At Ruffwear, every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day! Our office in Bend, Oregon, is located across the street from an extensive trail network and just a few minutes’ drive from an off-leash dog area with river access. Our dogs make great companions during the workday, providing comedic relief during meetings and reminding us to take breaks for fresh air throughout the day. They are frequently put to work as product testers and models, making them honorary members of our product development and marketing teams. For all these reasons, it only makes sense that our canine companions accompany us to work each day.
That said, Ruffwear is a busy office with frequent visitors (both human and canine), and we can’t function very well as an indoor dog park. We’ve developed some basic guidelines over the years that allow us to work effectively alongside our furry friends. If you’re interested in creating a dog-friendly workplace, these practices may be helpful in developing your office dog program!
- We keep our dogs on leash at our desks. Since we have no shortage of dog beds, most pups sleep on a bed or underneath their human’s desk – it’s more comfortable than the floor and helps our dogs feel at home.
- There’s an ample supply of bones and Huckama, Turnup and Gourdo interactive toys to help keep our dogs occupied while we’re working, as well as Bivy Bowls throughout the office to keep them hydrated. Many of us also keep treats in drawers and jars throughout the office so we’re ready to reward good behavior.
- We clean up after our dogs, both outside and inside (accidents happen!).
- Our dogs usually accompany us wherever we go – to meetings, lunch, and on other tasks around the office.
- Our dogs are expected to be on good behavior and not lunge or jump, bark or whine for an extended period of time, or show aggression toward other dogs or humans in the office.
- We are respectful and sensitive to each other and our human and canine visitors, and we hold each other accountable. If a dog is distracting us from being able to do our work, we talk to each other and work together to find a solution.
Bringing our dogs with us makes the workday more enjoyable – and entertaining! We’ve learned that our dogs quickly adapt to the office environment and routine, and they come to understand what is expected of them at work. But more importantly, they remind us each day why we come to work at Ruffwear. Their personality quirks make us laugh. They do unbelievably adorable things that cause us to get up from our desks to watch – like snuggling together, chasing squirrels in their dreams or sleeping with their legs splayed the air. They force us to take breaks and go outside. They let us know when meetings have run too long or we’ve stayed at work too late. If we get stressed out or overwhelmed, they provide comfort and companionship, reminding us why we’re doing this work in the first place. They inspire us.
So to celebrate Take Your Dog to Work Day, we’re honoring our canine office mates! Here are a few members of our Ruffwear Pack: