Uptown Dog

Adventures of a not-so-average mutt making new friends in New York City

New York Times: “The City as Chew Toy”

As an apartment-dwelling dog living in New York City, I was excited to see “The City as Chew Toy” on the New York Times homepage over the weekend. Sometimes being a city dog is ‘ruff, and it’s nice to know that someone is paying attention. Mom and Dad do their best to make sure I get lots of exercise and socialization at the dog park, but let’s face it. Living in a 500-square foot apartment and pooping on the sidewalk aren’t ideal for dogs.

Illustration by Greg Clarke for the New York Times

I was hoping to get some suggestions for how to let loose and have a little fun in this urban jungle. The article mentioned my dog run in Carl Schurz Park, and clued me in to Central Park Paws events. Otherwise, the article focused on finding the ideal breed of dog for cramped city living. While I agree that it’s important to do research before bringing home a pet, I was disappointed with the article for a couple of reasons.

First of all, the article did not discuss the best kind of dog: mutts like me! Shelters are full of mutts who need homes, and it’s no secret that Uptown Dog is a big advocate for adoption. Mixed breed dogs also tend to have more balanced temperaments than purebreds, which gives them a little extra patience while they are cooped up inside waiting for their next walk.

Second, the article focuses on the dog’s attributes and neglects the owner’s responsibilities. Even if you pick a breed with ideal traits for apartment living, you can’t expect the dog to adapt perfectly to your lifestyle. There is no substitute for training and exercise, and having a happy dog in the city requires extra effort. I think Andrea Arden has great advice on the unique challenges of training a dog in the hustle and bustle of New York.

There is one aspect of this article that I agree with. Big dogs can be happy in apartments, so don’t rule them out! My friend Riley is a Bernese Mountain Dog who lives in a Washington, D.C. apartment. She gets tired quickly, so after a morning jaunt at the dog park she’s happy to rest on the couch while her mom is at work. It’s all about knowing what your dog needs, and making sure they get it – even if your living situation makes it difficult sometimes.

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8 thoughts on “New York Times: “The City as Chew Toy”

  1. Lots of different challenges when you’re a dog living in a city.

  2. Good, practical advice, Uptown Dog. I hope urban dwellers who want to adopt a dog, heed your advice.

    My dog is a pure bred, but maybe someday I’ll also get a mutt. We are lucky enough to live across the street from a park and in a place that is mostly sunny and warm all year round.

  3. Mutts are the best! Thanks for being an advocate for them 🙂

  4. I know it can be tough living in a small apartment when you want to run around but I’m glad Mom and Dad get you lots of action. YAY for you for raising awareness about adoption, mutts and how wonderful shelter dogs can be! I don’t think there is anything better than saving a shelter dog, mutt or purebred, and my pups will say the same 🙂 You go, Uptown Dog!!!

  5. Pingback: Trees: The Canine’s Social Network « Uptown Dog

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