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The New York Subway Banned Pets That Don’t Fit Into Bags, So Dog Owners Had The Best Responses

New York subway dogs

In October of 2016, the New York City transit authority made their rules about dogs riding the subway very clear. They informed residents of the city that all dogs, apart from service dogs, must be able to fit into a bag or carrier to ride the rails. When the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) came up with the rule, they most likely figured that people with large dogs would just leave them at home. However, that was certainly not what happened. Dog people will always love their dogs, no matter what size they are – large or small. So after the subway rule was passed, New Yorkers started to get very inventive with how they’d abide by it, and the results were adorably hilarious.

1. One Suspicious Package

The New York City subway system is regularly delayed due to suspicious packages and bags being left unattended. Bet the subway inspectors never expected an unattended bag to be this cute though! Granted there was someone, presumably the owner, sitting right in front of the dog taking this photo.

new york subway dogs

Animal Channel

This precious pooch is looking quite fancy in his (or her) bandana. By the looks of it, this dog is a Shiba Inu, a breed of Japanese dog. While the word ‘Inu’ means dog in Japanese, the word ‘Shiba’ means brushwood, a type of tree or shrub whose leaves turn red in the fall. And isn’t this just the most adorable little red-furred riding pup!

2. Guybrush The Commuter

This handsome ‘lil fella named Guybrush Threepwood Schumacher-Moore (yes, that is certainly a mouthful, but we doubt he minds) apparently neither lets his long name nor public transportation rules get in the way of living his best life. Here he can be seen technically abiding by the New York subway rules in his tote bag during his morning commute. Guybrush was adopted by his parents, Benjamin Andrew Moore and Zanna Schumacher, in 2011.

New York subway dogs

“We landed on that name (after days of deliberation) because it was unique and funny, and because Guybrush, the pit bull, reminded us of Guybrush, the computer game character, in that they were both very goofy and lanky and weird,” Benjamin Andrew Moore stated referring to the video game Monkey Island.

3. Nothin’ But A Hound Dog

This small hound dog is seemingly guarding the subway’s yellow guard line, just making sure that no one gets too close to the incoming trains. Beagles are known as scent hounds due to their great sense of smell and superior tracking instincts, which makes this the perfect dog to guard the yellow line, especially if any wild hares happen to wander into the subway.

New York subway dogs

These types of dogs are also used as detection dogs for agricultural imports around the world. Now that’s a highly employable dog! Beagles have existed for at least 2,500 years, with the modern breed being developed in Great Britain around the 1830s. And obviously, we can see just how adaptable they are.

4. A Husky Tote

Have a rather large dog? One that’s more suited for pulled sleighs than sitting on laps? No problem, you just need a larger bag, as well as some muscle. This New York subway-goer seems to have no problem toting around his Siberian Husky in a large canvas bag. And hey, it looks like the dog is having a blast.

New York subway dogs

In this photo – snapped by digital media strategist Alex Romano as the subway rode through Queens in July 2016 and later posted on Twitter – the other passengers don’t seem bothered or even interested in the Husky tote. But hey, it’s New York City, stranger things are seen on the subway every day.

5. Backpacking Canine

Going backpacking and want to bring your furry canine friend along for the ride? Well, there’s a bag for that too. Forget the yoga mat, this is by far the best type of hands-free dog carrier available on the New York City subway system.

New York subway dog

The second best thing about this picture, apart from the hitchhiking fur baby, is the woman in the green coat standing right beside them and not even batting an eye. Maybe she hadn’t yet noticed the fluffy piggy-backing dog right in front of her face. Just makes us wonder, who were dogs on the subway really bothering before the new rules came into play?

6. The Dog Days

Even after exiting the subway, this dog apparently didn’t mind getting a lift all the way to the front door of his luxury apartment. Some dogs are just big and lazy, and this bag is made just for those types of pooch caught in the eternal dog days of a pampered life.

New York subway dog

Or maybe the man carrying the giant dog just wanted to make a fashion statement by strapping a 50-pound dog to his back. Sounds comfy… for the dog at least. Can’t be comfortable for the human, but it certainly must be a workout. And, hey, he didn’t even have to go to the gym to get a workout.

7. Pit Bull Pouch

This Pit Bull looks quite content riding the train in his sling tote. We know that moving vehicles tend to put some passengers to sleep, and it appears that this snuggled dog is no exception. Perhaps it’s boredom and not fatigue that’s affecting this subway-riding dog, but hey, at least this pair is getting where they need to go — together.

New York subway dog

What surprises us about the New York subway rule that requires dog be in a carrier or “container,” is that there is no stipulation about leashes or muzzles. With their clever interpretation of the rules, clever New York pet-owners like this one don’t need to give up on the prospect of taking their fur friends with them everywhere.

