Pawsitively Underwhelming: Museum of the Dog

I could’ve just played Nintendogs and stayed home.

View from inside the Museum of the Dog (via Facebook)

I love dogs! So, when the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog moved to New York City on Feb. 8, I jumped at the chance to visit. Sadly, it was nothing worth rolling over for.

Originally opened in New York City in 1982, the museum moved to St. Louis in 1986, where it has remained until returning home this month.

Located close to the American Kennel Club headquarters and Grand Central Station, the museum was ready to bring in packs of dog lovers, but it did not live up to the hype.

“I love dogs and being with my friends, so this seemed like the perfect combination,” LS first-year Lisette Guacamaya said.

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The majority of the museum is made up of a large collection of dog-related artwork. The two-floor gallery has dog statues, dog paintings, dog photographs and toy dogs. Though the first few paintings and statues were worth a pause and an “aww,” the artwork got boring and repetitive very quickly.

The museum also features three digital displays including one to find your dog breed, learn more about your favorite breeds and play with an electronic dog named Molly.

For Find Your Match, the visitor takes a photo and instantly gets matched with a dog. “I’m happy that it’s a very adorable dog, but I don’t know anything about it,” Guacamaya said.

The display that teaches you about dog breeds consists of large touch-screen tables set up on each of the two floors with various breeds that you drag onto one of the corners. This allows you to learn about the various dog breeds and their appearance, attributes, origin, past, present as well as where they can be seen in the museum. It was pretty interesting, but it was also something I could Google at home and not have to wait for in a 10-minute line. While these were promising concepts, the lackluster displays were few and far between, and the wait definitely was not worth it.

The museum’s website claims that “The AKC Museum of the Dog combines fine arts with cutting-edge technology and interpretation, providing unique and engaging experiences for visitors of all ages.” Unfortunately, the actual museum was less cutting-edge and more a waste of time.

The only part that was genuinely fun and exciting was the coloring table. In the middle of the library sits a large round table with dog-themed word searches and coloring pages featuring Poodles, Golden Retrievers, Dachshunds and Pugs. Though probably designed for children, the table was constantly packed with adults racing against each other to see who could solve the word search first, before coloring their favorite pup.

“I think there are other places we could have gone for $10 that would have been more interesting,” Tisch first-year Ashley Newquist said.

Overall, the museum was a fun way to spend a few hours with friends but not the amazing dog-centric paradise everyone was expecting.

Tickets, priced at $15 for adults and $10 for students, are available both online and at the door.

Email Ilona Cherepakhina at [email protected]

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