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The 28 types of dog owner you'll meet in NYC

By Sophie Harris
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By Time Out New York contributors, edited by Sophie Harris

Fact: New Yorkers love their dogs. No, really—they lu-hu-huuuve their dogs, as evidenced by the sheer abundance of pooches showing off their new booties on the streets, galloping around the parks and lolling out of car windows, not to mention the abundance of dog-friendly bars. Who cares that most New Yorkers live in shoebox-size apartments? We are a resourceful people, and if there's a way to keep an enormous ice-white, blue-eyed wolf dog in the city, we'll figure it out. So, in honor of Gotham's most devoted—from the fancy-pants breeders at the Westminster Dog Show to the playful goofs who take part in the annual Puppy Bowl—we present you with our roundup of the types of dog owner you'll meet in New York.

1. The professional walker
Walks 10 dogs, holds 10 taut leashes in one hand, never breaks stride. Marvel, ye amateurs.

2. The purebred peddler
Loves to tell you over and over again how his or her AKC pooch comes from a lineage of award-winning show/agility/working dogs. Goes to breed meet-up groups and wouldn’t DARE step into a dog park.

3. The Dude(s)
Man and dog are one, and this one abides. You'll find them sitting on a bench in Prospect Park, noses whiffling in the breeze. Extra points if the dog is wearing a cardigan too.

4. The regal beagle
Manhattan's answer to Kate Middleton, with doggie-kind's answer to Kate Middleton on a perfectly tailored leash.


5. The seniors
They both have shocks of white hair and walk very, very slowly.

6. The pajama party
And lo, it was 6am: The hour of sweatpants with no underwear at the dog park.

7. The stroller roller
Is that a child in that baby stroller? Nope, that’s a shih tzu dressed in a pink frilly dress. And it’s a boy.

8. The aunt & uncle
Not ready for their own dog but happy to be proud dogsitters, albeit only once every other season, for a friend.

9. The social-media strategist
Her dog has its own Instagram account with tens of thousands of followers. Said pooch is invited to events around the city, and Bark Box sends complimentary gifts every month, which then get handed down to their roommate and her/his (unimportant) dog.


10. The attention basker
A buff bro in a sleeveless tee who just haaappens to stroll through Sheep Meadow with his brand-new French bulldog in tow on the weekends. Acts aloof, but is secretly thrilled every time a sunbather runs over to play with the puppy.

11. The hirsutes
Hair everywhere. His beard and shaggy mop, the springer spaniel's ears and fulsome tail: A Dust Devil nightmare in one waggy combo.

12. The puppy-shop purchaser
He walked by that puppy shop once and saw that baby Jack Russell in the window just begging to be taken home, spent $2K and now don’t know what to do with the damn thing.

13. The no-boundaries owner
He's with you everywhere—getting tangled in the racks at clothing stores, licking toes (not yours) at the manicurist, and sniffing other people's steaks at the pub—and people are just going to have to deal.


14. The empty nester
All their kids have moved out of the house, but now they have a new child: Their fur baby. Usually comes with many outfits, much grooming and borderline inappropriate affection.

15. The twinsies
Dog and owner are matched on an almost scary level, same hair color and texture, same body type, same facial expression.

16. The abandoner
“I’ll take my dog for a walk now! But actually what I’ll do is go shopping and leave my 80lb black Labrador tied to a stop sign in the sun while I try on hats. That’s kind of like a walk, right?"

17. The dogger (dog-jogger)
You know what a dog’s favorite part of ' walk is? Stopping to sniff things. No such luck for the pet of the running enthusiast, who remains tethered to his or her owner’s wrist as they trot 'round and 'round the path circling the park. The only dog we feel more sorry for is the one belonging to the cyclist.

18. The poop smearer
Pick up after your dog, you scoundrel!

19. The terrifier
Is that a Ghostbusters hellhound, frothing at the mouth, attached to that leash/steel chain? May as well be. Thanks for coming to the park, guys.


20. The hippies
You'll find them sitting under a tree; he's playing a guitar, his dog is wearing a bandanna. It's a mellow scene.

21. The little and large combo
Him: 4'3''. The dog: A Tibetan mastiff. Good luck with that.

22. The dragger
A normal dog doesn’t lie there limply while you haul him or her down the sidewalk. Please take your dog to the vet. Please take your dog to the vet. Please take your dog to the vet.

23. The Where do you keep it? dude
He lives in your apartment building, and there’s no way his apartment is much bigger than your tiny shoebox. So how in the name of furry hell does he manage to own a fricking Leonberger?

24. The phone gazer
She's glued to her smartphone. Meanwhile her dog has run around the park, met a new friend, exchanged numbers, bought some nice new shoes and pooped somewhere nobody will see until they step in it. Sigh.

25. The happiest couple on the block
Owner and pup are BFFs, and they’re not afraid to show it—or, more likely, they can’t help it. They’re smiling at each other, laughing, running in circles around trees, looking for birds, hanging out on the street corner waiting for the signal, petting and kissing each other. They’re the cutest.

26. The toy-dog toter
What's that in your bag? Oh, of course: It's a live, shivering, tiny animal. You could've got a Pokémon instead.


27. The accessory junkies
They walk around with a fanny pack of dog treats, water bottle and poop-bag dispenser. Their pooch is, of course, outfitted with booties and a rain jacket—you know, just in case.

28. The talkers
They talk to their dogs. In public. Out loud. A lot. The dogs look at them mostly pretending to understand what they're saying.

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