There are an estimated one million dogs living in New York City, and the breeds of dogs represented are as diverse as the people who own them. But do certain canines reveal traits about their owner without that person even having to utter a word? We took it upon ourselves to ask Dan Rubenstein—dog behaviorist and co-owner of Spot (formerly The Paw Stop), a dog daycare, grooming, and training facility in Tribeca—to explain what you can glean about a dog owner just by looking at what kind of pup he's walking. Generally speaking, of course. "Owners tend to pick dogs and dog breeds that exhibit personality characteristics similar to their own," Rubenstein says, "although it's not as if they do it consciously." After the jump, Rubenstein sizes up a few popular New York City breeds, descriptions you can compare to one of the boldfaced people who happens to own one.
French Bulldog (Martha Stewart)
What the dog says about the person: "This breed is incredibly popular in New York City right now, so those who own them are all about the coolness factor. The owners—like Frenchies, as they're called—are expressive and full of personality. These people are often overachievers because they like a dog that is a bit of a challenge."
Chihuahua (Tinsley Mortimer)
What the dog says about the person: "Chihuahua lovers are sometimes artsy, but more importantly, their exterior is not always what they seem. I equate the breed to a Great Dane trapped in a little dog's body. Chihuahua owners, likewise, may seem meek, but they're actually quite resilient, and they never back down. A person who owns one is bound to have a tough streak."
English Bulldog (Beth Ostrosky)
What the dog says about the person: "People who have English Bulldogs are laid back and easygoing. After all, this dog is the type to want to hang out on the couch and just chill. These owners appreciate relaxing over super-active lifestyles, and they place a lot of value on enjoying life."
Wheaten Terrier (Eliot Spitzer)
What the dog says about the person: "Wheatens have a ton of energy, and their owners always need to be busy. They have type-A personalities and a 'never say never' attitude. In general, wheaten owners are very driven and easily excited. But be warned, they also have a little bit of a mean streak."
Yorkie (Cindy Adams)
What the dog says about the person: "Yorkie owners tend to be social types who treat their dogs like accessories or expensive purses—and oftentimes, Yorkies cost more than designer handbags. Typically, this is someone who is into appearance and image. They also place a lot of importance on cleanliness—these dogs are pristine, non-shedding animals—and they want a dog who can easily fit into their lives with minimal inconvenience."
Jack Russell (Heidi Klum)
What the dog says about the person: "Jack Russell fans are similar to Wheaten owners, except they take the intensity factor to a whole new, amped up level. They have more drive than just about anyone you'll meet. They also tend to be wildly successful and intelligent."
Cavalier King Charles (Liv Tyler)
What the dog says about the person: "This breed is incredibly affectionate, as are their owners. They can even be a little bit emotional. A perfect afternoon is snuggling together in bed. Overall, Cavalier King Charles owners are very happy and balanced."
Border Collie (Isaac Mizrahi)
What the dog says about the person: "This is someone who likes to work but can also relax and leave work at the office. They like the simple, rural life, and they're usually earthy, outdoorsy types. In general, Border Collie lovers have an affection for all animals, not just dogs."
Labrador (Anne Hathaway)
What the dog says about the person: "Lab owners are very grounded, stable people. They're very family-oriented, and if they don't already have kids, they want them. This is a dog who needs a lot of exercise, so their owners are usually athletic and outdoorsy."
— Molly Fahner