The 10 Best Dogs to Bring to Work

Dogs have long been regarded as a person’s best friend, but they may soon come to be known as an office’s best defense against workplace stress.

As more people return to the office in the post-pandemic world, a furry canine companion in the workplace can serve up a much-needed package of four-legged euphoria.

But each dog breed has its own marvelously unique needs and traits. That’s why we carefully analyzed an array of fuzzy contenders likely to be a smash hit in the office environment.

Let’s check out our top picks for the best dogs to bring to work.

Goldendoodle

A hybrid of a golden retriever and a poodle, goldendoodles are known for their hypoallergenic appeal due to their short, curly hair that hardly sheds. Plus, they’re often regarded as incredibly friendly, personable dogs that are easily trained. These two traits combine to make this breed a marvelous choice for busy office spaces filled with humans.

Corgi

Known as the favorite breed of Queen Elizabeth II, Welsh corgis (or simply “corgis”) are fluffy, short-legged dogs known for their intelligence, affection, and super cute, disproportionate appearance. Many people carve hearts into the fur on their corgi’s rear-end to double down on the cuteness.

Don’t let these irresistible heart-shaped bums distract from this breed’s role as working dogs, though. This natural urge means corgis need plenty of exercise and playtime when they aren’t interacting with people.

A corgi dog eating a melon held by a human

German Shepherd

A black and brown German Shepherd dog sitting in the snow

Weighing up to 90 pounds, these sweethearts are often portrayed exclusively as fierce police dogs. The reality is quite different, however.

These large bundles of furry bliss can be incredibly peaceful, calm, and highly loyal pets to their parents. This means they may need some time to feel comfortable around strangers. But this is perfect in a COVID-19-influenced environment, where these four-legged German beauties can enjoy chewing on a toy six feet away from, say, a corgi sporting a heart-shaped heinie.

Beagle

Weighing only around 20 pounds, beagles are wonderfully social dogs that play nicely with humans and other canine companions. This is because they were originally bred as hunting dogs, meaning they’re accustomed to human-led packs. As a result, they’re a sweet breed around the office, but they need time to vigorously play with toys to satisfy their natural role as wilderness predators.

Pugs

The smushy-faced pug is a glorious choice for the office, thanks to its low-energy profile. Sadly, this lack of activity is partially due to humans historically breeding the flat-faced genetic trait, which causes breathing issues in a condition known as brachycephalic syndrome.

While we can’t easily reverse this inherited damage, people can still enjoy a rescued pug’s gentle, peaceful personality. Plus, the climate-controlled environment of most offices helps prevent this breed’s susceptibility to overheating—another side effect of their nearly non-existent snout.

The details of the face of a pug

Boxer

Two-foot-tall boxers are wildly inquisitive dogs. This means they’ll approach new things with a silly curiosity, securing their spot as hilarious workplace companions. Their short hair also reduces allergy-causing dander, making them friendly to human nasal passages.

Maltese

These toy dogs have all the stereotypical traits of little pooches: affectionate, friendly, and fearless beyond their size. Despite their long hair, Maltese dogs surprisingly shed very little. This makes them soothing around sensitive noses. And since they weigh only around seven pounds, they can comfortably be held in your lap—perfect for long days at your desk.

Golden Retriever

A Golden Retriever dog with its mouth open

It’s not a coincidence that this breed often doubles as a service animal, therapy dog, and child companion. Weighing upwards of 80 pounds, golden retrievers live up to their mainstream portrayal as amiable, gentle dogs that are well-mannered around people of all ages. While this temperament is perfect for an office environment, the breed is prone to heavy shedding in the warmer months. This could provoke allergies, although a refreshing summer haircut might help tamper down the amount of fur that goes airborne.

Pit bull

Technically, a “pit bull” isn’t a specific breed. Instead, the term refers to a melting pot of canine varieties, such as the common American Staffordshire terrier and the American bulldog.

These breeds are often wrongly scapegoated as “aggressive” or “violent.” But, this is squarely the result of the lousy human guidance (or lack of socialization altogether) that trained the dog accordingly. This ties hand-in-hand with the fact that bull terriers are involuntarily peddled as a favorite among some criminal enterprises, further advancing the negative stereotype.

In reality, breeds regarded as “pit bulls” are naturally loyal, good-natured companions that can be hilariously goofy at times. The miniature bull terrier is often labeled a sweet “clown,” while the Staffordshire bull terrier typically has a head-turning affinity for children.

Naturally, so-called “pit bulls” are no more “bad” than any other dog variety. This makes bringing them to the office a boon for shattering stereotypes and making you a hero of the breed.

Plus, a substantial amount of these dogs have short hair, which reduces potentially irritating dander floating around the workplace.

Any dog!

While we’re on the topic of shattering “violent” breed-specific stereotypes, mutts and other furry oodles of love can similarly make ideal work companions.

Any dog breed can be perfect for an office—as long as the workplace matches your four-legged mammal’s unique needs and feelings. Some breeds, such as the Siberian Husky, can be enormous shedders while serving up a loud howl rather than a quiet bark—which could distract colleagues and flare up allergies.

As a result, a husky might be better at home or a friend’s house where they can howl to their heart’s delight while letting their fur fly.

Also, some dogs naturally need to work, so they might be painfully unhappy lying quietly under a desk. This is just another example of the considerations required when evaluating your pet’s suitability for the office atmosphere.

A portrait of a black and white mixed-breed dog

Legal considerations

Sadly, it’s not all about chew toys and tail wagging. Businesses, particularly smaller entities that are more sensitive to liability, need to evaluate legal issues that could spawn in a dog-friendly workplace.

For the most part, an employer is liable for a pet’s behavior in the office. As a result, a business, rather than an individual worker, is the likely defendant following a dog bite or other mischief. This means an organization must have durable general liability insurance that explicitly covers damages linked to office canines.

Meanwhile, offering pet health insurance to your staff is a superb perk that complements a dog-friendly workspace. Subsidizing this benefit is likely to cut into your business’s profit though, so make sure to budget accordingly and consider the potential employee morale boost that this expense could produce.

Finally, we listed several short-haired breeds above that are less likely to cause allergic reactions in people. No breed is entirely hypoallergenic, however, meaning you’ll have to constantly keep an eye out for physiological reactions that cubicle pooches might spawn.

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Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Ian Agar
Written by
Ian Agar
Ian covers human resource administration at Business.org. His expertise stems from his four years as a military HR generalist in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he held the title of yeoman and became an Oracle Peoplesoft maestro. Ian also owned an ecommerce small business for over three years and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He was previously a venture capital reporter at PitchBook Data, and his work can be seen on Seeking Alpha, The Motley Fool, and Yahoo! Finance.
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