New York City has museums for math, movies, food, spies and Real Housewives–inspired art, as well as more than a few world-class fine art collections. It’s been more than three decades since the AKC Museum of the Dog was part of that cultural landscape (it was first in Manhattan from 1982 to 1986), but after a move from St. Louis, the institution dedicated to man’s tail-wagging best friend is back. Canine enthusiasts (and art lovers) of all ages won’t want to miss this collection of dog-related artwork, plus interactive exhibits and a dog-centric gift shop. Read on for five reasons to visit the museum, which just reopened in NYC.
Find your dog-breed match.
Stop by one of the photo booths on the museum’s first floor, snap a quick selfie and behold a delightful diptych revealing which dog breed you resemble. You’ll learn about the qualities of that type of pup, too, and may even discover a breed you’ve never heard of—Berger Picard, perhaps?
Admire a wide array of dog paintings.
Across its two floors, the Museum of the Dog houses one of the world’s largest assortments of dog-themed art. Check out paintings of royal dogs from the 1800s, modern dog photographs and everything in between. Use the museum’s app to guide you through the collection; just scan a piece that catches your eye to find out more. A special app for kids features virtual mutt Arty, who takes younger visitors on a scavenger hunt through the museum.
Learn to train a dog.
Another virtual canine, Molly, will teach you a thing or two about dog training while you try your hand at teaching her tricks. A touch screen prompts you to give commands like “come” or “speak,” offer her a treat and reward her with some playtime. And if you think Molly’s cute, imagine the real Labrador retriever who donned a motion-capture suit in order to create this display and make Molly’s behaviors look like the real thing. (Actually, you don’t have to imagine her; just click here.)
Brush up on your dog history.
As mentioned, the museum’s art collection spans centuries, and its library may turn you into an expert on dogs’ evolution through the ages. Peruse historical volumes and anatomical sketches of your favorite breeds—and don’t forget to introduce yourself to Belgrave Joe, the 19th-century skeleton of a famous fox terrier sire.
Show your love for all the good doggos out there.
Rest assured you will see lots of dogs at this museum. Though real-life canine friends (except service dogs) aren’t permitted, artists’ renderings of presidential dogs, military dogs, show dogs, royal dogs and plenty of other lovable canines will be happy to receive your attention.