Data-Mining NYC's Dog Obsession

New Yorkers: they're just like us.

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Flickr/IStoletheTV

What do the Upper West Side, SoHo, the West Village and Park Slope have in common?

They're the New York City neighborhoods where Labradors are the most popular purebred dogs. Across Central Park in the 10021, meanwhile, Shih Tzus outnumber Labs. Elsewhere, across swaths of Brooklyn, Yorkshire Terriers are dominant.

The WNYC Data News Team, the numeric artists behind maps of Stop and Frisk, Sandy flooding, and the new New Yorkers, has gone to the dogs. Using data from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, they mapped the names, addresses and breeds of nearly 100,000 city canines. They've written up their findings here.

WNYC Data News Team

New Yorkers have a lot of Yorkies and Shih Tzus, and a smattering of Chihuahuas, Labs and Maltese. In Bed-Stuy and Bushwick, Pit Bulls are favored. But mutts are by far the most popular, outnumbering the leading purebreeds by six or seven to one.

When it comes to naming, New Yorkers aren't very distinctive at all. There are some regional variations -- Princess is quite popular in parts of Brooklyn and the Bronx; Bella is huge on Staten Island. But overall, New York's dogs have the same names no matter where they live -- and the same names as the rest of America's dogs.

New Yorkers' favorite names -- Bella (766 dogs) and Max (991 dogs) -- are also America's favorites. Daisy, Lucy, Molly, Lola, Chloe, Coco and Maggie also appeared on both top ten lists, as did male names Buddy, Charlie, Rocky, Jack and Toby.

What sets New Yorkers' naming habits apart? They have an unusual preference, it seems, for the names Princess, Ginger, Lucky, Teddy, Buster and Gizmo. America prefers Sophie, Sadie, Cooper, Bear, Bentley, and Duke. There are 36 licensed New York City dogs named Biggie. There are also 132 NYC dogs named Brooklyn, but then there are a lot of humans named Brooklyn too these days.

There are 40 dogs named Jeter, and seven apiece named Carmelo and Mattingly. But also 58 dogs named Kobe.

And, for what it's worth, 27 dogs named Hennessey, 25 named Bogart, and 124 named Simba.

Here's the caveat, though: only about one out of five New York dogs has been registered (as is legally required) with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The rest are undocumented -- who knows what kind of names they might have?

Via WNYC.

Top image: Flickr user IStoletheTV

About the Author

  • Henry Grabar is a freelance writer and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.