How to succeed in business by acting like a puppy

Want the world to be a better place? Act like a dog! Want to do better in business? Embrace your inner puppy!

After spending an afternoon at the dog park with a six-month-old pup this week, I got a kick out of watching him in his element. He met new dogs, caught up with long-time playmates, sniffed everything in sight, chased rogue tennis balls, and enchanted the humans. If only we could all be so happy and successful, I thought.

Perhaps, we do all have a little Rin Tin Tin in us, though. If only we hung our heads out the car window and let our fur fly more often! Want to succeed in business? Why not embrace your canine instincts and try out these five puppy-approved tips:

Be enthusiastic 
Dogs are always happy to see you! They give you a fabulous greeting, make you feel special, and aim to please. Seems like the basis of a good customer service policy to me!

Take risks 
Dogs are all about doing. They don't make excuses, talk themselves out of adventure, or ponder their limitations. Pups seize the day! Shouldn't you?

Be social
Whenever a new dog enters the gate at the dog park, there's always a handful of dogs who run up to meet the newbie. "Howdy do!" Sometimes they hit it off; sometimes they don't. But most dogs put their best paw forward and are approachable, friendly, and not afraid to flash that happy smile. How about you?

Be curious 
Dogs sniff everything. What was here? What does it mean? What action should I take? Canines are inquisitive, just like little, furry detectives. Could you benefit from asking more questions?

Don't quit
At one time or another, we have all met a dog who thinks fetch is the best thing in the entire universe. The ball is dirty, full of slobber, and downright disgusting, yet Fido still brings it back in eager anticipation of it being thrown again. No matter how much you don't want to touch that ball, Fido persists. "Throw it! Throw it!" Most of us give in and give that slimy toy a toss. Fido wins. Fido never quits. 

So, I challenge you. Just for today, act like a puppy. During your encounters with your boss, your customers, and potential clients, embrace your inner Lassie. The world is your dog park and you've got a squeaky toy! What will you do to succeed?


  1. LOVE this! I must find my inner puppy. What will I do to succeed? Just make "puppy-eyes" and hope for the best ;-) 

  2. Oooooohhhhhh. Puppy eyes! Ha ha! Love it! Great addition to the list, Vanessa! Have a great day ;-)

  3. Loved this! and I am NOT a dog person. Good tips!

  4. Hi Amber, Words Done Write ;-)  You HAD to know that I would make a comment on a post about dogs ;-)  You are SO right about how dogs socialize and maybe we could stand to take a few lessons from them.  Actually, I find that animals in general are excellent resources for good socialization skills.  I love all of your points and I would like to add that I think that animals (dogs) ability to only live in the moment really is part of the reason that their socialization skills are so intriguing.  If you live in the moment, you don't carry grudges, you don't over-think your past move on and you approach each new encounter with enthusiasm and openness.  Thanks for celebrating dogs today!  

  5. Yowza! Maybe I'm onto something if this resonates with a non dog person! :-) Thanks for stopping by, Travis!

  6. Excellent points, Claudia! So true. Life is so much easier without grudges, huh? We could all work in groups so much better if we left all the baggage at the curb.

    Yep, dogs can teach us a lot if we were only open to learning from them. Thanks for woofing, I mean reading! ^...^

  7. Re: Point #1 - Being Enthusiastic. 

    I quoted someone the other day. They said something like: "You can train people on products, you can't train them on attitude." Basically, in service businesses, at conferences, etc. you almost always see someone who has a poor attitude about what they're doing. If you don't like it, don't do it. 

    To me, being enthusiastic is important. In customer service, in sales, in being a good friend. Period. 

  8. Yes! Yes! Yes! Great points, Ricardo! (I'm an enthusiasm factory, baby!)

    You're so right, though. Attitude can make or break ya! People like to do business with people who make them feel good. Being positive and energetic is part of that. At least to me it is.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject, Ricardo! ;-)

  9. What great advice!   I'm finding that since I got a dog, I'm a much nicer person.

  10. Good to see you, Jayne!

    Dogs have that kind of influence, don't they? Yet another powerful trait of our canine friends!

