The Yorkie Index and the Dog Data of New York

Teach Your Best Friend to New York Like A Local With Our Favorite Dog Spots

By Si Si Penaloza

The Yorkie is top dog

The dogs of New York are as varied as its denizens, and their fluctuating numbers reveal much about what’s going down in their neighborhood. Indeed, our pets are a quirky, informal index for understanding urban gentrification, and at times predicting it — when the designer puppies move in, rising home prices may not be far behind. To track the city’s changing dog preferences, The New York Times analyzed the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s dog license registrations from 2012 to 2016, the most recent full year data were available.

Turns out, as housing prices rise in an area, dog breeds tend to skew smaller and more expensive. Certain breeds maintain their dominant stance in specific neighborhoods, for example the Pit Bull in particular parts of Brooklyn and the Rottweiler in the Bronx. The New York Times used the health department’s definition of neighborhood boundaries, and the data set, which covered the five boroughs, included the dog breed, sex, name and the owner’s home zip code.

By and large, cramped city living means smaller dogs. Citywide, the top dog in 2016 was the Yorkshire terrier, or Yorkie, the amicable lap dog that grows to roughly seven pounds, followed by the Shih Tzu, another toy breed, and the much larger Labrador retriever. The Chihuahua came in fourth, followed by the muscular pit bull, which includes a number of terrier breeds. Next came the tiny Maltese and the brawny German shepherd (up to about 90 pounds). The beagle, poodle and Pomeranian rounded out the list.

New York dogs had names like Max (the most popular), Bella, Coco, Charlie, Rocky and Lola. The data even showed there was also a Biggie in every borough! 156 registrations in all, ranging from a Rottweiler in Queens to a French bulldog in Staten Island — perhaps in honor of the Brooklyn-born rapper Biggie Smalls.

We’re inspired by this new data to recommend our top sights and sounds for you and your pup on your next trip to these New York neighborhoods:

Upper East Side

Certain breeds become part of the identity of neighborhood. The poodle has reigned as the stalwart of the Upper East Side, since the days of Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Hotel. Since before hypoallergenic was a thing. The Upper East Side still has the most poodles, with 369 registrations in 2016.

Why not spoil your pooch in the manner of an uptown dog? Spot Upper East Side is a facility that caters to dogs of all shapes and sizes, sending them off looking and feeling their best. Don’t worry if you both turn up muddied or sandy from a romp in Central Park; this place is anything but uppity. Whether you pup is muddied or simply lightly soiled, they will get SPOT’s ‘buff and puff’ doggy blowout and some delicious treats at their dog bakery, which even includes dog ice cream. Treat yourself to some edible human cakes too so that your dog won’t be the only happy camper. A neighborhood fixture for over 12 years, the location offers dog lovers on the East Side of Manhattan two size specific play fields. 1105 1st Avenue,


With its many parks and large stock of spacious prewar apartments, Uptown Manhattan has endured as a doggy haven for generations. The rise of dog-friendly developments below Central Park, many geared toward luxury buyers and renters, have lure a new generation of pet owners.

Situated at the crossroads of culture and commerce, The Benjamin‘s Midtown East location makes for easy access to New York City’s top attractions–including Fifth Avenue restaurants and shops, Grand Central Terminal, MoMA, Saks Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Bloomingdale’s.

Photo: The Benjamin

Named one of the top three pet-friendly hotels by readers of, The Benjamin offers a superior pet program. goodDOG by The Benjamin was created in partnership with BarkBox, the New York-based monthly subscription pet treat curator. Designed to treat dogs with the same service that their humans receive, the program features an assortment of welcome amenities, an in-room pet mini bar, pet beds, and more. goodDOGS receive a BarkBox specific to the size of the dog, including vet-approved treats, toys and hygiene products. They also get a Mungo & Maud water bowl and bed for use during their stay. 125 East 50th Street,

Photo: The Benjamin


From 2012 to 2016, poodle registrations nearly doubled in Hell’s Kitchen and nearby Chelsea, from 113 to 208, the biggest surge for the breed in all five boroughs. According to the NYT, these poodles answer to names like Duke and Nacho, not Bentley or Valentino, like some of their uptown kin.

