New York City Dogs v. Miami Dogs

Dog Trends in New York City and Miami

Our two-city experiment — New York and Miami — is three years old now; I can confidently say I am an expert on the differences between Big Apple dogs and Magic City dogs. Scroll down to check out some of the things I’ve learned.

Most Popular Breeds

According to the American Kennel Club, New York and Miami have fairly similar tastes in pure breed dogs. I see a lot of French Bulldogs in both cities. In Miami I see a lot of Golden Retrievers. I’m told they are very popular with Argentinians, but I have no statistics to support this.

French Bulldog
French Bulldog

New York City

  1. French Bulldog
  2. Labrador Retriever
  3. English Bulldog
  4. German Shepherd Dog
  5. Golden Retriever


  1. German Shepherd Dog
  2. French Bulldog
  3. Labrador Retriever
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Rottweiler


Miami dogs say: “Guau! Guau!”

New York dogs say: “Bow wow!”


New York dogs seem to be better socialized than Miami dogs. I think that’s because outside life for dogs in NYC occurs on busy sidewalks and in dog parks where they encounter other canines all the time. Miami doesn’t have the same street life that New York does, hence dogs there don’t have much opportunity to meet other dogs.

Dog Parks

Dog parks in New York, like the Tompkins Square Dog Park are always pretty busy!

Tompkins Square Dog Run
Tompkins Square Dog Run

Miami dog parks always appear to me to be largely empty. A notable exception is the dog beach / dog park in Haulover. That one is dog heaven and always full of pooches!

Haulover Dog Beach
Haulover Dog Beach

Saying “Hello”

In NYC, when people approach me and Bodhi, they ask: “Can I pet your dog?”

In Miami, they ask: “Does your dog bite?”

My response? “Hunh?! Wha’?! Who would this cutie-patootie ever bite?

New York City Dogs v. Miami Dogs
“You don’t need to beware of me! I would never bite you!”

Al Fresco

Dogs are very welcome in outdoor cafes in Miami.

Until recently it was against the law for dogs to sit in outdoor cafes in New York. A new law went into effect in 2016. Rob, a friend of Urban Dog who has apartments in both cities, says about half of the outdoor cafes in his NYC neighborhood are letting dogs share space with humans. He points out that outdoor spaces in the Big Apple tend to be much smaller than Miami outdoor seating areas. He says that likely makes it more difficult for restaurants in New York to accommodate dogs.

Going Shopping

Dogs appear to be much more welcome in retail establishments in Miami than in New York. I’ve seen dogs in stores as different as the Apple Store on Lincoln Road to my local Publix in North Beach. (Yes! I’ve seen dogs, large and small, in grocery stores on multiple occasions so far!) In NYC, I pretty much only see dogs at the hardware store, the bank, and in pet stores. (Rob disagrees with me on this one. He says he sees dogs in all sorts of stores. He lives on the Upper West Side, we live downtown. I wonder if that makes a difference.)


New Yorkers are much better about picking up their dogs’ poop than Miamians. From what I’ve seen, there are many Miamians who disregard local laws, leaving their dogs’ deposits all over the place. This happens despite the fact that the city provides free poop bags everywhere! Take a look at the picture below and read my earlier post about this topic by clicking here.

dog poop
WTF? This dog walker couldn’t be bothered to walk three feet to get a poop bag?

Pit Bulls

Pit Bulls are against the law in Miami-Dade county. They are legal in New York.

Here’s what it says on the Miami-Dade website:

It is illegal in Miami-Dade County to own or keep American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, or any other dog that substantially conforms to any of these breeds’ characteristics. For more information, view the Miami-Dade County ordinance, Chapter 5, Sec. 5-17. There is a $500 fine for acquiring or keeping a pit bull dog and court action to force the removal of the animal from Miami-Dade County.

Five hundred dollars? Yikes!

Despite that, I see Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes everywhere in Florida. (Hurray for Pit Bulls! They can be such sweeties! We have three wonderful Pitties as neighbors in New York. Check out this list of myths about Pit Bulls from PetFinder.)

Sergio's Volunteer Diary
New York City Pit Bull

Family Member v. Pet

This one is just a gut feeling for me. New Yorkers seem to treat their dogs more like “family members.” Miamians seem to treat them more like pets or property.

If you are a Floridian in New York… or a New Yorker in Florida… and you’ve noticed differences please send them to us at Urban Dog.


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