Lizzie Conklin

Walking around campus, you will find many interesting characters, but there is only one celebrity — and he walks on four legs. 

Handsome Dan XIX has been the face of Yale in both athletic and public events since his introduction in 2021, making him one of the most recognizable figures on campus. The key to Kingman’s — Handsome Dan’s real name — elegance can be demystified by his moderate diet and exercising habits, as well as his sleep schedule. 

“Handsome Dan leads a very active lifestyle and maintains a well-balanced diet,” said Kassandra Haro ’18, Handsome Dan’s handler and a Yale program administrator.

Haro continued to explain that Kingman is a very active dog. When it comes to exercising, his activities are manifold. He enjoys running around the Silliman Courtyard, Edgerton Park and going on long walks around New Haven. He also loves socializing — not only as a duty, but also as a fun pastime. One of Handsome Dan’s favorite recreations is playing tag and tug-of-war with his canine friends. 


Just like Yale students, Handsome Dan works hard on both his body and mind. 

“Mental enrichment is just as important for canine health and happiness,” Haro explained in an email to the News. “He also does a lot of mental enrichment like training, hide and search and puzzle work.” 

Handsome Dan also keeps a regular sleep schedule. He has a long stretch of sleeping through the night, and if he has an active day with lots of work and playtime, he will usually take a nap in the afternoon. Adorable footage of Kingman’s napping sessions are readily available on his official Instagram account. 

When it comes to diet, Handsome Dan’s selection of food is heavily based on the recommendation of his breeder, Wicked Good Bulldogges, who have many years of experience with the breed and whose dogs lead long and healthy lives. 

“When it comes to diet we are big believers in whole foods here,” Jessica Seiders of Wicked Good Bulldogges wrote to the News. “We like to feed as much raw, whole foods and lightly cooked meals as possible along with their daily kibble.”  

Following this advice, Haro keeps to single ingredient treats when it comes to snacks, as they are low in calories and easy on dog stomachs.


“He eats his turkey-based dog food everyday, which I soak in water and broth,” Haro said. “This helps him stay hydrated, feel satiated and digest his food better. I like to add a little frozen pumpkin cube for fiber and his daily vet-recommended probiotic. Sometimes I will add green beans, blueberries, cucumbers or a little plain boiled chicken as a treat.” 

As for Handsome Dan’s Thanksgiving feast, Haro chose a plain Cornish hen, green beans, blueberries, frozen molds of greek yogurt, bananas, apples and pumpkins. 


Not much has changed in Handsome Dan’s diet since he was a puppy, apart from increasing his calorie intake and slowly introducing new foods. Regarding his exercise habits, it’s not recommended for young puppies to do too much exercise for fear it would be harsh on their growing bones. 

Handsome Dan spent a majority of his playtime and mental enrichment indoors when he was younger, along with occasional short walks. Now, Dan has become much more active and enjoys long walks and playtime, especially sprints. 


For health needs, Handsome Dan goes to the Vet Wellness Center in New Haven.  

“According to his vet, he is very healthy,” Haro said. “He has a perfect weight, great bloodwork and is up to date on all of his vaccines and preventatives, [specifically] heartworm and tick/flea meds.” 

Thanks to a well-balanced health routine, Handsome Dan continues to boost morale, lifting the spirits of Yale campus and bringing joy to the faces of thousands of students and faculty staff. 

It comes as no surprise that Yalies very much enjoy seeing Handsome Dan around campus. 

“He is certainly looking very happy and healthy,” Halle Sherlock ’26 said, on meeting Handsome Dan at her volleyball send-off on Nov. 30.  

Daniel Carrillo ‘26 agreed. 

“Handsome Dan is the handsomest dog I’ve ever seen,” Carrillo said, on seeing Handsome Dan on Cross Campus before the Harvard-Yale Game. “I wish I was as handsome as Handsome Dan.” 

Yalies can request Handsome Dan to come to an event through the Yale Visitor Center website.