  11. Love it! Embrace your inner puppy. I can definitely say when I'm "Enthusiastic!" I get much, much further with my clients and my business. When I act like Eeyore (from your post of long ago), not so much! :)

  12. Good memory, Erica! Yeah, Eeyores can be hard to bear.

    I'm with you on the enthusiasm. People are drawn to that. And, it's contagious! A very valuable puppy trait!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  13. I just wish I could tap into the boundless energy my dog has - I'm sure I'd achieve so much more!  I'm just hoping the secret isn't a diet of dry dog kibble :-(  Although when I think about it - both my dogs spend quite a bit of time snoozing.  So maybe that's the secret - sleep for 18 hours & then frantic activity for the rest of the time! ;-)

  14. Because dogs are the master of living within the moment. If we could all get closer to that and be 'all in' how much more fulfilling would life be.

    Dogs truly are man's best friend and regardless of what kind of day you had just look at how happy they are to see you when you come home. Want to play? Heck yeah, we'll play all day if you want to.........

    The puppy approved tips are so very appropriate, but the older we get it seems the harder to do. 

    Don't let life beat you down. Be the difference and make a difference, smile and someone and be willing to lend a hand.

    This was very good and appropriate, I liked it very much; thanks for sharing.

    I hope you are having a lovely week. 

  15. Let's not forget the unconditional love!! If we show some genuine heart in the workplace, then there's smiles all around, right?

  16. I like it, Judy! Perhaps all that energy comes from a very well rested body and mind! :-)

    As for the kibble, I stole some of my dogs as a kid and it was kinda yummy. Might be something to the diet. Hmmm.

  17. Yeah, I think there's something to living in the moment, huh? It's all possible when you just plow forward. No time for worry or doubt.

    As for dogs greeting you like you're the most important person on Earth, I couldn't agree more. No matter how much your spouse may love you, they will NEVER give you the kind of enthusiastic greeting your dog does. Just not possible!

    Have a wooftastic week, too, Bill!

  18. Oh, yes! The unconditional love! That's a marvelous trait. So incredibly canine. A little heart goes a long way, huh?

  19. I was going to say what Jayme said. That and the pure excitement to see you, even if you walked outside for only five minutes.

  20. Amber,
    As I read this, soon to be 10 year old basset hound is asleep at my feet. I love when he is asleep. He is content, safe, comfortable, at ease. I also like when he lays on his belly and stretches out all four paws flat on the ground.  The Dog Whisperer says that is a sign of complete submission.

    You are correct we should run with our puppy instincts, particularly when we are meeting new clients. Show our fresh, inquisitive, open side.  I think prospective clients are looking for the real you.

    The things about pets, for me dogs, is that no matter how old we are we can always recall each pet - the day we got them, their quirky habits, and the day they left our life.  

    I look forward to meeting you.

  21. Oh, I'm so with you, Gini! No matter how much your spouse loves you, he/she will never greet you like your dog! "Where have you been! Woof! Don't ever ever leave me again!" Bow wow! I love you! You're the best!"

    Even the guy from "The Notebook" couldn't give a greeting like a dog ;-)

  22. Judy, thanks for sharing about Toby! I agree. One of my dogs used to let out a huge sigh when he slept. I always thought of that as contentment. And I, too, remember all my dogs. I still miss many of them so very much. Dogs are such special friends. Always there for you, loving you, accepting you, and comforting you.

    Thanks for the comment, Judy! I look forward to meeting you soon, too!

  23. Amber, aloha. Please don't tell, Kina, however, I love this and absolutely agree with you.  What a terrific analogy this is.  Puppies and young children are great teachers and we definitely need to pay more attention to them. 

    Kina, I must admit, reclines majestically and waits for everything to come to her.  Since it seems to work for her, I can't fault it her strategy.  However, it definitely is not applicable for humans.

    Amber, because of you, I am releasing my inner puppy!  WooHoo!  What fun!  Do you have an extra tennis ball?  Until next time, aloha.  Janet

  24. Ah, yes. Kitty cats have a much different approach to business. I'll have to make that a future post. Maybe I can interview Kina for the piece. Meeeeee-ow!

    And, of course I have tennis balls for all you cyber puppies! Go long! ;-)


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