8. Monster Pooch

This picture is especially hilarious seeing as the dog looks bigger than the human carrying it. This man also looks like he has his hands very full with two other suitcases to carry along with the adorable fuzzy pooch hanging on his back. Hope he has a good chiropractor.

New York subway dogs

We do, however, question the strength of those zippers that seem to be slowly opening on the bag. Hopefully, this fluff face is strapped in tight as it looks like they have a long journey ahead of them. The human will surely need a long-deserved break when he gets to where he’s going.

9. The Frog Dog

This French Bulldog looks like he is all smiles, ear to ear. Strapped to his human dad’s back he looks more than ready to go explore the Big Apple and have a jolly good time doing so.  This breed of dog is sometimes referred to as a “Frog Dog” or “Clown Dog,” in reference to their wide facial features and uniquely splayed way that they sit.

New York subway dogs

French Bulldogs are very calm by nature, making them perfect for human companionship and especially good for apartment dwellers due to their small stature. This breed of dog also rarely barks unless trying to draw attention to something they believe important. All sound like criteria that fits perfectly for taking rides on public transportation.

10. Lab Coat

Everyone knows that you can bring your own bag to IKEA. So why not bring the signature blue polypropylene bag on the subway. The iconic Frakta bag is a multi-purpose life-saver for more than just furniture shoppers. Case in point: this Chocolate Labrador that needed a subway carrier.

New York subway dogs

Nothing is about to stop this man from taking his pooch with him on the subway train. From the looks of this picture, we wonder whether this guy actually carried the dog on the train or if he just slipped him in the bag after seating himself on the train. Either way, he was bagged and not technically breaking any rules when the photo was snapped.

11. The Work Around

Perhaps inspired by the DIY spirit of IKEA, this woman got very creative to get around the New York City subway rule on dogs. Only minimal tools are needed to cut out some leg-holes on an old IKEA bag and convert it in to the perfect, stealth subway dog carrier. This pooch looks pretty pleased to be in on it all.

New York subway dogs


As some of the most ingenious people in the world, New Yorkers know how to get things done and know how to work around the rules. This subway-riding woman wasn’t about to strain her body by actually carrying her large dog on the subway. Kudos to her!

12. Boat & Tote

This little Border Collie named Bella may not look it here, but she loves getting in her subway bag and taking the train, as her owner has attested. This picture was snapped by a passenger on the train and posted to Reddit where it quickly went viral.

New York subway dogs


According to Bella’s owner, she totes the dog around in a ‘Boat and Tote’ bag from L.L. Bean. Seems to us like the perfect size bag for Bella! Bella is a rescue dog and according to a DNA test she is a Border Collie mix with some Chow Chow in her. And we could just eat her up!

13. This Is Legal, Right?

Here is another example of a woman technically not breaking any of the New York City subway rules. The dog is in a bag, as you can see. It’s just simply too big for the woman to carry. After all, the dog probably weighs just as much as the petite woman with him.

New York subway dogs

This woman isn’t going to be stopped from bringing her doggo with her wherever she wants to go, and she isn’t about to get a ticket for it either. Now that’s the New York spirit! When life’s rules try to bring you down, get creative and stick it back to ‘em.

14. I Got Him At IKEA…

Apparently, those large blue IKEA bags are the preferred method of transporting large dogs on the New York City subway system. Or perhaps all of these people are merely on their way back from IKEA… did they start selling dogs?

New York subway dogs

Just joking. IKEA doesn’t sell dogs. AND you should always adopt dogs, not buy. Even if you are looking for a specific breed of dog, there are tons of homeless dogs in shelters just waiting to be adopted into a loving home. Some shelters even specialize in carrying certain breeds of dogs. So you can surely find the type of dog you are looking for at a shelter and then carry it home with you in a huge bag on the subway.

15. If The Bag Fits…

With the New York subway ban on dog unless they fit into a bag, preparing for a journey underground perhaps takes a little more time than before. However, the glory of it all hasn’t been lost on doting adoring onlookers (nor good-spirited commuters, apparently). We’re sure this precious Black Lab and its human got many an adoring stare.

New York subway dog


This adorable pair about to board the subway even match! While the new public transit regulation may have made some pet owner grumble, from what we’ve seen here, most people have had enough dogged determination to keep life running as usual – dogs in tow and all.

16. Smiling Doggo

This pug is all smiles in his zipped tote bag just waiting on the platform for the subway train to come. Compared to a lot of other dog owners in New York City, this little pug’s owner has it easy carrying around a little dog on the journey.

New York subway dogs

Viewing NYC

All non-service dogs are required to be in a carrier or bag of some sort on the New York City subway, that even includes emotional support animals. Emotional support animals differ from service animals in that they receive no specific training yet still provide support, or comfort to an individual suffering from a psychological disability. This pleasant-looking pooch certainly looks like it would lift the spirits of anyone it encountered.

