January 25, 2007

top dogs

Labradors Still No. 1, but Yorkies, Dahling, Move Into Second Place

The American Kennel Club ... announced a shift in its 10 most popular dog breeds in the nation and in the city, or at least in that elite group of purebred dogs whose pedigrees and papers are in order.[...]

Across the country, the most popular dog last year, as it has been for 16 years in a row, was the Labrador retriever, with about 124,000 registrations, or 14 percent of the club’s total.

In New York, the most popular breed in 2006 was the poodle, with 77 registrations, or about 8 percent of the club’s total in the city. It has been the most popular breed for two years in a row, according to the club, which describes itself as the largest purebred-dog registry in the world.

But the big news, the club said, was the No. 2 ranking in both the city and the country: the Yorkshire terrier, overtaking larger breeds like the golden retriever and the German shepherd.

The tiny Yorkie, favored by the wife played by Eva Gabor in television’s “Green Acres,” had about 48,000 registrations in the United States, or 5 percent; and 49 in the city, also 5 percent.

Daisy Okas, a spokeswoman for the club, said the toy-dog group of breeds, which include Yorkshire terriers, had risen from 12 percent of the registry in the 1970s to about 23 percent today.

Here's the top dog list of the American Kennel Club:
  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. Yorkshire Terrier
  3. German Shepherd Dog
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Beagle
  6. Dachshund
  7. Boxer
  8. Poodle
  9. Shi Tzu
  10. Miniature Schnauzer
Of course, most dogs in America are mutts.* And some very special mutts are bassadors!

* The word is a shortened form of "mutton head", which, according to the OED, was a derogatory word for a dull or stupid person. In 1899, mutt was used for the first time -- but for a horse, not a dog (it means something like "horse in bad condition").

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