Dog Care

Want to know how to get on in the business. Follow some dog rules to succeed.

In 2002 the Defence Ministry funded a study of ancient texts to identify which natural substances could be used as chemical weapons. I would love to see the study and know whether it is ongoing.

Dogs are very smart. They came out of the wild and allowed themselves to be tamed so they'd have a warm place to live and a steady supply of food. That showed more foresight and intelligence than a lot of people. The dog in the house knows whose boss and attaches himself to him. It wouldn’t harm you to show loyalty to your boss (even if it is only schmoozing!).

Respect the hierarchy. A younger dog will never walk in front of an older one. The head of the pack can put his tail up; the rest will keep it down. A younger dog may occasionally show his teeth but he will step down and back off in front of a senior. There is no useless petty pride in dogs. We humans would feel safer if we kept within a defined support system and didn’t fight over small things. Stand down. It usually leads to far more happiness. Give respect to seniors, older people. It makes your place in the world more secure. You’ll get more done and waste less time — and the world would be a better place.

Some humans seem to think that being an effective boss is all about shouting, bullying and panicking. Look at the behaviour of alpha males in dog packs. Alpha males are often the calmest, quietest and most docile members of the pack — the ones most likely to put up with nonsense from puppies. But they carry themselves with certain confidence which commands respect, and they maintain their position by being consistent, trustworthy and leading by example. An alpha male would never ask another dog to do something he wouldn’t do himself.

A dog will keep worrying about a problem till he has solved it. My mother in law used to say that I was like a terrier. All she had to do was to point me in a direction and tell me to get the job done and it would be done, no matter what it took. I took that as a compliment and yes, I live like that. If you disregard the distractions till the job is done, making that your entire world, even for a few minutes, then everything is possible. The word “dogged” should be used to describe you.

Keep your eyes on the ball. When dogs have a ball they give it their full attention, full energy and talent. You need to do that in your own work. Break work down into manageable chunks, completing each one before taking a break or moving on to the next.

Be consistent and persistent. You can refuse a dog his biscuit a million times. But ultimately his eyes, his soft paw on your lap, his yearning and his gratitude get through to you and he gets his treat. The lesson? Soft persistence can break through to even the toughest customer.

Dogs can be easily taught with treats. If you expect positive performance, it has to be fostered by the proper incentives.

Just as a dog greets everyone with a happy wag of the tail, make each person in your office feel important and valued and wanted; each customer, special.

Dogs are naturals at showing their appreciation – from wagging tails to affectionate nuzzles. Show appreciation to clients, agents, product sellers.

We spend a lot of our time thinking about what we need to do to get our business from here to there but we forget to focus on the present, what needs to be done today. Stay in the present.

Dogs are good listeners and unless you become one, you will never get feedback from customers and employees. Remember, you can listen to comments from others without having to act on everything that has been said.

Be as curious as to your dog, about the world around you? Oprah Winfrey says "Luck is preparation meeting opportunity." Stay up-to-date on what's new in your industry and be open to advice and collaborations. The dog sleeps and is instantly alert. Patience can be a virtue, but when the opportunity presents itself, go for it. Sometimes the best way is to dive in. Never let obstacles get in your way.

Unless dogs are severely abused they are happy. Happy business owners are better business owners because they are enthusiastic and ready for whatever the day throws at them. So, whether that means more holidays, more time with the family, or more time reading, make sure you get some happiness in your life. Your bottom line will benefit from it.

Stop taking everything so seriously. In the middle of a calamity, a dog will still take time to run about and lick you on the face and tell you that being together is more important than anything else. Never lose sight of the main goal but stop and smell the roses as well. There is life outside the office.

Don't forget to have fun at the job. I have never met a dog who was too busy to have fun, but I have met plenty of people who are. Life is too short not to play and feel good with those we spend time with within the office. Enjoy the journey and remember, the Chihuahua can be as frightening as the Great Dane. It’s not the size of the small business. It’s the size of the fight in the business.

*Proper wildlife rehabilitation is an extremely biologically and ecologically responsible attitude toward all living things.*