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Tag: top ten

Supersize me: Americans turning to big dogs

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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:

1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd Dog
3. Golden Retriever
4. Beagle
5. Bulldog
6. Yorkshire Terrier
7. Boxer
8. Poodle
9. Rottweiler
10. Dachshund

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)

Vick tops lists of most-hated athletes

For the second year in a row, Michael Vick has been rated the most hated man in sports, according to an annual Forbes magazine poll.

The NFL quarterback, who completed his sentence on dogfighting charges last year, was disliked– or worse — by 69 percent of respondents.

Vick, now with the Philadelphia Eagles, was one of five NFL figures on the 10 most-hated list.

Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, took second place on the list with a 66 percent disapproval rating. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Rothlisberger, who was embroiled in a sexual assault investigation this spring, ranked third with a 57 percent rating.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tied for fourth with Tiger Woods.

Labs still #1, but German shepherds are rising

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For the 19th consecutive year, the Labrador retriever is the most popular purebred dog in America — but its lead is slipping, according to the American Kennel Club.

The AKC released its 2009 registration statistics today during a press conference in New York City, and they show the German shepherd overtook the Yorkshire terrier last year to become the second most popular breed in the nation for the first time in more than three decades. 

Should it continue its climb, the German shepherd would return to the position it held in the 1920s, before slipping in popularity until after World War II.

“Labs have been America’s top dog for nearly two decades due to their loyal and gentle nature,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson.  “But the German shepherd dog has gained ground recently, quite possibly due to the increased attention they receive for their security efforts at home and abroad.  Hailed as the world’s leading police, guard and military dog, this energetic and fun-loving breed is a loyal family pet, ideal companion and dependable K-9 partner when duty calls.”

(The AKC, and many others, insist on calling German shepherds “German Shepherd Dogs,” apparently to avoid confusion with those who watch sheep in Germany.)

Here are the AKC’s top ten, with links to AKC pages with information on those breeds.

2009 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.
1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd Dog 
3. Yorkshire Terrier
4. Golden Retriever
5. Beagle
6. Boxer
7. Bulldog     
8. Dachshund
9. Poodle      
10. Shih Tzu 

(Photo: The German shepherd is No. 2 and rising fast/by John Woestendiek)

Top ten dog parks in America

pointisabelPetside.com, which may love lists even more than dogs, has come out with the Top 10 Dog Parks in the U.S.

Topping the list is Point Isabel Dog Park in Richmond, California, recognized for its scenery, wide range of free activities, swimming holes and on-site cafe — all set on 23 leash-free acres.

Here’s the rest of the top five.

2. Dog Wood Dog Park in Jacksonville, Florida offers 25 acres of fenced play area, swimming, Frisbee fields, a sand pile for digging, and park-provided toys. There are designated areas for small dogs. Dues runs $289 annually, though day passes are available.

3. Jackson’s Howabaloo Dog Park in Edinboro, Pennsylvania features swimming and hiking, a play area just for special needs dogs. Dues runs $269 annually, but monthly and daily passes are available.

4. Fort Woof in Fort Worth, Texas has free admission, special events and the added benefit of being open after the sun goes down. The park is well-lit and stays open until 11:30 p.m.

5. Shaggy Pines Dog Park  in Ada, Michigan has  jogging and hiking trails, a swimming pond and play areas for different sized dogs. There’s also a coffee bar and lounge. Membership starts at $256 per year.

Rounding out the list are Bea Arthur Dog Park in Norfolk, Va.; Tompkins Square Dog Run in New York City; Ossining Dog Park in Westchester, N.Y.; Rocky Top Dog Park in Kingston, N.J.; and Happy Tails Dog Park in Plantation, Fla.

In recent months, Petside.com has also put out lists of the dog-friendliest college campuses, top dog beaches and dog-friendliest hotel chains.

For the dog park list, Petside.com says it took into consideration amenities, activities, hours of operation, and cost of entry.

(Photo of Jimmy at Point Isabel Dog Park, by Michael V., via Yelp.com)

Back to school: Top 10 pet-friendly colleges

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It’s that time of year again — when students around the country head off to college, bidding farewell to mom, dad and, perhaps toughest of all, their dogs.

