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Pointers for bringing your pooch to work

With the 9th Annual "Take Your Dog to Work Day" approaching (June 22), Bark Busters, the world's largest and most trusted dog training company, offers helpful tips for the estimated 38.8 million U.S. dog owners on how to prepare and manage their dogs for the workplace experience. According to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufactures Association (APPMA), nearly one in five companies allows pets in the workplace; thus, organizers anticipate thousands of companies will take part in Take Your Dog to Work Day.

"We celebrate this day in support of its creator, Pet Sitters International, and its sponsor, PEDIGREE JUMBONE Snack Food for Dogs. This event educates the working public on the benefits of responsible pet ownership, raises the awareness of the importance of the human-animal bond and supports the efforts of our local animal shelters," said Scot Masamery, owner of Bark Busters on the Mass Conn Line. "At Bark Busters, every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day."

The Australian founders of Bark Busters, who are pioneers in dog behavioral therapy, developed natural training techniques that use the same communication methods - body language and voice control - that dogs follow as part of their instinctual pack mentality. According to Masamery, the tips Bark Busters dog behavioral therapists provide their clients are not only based on good common sense, but also have been well-tested during the company's 18 years of experience training more than 350,000 dogs worldwide.

"When it comes to taking your dog to the office," added Masamery, "the key to a safe and successful experience is to prepare your dog in advance and to recognize potential problem situations before they happen." Masamery offers these pointers for dog owners planning on bringing their canine companions to work:

Items to Bring

Recognize that this can be a stressful experience for your dog. It's an unfamiliar environment, which in itself will cause apprehension. Thus, bring something familiar a dog pillow or blanket to give your dog something he is accustomed to.

Be sure to bring food and provide your pup with ample water.

Also, help your canine companion pass the time by bringing dog chewy toys (or bones) along.

Situations to Avoid

Don't leave your dog alone with other dogs. If you must leave for a meeting, isolate your dog in a closed office or have a dog-familiar friend sit in until you return.

Other dogs might not be as well behaved as your dog. Be observant of other dogs' signs of aggressiveness. If another dog stares with its ears forward, has its hackles up, or growls aggressively, these are clear signals of adrenaline in the system and indicate it is ready to attack.

Diffuse any potential conflict by removing your dog from the area. Don't try to force unfamiliar dogs to "become friends."

Stopping a Dog Fight

Obviously, the best solution is to avoid bad situations altogether by closely monitoring dog interaction.

If a dog scuffle occurs, don't lunge in and try to break it up by hand. Use the dog blanket you brought with you to the office and throw it over the heads of the fighting dogs. This will confuse the combatants long enough for you to diffuse the situation.

Keys to Providing Good Leadership

According to Crowe, preparing for a safe and successful "Take Your Dog to Work Day" includes making sure that your dog accepts you as his leader.

Dogs crave good leadership. If they don't get it from their owner, they'll take charge. That leads to bad behaviors, such as barking, jumping, aggression and pulling on the leash each examples of the dog taking charge. Dogs will challenge for leadership in the home (and the office), just as a wolf in the wild will do. The owner needs to win all challenges to demonstrate good leadership.

Establish a clear leadership role with your dog before the office field trip. There are several ways to do so. For example, begin by ignoring all requests from the dog, such as nudges to be petted or played with. To do so, break eye contact. Then, when the dog has "given up," call him back to you to be petted or to play. When he responds to you, versus you to him, he sees you as the leader.

If your dog misbehaves, correct his behavior with a forceful, low-toned growl ("BAH") a form of communication that your dog can understand. As soon as he stops, offer pleasant, high-toned praise. He will understand his mistake and respect you as his leader.

In the wild the leader always physically leads the pack. Establish your leadership by always leading your dog up and down stairs, through doorways, and especially on walks. Remember, the leader always leads. This establishes you as "top dog" and gains your dog's respect.

"Most dog owners simply accept the bad behavior of their pets because they don't know how to change it," Masamery. "Learning how to communicate effectively with your dog in a language it understands, through voice control and body language, is the key to providing the leadership needed to have authority over your dog at all times."

Bark Busters dog behavioral therapists are renowned authorities in correcting dog behavior. The Bark Busters' natural training system can successfully train any dog, even a puppy, by leveraging the same communications methods body language and voice control that dogs follow as part of their instinctual pack mentality. About 80 percent of Bark Busters clients require only one two-hour home visit from a licensed dog behavioral therapist, if owners continue with follow-up exercises just 10 to15 minutes a day for several weeks. All training takes place right in the home where the problems generally occur. And Bark Busters' training is the only service of its kind that is guaranteed for the life of the dog.

For more information about Bark Busters' training approach, call 1-877-500-BARK (2275) or visit