PHOTOS: Best dog costumes at the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade 2013

Hundreds of adorable pooches descended on New York City’s Tompkins Square Park yesterday for the 23rd annual Halloween Dog Parade.

This East Village costume party is a chance for canines to unleash their inner Lady Gaga and provides a massive photo op for dog-lovers. Dozens of black-clad Manhattanites jockey for shots of a Chihuahua dressed as a medieval knight or a Maltipoo pretending to be Robin Thicke (from that VMA performance with Miley Cyrus).

The Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade tops my list of best NYC Halloween attractions and should not be missed! Scroll down for costumes from the 2013 parade.

Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke

Halloween Dog Costume_Miley Cyrus Robin Thicke_Maltipoo

This maltipoo was dressed as Robin Thicke during his raunchy VMA number with Miley Cyrus. The former teen star is represented by a Barbie Doll that twerked violently everytime the dog moved. Props for the doggie parents for going all-in on this costume!

Halloween Dog Costume_Miley Cyrus Robin Thicke_Maltipoo 2

Breaking Bad

Halloween Dog Costume_Breaking Bad_Radar the Great Dane

A few dogs found inspiration in the recent series finale of “Breaking Bad”– by dressing as Walter White (above, on Radar the Great Dane) or decapitated drug dealer Tortuga (below, on a Border Collie mix). Notably, this was also a human trend at NY Comic Con earlier this month.

Halloween Dog Costume_Tortuga Breaking Bad_Border Collie Mix

King Kong

Halloween Dog Costume_King Kong_Henry the Welsh Corgi

A Barbie doll played a role in another adorable costume: King Kong and the Empire State Bulding. A young boy dressed as the building, while Henry the Welsh Corgi went as the ape. There were a number of child/dog costumes this year, but this was the most intricate. As a photographer, I can tell you it is much easier to get the dogs to stand still than the kids!

Halloween Dog Costume_King Kong_Henry the Welsh Corgi 2

The She Hulk

Halloween Dog Costume_She Hulk_Fannie the Bulldog

Fannie the Bulldog opted for a Comics-inspired look, allowing her owner to dye her hair green and squeeze her into a pair of disintegrating jean shorts. While other media outlets are identifying this costume as “The Hulk,” I can definitively report that this is a “She Hulk” costume. Fannie’s dad revealed, “She used to be a Chihuahua.”

Rising Phoenix

Halloween Dog Costume_Rising Phoenix_Eli the Chihuahua

I saw some familiar faces this year, including Eli the Chihuahua. He wowed the costume judges in 2010 dressed as an Egyptian pharaoh, and is back as the “rising phoenix” in a couples costume with his proud mama.

Lobster Bake

Halloween Dog Costume_Lobster Bake_Chihuahuas

This creative Lobster Bake costume caused a media frenzy and charmed the judges, resulting in a prize. Essentially a float, it included two Chihuahuas– one dressed as a chef and one as a lobster.

Lobster dog costumes were a trend this year, although this was the most elaborate get-up.

The Little Mermaid

Halloween Dog Costume_The Little Mermaid_Lilly Golden Retriever

Reclining in a red wagon seems like a comfortable way to experience the parade, but Lilly the Golden Retriever was not having it. Dressed as the Little Mermaid in a red wig and glittery fish tail, she bounded from the wagon and sent her family scrambling to reassemble the costume. Still, she was downright adorable in this creative costume!

Toddlers and Tiaras

Halloween Dog Costume_Toddlers and Tiaras_Franklin Pit Mix

There was no shortage of cross-dressing at the Halloween Dog Parade this year. Reminiscent of NY Comic Con, I met male dogs dressed as princesses and female dogs in traditionally male costumes. This Pit Bull mix, Franklin, was a hot mess in his creative “Toddlers and Tiaras” costume. Within an hour of the parade’s start, he had lost a sock and mussed up his blond wig. But he was surprisingly comfortable wearing human diapers!

Halloween Dog Costume_Toddlers and Tiaras_Franklin Pit Mix 2


Halloween Dog Costume_Pinata_Hanso the Brussels Griffon 2

Some pooches maintain a Zen-like calm despite being smooshed into unwieldy costumes. Hanso the Brussels Griffon proudly wore a rainbow-hued piñata… although I’m not sure if he could walk without support in this creation.

