Who doesn’t love when a colleague brings their dog to the office?
Lunchtime walks, cuddles between calls... Having one of our four-legged friends scampering between the desks can do wonders for morale.
But, as we well know, all breeds are unique with their own needs and temperaments, and the reality is that some are better suited to the office than others. So, to help decide how your furry friend would get on in your workplace, natural dog food brand Barking Heads’ canine behaviourist Adem Fehmi has rounded up some of the best breeds to take to the office:
While vizslas are large and energetic, they’re also friendly, affectionate and – crucially, for an office environment – quiet. They tick so many different boxes, they’ll be a sure-fire hit with your colleagues.
Weighing up to 180 pounds, Great Danes might not seem an obvious choice for the office. But, despite their enormous size, they’re actually known for being quiet and gentle. Ideal, then, if your day is chock-full of meetings and calls – providing you have plenty of space for them to lounge around!
Famously thought of as police dogs, German Shepherds aren’t the fierce creatures they’re often portrayed as. In reality, they're incredibly loyal and quite peaceful, as well as easily trained and well-behaved.
They might need a little time warming up to strangers, so they might not require as much attention from your colleagues as you’d expect with other breeds. But these four-legged beauties will happily enjoy chewing a toy in the corner.
Quiet and independent, Maltese are often happy doing their own thing, making them an ideal choice when you’re busy with projects and meetings.
That said, they’re good-natured and upbeat, so they'll happily socialise with your co-workers and other office dogs. They also shed surprisingly little, despite their long hair, and are small enough that they can sit comfortably in your lap while you’re beavering away at your desk.
Schnauzers are another breed that can be very independent, making them a great choice for the office.
That said, they may become quite vocal when bored, so you must ensure to pay them some attention throughout the day. Enrichment toys can also be a great solution to keeping your furry friend busy whilst you are heads-down. Small enough to fit under a desk, but tenacious and loyal, mini schnauzers can make a particularly good office pal.
Friendly, loyal, and easily trainable, poodles are known as great canine companions. Miniature poodles can, occasionally, have slightly shorter tempers than larger ones, but all things considered, they’ll bring a heart-warming energy to the workplace.
Plus, that beautiful coat doesn’t shed as much as you might expect, giving you one less thing to worry about.
English cocker spaniels are incredibly friendly, with a well-deserved reputation for being affectionate and sociable.
Worth keeping in mind, that they are a breed which needs plenty of exercise. So, if you’re taking yours to the office, make sure to take them out a few times during the day, and have a long walk before arriving.
Smart and good-natured, labs are a firm favourite when it comes to choosing a family pet. But there are plenty of reasons they make an ideal office dog, too. For starters, they’re gentle, reasonably tame, and super chill – as long as they’re taken for a few decent walks.
They do tend to shed quite heavily, so keep an eye on that if any of your colleagues struggle with light allergies (otherwise you might not be able to bring dogs to the office in the first place.) They also have notoriously large appetites, so keep a close eye if there’s food on your’s or a co-worker’s desk!
Beagles are charming, sociable little dogs. Originally bred to hunt, they love being showered with affection, but they also need plenty of playtime.
They have a habit of getting into trouble when they’re home alone for too long, so bringing them to work is often a good call, providing you can keep an eye on them. Like most dogs, they love to eat, so food enrichment toys are a great call to entertain!
Golden retrievers are intelligent and outgoing, making them extremely popular both as pets and service dogs. But given how amiable and well-mannered they are, they’re a great addition to an office environment. That warming smile will keep the morale high whilst having an occasional nose ‘boop’ here and there too.
They’re prone to heavy shedding in the warmer months, so if you’re bringing yours to work, make sure to give them a good brush before arriving.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Known for their regal, low-energy temperaments, the beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel could be a fantastic hit in the office. They are an easier breed to train, so, bringing them to work occasionally from a young age will get them used to the bustling workplace vibe, whilst socialising them with humans and other dogs – a win win!
Given their smaller size and avid love for your lap, they’ll be happy to snooze on your arm whilst you tap away at your keyboard. Just like all other office dogs though, do make sure to give them the necessary daily exercise and nutritious food.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Easily trained and much gentler than their misleading reputation suggests, Staffies are playful, intelligent, and extremely fond of human company. Their outgoing disposition makes them an ideal choice for the office, although they need plenty of exercise, so make sure you can take them for a good walk over lunch.
Although, warning, those puppy dog eyes may distract a little too often!
In many ways, pugs are the perfect office companion. They’re low-energy and spend much of their day napping, only needing short bursts of exercise as opposed to long walks. Plus, an air-conditioned office might actually help with their tendency to overheat. They’re extremely affectionate and will easily befriend your colleagues, whilst their snoring will
While these breeds are a good place to start, try not to worry if your dog isn’t here. And if they are on the list – you can’t always assume every dog will enjoy office life!
For all dogs, exercise and nutrition are key factors to keep in mind when looking to bring your canine to the office. Ensuring they are taken for a sufficient walk before, and during, will help to lower their energy levels whilst you work and reduce distracting dog behaviour.
And while exercise may be the obvious solution to lower energy levels, nutrition plays a significant role in your dog’s energy spikes. So, here are a few top tips from the expert nutritionists at Barking Heads:
- Protein is just as important as fat and carbs for energy, so feed an adequate level of protein depending on activity levels. Some dogs on a high protein diet but low-level exercise will have more energy and if it isn’t being burned off, as well as weight gain, they may become destructive.
- Be conscious of feeding times in the morning and the result of needing to be taken to toilet before a lunch break. So, try not to feed your dog an hour before a 2-hour meeting type, as they may not last!
- Allow your dogs to have long lasting healthy chews and treats in moderation and possibly bring a Kong / puzzle feeder which may help stimulate and/or distract them from a busy office environment.
When all’s said and done, you know your pet best. So, if you’re eager to take yours to work, and feel confident they’ll settle in well, give it a try. They might just make the paw-fect colleague.