Big dogs — not that they ever left — are coming back.
In its annual report on breed popularity in the U.S., the American Kennel Club notes that, while the Labrador retriever is again the most popular dog breed, other large breeds are quickly moving up the list, including Dobermans, giant schnauzers and Great Danes.
According to the AKC, it could be a sign of an improving economy.
“Owning bigger breeds – an economic indicator of sorts – has been on the rise during the past five years,” said Lisa Peterson, AKC spokeswoman. “As the economy has improved, people are turning back to the big dogs they love, which cost more to feed and care for than the smaller breeds that saw a rise in popularity in 2007 and 2008.”
Labs took the top spot for the 23rd straight year, the longest consecutive reign of any dog in the annual ranking. The rankings are based on the number of AKC dog registrations across the country.
Here are the top 10, with links to their AKC profiles:
Comparing those rankings to the 2009 list, there’s evidence of a decline in small dog popularity — Yorkies dropped three places, from third, dachshunds dropped two, from eighth, and shih tzus fell out of the top 10 entirely.
Some smaller breeds saw a gain in popularity, like the French bulldog (now 11th). But far greater gains were made by greatly sized dogs: Doberman Pinschers rose from 22 to 12; Great Danes from 27 to 16; and Bernese Mountain Dogs from 47 to 32.
The AKC announced its rankings Friday, in advance of the upcoming Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden.
Three new breeds will compete this year: rat terriers, Chinooks, and Portuguese Podengo Pequenos.
(Photo: Ash, a lab, or perhaps a lab mix (we didn’t ask for his papers), at play; by John Woestendiek)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 4th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, beagle, bernese mountain dog, big, boxer, boxers, breeds, bulldog, dachshunds, dog breeds, economic indicator, economy, german shepherd, giant schnauzer, golden retriever, great dane, labrador, labrador retrievers, labs, large, large breeds, list, most popular, most popular dog breeds, pets, poodles, popularity, purebreds, rankings, registered, rottweiler, small dogs, top ten, yorkies, yorkshire terriers
What do you do when the woman you’re falling in love with has a dog that, seemingly, can’t stand you?
Beef jerky, trust and patience are key, but it also helps to be Jon Katz.
The author of numerous dog books recounted in Parade last week how he came to marry Maria – an artist who was using one of his barns as a studio – and how that required much woooing of her Rottweiler-shepherd mix, Frieda.
Katz was still married when he met Maria and cut a deal with her allowing her to use a barn as a studio in exchange for helping with his animals (a herd of sheep, four donkeys, four chickens, three dogs, and two cats) at his farm in upstate New York. Both later saw their marriages end, and they began developing a friendship — or at least to the extent Frieda would permit.
Frieda was fiercely protective of Maria and, Katz writes, ”whenever I approached the barn, Frieda would fling herself against the door in a frenzy, barking ferociously.”
Frieda had been dumped, pregnant, along the New York State Thruway by a man who had been using her as a guard dog. She lived in the wild before she was captured and brought to a shelter. That’s where Maria met her and adopted her, Katz says:
“They were the perfect pair, the human-canine version of Thelma and Louise, united in their devotion to each other and in their great distrust of men.”
As Katz and Maria made the transition from friends to something more, Frieda continued to act out in the presence of Katz and his dogs. At night, Frieda stayed in the barn. Even though it was heated, it was not a desirable arrangement.
“I was falling in love with Maria,” Katz writes, “and I hoped she would agree to marry me one day, but I knew I had to work things out with Frieda first.
Katz says he bought $500 worth of beef jerky, and began a morning ritual, tossing a piece to Frieda every day. He started getting a little closer to the dog on each visit and, after months, Frieda let him put a leash on her and walk her. “My goal was to get her into the house by Christmas, as a surprise for Maria, evidence of my commitment and good faith.”
Katz and Maria and their animals are one big happy family now, and you can read all about it when The Second-Chance Dog: A Love Story, comes out next month.
To learn more about Katz and his other books, visit his website, bedlamfarm.com.