‘Wicked’ Witches

Halloween Dog Costume_Wicked_Glinda and Elphaba_Yorkie

I am a huge fan of couples costumes, including cross-species pairings. This “Wicked” costume (from the Broadway musical) was among the best dog-and-owner costumes. The Yorki, named Eleanor Ribgy, dressed as Glinda the good witch while her mommy donned green makeup to go as Elphaba.

Dancing with the Stars

Halloween Dog Costume_Dancing with the Stars_Betsy_Cockapoo

Like many New Yorkers, these downtown pups embrace the fashion mantra, “form over function.” Betsy the Cockapoo wore human makeup (pink blish and blue eyeshadow) and a Calvin Klein bra for her “Dancing with the Stars” costume. When teased with a treat, Betsy even twirled for spectators. Her dad was part of the costume, and was planning to dance with Betsy for the judges.


Halloween Dog Costume_Ghost_Vio the Mutt

A ghost is among the cheapest and easiest Halloween dog costumes to pull together last-minute. But it’s not necessarily the most comfortable. Vio the mixed breed was a good sport, even though his white sheet covered one eye completely.

ET – Who wore it better?

Halloween Dog Costume_ET in a bike_Lola Maltese Shitsu

Another inexpensive but adorable dog costume is ET. It only requires a human in red sweatshirt, a bike with basket, and a dog in a blanket. And yet, there is something so nostalgic about this image that it draws smiling crowds. I spotted two ETs at this year’s parade.

Halloween Dog Costume_ET Man and Bike_Meli the French Bulldog

Who wore it better– Lola the Maltese Shitsu mix (first photo) or Meli the French Bulldog (second photo)?

Medieval Knight

Halloween Dog Costume_Knight Sir Prancealot_Pacino mini pinscher

As a huge “Game of Thrones” fan, I enjoy medieval costumes– and this one blew me away. Pacino the Mini Pinscher wore an elaborate, chain-mail costume to portray Sir Prancealot. More of an armored unicorn than a Knight, Pacino was accompanied by his mom, who was also dressed in fantasy garb, and his dad, who served as the dog’s handler.

Halloween Dog Costume_Knight Sir Prancealot_Pacino_Mini Pinscher 2

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Halloween Dog Costume_Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles_Shredder_Mango Bichon Frise

Group costumes were all the rage at the 2013 dog parade. The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” costume involved nine humans and three dogs representing the entire cast of the cartoon series. In this photo, Mango the Bichon Frise shows off her Shredder costume while her human pal dresses as a turtle.


Halloween Dog Costume_Hipster Dog_Ragu_Dachshund 2

The cutest dog award goes to Ragu the Dachshund, who dressed as a Hipster in rimmed glasses, a straw hat and a flannel shirt. Ragu was calm in the face of intense media scrutiny, although at one point his hat-and-glasses (taped together) fell and had to be reapplied by his mom.

Halloween Dog Costume_Hipster Dog_Ragu_Dachshund


Halloween Dog Costume_Sharknado_Mabel English Cocker Spaniel

Driven by Internet buzz around Z-grade horror flick “Sharknado” this year, shark costumes were all the rage. Mabel the English Cocker Spaniel looked smart in her Sharknado costume– a black vest covered in plastic sharks. She even twirled like a cyclone on demand.

Shark Attack

Halloween Dog Costume_Shark attack_Joey the Italian Greyhound

This variation of the Sharknado costume featured Joe the Italian Greyhound dressed as a shark, and his humans dressed as shark attack victims. The guys’ costumes were appropriately drenched in blood.

McDonalds French Fries

Halloween Dog Costume_McDonalds French Fries_Kenny the Corgi

Kenny the Corgi looked a bit sheepish in his homemade french fries costume. When paired for a photo op with a dog dressed as ketchup, growls ensued.

Anthony Weinerdog

Halloween Dog Costume_Anthony Weinerdog_Coco Dachshund

Disgraced NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has inspired many Halloween costumes this year– both human and canine. Coco the Dachshund dressed as Anthony Winderdog, complete with a hot dog costume, necktie and banner mentioning Weiner’s alter ego, Carlos Danger.

