Dogs of Cambridge

Cambridge is one of the country's most livable cities, not just for people, but for dogs as well. According to the City's licensing data, at the end of 2023 there were about 2,500 licensed dogs in the City of Cambridge. Explore the data to learn more about Cambridge's canine residents and the city staff who work everyday to protect them. 

Cambridge Dog Names

As of January 1, 2024, Luna and Charlie are the most popular dog names in Cambridge.
There might be dozens of dogs in Cambridge named Lucy, Lily, Lola, and Luna, but there are plenty of unique names as well. In 2023, there are about 1,600 different names for Cambridge's 2,500 or so dogs. That means each name was shared by an average of less than two dogs. Hover over the dots on the image below to see how many dogs share each name. 

Dog Breeds

"Mixed Breed" was by far the most popular dog breed in 2023, followed by Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever. 

Dog names and breeds by neighborhood

Each of Cambridge's 13 neighborhoods has a unique character, but they all share a common love of canines. The map below is from our first version of this data story, back in 2017. It shows the most popular dog breed and dog name in each Cambridge neighborhood in 2017. Back then, Cambridge had around 5,000 dogs, the most most popular dog names were Lucy and Bella, and the most popular dog breed was the Labrador Retriever. 

How to be a good dog owner in Cambridge

License your dog

State law requires that all dogs over 6 months have a current dog license. The dog license period in Cambridge runs from April 1 of current year to March 31 of following year. You can apply for a dog license online

Enjoy the outdoors

Cambridge has a wealth of parks and playgrounds. Dogs are allowed on leash at most parks and off leash at some parks. Take a look at our Off Leash Guide to learn where and when dogs can enjoy Cambridge's parks without a leash. 

If your dog gets lost:

Call the Cambridge Animal Commission immediately at 617-349-4376. If you get a voicemail, leave your name, phone number, address and description of your dog. During off-hours/holidays, call Cambridge Police at 617-349-3300
The Animal Commission 
The Cambridge Animal Commission facilitates programs for animal control and welfare in the city and maintains Cambridge as a safe environment for people, pets and other animals, through an educational and enforcement approach. The Commission encourages responsible pet ownership and ensures public safety around domestic or wild animals.
Discover more in the Dogs of Cambridge open dataset