(Top photo: Maria and Frieda and author Jon Katz at Bedlam Farm; by George Forss)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: a love story, animals, author, barn, bedlam farm, behavior, books, books on dogs, distrust, dog, dog books, dogs, farm, frieda, jon katz, lovers, maria, married, mix, new york, parade, pets, rottweiler, shepherd, studio, the second chance dog, trust, wife
No charges have yet to be filed against a California man who beat a German shepherd and Rottweiler to death with a shovel, burned them and buried them in a pit.
And they might not be. The owners of the dogs say they’ve been told what the man did was legal under California law, because he was protecting his chickens.
The two dogs — named Jager and Luke — escaped from their backyard Saturday through a hole in the fence and ended up in a yard four miles away, according to KTVU.
The owner of that home, saying the dogs were trying to attack his chickens, beat them both to death with a shovel, then took them to his workplace and used company equipment to dig a hole. He doused their bodies with gasoline, set them on fire, and later covered them up.
The dog owners, Ellen Barkley and Rocky Osborn, learned what happened when they returned home Sunday and were contacted by Contra Costa County Animal Control Services.
The couple, who rescued the dogs from a shelter two years ago, said they were told state law allows a person to kill dogs who are threatening livestock and poultry.
“It’s how he beat them. By his own admission, he beat them to death with a shovel,” said Osborn. “They had tags. He could have called us. He never did.”
Osborn said the dogs bodies must have burned for hours. All that was left of the animals fit into two small plastic bags.
“I’m blown away. I’m broken. I will never see them again,” said Barkley. “I want the laws to change. This never would have happened.”
A petition to change the state law has been posted at Change.org.
Brentwood police and Contra Costa animal services are investigating the incident.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 2nd, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, attacking, beaten, brentwood, buried, burned, california, charges, contra costa county, dogs, german shepherd, jager, killed, laws, legal, legal right, luke, pets, rottweiler, shovel, threatening chickens
An Indiana dog who lost all eight of her pups at birth is now nursing six newborn pups left orphaned after the tornadoes in Oklahoma.
The Indiana dog, a 2-year-old Rottweiler mix living at a shelter in South Bend, was close to giving birth, but also close to being put down, when she was rescued by Second Chance 4 Pets Network and taken in as a foster by one of the group’s volunteers.
After a prolonged period of labor the dog, named Bertha, was taken to the vet.
“…They did an emergency C-section on her but all of her puppies, eight of them, were dead,” said JoAnn Palko, president and founder of Second Chance 4 Pets.
The group put word out to other rescues in the region, saying they had a lactating dog who could help if any group had puppies who needed to nurse — and that’s when they heard from another rescue, that had just acquired six newborn pups from an Oklahoma City shelter, according to NWI.com.
In the wake of the tornadoes there, a homeless and pregnant pit bull-shepherd mix ended up in a shelter. Staff deemed her aggressive. (Uunder those circumstances, who wouldn’t be?) After giving birth, she was put down.
Her six orphaned pups, rescued by Lakeshore PAWS, were brought to Merrillville to meet Bertha.
“She was unsure at first, but the foster got into the pool with her and she started cleaning them right away,” Pelko said.
“Here they had this sad mom and we had these puppies who needed help,” said Jeanne Sommer, director of Lakeshore PAWS said. “It worked out great for all of us.”
The puppies, who are just over a week old, are thriving, Palko said.
Second Chance is now considering training Bertha to be a therapy dog.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bertha, foster, homeless, lactating, lakeshore paws, merrillville, newborn, nursed, nursing, oklahoma, pregnant, pup, puppies, rescue, rottweiler, second chance 4 pets, shelter, south bend, tornadoes
Being a Rottweiller-mastiff mix, he — as you’d expect — quickly surpassed the 100-pound mark, well over the weight limit imposed at the Florida apartment complex where his owner, Denise Wilkinson, lived.
She started searching for a new home for him, but, unable to find one by the landlord’s deadline, dropped him off at Pinellas County Animal Services, with plans to pick him back up when she found one.
On its website, the county said dogs are kept seven days there. In person, they told her 48 hours. In reality, they euthanized him before a day had passed.
When Wilkinson, a day after dropping him off, went to pick up her dog, she found out Sunny had been euthanized — within hours of being dropped off.
