New Series: How to Best Work Alongside Your Dog

Charley Perkins and Romi in their makeshift office at home. A new schedule means new training opportunities.

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 maximizing your time together–not only for your dog’s health, but for yours, too.

Over the past few weeks, 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 pro’s and con’s–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 alongside our dog(s).

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. 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. Recognizing the need we all share to adjust to these changes in our and our dogs’ 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. 

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

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 home workspace to best meet the needs of you and your dog
  • 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. 

Romi and I are certainly excited about digging into this together, and our plan is to deliver one tip and trick each Monday, so you can take the rest of the week to practice and 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 with you and with our dogs, learning our way through these times!

Charley Perkins is Orvis Brand Marketing Manger, and a member of the third generation of family ownership.

8 thoughts on “New Series: How to Best Work Alongside Your Dog”

  1. I always enjoy reading the Orvis dog newsletter. The picture of Charley Perkins and Romi at the Orvis office provoked an extra smile. Romi’s pose is just like my girl Fiona’s favorite sleeping position. I’ve concluded that it’s a sign of a dog that feels totally secure in its surroundings.

    1. Hi Jim – isn’t it wonderful how they can bring smiles to our faces instantly! Such a funny sleeping position!

  2. Charley,
    This is a great idea and I look forward to reading your news. As I work in my outdoor studio Penny is never far away. She is tethered to my easel with a long leash to keep her from exploring the bushes for poisonous Cane Toads, a beast nobody warned me about in Florida.

    Can send photos if you need them.

    Laurie (godmother) 🙂

  3. Thank you for this and please, lots of pictures! I am working alongside my Griff, who knows no social distancing techniques at all and isn’t sure why I am even here in the afternoon when it isn’t walk or dinner time!
    Look forward to the series!
    Sue and Callie the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

  4. It’s always good to see other people working with their dogs. Since I’ve had Minnie I’ve taught her to help me. When I ask Minnie now how will she help me, she goes to a spot she’s picked out about six feet from my desk and computer, curls up and either goes to sleep or plays with a toy before going to sleep. When we take a break or finish for the day I always thank her for helping and tell her I couldn’t have done it without her help, that we’re in this together.

    LOVE the video of the lab pup and the stick, have watched it at least 15 x and have told friends from NY to AK to watch it. The look of satisfaction when he gets the stick in his mouth is priceless!

    1. Minnie sounds amazing! I glad you have her in your life and you support eachother! It i amazing she knows the social distancing recommendations. 😉

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