I'm a big fan of providing fun things for your dog to do. As a puppyraiser of service dogs, I'm always looking for fun toys and ways to keep young dog minds active and engaged. A company called Premier is my go-to source for dog toys that fit the bill. They make Busy Buddy Squirrel Dude, the Kibble Nibble, and the Linkables toys. Ike — and all the service pups before him — have learned to problem solve thanks to those three toys. I feed the dogs their meals from a combination of those toys and the dogs are (1) entertained, (2) mentally challenged, and (3) busy long enough for me to get my morning routine accomplished.
Last week I had the good fortune of visiting Premier's headquarters near Richmond, VA. They've got a fantastic Training and Behavior department and are constantly coming up with new and innovative ideas for both toys and training.
They're a dog-friendly company in more ways than one: not only do they make fantastic dog toys, but they're a dog-friendly workplace. I saw several dogs at the headquarters relaxing alongside their human counterparts. It was a fantastic sight. Nary a bark or a growl, but lots of wagging tails. I love working for myself here at Smart Dog University, but if I ever had to work for a company, it would be Premier! Dogs are welcome at the office all the time, no limit on the number of days per week an employee can bring their dog. Each person who has a dog with them uses a gate or ex-pen (exercise pen) to safely contain the dog in their cubicle. Of course, the dogs' spaces were aptly appointed with lots of Premier toys, which kept the dogs occupied and happy.
I've heard of dog-friendly employers, but seeing one in action was a real treat. The cubicle walls had both the employee's name and the dog's name. Often, the dog's name was larger than the person's name! Dog pictures were pasted on every cubicle, both inside and out. It was a refreshing sight to see!
Everyone, from accounting to marketing to design and development was dog-centric. Some employees didn't have a dog, but they appeared to enjoy working alongside the dogs at Premier. Seeing a dog-friendly workplace in action was a real treat – it's nice to see that Premier talks the dog-friendly talk AND walks the dog-friendly walk.