I'm Benji and I've sniffed out the expert opinions…
All the dogs here love Peter and his team - after all, he helped make sure we could all get our Passpawts. Here's more on how he helped create PAW.
Professor Peter Neville, Centre of Applied Pet Ethology (COAPE).
Peter is a Companion Animal Behaviour Therapist and has been in practice for the referral and treatment of behaviour problems in cats and dogs for over twenty years. He established the first companion animal behaviour referral clinic at the Dept of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bristol in 1990. COAPE was established in 1993 to provide benchmark education courses, training, and professional development in companion animal behaviour and therapy – they worked with Purina to independently assess PAW to verify the legibility of the programme.
Purina, Peter and the COAPE team came up with the application process for the PAW programme to help assess dogs and their owners against consistent parameters so they can be allowed to join the office pack. Peter helped create all aspects of PAW, from Pet Etiquette to Signage, whilst also looking at the behaviour of existing dogs in the office – before and after Purina moved to its current location. Peter used the successful case studies as prime examples as to how dogs should behave in the office. The idea has always been to help people and their pets through the programme - if at any stage they’re not settling in, the specialists are there to help dogs improve and allow them to succeed next time they are assessed.
Trixie Howard has been a veterinary nurse for over 20 years. In 2009 she completed the COAPE advanced diploma in companion animal behaviour and training and is a member of the CAPBT (the COAPE Association of Pet Behaviourists and Trainers). Trixie also runs puppy life skills and socialisation classes, one-to-one dog training and dog or cat behaviour consultations.
Trixie: “I worked with the team at Purina to help create the three step assessment programme – Embarkment, Pawthorisation and The Tail End. I looked at the situation from the
perspective of the dogs, to guarantee that the office environment would be a safe and happy one for them, their owners and any colleagues around them. This included visiting all of the dogs and their owners in their home environment to assess how they act around strangers, as they are most relaxed at home or other places they are familiar with. We offer support and training throughout the whole process including following receipt of the Passpawt. I wholeheartedly agree that pets and people are better together – a happy dog equals a happier work environment. Every office (where possible) should have the PAW programme!”
Some of our dog loving employees have become Dog Friendly Buddies, a vital role to help new dogs and owners settle into the offices and offer support or advice when required. So basically, Sarah helps the dogs' parents and their loved one (us, obviously) get settled in.
Sarah says "I own five dogs - a variety of breeds - aged between 9 months and 14 years and most have come to work with me at least once. I have a lot of experience with the PAW practice and the Passpawt programme. This enables me to be a Dog Friendly Buddy which means I help newcomers (both dogs and their owners) with getting to grips with the programme and settle in. I help them adjust as quickly as possible, ahead of their first day and once they arrive - I assist them in navigating in and out of the building, introducing them to the dog gardens, the dog-friendly lifts and meeting rooms and generally helping them to understand what you can and can’t do. I love having dogs in the office – you can feel the positive impact throughout the building - happier, smiley people and their dogs which ultimately raises morale and lowers stress levels."