The Right to Request Flexible Working

DACAS advice for flexible working dogs

The Dog and Cat Argument Service

The Dog and Cat Argument Service

As from 30 June 2014 all dogs (other than puppies who are less than 26 weeks old) will have the right to make a Flexible Working Dog Request.

There are many forms of flexible working and these can include park-time, temporary barking assignments or kennel working.

Key points:

Requests should be communicated to the owner is an appropriate manner which may include; pawing, jumping up or just running around excitedly. The owner then has three months to work out what the heck the dog wants.

Dogs can only make one request in any 12 month period.

Making a request:

Dogs should consider a number of things when making their request, including; how changing their working patterns will affect their owner, when they would like the change to take place (NOW – dogs don’t do ‘future’) and whether other dogs would be affected.

Examples of flexible working could be:

  • A sheep dog only rounding up a certain amount of sheep per day
  • A Pomeranian only sitting on laps in the afternoons
  • A Labrador using Skype in its basket to convey love and devotion.

Once a request has been received the owner should discuss the options with the dog. Something along the lines of; “Good dog, go and get the stick. Good dog. So you don’t want to bring it back? Never mind. Good dog”

Rejecting a request:

Owners have to have a good reason for rejecting the request, for example:

  • Getting another dog to round up sheep would be too expensive
  • It is difficult find another dog to do the job or the dog is too large to sit on the lap
  • The quality of love and affection and ability to stroke would be compromised

Benefits of flexible working:

Owners should consider whether there are any benefits to flexible working  and whether ‘Agility Working’ would work. Some dogs are good at agility and can go through hoops. Others are not. However, this should form part of the owner/dog management structure for best business practice.


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