One of Chelsea’s most popular spots for farm-to-table fare, Cookshop features a rotating seasonal menu. The brainchild of Vicki Freeman and her husband, chef Marc Meyer, the restaurant takes the agricultural ethos to heart. Simple and modern interior design, accented with wood and live greenery, makes this dog-friendly dining spot—pups can sit with their owners in the outdoor seating area—a must-visit. 156 Tenth Ave.,

Photo: The Park NYC

The Park offers a glassed-in garden boasting romantically lit trees and views of the High Line, endowing this Chelsea hot spot with a certain theatrical ambiance. Sample a wide-ranging menu that includes wood-oven pizzas and octopus stew in the outdoor area, while your dog sniffs and snoozes right alongside you. There is also a cool bar area with craft cocktails and a decent scotch selection. 118 10th Avenue;

Hell’s Kitchen

MiMa, a 600-plus-unit pet friendly rental in Hell’s Kitchen has 100 dogs in residence. Building officials have said that here are more dogs than children that live in the building. Needless to say, you’ll meet a lot of fellow dog lovers when you frequent this hood.

Named for its location at 44th Street and Tenth Avenue, 44 & X serves up inventive twists on American classic in a sun-kissed arena of sleek white furniture and a gorgeous abundance of natural light. A seasonally-inspired menu befits the jewel box setting, within walking distance of Broadway and Theater Row. Brunch is a popular time to visit, with heaping plates of house made waffles, banana and strawberries, Vermont maple syrup making the rounds to many a table. There is also a much loved roast chicken quesadilla, served with pico de gallo and avocado relish. Dogs are welcome to dine outside with their parents, where both can drink in the vibe of Hell’s Kitchen’s stylish streets. 622 10th Avenue,

The West Village and SoHo

With expensive housing comes more expensive breeds. Pricey breeds are also thriving downtown. Evidenced by the proliferation of French bulldogs that now roam the streets like city chickens.

Housed in a former antiques store, Il Buco is a Bond Street staple offering up an authentic recipes from Italy and Spain to international acclaim. Imagine wood furnishings in cozy configurations against a brick wall backdrop; sensual candlelight casting a sublime glow over each table. Dogs can join their owners in the restaurant’s backyard dining area, which boasts water bowls and dog treats. 47 Bond Street,

Cipriani Downtown Italian classics offered in an art-filled SoHo eatery, this casual take on Harry Cipriani—Cipriani’s ultra-luxe sister restaurant on 59th Street and Fifth Avenue— makes a big impression off the bat with its loftlike layout anchored by a rather distinctive and swoon worthy chandelier. Water bowls are provided for pups who accompany their owners in the open-air seating area. 376 West Broadway;

Flatiron and NoMad

But despite its reputation as the concrete jungle, NYC is actually surprisingly dog-friendly. Traveling to the buzziest urban mecca on the East Coast is better when you can bring your four-legged friend along for the ride.


Photo: Shake Shack

All hail the burger emperor! Shake Shack was born from a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park to support the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s first art installation “I ♥ Taxi.” This original location was opened in 2004 and became a staple NYC tradition shortly thereafter. Bring your furry friend along, as greatness awaits the both of you. As you dive into a loaded burger and perfectly crisp fries, treat your pooch to a ‘Pooch-ini’: a chilled doggy-treat, coated in peanut butter with dog-friendly vanilla custard. Madison Avenue & East 23rd Street,


Photo: Water4Dogs

This rehabilitation center catering to canines is a great place for you and your baby to bond. A worthy pet business in Tribeca, Water4Dogs is a facility built around giving you the best swim session with your pooch. Play, cuddle and splash in this frisky calorie burning afternoon. It’s also a memorable, highly Instagramable moment of puppy bonding. If your dog is in need of a little TLC, Water4Dogs offers dry and hydrotherapy. 77 Worth Street,

Lower East Side

Old dog learn new tricks at School For The Dogs! The feel good vibe and teaching style here ensures everyone leaves learning something new. Attend workshops or full blown Puppy Kindergarten, Prep School, and Secondary School. The school also features a highly popular ‘Puppy Playtime’ for your pooch to socialize with new fur friends. Older dogs are welcome as well – they offer behavioral classes to help dogs feel more comfortable and less threatened on NYC sidewalks and classes to teach pups not to freak out on rollerbladers and skateboarders. They even have ‘Breed Meetups’ so that dog owners can make some life-long human friends of their own. 155 East 2nd Street,


Nothing says Brooklyn quite like baseball season, so why not bring your best bud along? Every summer, the Brooklyn Cyclones invite fans to bring their dogs to the annual Bark in the Park baseball game at MCU Park in Coney Island. Cyclones fans and their canine friends have the opportunity for an exciting “dog’s day” of fun as the Cyclones take on another area team. The highlight is a pre-game parade around the field for you and your pooch. There are also special performances by canine performers from Pawstars. They have pet adoption for those seeking a new canine companion, dog licensing and a useful ‘Emergency Preparedness Clinic’ in case you and your four-legged friend are caught in an emergency situation.