Solution? Go to a pet-friendly college.

Petside.com is back with another top 10 list, this time of the most pet-friendly college campuses.

Topping the list is Eckerd College in St. Petersburg Florida, with its four pet-friendly, air-conditioned dorm “clusters.” Students are allowed to have cats and dogs (under 40 pounds) as well as snakes and fish.

The list is based on the quantity and quality of pet-friendly housing as well as the types of pets allowed, Petside says.

(What Petside and the list don’t make a point of stressing is that most so-called pet friendly campuses regularly discriminate against big dogs, blacklisting — sorority-style – any beast whose weight exceeds its arbitrary limit, usually 40 pounds. )

The rest of the top five break down this way:

2. Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri offers one dorm as the designated pet dorm, allowing dogs, cats, hamsters and guinea pigs.

3. Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania allows students to bring their family pets along to school and live in the “Pet House” dorm. Cats and dogs less than 40 pounds, small birds, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, turtles and fish are allowed.

4. Principa College in Elsah, Illinois has seven dorms and university apartments that allow pets. Students may bring dogs, cats, rabbits, caged animals, and aquatic pets.

5. California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California allows cats in all dorms, as well as small caged and aquatic animals. Dogs are not permitted. Animal lovers can also join the Caltech Animal Team (CAT), a club devoted to caring for homeless and abandoned animals, especially cats, who live on the Caltech campus and nearby grounds.

“At Petside, we know how much the companionship of a pet can benefit a college student, particularly in the form of stress-relief and as a remedy for homesickness,” said Joshua Fried, Director, Petside.com. “We are pleased to know that so many of America’s colleges are welcoming responsible students and their pets.”

Also making the top ten, in this order, were: University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign, University of Idaho, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, State University of New York at Canton and Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.

The top 10 pet peeves of dogs

We’re not taking credit (or blame) for these, just passing them along, as they were passed along to us — the top 10 Pet Peeves of Dogs:

1. Blaming your farts on me … Not funny … Not funny at all.

2. Yelling at me for barking. I’M A DAMN DOG.

3.Taking me for a walk, then not letting me check stuff out. Exactly whose walk is this anyway?

4. Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose. Stop it!

5. Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons. Now you know why we chew your stuff up when you’re not home.

6. The sleight of hand, fake fetch throw. You fooled a dog! Woo hooo! What a proud moment for the top of the food chain.

7. Taking me to the vet for ‘the big snip’, then acting surprised when I freak out every time we go back!

8. Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry, but I haven’t quite mastered that handshake thing yet.

9.Dog sweaters. Hello??? Haven’t you noticed the fur?

10.How you act disgusted when I lick myself. Look, we both know the truth. You’re just jealous.

Quiet Waters makes top dog beach list

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Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis has been named the No. 2 dog-friendly beach in the nation in a listing released by the pet website, Petside.com.

The “Top 10 Dog-Friendly Beaches” were selected for their “outstanding features and promise of fun for dogs and their owners alike.”

The folks at Petside chose Cape San Blas, in Port St. Joe, Florida, as the No.1 dog-friendliest beach, due to its “year-round, leash-free policies and plethora of dog-friendly activities,” including a sailing program that welcomes dogs aboard.

As for Quiet Waters, Petside didn’t go into much detail, praising only that it was a “fenced off area” and  sponsors the annual Howl-O-Ween Barkin Bash costume parade for dogs and their owners.

Here’s the rest of the top 5, which, strangely, include one where leashes are required.

3. Block Island (Rhode Island) is a small dog-friendly island open year-round. The beach has a relaxed leash policy, and bans all motor vehicles, making it a safe haven for your furry friend to roam around.

4. Cannon Beach (Cannon Beach, Oregon) is a four mile stretch of beach along the Pacific conveniently located near a town filled with dog-friendly hotels, restaurants and shops. Dogs must stay on-leash, but the view is worth it.

5. Fort De Soto Park (St. Petersburg, Florida) has the unique Paw Playground, consisting of fenced-in areas for both big dogs and small dogs. The park provides dog showers, a dog beach and fresh drinking water.

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