American Humane Association can teach UK a lesson

by Mark James on January 4, 2012

A recent news article mentioned the positive impact dogs can have in appropriate workplaces. The article referred to the contents of the website of the American Humane Association, which listed some of the advantages dogs can bring to a variety of working environments. Many British companies could probably learn from the American example.

The American Humane Association listed four workplace aspects that may be boosted by the presence of a dog. Firstly, they mentioned the fact that productivity can be promoted in a diversity of contexts simply by having a dog about. Secondly, they stated the mood of employees can be lifted by interaction with the right kind of animal. Thirdly, they reported that increases in sales have been noted in some workplaces that choose to permit a dog to be allowed in them. Fourthly, they indicated that crime prevention can be enhanced by the use of dogs.

None of the potential benefits mentioned by the American Humane Association will be realised unless dog training of the highest quality is performed. An ill-disciplined dog can only bring havoc to a workplace. Nonetheless, it is a shame that not many British businesses perceive the commercial value of dogs. Too many tend to exclude all dogs except guide dogs from their premises, although frequently for health and safety reasons and there are sometimes employees with allergies to dogs.

There are some workplaces that are too dangerous for dogs to visit. However, quite a few working environments could be made dog-safe at little cost. Perhaps we are being held back by a ‘compensation culture’ and it is time for action to be taken to remedy this.

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