New York

More Poodles, French Bulldogs Cropping Up in NYC Neighborhoods Where Rents Are Rising

What to Know

  • A New York Times study of dog registrations in NYC from 2012 to 2016 shows trends linked to rising prices of real estate in certain areas
  • More rare and expensive breeds are being registered west and south in Manhattan, where new developments are cropping up
  • "When the designer pups arrive, rising home prices may not be far behind," the Times says

It's not just the entry of a fancy coffee shop or gourmet supermarket that mark the rise of real estate prices in a given New York City neighborhood: the dogs populating the area are a good tell, too.

A New York Times study of dog registrations in the city from 2012 through 2016 -- the most recent year in which the data is available -- finds that generally, as housing prices rise in an area, dog breeds tend to skew smaller and more expensive. 

But the pit bull still reigns in certain parts of Brooklyn, and the Rottweiler is tops in the Bronx. 

There are roughly 80,000 unique dogs registered in New York City in a given year, The New York Times reports, and there are about 500,000 dogs in the city. 

The top dogs citywide, in order, were, according to the Times:

  • Yorkshire Terrier (grows up to 7 pounds)
  • Shih Tzu (another small dog)
  • Labrador retriever (grows up to 80 pounds)
  • Chihuahua
  • Pit bull, including several terrier breeds
  • Maltese
  • German shepherd (up to about 90 pounds)
  • Beagle
  • Poodle
  • Pomeranian

The most popular names for New York dogs were: Max, Bella, Coco, Charlie, Rocky and Lola. There was also a Biggie in every borough, the Times noted, 156 in all, ranging from a Rottweilder in Queens to a French Bulldog in Staten Island. 

Overall, one-third of registered dogs in 2016 were toy dogs, ranging from about 5 to 20 pounds. But SoHo, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city, tied blue-collar Stapleton on Staten Island for the biggest share of dogs over 50 pounds (roughly 19 percent overall). 

In Clinton Hill, Brooklyn -- where the median sales price of a home rose 66 percent from 2012 to 2016 --the pit bull has always been popular. And amid the growing popularity and social media-driven cachet of adopting from shelters, the pit bull is still preferred. The Labrador retriever and Chihuahua followed, while registrations of the French bulldog jumped 90 percent.

As new-development luxury buildings crop up in midtown and downtown Manhattan, rare and expensive dogs are flooding the areas, too: Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen had the biggest surge in poodles of any neighborhood between 2012 and 2016. And French bulldogs are rapidly popping up in Hell's Kitchen, the West Village and SoHo. 

The Upper West Side, where so much housing stock is made up of pre-war co-ops with strict rules on dog ownerships, may be losing out to neighborhoods south and west where new condos touts pet amenities, the Times says. One realtor told the newspaper that in one 600-unit rental building in Hell's Kitchen, there are over 200 dogs -- more than the number of children who live there.

Meanwhile, the number of Rottweilers being registered citywide fell 18 percent from 2012 to 2016, though the breed remains the top-registered dog in the Southeast Bronx. But even there lately, with a sharp rise in housing prices, Morris Park realtor Joseph Milone says he's seeing many of his clients bringing smaller dogs to the area. In fact, data shows the top dog in that neighborhood was the Shih Tzu. 

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