit more when I don't have as much time for her.

Thank you all so much again!

OP’s posts: |
ILoveMaxiBondi Tue 22-Jan-19 10:25:55

She’s a very lucky girl! I bet she is just loving all those people fussing over her.

bunnygeek Tue 22-Jan-19 11:48:35

We have lots of office dogs, most will get a good walk in the morning before they arrive so spend the morning asleep. They all have their "safe" spaces which might be a crate or just a dog bed.

They all have regular wee-breaks and a decent lunchtime walk and playtime in the nearby parks.

There's usually a few dog toy trip hazards around the office, but colleagues have no issues pausing walk for a game. Kongs, chew sticks, and knowing certain colleagues who have treats in their drawers and always up for a trade of paw-for-treat too. If you freeze a kong it will keep them more occupied.

It's also important to train your colleagues not to reward bad behaviour like barking and jumping up. One of our newest puppies has the strict rule that you can only fuss him if all four paws are on the ground.

namechangedforanon Tue 22-Jan-19 15:11:35

The dog I sit and take to work 2 days most weeks will wander around, go give different people some TLC Then sleep at their feet , sleeps under my desk , chews a pig hide , chews a rubber toy , different people in the office take her out for walks in their breaks

CalamityJane10 Tue 22-Jan-19 15:18:50

I find this keeps mine busy for a while and gives her a bit of exercise at the same time. Have to remove it once she’s finished otherwise she chews it.

LittleBlonde27 Tue 22-Jan-19 15:24:01

RE her Kong. Do you just fill the Kong with kibble/peanut butter etc? If so, try mixing kibble/carrot/anything with low fat natural yoghurt and filling the Kong up then popping it in the freezer overnight! Should keep her occupied for longer.
I don't take my DDogs to work but like to keep them occupied at home while we are out and they are massively destructive so most toys don't last 5 mins with them.. Have found £3.99 "chicken flavour" plastic bones from B&M/Home Bargains that are a favourite at the moment and no damage after 3 months.

RiverTam Tue 22-Jan-19 15:24:59

my manager used to bring his dog in and the dog spent her time going from office to office and lap to lap, getting lots of fuss and attention, she was absolutely adorable. Walk at lunchtime.

bollocksthemess Tue 22-Jan-19 16:14:07

My dogs have always come to work with me, but I work outside training horses and horse riders. Current terrier does her own thing while I ride or teach, generally sniffs around within about 30 yards of me. Unfortunately she’s not cat or chicken safe, so if I’m anywhere that has those she stays in the car and sleeps or looks out of the window.

New puppy is coming in 3 weeks, she’s a Vizsla and will be cat and chicken proofed as a priority. She’ll stay on a lead next to me when she’s had her jabs, and when I’m riding she’ll be tied to the fence/in a stable until she learns horse-sense and how to mooch about without doing a runner.

Scattyhattie Wed 23-Jan-19 03:55:23

We've indoor kennels in office part so they spend the day in there & have learnt to chill out. They go out regularly for the loo and have a walk at some point, are all fairly high energy working breeds, they sometimes they get filled bones but aren't that bothered.
When left loose they tend to come mither for attention and follow me/each other/play with toys which is fine for short periods but they often come arm nudge which makes working difficult, so they have some time out, then back to bed.

My dog is lower energy & was crate trained at home so will happily settle for periods but still gets bored/ disturbed by the comings & goings (he doesn't go in regularly) apart from kongs, some training can help tire his brain and only requires a few minutes here and there.
These things are equivalent to your rolled socks & maybe more long lived.

Sounds odd but may need to train to settle on a bed as relaxing doesn't come naturally to some dogs & its quite a stimulating environment. My dogs are always shattered after going into work as don't nap as much as home.

flatpackbox Wed 23-Jan-19 04:54:39

Mine sleeps (older dog) a lot, says hello to everyone every now and then, goes for walks with three different people during the day. She loves it.

I only take her in if I can’t get home to walk her or if there isn’t anyone at home.

supergrains Wed 23-Jan-19 10:48:51

Mine throws her ball at colleagues to get a game out of them, or lies down across a busy part of the office so everyone has to step over her.
I only take her in very occasionally!

Eifla Wed 23-Jan-19 19:21:04

Mine comes to work with me every day (office job) - he’s a high drive, working line dog but know office time is just chill out time. I never got into the habit of overly entertaining him in the office, he just has to get on with it and amuse himself.

He has Nylabones, tough toys and does get his lunch time snack in a puzzle toy, but the rest of the time he just sleeps, lays by the door looking out the window or chews his toys.

Office is set in a rural location so he does get breaks outside to run around like a loon every so often, which probably helps.

Ylvamoon Wed 23-Jan-19 21:58:56

Mine sleeps in his basket. He does move around to get some fuss if he is a bit bored. His daily routine involved a 10:30 & 15:00 treat from colleagues and of course the lunchtime walk.
If he is very restless he will go out for a "fag break" with his mates! shock

SusieQ5604 Wed 23-Jan-19 22:49:07

Pig ears????

Peachydream Thu 24-Jan-19 13:21:38

Our office dog (Whippet) literally sleeps for most of the day, we forget about her sometimes. She has a couple of different beds she splits her time between. She potters a bit, fuss from a few different people, she has a denta-stick everyday & has a few different toys.

She welcomes any visitors and will bring them a toy (that they can't have!), at 11.30 exactly she will ask for her lunch, then she gets a walk round the block a bit later. She sometimes comes out with me in the car, but not in warm weather, if I am out for a short time.

My Colleague occasionally brings her JRT, and they will play together and curl up to sleep together.

We are on a shared site- & she has several canine friends from other businesses including a Yorkshire Terrier X & a Cocker, who apparently do mostly the same.

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