Using Dogs to Solve Workplace Problems

I recently got a phone call from a local insurance company, CIBA Insurance Services in Glendale, California. They were looking to give their staff a little extra education with the goal of broadening their scope of life, beyond the day to day office demands and improving staff morale.

Needless to say, I was more than honored that they chose me to come to the 21st office building floor and deliver 2 sessions that were about an hour long each. This was a very important job for me - one that I had never been asked to do in my 14 year career as a dog trainer.

During the sessions I found that everyone was engaging in the lesson. I taught the class about communication - how we communicate to our dogs and the basic forms of communication that our dogs give to us. I also did demonstrations and gave examples of how to better manage a dog under various circumstances whether in or outside of ones home.

The mood of the whole class changed! The serotonin effects in your brain play the “starring role” in your body. Known for playing a major part in regulating moods, serotonin has been called the body's natural "feel-good" chemical, because it's involved in your sense of well-being.

Having the dogs, Brian a French Bulldog and Fabio an Old English Sheep Dog, engaging with the staff was a great way to fire up the serotonin.

I contacted Lisa Marlowe-Carr, LCSW, a professional in the field of Psychology to find out from her experience how dogs benefit the workplace. This is what she had to say:

"The addition of dogs to the workplace brings many unexpected benefits. Dogs have a natural capacity for curiosity, attachment and play that help to mitigate the effect of stress. In my work as a licensed clinical social worker, I see more and more individuals who are seeking help for work-related issues due to increased responsibilities and higher productivity requirements. Dogs in the workplace provide a much-needed psychological boost. Interacting with dogs has been shown to lower levels of damaging stress hormones and increase the relaxation response through activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Incorporating dogs into the workplace also provides employees with a novel experience which can increase creativity, boost morale and provide individuals with a sense of common ground. These are all critical components of building a positive and productive staff who feel a sense of connection and loyalty to their co-workers and employers.”

At the end of the session I included a Q&A period where the staff were able to ask questions to help sort out problems that they personally were running into at home. I let them know how I would handle things and offered my dog training services in-home or over Facetime.

Watching the staff become more cheerful as the session went on made me very grateful for this opportunity to help others.

So you see, by having dogs involved in the workplace, even if in a form of education, can greatly benefit your business.

If you would like to boost staff education and morale, and would like to have a group dog training session for your staff, please contact me via the contact form of my website:

Best regards,