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Best In Show Entries Open For NZ Top Office Dog Competition

The annual search for the nation’s top canine colleague is underway from Monday. Now in its sixth year, the Frog Recruitment Top Office Dog competition celebrates Kiwi workplaces – including home offices – where pooches are an integral part of the business.

As well as the Top Office Dog, Top Dog with a Job and People’s Choice awards, 2021 sees a new category included in the competition – Top Dog-Friendly Workplace. The new award will honour a Kiwi organisation that puts people first by recognising the important role a four-legged friend plays in the health and wellbeing of its employees. The organisation may be a one-dog show or pack – although we’ve heard the more dogs at work the better!

“For the new category, we’re asking companies why they have created a dog-friendly space at work and what has been the impact on their employees’ lives in any way,” says Frog Recruitment Managing Director Shannon Barlow.

“Four-legged support can be shown in a multiple of ways in the workplace and the Top Office Dog competition celebrates dogs that support their people to do their best work, as well as their presence boosting their owner’s and co-workers’ mental health. They also are known to contribute to a positive work culture,” says Shannon.

With millions of New Zealand workers currently restricted to remaining at home under Level 4 lockdown, having a dog for company is proven to lift wellbeing. Research undertaken by Frog Recruitment in April 2020 found that while there was a sharp rise in employee burnout, there was also a positive impact that came from having a canine colleague at work, particularly on the mental health of the work-from-home workforce.

“Dogs in the office or home office help their owners and colleagues by bringing positive benefits including improving morale, reducing absenteeism and stress-related illnesses, and helping to improve employees’ physical and mental health,” says Shannon.

Frog created the nationwide feel-good competition in 2015, and each year more than 420,000 people engage with it through social media channels.

The premium trophy, New Zealand’s Top Office Dog, will be awarded to one canine that demonstrates a commitment to improving the work lives of their human colleagues. Category winners each win $1000 worth of Petstock prizes, and the runners up winners win $250 worth of Petstock prizes.

Judging will be undertaken by sponsors Petstock, Frog Recruitment and dog trainer and behaviourist, Mark Vette. Last year’s Top Dog was Jagger, a rescue dog who ‘works’ at Chained Dog Rehabilitation in Birkdale, Auckland.

“Jagger, a mastiff cross, is a vital member of staff, who acts as a foster brother to shut-down, neglected and abused dogs that arrive at the rescue centre. He puts up with them all and they relax around him. All the dogs adore him – he’s a dog teaching other dogs so they speak the same language,” says Shannon.

Entries for the competition open from 30 August. Visit www.nztopdog.co.nz to complete the entry form and upload a photo of your workplace’s top canine to Instagram. Public voting for the People’s Choice dog will happen in September, with the winners announced by Frog Recruitment during the world’s largest Zoom meeting attended by dogs on 28 September.

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