Decoding Dog Behavior: How to Achieve Best Behavior in Office - The Trupanion Blog
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Decoding Dog Behavior: How to Achieve Best Behavior in Office

Decoding dog behavior and understanding why our dogs act the way they do is important not only at home but in the workplace.

Decoding dog behavior and understanding why our dogs act the way they do is important, not only at home but in the workplace.

With pets in the workplace on the rise, understanding what our dog is trying to communicate could not only help with ease the transition of a new pet in the workplace but also help alert owners or walkers of a potential “hair-raising” situation.

We all want our pups to have a wonderful experience at the office, so we sat down with our Trupanion pet program professionals to learn more about the behavior signs to watch out for and tips to achieve the best pup behavior in the workplace.

Decoding dog behavior: interpreting dog body language in the workplace

Dog body language can help with decoding dog behavior.

Dog body language

The ability to understand dog body language is important in and outside the office setting. Dog body language as a whole can indicate the state of mind or excitement level of a pup. “Understanding dog body language is important because it is your dog’s way of communicating to you and other dog’s, “states in-house animal behaviorist Camille Barrios UW-A.A.B. “We need to learn their language to interpret what they are saying to us in order to create a better, stronger bond and relationship with them.”

Types of tail wags

Often people assume that a tail wag is a good sign, but not necessarily. In fact, there are different types of tail wags that can indicate the different emotional states for a pup. If a dog has an overly stiff and quick tail wag, it could indicate the pup is anxious, overly excited, or uncomfortable. In contrast, a loose tail wag could indicate a happy and comfortable furry friend.

When assessing the type of tail wag your pup is exhibiting, also be aware of the environment. If your dog is in a new space, such as their first time in the office, they might be anxious or stressed. “By keeping a crate or dog bed in your workspace, it provides the opportunity for your pup to retreat to a safe space if they need to,” says Trupanion pet program manager J. Marmol.

Decoding dog behavior: five warning signs to watch out for

When a dog is trying to communicate they often exhibit warning signs of their mood before it becomes an escalated situation.

Here are five warning signs to watch for with our furry friends in the workplace.

1) Pinback ears

Pinback ears could indicate the dog is anxious.

 2) Curl in/ retreat

If a dog is wanting to retreat or curl inwards, they might be feeling scared or uncomfortable with their surroundings.

3) Ears forward

In contrast to pinned ears, ears forward could indicate a dog that is super alert and is in a dominant stance.

4) Yawn

A yawn is not only an indication of being tired but also a sign of anxiety. Unless you have had a full day of exercise, and if your pup is interacting with another dog at work, it might be a sign they need space.

5) Panting

When a dog is panting, it also can be a sign for anxiety. “If you are sitting in a cool room, and your pup is panting, they could be feeling anxious,” points out Barrios. Often, panting and yawning are behaviors that are exhibited together when a pup is experiencing stress and anxiety.

Decoding dog behavior: dog stretching and bowing

If you see your dog stretching and bowing, they might not just be stretching.

When a dog is stretching and bowing they are sending out a welcome greeting to you. “This is often a good sign to look for in an office space, as the dog is in a relaxed state. If you walk by a cubicle and see this, the dog is indicating they trust and like you,” explains Marmol. This decoding dog behavior tip is a great welcome addition to see in your workspace.

Decoding dog behavior can help your pet in and out of the workplace.

Five tips to achieve best dog behavior in office

Neutral space

Pick a neutral workspace for dog’s to be introduced and interact.

Dog walk

A communal dog walk might be a great way to introduce dog workspace mates.

Recognize behavior cues

Recognize and pay attention to your pup’s behavioral cues and what they are trying to communicate to you.

Don’t make assumptions

Don’t make assumptions on another pet’s behavior. For instance, how your pet exhibits stress and anxiety might be different than another.

Be mindful

Be mindful and watchful of your pup in any new environment, especially the workplace. Likewise, a new environment can be stressful for some pets, so pay attention to any new behaviors or warning signs.

Communication and dogs in the workplace

It is important to have an open line of communication and talk with your veterinarian if you feel your pet is experiencing any issues in the workplace. Also, in a workplace where there are multiple pets, talking with your co-workers about mapping out a plan for your pet’s daily interaction.

By assessing your pup’s body language in the workplace and watching out for behavior cues and warning signs it can help ensure a safe and fun work environment for your furry friend.

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