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When you’re forced to use the service entrance

Two small dogs sitting on a chair in the garden

New York City is known for being a dog-friendly city, but that isn’t necessarily the case when it comes to some residential buildings, as many of you may already know. I came across a recent article about an Upper West Side luxury building that is no longer permitting its residents to walk their dogs through the main lobby. They must now use the service entrance and violators are being threatened with fines. I’m no legal expert, but one would think that unless you moved in after the new rule was implemented, you should be exempt from that rule. Clearly that would be difficult to monitor, but somehow this seems unjust for tenants who moved into what they thought to be a “dog-friendly” building.

This isn’t the first building or probably the last to enforce such a rule. While it may not necessarily be a hardship, it’s the principle that counts. One resident in the Barclay Tower in Tribeca says he has gotten used to it and is just happy to be allowed to have a dog in the building. It’s important to know buildings vary when it comes to pet restrictions—some limit dogs by size and breed. Dog trainer Garret Wing says the best breeds for apartment living are pugs, Cavalier King Charles spaniels and Shih Tzus. Part of the reason he suggests these breeds is because they don’t bark as much as other small breeds.

In some buildings—typically luxury high rises—you may even find a dedicated elevator bank for dog owners in an effort to keep residents, who are allergic or afraid of dogs, separated on their ride up and down the elevator. While dogs are considered to be “man’s best friend”, they are not necessarily for everyone. However, if you are a dog owner or plan to get one, be sure to read the NYC pet laws before beginning your apartment search. Brick Underground also offers advice on how to negotiate with your landlord in allowing you to have a pet.

As I mentioned from the top, NYC overall is a dog-friendly city and many establishments in the city allow dogs in their stores and restaurants—some even going so far as to cater to them. There is even an official Doggy Directory that shares all the dog-friendly places in NYC. If you’re considering moving and would like a list of dog-friendly buildings in the neighborhood you’re searching, please reach out. I’ll be more than happy to pull something together for you.


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