The European Commission is testing the "bring your dog to the office" scheme

EU officials took part in a trial run of the "bring your dog to the office" scheme, but 30 breeds were banned from being brought into the office, POLITICO reported. An internal European Commission document sent ahead of the trial to the Directorates-General for Home Affairs and Justice and Consumers classifies 11 types of dogs that civil servants should not bring to work. We are talking about dangerous breeds - from Rottweilers and Mastiffs to English Terriers and Scottish Greyhounds.


Last year the Commission said it would trial a scheme for dogs in the workplace following a campaign by MEPs. Austrian European Commissioner Johannes Hahn, who is in charge of administrative affairs, said in an internal press release last October that he had been inspired by similar schemes in his home country. "In many places it turns out to be positive. That is why I proposed that this test be held in the Commission," he said in the release.


But not everyone is keen. "I don't think it's appropriate," said one Commission official. "I'm going to sound very reactionary and anti-dog, but when you take the elevator and you're nose to nose with a huge dog, as I was, you don't feel comfortable," she said. "You hear the 'whoop, whoop, whoop' in the hallway as you work," she added.


In addition to the 11 prohibited attack dogs, there is also a list of dogs that are not recommended in case they "make colleagues uneasy". That includes German and Belgian shepherds and Dobermans, says a set of internal rules released this month. Officials have been advised not to import Russian black terriers, not because of the war in Ukraine, but because they are "excessively large". The same goes for Irish Wolfhounds and Pyrenean Mountain Dogs.


The commission provided five pages of guidance to state officials ahead of the trial run. "Research shows that socializing with dogs can reduce stress and anxiety and increase well-being," it said. But it added that workers who are allergic to or uncomfortable with dogs should "consider telecommuting (if applicable)".


As well as reducing stress and anxiety among EU civil servants, the stated aim is to "contribute to the attractiveness of our institution". Officials are only allowed to lead one dog each and they must be kept on a leash.


But photos from the trial run at the Justice Department on Friday, seen by POLITICO, show that health and safety guideline was not followed.


The commission first launched the scheme last October as part of Mental Health Week for civil servants, describing it as a "huge success" that created "countless Instagram-worthy moments", according to a press release.


Directorates-General for Maritime Affairs and Taxation also tried the dog experiment in February. Four dogs were brought to the two directorates the first time and "9-10" dogs the last time, the EC wrote in an internal press release published after the event. The commission says a total of 60 dogs were brought into the office as part of the scheme. /BGNES