Wreck it Ralph

Halloween Dog Costume_Wreck it Ralph Sugar Rush_Oscar dachshund

Disabilities don’t stop NYC dogs from participating in the East Village’s most creative Halloween event. Oscar the Dachshund may be paralyzed and in a walker, but he pulled off an intricate “Sugar Rush” costume from the movie “Wreck it Ralph.” The costume was fitted around his cart, and he eagerly scooted around the park.

Monster Under the Bed

Halloween Dog Costume_Monster Under the Bed_Baxter the Yorkie

Another disabled dog, Baxter the Yorkie, did not let recent surgery interfere with his costume. He dressed as a monster “under the bed”– and was in fact sitting under a crib filled with dolls.

Soap and Loofah

Halloween Dog Costume_Loofah and Soap_Tessie and Taco

Among the more creative family costumes was this soap and loofah bath-time costume, featuring two dads in bathrobes, Tessie the Retriever dressed as soap and Taco the Pomeranian dressed as a loofah.

Hound of Anarchy Biker Gang

Halloween Dog Costume_Motorcycle Gang_Roscoe and Jax

Not to be outdone, this doggie duo dressed as a motorcycle gang. Roscoe Roo, a Chihuahua and Cairn Terrier mix was the “rider” and Jax the German Shephard-Border Collie mix was the motorcycle. Their parents trained Roscoe Roo for a month until he comfortable sat on top of Jax. He looked regal in his “Hounds of Anarchy” leather jacket.

Joey Ramone at CBGB

Halloween Dog Costume_Joe Ramone at CBGB_Maltese Yorkies

This costume combined two trends from the 2013 dog parade: punk and classic East Village landmarks. Two Maltese Yorki mixes dressed as Joey Ramone and Iggy Pop at the iconic punk hangout CBGBs. It is gone, but not forgotten.


Halloween Dog Costume_Princesses_Gizmo and Brinks_Rottweilers

These male Rottweilers, Gizmo and Brinks, defied stereotypes by calmly displaying their frilly princess costumes. They did not glance away from their dad during the entire event.

Matching Human and Dog Costumes

There were so many cute matching costumes at the 2013 Halloween Dog Parade, it is hard to pick a favorite. Here are some of the cutest:

Halloween Dog Costume_Yoda_Brilla the Terrier Mix

Brilla the Terrier mix dressed as Yoda and her owner dressed as a Jedi.

Halloween Dog Costume_Toy Story_Pepper the dachshund

Pepper the Dachshund dressed as Slinky Dog while her parents dressed as Buzz and Woody from Toy Story.

Halloween Dog Costume_Giraffe_Olive French Bulldog

Olive the French Bulldog and her owner dressed as giraffes.

Halloween Dog Costume_Baby and Dog Dragons_Picasso Lab Mix 2

Picasso the Lab mix and his human brother dressed in dragon costumes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sight as adorable as this baby waddling through the park in a fuzzy green costume!

Halloween Dog Costume_Witch_Princess the Yorkie

Princess the Yorkie and her human dressed as a witch (surprisingly not a princess).

Halloween Dog Costume_Matchingn dog and coat_Fozzie Poodle

It’s hard to tell where Fozzie the Toy Poodle ends and her owner’s fur coat begins! Technically, Fozzie was dressed as a giraffe– but I was far more interested in this as a couples costume.

Halloween Dog Costume_Fall Leaves_Buddy the Yorkie

Buddy the Yorkie and his mom were poised in their Autumn leaves costumes.

Halloween Dog Costume_Batman Family_Apollo French Bulldog

This entire family dressed as Batman characters, including Apollo the French Bulldog dressed as Robin.

Halloween Dog Costume_Nurse Robespierre Dolly Parton_Chanel shiba walla

Some humans seemed to use the dog parade as an opportunity to dress in costume. Chanel the Shiba Walla looked smart in her (rather uninspired, store-bought) nurse costume, while her humans opted for creative DIY costumes (Dolly Parton and Robespierre).

Halloween Dog Costume_Reptar the Pumpkin_Lola the Witch_Chihiuahua

OK, these doggie moms did not dress in costumes, but they clearly support their Chihuahuas’ love of cosplay. Lola the witch and Reptar the pumpkin looked quite comfortable in their costumes.

About Leslie Koch

I'm a New Yorker with a passion for travel and art. I founded after returning from a year-long backpacking trip around the world. Find me on Twitter at @leslietravel.