New York City is going to the dogs again. And the American Kennel Club’s Museum of the Dog couldn’t be happier about it.
First established in 1982 as part of the American Kennel Club’s Headquarters in the New York Life Building on Madison Avenue, this dog-centric museum swapped the hustle and bustle of New York for St. Louis, MO in 1986. After more than 30 years (that’s 210 in dog years) in the Midwest, the canine collection returned home to the Big Apple on February 8, 2019.
The new location in the Kalikow Building at 101 Park Avenue is just a short walk from Grand Central Station. In the heart of Midtown, the museum is close to other iconic attractions like the Empire State Building and the Museum of Modern Art. But before you grab your dog’s leash, note that the museum only permits service animals inside. Normally, we wouldn’t recommend an attraction that won’t let you bring Fido, but this museum is worth a stop for all dog lovers. You can find a dog sitter on BringFido to walk your pooch while you’re checking out the collection, and then treat your pup to a stroll in nearby Bryant Park or an afternoon of playtime in Central Park.
The museum’s permanent collection boasts more than 180 pieces of dog artwork and interactive exhibits spread across three stories, comprising one of the finest and largest collections of dog-related art and artifacts in the world. The AKC’s new Director of Cultural Resources, Alan Fausel, expects to see the number of visitors increase from 10,000 a year to 100,000 at the museum's new home. A fine art expert who regularly contributes to the popular PBS show, “Antiques Roadshow” Fausel knows a good thing when he sees it.
"For the Love of All Things Dog," the inaugural exhibit in the new digs, features paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, statues, decorative art objects and more from both the Museum of the Dog and the AKC Collection, creating in Fausel’s view, "a fabulous collection."
Museum of the Digital Dog
One of the Museum of the Dog’s main goals is to capture the imaginations of younger generations who’d rather look up #dogs than read about them in a museum. Hoping to keep their attention is Arty the Dog, a virtual tour guide found on the museum's app.
Arty guides visitors through the museum a la Pokémon Go, and gives them an educational reason to stare at their screens. If they get the itch to scroll during their visit, they can learn about many different dog breeds on another interactive display.
You can interact with all of the AKC’s 193 recognized dog breeds at a digital "Meet the Breeds" table.
Digital innovation is a cornerstone of the new museum. People of all ages will love the "Find Your Match" interactive exhibit, which lets users discover what type of dog they most resemble and then post their pairing on Facebook or Instagram. Another hands-on display invites people to become a virtual dog trainer to the museum’s very own digital Labrador puppy, Molly.
Using a motion-capture suit on a real-life pup, this amazing activity mirrors the actual needs of a pooch going through training, without all the mess. Finally, you can interact with all of the AKC’s 193 recognized dog breeds at a digital "Meet the Breeds" table.
Technology, art and man's best friend come together at this one-of-a-kind museum that beautifully captures our timeless love of dogs. Make sure to add it to your list of places to visit next time you're in New York.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children under 12 and $10 for students, seniors, youth, and military/veterans. You can also choose to become a member to gain unlimited admission plus other unique benefits.