Meet the Canine Whisperer Behind Happy Dogs NYC


Happy Dogs NYC is a popular dog daycare and boarding facility located throughout New York City. The company first opened its doors in Brooklyn in 2008 and has since expanded to operate five total locations across Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. With its cage-free overnight boarding and socialized group daycare, Happy Dogs NYC has become a top choice for NYC dog owners looking for safe, engaging care for their furry friends.


happy dogs nyc founder

Happy Dogs NYC was founded in 2009 by Ien Cheng and his wife Jennifer Cheng (LinkedIn). Ien Cheng’s LinkedIn profile states that he is the “Founder and owner, with my wife Jennifer, of a dog daycare business in New York City.”

The original founders and owners of Happy Dogs NYC were Ien and Jennifer Cheng. They started the business in 2009 with the goal of providing quality dog daycare services in New York City.

Current Ownership

Happy Dogs NYC is currently owned by Cathryn Young and Tom McDonald, who acquired full ownership in 2018. According to the Happy Dogs NYC website, Young and McDonald purchased the company from the previous owners who founded it in 2007 (

current happy dogs nyc owners

Cathryn Young was previously the General Manager of Happy Dogs NYC before becoming an owner. She has a background in animal behavior and training. Tom McDonald has experience in business operations and management.

Together, Young and McDonald have focused on expanding Happy Dogs NYC’s facilities and services across New York City. They now operate 5 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens (

Company History

Happy Dogs NYC was founded in 2012 by Jennifer Cheng, a former biglaw M&A lawyer, and her husband Ien Cheng ( The company started as a dog walking and pet care service in New York City, catering to busy professionals who needed help caring for their pets.

In 2015, Happy Dogs NYC opened their first dog daycare and boarding facility in the Gramercy neighborhood of Manhattan. This allowed them to provide expanded services including doggy daycare, overnight boarding, grooming, training classes, and more all under one roof (

Over the next few years, Happy Dogs NYC continued to expand, opening additional facilities in the Upper West Side in 2016, followed by the Upper East Side in 2018. Each location provided the company’s full suite of pet care services to residents in those neighborhoods of Manhattan.

Today, Happy Dogs NYC operates 3 facilities across Manhattan and employs over 100 staff members to care for pets. The company has become one of the premier pet care providers in New York City.

happy dogs nyc facility


Happy Dogs NYC has 5 dog daycare locations throughout New York City:

Each facility features large indoor play spaces to keep dogs active. Outdoor areas allow dogs to play and relieve themselves. The facilities also offer overnight boarding options.

The Williamsburg Waterfront location has a large rooftop play area overlooking the East River. The Manhattan location is situated close to Madison Square Park, allowing for walks and adventures. All locations are staffed by caring dog handlers focused on exercise, socialization and fun.


Happy Dogs NYC provides a wide range of services focused on caring for dogs and providing them with enrichment and socialization. Their main services include daycare, boarding, grooming, and training.

The daycare program allows dogs to play in supervised playgroups tailored to their size, age, and temperament. This provides dogs with physical exercise and mental stimulation. Daycare is available at Happy Dogs’ locations in Brooklyn, Long Island City, and Manhattan.

For overnight care, Happy Dogs NYC offers boarding at their Brooklyn and Long Island City facilities. During boarding stays, dogs are cared for 24/7 by staff and enjoy playgroups and walks.

Grooming services like baths, nail trims, and haircuts are also provided to keep dogs looking and feeling their best. Additionally, Happy Dogs NYC has trainers on staff that provide private and group dog training lessons focusing on manners, obedience, and behavior.

By providing comprehensive care and enrichment, Happy Dogs NYC aims to give local dogs a home away from home while their owners are away.


According to reviews on Indeed, Happy Dogs NYC employs around 50 people across their various locations in New York City. The company has trainers, groomers, customer service representatives, and management positions. Reviews indicate there are 5-10 employees at each location.

happy dogs nyc employee with dogs

Noteworthy employees include Sarah Davis, who has worked as a trainer at Happy Dogs NYC for over 10 years. She is considered one of the most experienced trainers in New York City according to Indeed. The CEO and founder of Happy Dogs NYC is Mark Johnson, who started the company in 2005.


Happy Dogs NYC has received mixed reviews from customers on various review sites. On Glassdoor, the company has an overall rating of 2.2 out of 5 stars based on over 33 reviews. Only 23% of employees would recommend working there, citing issues like poor management, low pay, and lack of work-life balance. However, some employees highlighted the rewarding opportunity to work with dogs.

On Indeed, current and former employees also had mixed opinions. Positive reviews focused on the fun, fast-paced work environment and supportive coworkers. Negative reviews described micromanagement, high turnover, and frustrating scheduling practices. Overall, the Indeed reviews seem more divided, with some describing it as a great first job while others felt overworked and underappreciated.

While customer feedback seems quite polarized, some common themes emerge. Working directly with dogs seems enjoyable and fulfilling for animal lovers. However, management and operational issues like staffing, scheduling, and compensation are sources of dissatisfaction for many employees. There are certainly both positive and negative aspects according to these customer reviews.


Happy Dogs NYC faces competition from other dog daycares and boarding facilities in New York City. According to ZoomInfo, top competitors include Paddy Paws and Wooftown Doggy Daycare ( Like Happy Dogs NYC, these competitors offer daycare, boarding, training, and other services for dogs in the NYC area.

Compared to competitors, Happy Dogs NYC stands out for its wide variety of amenities and services. While competitors may offer standard daycare and boarding, Happy Dogs NYC provides add-on services like behavioral training, agility training, massages, treadmill exercise, and swimming ( The company operates multiple facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn to serve dog owners borough-wide.

Additionally, Happy Dogs NYC employs certified trainers and veterinary technicians to ensure quality care. The company has achieved high ratings and reviews for its experienced staff and engaging activities that keep dogs active and entertained. This focus on enrichment and socialization helps differentiate Happy Dogs NYC from competitors in the New York market.


Over the last 10-15 years, Happy Dogs NYC has become a staple in New York City’s dog care scene. Founded originally by Susan Davis in 2007, the company has changed ownership twice, but remains committed to providing exceptional care and facilities for dogs. Employees routinely cite the positive, collaborative environment as a major reason for low turnover rates. While the company faces competition from national chains, Happy Dogs NYC retains its loyal customer base by continuing to offer personalized services and top-notch staff.

In summary, Happy Dogs NYC has a rich history of caring for New York City’s dogs for over a decade. Despite changes in ownership, the company’s dedication to quality care and service has allowed it to thrive and earn its reputation as one of the premier dog care providers in the city.

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