17. Sleepy Pupper

This sleepy little fella is all tuckered out from what must have been a long day at the office with its human. In this photo, the pupper can be seen peacefully nodding off on the New York City subway in his tote bag.



From the looks of it, this Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is demonstrating some royally good behavior. Ranked the 19th most popular breed of dog in US households, the Cavalier King is known for being a very friendly breed of dog, often regarding all humans as friends. And who wouldn’t want to be friend with this dozing doggy.

18. Upside Down Dog

This dog looks like he’s having the time of his life people watching on the New York City subways system. And why not? The subway is a great place to people watch. This dog looks super comfortable in his custom doggy backpack.

New York subway dogs

Viewing NYC

This photogenic Corgi definitely knows how to pose for the camera, even if it’s in an upside down position. The word Corgi is actually a Welsh word meaning “dwarf dog,” in reference to their small stature. Queen Elizabeth II has long been known for her love of Corgis, having owned several throughout her lifetime. And we can definitely see why they make good companions.

19. The Sideways Doggo

This beautiful white Husky dog with piercing blue eyes looks like he’s a bit confused as to why he’s being schlepped around the New York City subway like a baby in a swaddle. But it doesn’t look like he minds too much.

New York subway dogs


While some dog owners opt for specialized bags made especially for carrying dogs, this dog owner just opted to carry his big dog around in a Champion gym bag. Hey, if it works, it works. As long as this doggo gets to where he’s going safely without breaking any New York City subway rules, that’s all that matters. What a champ!

20. Pooch In A Pouch

This white poof of a dog is poignantly posing for the camera as he is being carried by his owner in a tote bag. But one very important question remains – how did all that fluff fit in one bag?! Based on the size of his head he is one large dog, but the size of the bag suggests otherwise.


In the year 2017, after the implementation of rule requiring pets in carriers, the New York City transit system issued around 70,000 total summonses for transit violations across the city. Surprisingly only 85 of those summonses were issued due to animal violations. And from the looks of it, this snug ‘lil buddy was not one of them.

21. Small Dogs Too

This little hitchhiker looks like he was just caught red-handed doing something he wasn’t supposed to be doing. Or maybe that’s a look of ‘why are you taking a picture of me without asking permission first’. After all, Chihuahuas are known to be temperamental for a reason.

New York subway dogs


Smaller breeds of dogs are more common to see in New York City due to space limitations in the bustling Big Apple. Smaller dogs are more suited for apartment life and riding the subway. But as we have seen, even those with larger breeds of dogs are not deterred from taking them on the subway.

22. Guard Dog

This man carrying his large dog in his backpack just goes to show the adage is true – where there’s a will, there’s a way. No city subway rule is going to stop this New Yorker from taking along his trusted sidekick on the train.

New York subway dogs

This photo was posted on Instagram by user @looningaround on April, 1 2016 and from the looks of the dog, he appears to be a Rhodesian Ridgeback, or a similar breed of dog. These dogs are known to be great guard dogs and hunting dogs. Which makes perfect sense, looks like he’s on the lookout here.

23. Pop-Up Pooch

Fitting into a bag is absolutely no problem for this tiny toy Shih Tzu dog, which when full grown typically only weighs 9 to 16 pounds. Known as a toy dog breed, we can see how it would be more than fun to travel around the city with this little cutie in tow.

New York subway dogs

While their exact origin is unknown, it is believed that the Shih Tzu breed originated in the Tibetan Plateau. The name ‘Shih Tzu’ comes from the Chinese word ‘lion’ because the dog was bred to resemble “the lion, as depicted in traditional oriental art.” Whether the dog should be considered Chinese or Tibetan is a source of contention, both historically and politically, but on the New York subway, all that matters is that they’re snug in an enclosed carrier.

24. BabyBjorned

This dog looks like he’s having the time of his life while hanging off his human BabyBjorn-style just waiting for the next train to arrive. We can only imagine the struggle of getting a dog of this size in a bag like this alone is very real indeed.

New York subway dogs

Hopefully this happy dog-toter had some help from the person taking the picture, unless the cameraman was a complete stranger… in which case hopefully they asked for permission before snapping a picture of the two happy travelers. Good thing this dog also has a leash on, he looks ready to make a run for it at any moment!

25. Spotted On The Subway

Here is another example of a good dog and their owner following the New York City subway rules for animals. This freckled-faced cutie seems very interested in something that is happening on the floor beside him. Or maybe she’s just waiting in anticipation for her stop.

New York subway dogs

Studies have shown that around one in seven households in New York City have at least one dog. That totals out to roughly 425,000 puppers spread across the five boroughs of NYC. So you are sure to see plenty of dogs riding the rails all around town. Dogs are required to be licensed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, however, only around 20% of dog owners register their pets.

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