“He wasn’t sick; he wasn’t old. He still had a long life ahead of him,” Wilkinson told Tampa Bay Online.
Senior Animal Control Officer John Hohenstern said Sunny was aggressive and caused concerns about the safety of shelter workers. “It was determined that because of the aggression in the dog it was not an adoption candidate,” he said. “We couldn’t do anything with the dog.”
Hohenstern said that, despite the wording on the website, Wilkinson had initialed a paper stating she understood that the surrender was is unconditional: “Pinellas County Animal Services makes no promise, actual or implied, regarding holding time, treatment, adoption or disposition of this animal.” Hohenstern said the document initialed by Wilkinson superseded the website.
The county, Tampa Bay Online reports, has since changed the language on the website.
Hohenstern said with more animals being surrendered, possibly because of the economy, the animal control office encourages people to consider other options before dropping a dog there. “We try to … let them know this is kind of their last resort,” Hohenstern said. “They don’t want to do this.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animal control, animal services, animals, apartments, big dogs, denise wilkinson, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, florida, holding, landlords, limits, mastiff, pets, pinellas county, rentals, rescue, rottweiler, rules, shelter, size, sunny, surrender, weight limits
Names: Truman and Duke
Breeds: Duke’s a black German shepherd, Truman’s a Rottweiler mix
Ages: Duke is going on 9, Truman’s 3
Encountered: At the Dunes’ Edge Campground in Provincetown, Mass.
Backstory: A woman named Eileen from Tennessee pulled into the campsite adjoining mine in a cute little Coach House motorhome — just like the one I’ve been coveting. I stepped out of my tent, put my RVNV aside and went over to meet the two dogs traveling with her. Truman’s a bundle of energy, Duke (named after the school that Eileen attended) a bit more mature. Both were as friendly as they can be. Eileen was, too, offering me some of the chocolate tart she picked up at a bakery down the road. She bought the motorhome and started traveling after the death of her husband. She was gradually making her way back home to Seiverville, Tenn., after a trip to Canada and other points.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 27th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, black german shepherd, campground, camping, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, duke, encounters, german shepherd, mass, mix, pets, provincetown, roadside, roadside encounters, rottweiler, rv, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, truman
A St. Petersburg, Florida, police officer shot and killed two dogs Sunday night.
Chris Clark, 44, said he was walking his Rottweiler, Quincy, and his landlord’s Chesapeake Bay retriever, Missy, when he heard a police officer shouting at him — Officer Slobodan Juric, who was investigating a complaint about a suspicious person in the area.
When Clark stopped, a third dog, unleashed approached Missy and the two exchanged growls. Quincy’s leash got wrapped around him. Clark fell and the dogs started fighting.
Clark told the St. Petersburg Times that he was grabbing his dogs’ collars, trying to pull them away, when Juric yelled “mad dog” and pointed the gun at Missy.
Clark said Juric fired one shot into the dog, pointed the gun at Quincy and fired another round, then fired two more shots into Missy.
“We’ve begun an internal affairs investigation,” said St. Petersburg Police Department spokesman Mike Puetz. “There will be a statement taken from (Clark) and from everybody who was a witness in the case, to try and discern the totality of the events and the appropriateness of the (officer’s) action.”
Juric, 25, has been with the department for more than a year. He was formerly a freelance photographer for the St. Petersburg Times.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 14th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, chesapeake bay retriever, chris clark, dog, dog walking, dogs, fight, florida, investigation, kill, kills, law enforcement, missy, news, officer, ohmidog!, pets, police, quincy, rottweiler, shooting, shoots, slobodan juric, st. petersburg, walking
Breed: Rottweiler-beagle mix
Encountered: At a Motel 6 across from the Richmond airport
Backstory: Rocky has been a guest at this Motel 6 — for two years. He lives in a second floor room with his owners, a painter named Dave and his daughter Jessie. At $33 a night, and an even lower rate when you pay by the week, it works out about the same as rent, Dave says. Besides, he adds, “I like motels.”
Rocky can be seen wandering various parts of the property on his own, and every morning when he’s let out of the room, he goes directly to the motel office for a treat.
