Not that kind of fetch request: Meet the pups at these Seattle dog-friendly offices

by Quinten Dol
August 13, 2018

They possess none of the appendages necessary for typing, can’t tell the difference between JavaScript and Python and become unreasonably excited when asked to set up a fetch request. They nap during meetings and coerce fellow employees into violating PDA policies, and — despite extensive research — we couldn’t track down a single one who had ever raised a dime in venture capital.

And yet Seattle tech companies of all shapes and sizes are letting dogs into their offices — and appear to be enjoying the heck out it.

We caught up with a handful of local companies about the pups that frequent their offices, and asked them to elaborate on what dog-friendly policies mean for their workplace. While their answers were certainly insightful, we must confess that Built In Seattle was mostly interested in meeting the dogs themselves.

 

FlyHomes office dog corgi
photo via flyhomes

FlyHomes is a real estate brokerage firm that makes cash offers on behalf of its clients, enabling them to compete with wealthier organizations and individuals when it comes to securing a home sale. Aside from this worthwhile goal, Negotiations and Client Engagement Lead Haley Pearson says a highlight of working at FlyHomes comes in the form of a certain four-legged fellow whose belly hangs close to the floor.

 

How does a dog-friendly office impact company culture?

It creates a more lighthearted environment. When times get stressful and you have a puppy to pet and play with, it’s an instant booster!

 

flyhomes corgi Walden dog-friendly office
photo via flyhomes

Featured pup: Walden

Breed: Pembroke Corgi

Age: Two years

Favorite snack: Carrots and ice cubes

Chews on: His favorite Dodo bird toy or an antler

Parent: Haley Pearson and Alexander Zayatz

Best buds: Potter and Zeta

Favorite activities: Rolling around the floor and welcoming anyone who comes in the doors

Performance review: “He’s conquered the concrete jungle, so he fears none and will gladly greet anyone who walks in the office before you can. He’ll gladly trade a paw for a pet or a grain-free treat or two — and if you short him, he’ll let you know loud and clear. Walk away from your desk and your chair will likely become his new throne, or the space beneath it will become his new nap pad. Watch your feet, because odds are he’s using them as a pillow. Freshest loaf in the bakery — and a total ham.” — Ayesha Cochran, Sales Ops Analyst.

 

rover dog-friendly office
photo via rover

You didn’t really think we were going to write about dogs in the office without mentioning Seattle’s preeminent dog-related tech company, did you? The “Uber for dog walkers” hosts an average of 60 dogs each day, and we imagine the team deliberated long into the night before deciding which of them would be featured here. Rover Head of People and Culture Jovana Teodorovic says the company’s legions of four-legged employees bring a lot to the table.

 

How does a dog-friendly office impact company culture?

Having dogs integrated into Rover’s company culture brings the obvious things to our office: playfulness, connection, smiles and lots of wagging tails. More than anything, it raises the level of emotional intelligence in our office, allowing us to get more vulnerable with one another, which is also one of our core values. This in turn makes communication and decision making easier and the conversations around these decision points more fulfilling and meaningful.

 

rover office dog coconut
photo via rover

Featured pup: Coconut

Breed: Samoyed

Age: Two years

Favorite snack: String cheese and mandarin slices

Chews on: Any of the little animals in ZippyPaws puzzle toys — she is obsessed with squeaking them. Also, any kind of ball.

Parent: David Atchison

Best bud: Andre (work husband)

Favorite activities: Sitting in office chairs, getting pets, playing fetch, and pretending to pull a sled (i.e.: human staff members)

Performance review: “Coconut is always smiling and her calm, sweet demeanor makes her a welcome teammate. Whether you find her basking in an office chair, sitting for a treat or singing a midday tune, Coconut is a pup that everyone at Rover looks forward to seeing each and every day.” — Kristin Sandberg, dog lifestyle expert.

 

avvo office dogs taro and penny
photo via avvo

Avvo is an online directory of legal professionals and the issues they deal with, helping users find the right lawyers and review those they’ve worked with. HR Leader Rebecca Hamlin said Avvo strikes the right balance between canine silliness and work seriousness.

 

How does a dog-friendly office impact company culture?

Avvo’s dog-friendly atmosphere really adds to our culture of flexibility, and provides an extra perk that our employees value. Let’s face it, seeing these cute furry faces and tails wagging — it’s hard not to enjoy and smile. As an employer, it benefits you to keep a balance when it comes to dog-friendly offices. We have a limit on the number of dogs and always monitor good doggy behavior.

 

avvo dog-friendly office
photo via avvo

Featured pup: Taro Callaghan

Breed: Goldendoodle

Age: Two years

Favorite snack: Blueberries to munch on and share with others

Chews on: Rawhide bones and big ideas

Parent: Mary Callaghan

Best buds: Fellow canine, Penny, and colleagues on the marketing and sales enablement teams

Favorite activities: Hiking, chasing ducks, watching skateboarders and digging in the snow

Performance review: “Taro is a valuable contributor at Avvo, especially to the marketing team. In her two years as an Avvoite she’s proven to be a true team player, a supportive listener and a dependable colleague.

Strengths: She has versatile skills including being able to sit, lay down, roll over, spin, shake and give a high 10. She’s not afraid to speak up in meetings, and shows her appreciation for others’ contributions — often with licks. Taro is also incredibly reliable and has a spotless attendance record.

Areas for improvement: Taro is a bit shy and can work on building her confidence, and being more fearless. She also has a tendency to fall asleep in meetings.” — Libby Snead, director of marketing.

 

xealth dog-friendly office
photo via xealth

Xealth takes medical prescriptions and uploads them to the cloud, where doctors can share device information, relevant reading and exercise programs and check in to make sure patients are following treatment programs. For the health of day-to-day company culture, however, product developers David Cooper, James Richie and Sandi Hungerford say a little puppy time is just what the doctor ordered.

 

How does a dog-friendly office impact company culture?

Kipp brings fun and especially laughter to the office. Even those that don’t love Kipp with their whole heart enjoy his puppy fits and grand tours of the office in search of snacks, toys and games of puppy tag. When Kipp isn’t helping the engineers and product team to continually liberate our core technology offering (Kipp’s fav platform is Mongo db — “db” stands for “dog bones”), he kills his stuffies with joie de vie and hides toys in the sofas.

 

photo dog-friendly office Kipp spaniel
photo via xealth

Featured pup: Kipp

Breed: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Age: One year

Favorite snack: Castor & Pollux Organic PB Cookies — thanks to human Sandi

Chews on: Stuffy killer

Parent: Evelyn Daniels

Best bud: James Richey

Favorite activities: Running through the office when he first gets to work, saying hello to everyone, greeting visitors at the door, sitting in people’s laps, looking out the windows at birds

Performance review: “Kipp exceeds expectations in the role of Office Dog/Chief Emotional Support Officer (CESO). He always shows up to the office with a sunny attitude, a bright smile and an insatiable need for attention. His joy while playing fetch is only surpassed by his love of snacks — which his peers are more than willing to share.

Kipp exemplifies the ideal work/life balance by completing every task assigned to him while also managing a daily nap routine (usually between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.). Kipp adapts to change easily and contributes frequently to department meetings by sitting on as many laps as possible. He goes beyond the call of duty by seeking out pets from everyone who comes to the office, whether they be regular employees, UPS delivery men or board members.

Overall, Kipp embodies an ideal CESO: hard working, highly engaging and fully potty trained. We are lucky to have him on our staff and we see great things for him at Xealth.” — David Cooper, James Richie and Sandi Hungerford, Xealth product development team.

 

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