Working From Home With Dogs: How To Survive And Enjoy Quarantine

Written by: Isobella Ash

Brought you to by Charley Perkins and Romi  

At Orvis, we have been lucky enough to be able to bring our dogs to the office for years, and we have learned a lot of things about working productively alongside our four-legged friends. This series will dive into how to get a dog used to quarantine, dealing with unexpected changes in routine, and maximising your time together–not only for your dog’s health, but for yours, too.

Over the past few months, all our lives have changed in one way or another. For me, and for most everyone I know, it’s been a really stressful time, one in which we are all looking for ways to remain positive and upbeat while dealing with the strain of adapting to new working conditions, a new schedule, and the “new normal” of being stuck at home. This does come with its pros and cons–the opportunity to wear PJ bottoms all day can easily be offset by ongoing ZOOM audio issues–but more importantly, this also means about 65% of us are now finally allowed to work with our dog(s).

Helping Your Dog Through Quarantine 

As I am writing this at my makeshift kitchen/work table, I can look over at my dog, Romi, who is lying on her bed on the floor. When I stop to think about it, I realize that her life has been disrupted just like mine. There is no doubt that Romi is confused about our new schedule and it’s just as hard to get a dog used to quarantine as it is for myself. She is subject to and sensitive to the stresses I am feeling, and I can tell that these long periods of time confined at home are making her a little bit stir-crazy. 

Recognising the need we all share to adjust to these changes in our dogs’ and our own lives, I have decided it is a great time to share a series of tips, tricks, and philosophies that I am using to make my time at home with Romi as positive as it can be for her, while as productive for me as possible. I am certain that, like us, our dogs are happiest and healthiest when they have the following: plenty of exercise, mental stimulation or engagement (a.k.a. a job to do), fun and play, and a clear understanding of what is expected of them. It’s super important to keep this in mind when experiencing quarantine with your dogs!

Charley and Romi during normal times at Orvis HQ in Sunderland, Vermont.

Future Tips For Working From Home With Dogs 

Interestingly, as I adjust to working from home, I am trying to meet these needs for myself, as well, so that I too can stay happy and productive. These tips and tricks will address a range of the following topics and more:

  • How to understand your dog’s mind and learning process a little better
  • How to set up your workspace when working from home with dogs
  • How to teach some basic behaviors like sit, place, heel, and hold, all of which will help make your dog a better companion in the home. 
  • What items you need to gear up for some simple indoor training. 

Working from home with dogs can be tough, but Romi and I are certainly excited about digging into this together, and we have delivered one tip and trick each Monday, so keep an eye out for future blogs to dial in some of these techniques and skills. 

Social distancing can be a bit lonely, so please stay connected by leaving comments, finding me on social media (@cperks21) and or post your own with the hashtag #Betterforbothofus. We are looking forward to sharing this time while learning our way through these times!

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