We encountered him a few times during our stay, and he got along great with Ace. Both times we saw him, Rocky went into a play stance, leading Ace to chase him around the parking lot.
(Roadside Encounters is a regular feature of “Dog’s Country,” the continuing account of one man and one dog spending six months criss-crossing the country.)
Posted by John Woestendiek August 27th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ace does america, airport, animals, beagle, dog's country, dogscountry, encounters, motel 6, ohmidog!, pets, richmond, road, road trip, roadside, roadside encounters, rocky, rottweiler, travel, traveling with dogs
Names: Raj and Hug
Age: Hug (the dog) is three.
Breed: Hug is a Rottweiller-German shepherd mix.
Encountered: In a trailer park in Norfolk, Virginia.
Backstory: I was taking Ace for his after dinner walk, when — as we passed through a parking lot, behind a mobile home park — a car slowly pulled up alongside us.
“He looks just like my dog,” the driver, speaking in a thick Indian accent, said. “He lives right over there,” he added, pointing at a mobile home that backed up to the parking lot.
He introduced himself as Raj, and we talked for five minutes as he petted Ace, who’d stuck his nose through the open car window.
After Raj pulled away, I circled the block, and walked back along busy Military Highway, headed to my Motel 6. From out of nowhere, Raj pulled up alongside me again, this time with his daughter in the passenger seat. He stopped his car in the traffic so she could meet Ace, through the window, as well. Then he insisted I come see his dog.
I went back to my room, grabbed my camera and returned to the mobile home park. As Ace and I walked up to his home, Hug came out, pulling the slightly built Raj behind him.
Ace and Hug hit it off fine. And they are remarkably similar in appearance — same eyes, same ears, same curly tail.
They both enjoyed some water and treats, supplied by Raj’s wife. She works at a nearby McDonalds. Raj, who moved to the U.S. 30 years ago from New Delhi, used to work at a McDonalds and drove a limousine until he got sick. He can’t work anymore, his wife explained.
Raj and his family adopted Hug from a local shelter about two years ago. Raj says he has always had dogs and can’t imagine life without one. He shook hands with Ace before we left and gave him a prolonged hug.
“I love dogs too much,” he said. “Yes, I love dogs too much.”
Roadside Encounters is a regular feature of “Dog’s Country,” the continuing account of one man and one dog spending six months criss-crossing America.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 21st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does america, animals, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, encounters, german shepherd, hug, love, mix, mixed breed, mutt, norfolk, ohmidog!, pets, raj, road trip, roadside, roadside encounters, rottweiler, travel, traveling with dogs, virginia, virginia beach
Carolyn Baker, 63, of Cleveland Heights, died of a heart attack in Feburary — not from being mauled by the family Rottweiler, the News-Messenger reported today.
Baker was found dead at her back steps, wearing only a thin polyester nightgown and boots, with bite marks on her arms and shoulder. That, apparently, was enough for the police, and subsequently the press, to indict Zeus, the family’s 9-year-old, 140-pound Rottweiler.
“Cleveland Heights Woman Dies Afer Being Attacked by Rottweiler,” one headline read. “POLICE: Woman Mauled to Death by Dog,” shouted another. “Woman Found Mauled to Death by Pet Rottweiler,” concluded a third.
As ohmidog! reported in February, police and, in turn, the news media, may have jumped the gun — perhaps a little too eager to place blame on a dog because of his breed, which is, of course, nothing new.
Zeus was seized by authorities and impounded, despite the family’s contention that the dog was actually trying to rescue the woman, and that any bite marks were a result of him trying to drag her back to the house.
It took almost six months, but now Cuyahoga County Coroner Frank Miller says there were few dog bites on Baker, that she died of a heart attack and hypothermia, and that her injuries indicated “the dog was trying to help her.”
Had the results come in sooner, Zeus might still be around.
The Cleveland Municipal Court ordered him destroyed in April.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, breed, carolyn baker, cleveland heights, conclusions, coroner, cuyahoga county, destroyed, dogs, euthanized, executed, heart attack, innocent, journalism, jumping, mauling, news, news media, ohmidog!, pets, police, press, report, rottweiler, stereotypes, zeus