Here at Top Dog Tours, we love dogs of all shapes and sizes.
NYC offers so much for dog owners from great pet shops, the best parks, and even pet friendly bars! One of the best opportunities city pooches have to socialize would be at one of many dog runs. Dog runs give dogs a chance to run, sniff, and play with one another in a safe, fenced-off enclosure. Since most NYC owners do not have a yard and leash laws are strictly enforced, the city offers many of these dog runs and it is a gift not just for dog owners- but for the entire city alike. Giving walking tours all around NYC, we often visit parks and where there are parks, there are dogs! What could be better than exploring a beautiful park with a knowledgeable guide and getting the chance to see some local pups at play! Here are some of the best dog runs to bring your pooch or grab a bench nearby just to watch.
J. Hood Wright Park Dog Run
Let’s start off with a hidden gem. Some of the largest dog runs in the city are just 20 minutes away from Midtown Manhattan in historic Washington Heights. Here you can find several clean and spacious dog runs. J. Hood Wright Park is on the West side of 173rd st. It is a small park, but has a nicely sized dog run where both big and small dogs can play together. Many parks in the city have two areas- one for large and one for small dogs only. This is one of the best for dogs who love to socialize with dogs of all sizes. You can also find a nice playground for the kids, a recreation center, and a large grassy area with rocks to climb on. Our Top Dogs love it! The best part of this dog run though, is the scenic views of the George Washington Bridge. Here is our furry friend Meeko posing just outside the dog run!
Ft. Tryon Dog Run
Just a little bit further North you can find another park in Washington Heights that is often a hot spot for tourists and New Yorkers alike: Ft. Tryon Park. This park best known for the Cloisters Museum, an extension of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a must-see for fans of Medieval art, fashion, and architecture. The park also has a natural, rugged, forest-like character, it feels like stepping back in time! It also boasts the city’s largest public dog run: the Ft. Tryon Sir William dog run. The park (and dog run) are named after William Tryon, the last colonial governor of the city. It is a full acre and has over 350 regular users! It also has a small dog area with a seperate entrance which is helpful for small timid dogs. The rest of the park is also a great place to get some exercise for both dogs and humans alike. It’s almost like getting out of the city while still being right in Manhattan. Look at Nemmy having a ball in her favorite dog run!
Union Square Dog Run
Union Square is one of the city’s busiest parks but has so much to see! From interesting works of architecture like the Decker Building to statues of Presidents Washington and Lincoln- even the most expensive public art installation is city history can be found in compact Union Square! It also offers some of the best shopping, dining, and entertainment options around. This is a relatively small dog run, but you can’t beat the variety of dogs that visit here. People from all over the world and from around the corner come together in this little park. It is best for the dogs who always want to say hi to everyone, no matter where they come from. On our Gramercy tour, you can learn about the history of the area and all the local highlights, while checking out some cool pups. Take a look at all these pampered pooches!
Scenic Riverside Park is one of the best places to take your dog in the city. There are long walking trails and lots of grassy patches and not just one but THREE dog runs so you are sure to find the best one for your picky pooch. Our favorite is just outside 87th st. You can find some of the friendliest dogs in the city on the Upper West Side. This park also has off leash hours at 9 AM and 9 PM just like its big brother to the east, Central Park. Since many of the dogs and owners know each other, there is a sense of comfort and ease more so than some of the other, more crowded dog runs. After your fun romp in the dog run and nice stroll in the park, you may want to visit some of the other highlights of the park: The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument is a beautiful stone tower honoring those who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. It was dedicated by Theodore Roosevelt in 1902 and is still historically the location of Memorial Day ceremonies. Our friend’s Diesel and Ruby took a night time stroll to see the monument and Buddy is chilling in the grass!
Washington Square Park
Our guests always comment on how incredible the dog run is in Washington Square Park. Sometimes we take a short break to use the restrooms that are conveniently located just outside the dog run, and sometimes that break ends up being a little longer so our guests can admire the amazing dogs! This is also quite a large dog run, great for big dogs who need to run around. This park seems to have the widest variety of breeds and some very interesting owners too. Take our Greenwich Village historical tour or our Ghost tour if you prefer an after dark visit to the park. You can even hear about the spirit of a ghost dog! This is our fluffy pal Fritz getting to know some new buddies!
There are over 30 dug runs in Manhattan alone. Whichever you choose, you cannot go wrong! You will be sure to see some awesome pooches. Just a few things to keep in mind: the city has a “no dogs without people and no people without dogs” rule so if you are travelling sans furry friend just grab a bench nearby and watch to your heart’s content. Also make sure if you bring your dog to make sure you scope out the situation and make sure it is safe for your dog and their size/energy level matches the other dogs. Also be a good New Yorker and clean up after them! To learn more about these fabulous parks, take a tour with your favorite dog-loving company Top Dog Tours!