Here’s Why Amazon “Employs” Thousands of Dogs

Yes, the dogs that appear on Amazon's error pages are real dogs—and they're an important part of Amazon's company culture!

cyrus dogvia amazon.com

If you’ve spent any time surfing Amazon’s website, you’ve probably come across an error page. If you haven’t, well, here’s what’s so special about them: Amazon’s Error 404 pages each feature a picture of a cute puppy. But there’s more to this gimmick than just trying to soften the blow of your desired product not being available. Those dogs aren’t generic Stock images—they’re pictures of actual dogs that “work” at Amazon. Want to know even more about life behind the scenes at Amazon? This is how much Amazon employees really make.

As the link below the name of each pictured dog details, Amazon is pretty much as pooch-friendly as a company can get. They don’t just let their employees bring their dogs to work; they encourage it! The dogs have become such a distinctive part of Amazon’s company culture that the site calls them “workers.” But in reality, their “jobs” really just consist of playing and being pampered! According to Amazon’s site, the reception desks at Amazon’s facilities are stocked with dog treats. Amazon’s Doppler building in Seattle has a “doggie deck” for the furry friends to run around and play. Amazon even has its own dog park, where dogs of Amazon employees and non-employees alike can roam free. Learn about another surprising secret to Amazon’s success: Jeff Bezos’ “two-pizza rule.”

josephine dogvia amazon.com

This delightful tradition dates back to the earliest days of Amazon, when a husband and wife team who worked at the then-fledgling company began bringing their Welsh corgi, Rufus, to work. Rufus became something of a company mascot, and employees would even have his paw “click” the mouse to launch Amazon products. Today, Rufus’ legacy lives on in a major way: At Amazon’s headquarters, workers will sometimes share the space with as many as 6,000 canine companions!

Now, if you’re a dog lover, you might doubt that Amazon employees can possibly get any work done with cute puppies running around. But, according to Lara Hirschfield, who is the manager of Amazon’s “Woof Pack,” the effect is quite the opposite! “Dogs in the workplace is an unexpected mechanism for connection,” Hirschfield told CNBC. “Our dogs add to the fun, dynamic energy of our workplace.” And, if you’ve been paying attention, you know that Amazon is a pretty successful company! Maybe some other companies will follow Amazon’s lead and start becoming more canine-friendly. We dog lovers can only hope. Read on to find out the pet products vets never buy—and the best alternatives you can get on Amazon.

Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for RD.com who has been writing since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap.