Dog culture is entrenched in some Northern California companies. Most famously, Zynga, the San Francisco-based social network game-development company named for founder Mark Pincus’ American bulldog, welcomes employee dogs in the workplace and uses a silhouette of Zynga as its logo.
Up the road in Emeryville, Clif Bar & Company, makers of those yummy organic energy treats, has been dog-friendly since its Berkeley beginnings in the 1990s. “Bringing your dog to work is an employee perk that was negotiated into our lease because it is part of our culture,” says Jen Freitas, the company’s human resources director. Every day, she says, between 10 and 15 dogs can be found hanging out with their people in the company’s 240-person headquarters. The canine population incudes Freitas’ 100-pound Doberman-Labrador mix, Crash.
“I attribute much of his socialization to being able to come to work with me,” Freitas says. “Being able to bring him as a puppy was a huge benefit. It’s made him a better dog all over.”
The company dog policy at Clif is “pretty much what you’d expect,” says Freitas. “They have to be potty trained, play well with others and not be too barky. And unless you have a job at a desk, they have to be able to chill while you’re gone or stick to your side. Tied to the desk is how most people do it.”
Photo: Cristal and Naomi chill out at Clif Bar & Company headquarters in Emeryville - courtesy Clif Bar & Company