We all share certain characteristics with our four-legged friends and certainly we do in the office.

Let’s explore the ‘Bully Dog’ in the office – this could mean either a type of dog, ie bull terrier, bulldog, bull mastiff to name a few, or it could mean the behaviour of the dog – bullying, dominant, abusive.

We are pack animals, just like dogs. Office bullies are basically dogs with behavioral problems that have been allowed to run amok. You need to be able to understand what this all means, so that you can survive in the doggy daycare of office politics.

Let’s take a look at some of the types of office bully dogs:-

1. The Alpha Dog
We all know what this means. The dominant one that when they growl, others back away. People know their place and submit. Who in your workplace could be an “Alpha Dog”. It may not be your manager, but it could be someone who has some power over you – such as knowledge power, or resources power who can limit your access to whatever it is you need, in order to do your job effectively.

2. The Territorial Attacker
Dogs are territorial and so are people. We are territorial about what we do, where we sit and yet we have co-workers telling us how to do our job, encroaching on our territory. Innocent co-workers may be just trying to help – the Bully Dog in your office is not.

3. The Barker
This is the Bully Dog who makes a lot of noise, often pointing the finger at you – meanwhile distracting everyone from the fact that they are either incompetent or ineffective.

4. Bone Stealer
This is the Bully Dog who wants to take what you have – credit for what you have done, the job or report you have spent so much time on, but they are going to take it and submit it. They will take whatever they can from you, in order for them to feel satisfied. It’s easier to take your bone, than find one of their own.

5. Rabid Dog
This is the crazy, foaming at the mouth Bully Dog who delivers unprovoked vicious attacks on their subordinates or co-workers, when you least expect it. It is the element of surprise and force of attack that will leave you gasping.

6. The Passive Aggressive Attacker
This Bully Dog waits and watches. They seek out the vulnerable and weak – those who cannot stand up to their attacks. They seek and destroy but they will also select the achievers because they are a threat.

So what can you do about these Bully Dog behaviors in your office. Firstly identify them.

  • What are you dealing with and how entrenched is the behavior in the workplace?
  • What are the chances of you intervening, identifying the Bully Dog and having the pack leaders support you.
  • Is your pack a supportive one or one that will turn on you if you cause trouble.
  • Will they encircle you to protect you or will they prefer to cast you out to fend for yourself.

There is no easy answer to the Bully Dog in your office. It all depends as I said, on the type of pack you have. A pack that doesn’t stand for this type of behavior and will support any pack member being attacked, has more chance of getting rid of the Bully Dog from its midst.

The pack that would rather cast the perceived trouble maker out, because they keep whining and whinging, will ignore the abusive Bully Dog behavior and leave you to fight it alone. And fight it you will have to because the pack will close ranks on you.

Become a leader. Be in control of your future and how you will allow yourself to be treated. Don’t be cast out – if the pack isn’t working for you – leave it, but make that your decision.

Our four-legged canine friends can also be our best friends. Loyal companions who will stick by you no matter what. However it only takes one Bully Dog to destroy and rule a pack.