On any given day at our Seattle headquarters, outside of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees share workspace with as many as 7,000 dogs. At Amazon, bring-your-dog-to-work day is every day—a long-standing tradition that both Amazonians and their four-legged friends enjoy.
“Having dogs in our workplace is an amazing treat. They make employees smile, and we’re proud this is such a uniquely Amazonian tradition. It’s truly ingrained in our company culture,” explains Lara Hirschfield, our “Woof Pack” Manager. “Our employees love bringing their dogs to work and love meeting their co-workers’ dogs.”
It all started with Rufus
“Amazon has been dog-friendly since Day 1,” notes Hirschfield. “Our dogs add to the fun, dynamic energy of our workplace.” In the early days of Amazon.com, a husband and wife team brought their Welsh corgi, Rufus, to work with them, and he became a surprisingly productive part of the team. Employees would use Rufus’ paw to click the computer mouse to launch some of the earliest pages of Amazon.com.
Rufus’ memory is still honored at Amazon: There are photos of him around campus, and there’s even a building in South Lake Union that was named after the beloved corgi.
On a typical day, thousands of dogs follow in Rufus’ paw steps. Some of the popular pooches at the company include Lucy the Labrador, Sherriff a Golden-Aussie mix, and a Papillion named Martini. If you land on one of our error 404 pages, you’ll be introduced to some of the dogs that come to work with their owners regularly.
Perks for pups
In addition to hanging with their beloved pet parents and getting fussed over by other Amazonians, there are plenty of fun things for dogs to do on campus. Reception desks in every office building are a must-stop spot to snag dog treats.
On the 17th floor of one of our buildings (Doppler), there’s a doggie deck—complete with a fake fire hydrant—where dogs can run around. The neighborhood has no shortage of poop bag stations, designated dog relief areas, and dog-friendly water fountains. This year, we also opened a community off-leash dog park in the Denny Triangle neighborhood for employees and dogs in the community to enjoy – it features rocks and other structures for dogs to play on.
Local dogs and their owners also enjoy organized events throughout the year. Barktoberfest, for example, is a big hit, offering dog-friendly treats, activities, and even a doggie Halloween costume contest.
Going beyond the campus
Our devotion to our four-legged friends doesn’t stop at making sure they're enjoying their time on campus. Last year, in Tempe, Arizona, more than 90 Amazon employees, volunteers, and retailers came out to support the Ohana Animal Rescue. After more than 480 volunteer hours, the team completed 100 percent of Ohana’s renovation wish list, including creating new “meet and greet” rooms, renovating their medical exam room, organizing a 1,000 square-foot thrift store, and more. Three of the volunteers even went home as the proud new parents of adopted dogs.
Bringing teammates together, one dog at a time
Having pets in the workplace has been found to lower stress and boost morale. At Amazon, the benefits don’t stop there. The dog-friendly policy also contributes to the company’s culture of collaboration. As Hirschfield notes, “Dogs in the workplace is an unexpected mechanism for connection. I see Amazonians meeting each other in our lobbies or elevators every day because of their dogs.”