5 Most Popular Dog Breeds: New York EditionPublished January 27, 2011
On Wednesday, January 26th, the American Kennel Club (AKC) revealed the most popular dog breeds in the country. For the 19th consecutive year, the Labrador Retriever is the nation's favorite dog breed. Although the AKC counts the number of purebred dog registrations and determines the most popular dog breed in the nation, they also reveal the top dog breeds in the country's largest cities in the United States. While different breeds tend to be popular in different eras, geography is also a factor. Here are the top five breeds in my hometown, New York City. 1. Yorkshire Terrier "The Yorkie is a big dog in a small body," says dog fancier Sharon Haber. The Toy dog's long, glossy coat is parted in the middle from head to tail, and requires daily maintenance unless it's clipped short. The breed sheds very little, possibly contributing to the Yorkie's popularity. The dog is brave and alert, making him an excellent watchdog. Apartment dwellers beware: The Yorkie may sound the alarm at every noise in your hallway. like my neighbors dogs do. Due to their size, the Yorkie is a portable pet and can easily accompany his owner anywhere. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons that the dog is now number one. This breed is not recommended for children who can fall over, drop or sit on the dog. Yorkies enjoy short walks and playtime. Additionally, "as a small terrier, the breed requires gentle leadership or it can take over a household," advises Haber. Yorkies should wear a sweater or warm coat in the fall, winter and early spring. Possible health problems owners should be aware of include liver shunts, hypothyroidism, renal failure, luxating patella and collapsing trachea. \ 2. Labrador Retriever Although the lively Lab is the most popular dog in nation, it is no longer the New York City favorite! Throughout the streets and parks of the five boroughs, you can see yellow, chocolate and black versions of the breed trotting along beside their owners. According to Mark Burns, DVM, owner of the Tribecca-Soho Animal Hospital, "These good-tempered and people-oriented dogs can be a pet for a single person or a family." Experts suggest that plenty of activity contributes to this dog's success in any household. Provide toys that can bring out the Labrador's natural instincts. This is a breed developed to retrieve waterfowl, and these dogs enjoy playing fetch and holding plush toys in their mouths. Chew toys can prevent them from chewing your shoes and/or furniture. Labs are known as chow hounds, so you'll need to watch your pet's weight and compliment his diet with regular exercise. Long walks on the city streets, runs in Central Park and play time in the local dog parks can be part of your dog's exercise regime. Because Labs can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia, keep them comfortable with orthopedic dog beds that can support their weight and that they can comfortably stretch out on. This breed sheds, so use a slicker brush to groom your dog regularly. This will keep those short but persistent hairs off your clothes and furniture. 3. German Shepherd As the leading police, guard and military dog in the world, it is no wonder that Macy's Department Store built a roof-top dog kennel to house 4-5 retired police dogs that are used nightly to patrol the store after hours. Although a fearless and tireless worker, the German Shepherd Dog is a loving and loyal companion pet that can be great with children and is naturally protective of it's home and family. The breed may be most colors, but most commonly is black and tan. As heavy shedders, especially in spring, they are not for folks who cannot abide dog hair on the furniture, carpets and clothes. As a slow maturing breed, dog owners must be prepared to provide kind but firm discipline and a secure environment to help the dog develop into a well- behaved adult. German Shepherds are very active dog and require considerable exercise, especially while growing. This exercise can be provided by an active owner, another dog or a dog run full of neighborhood dogs. To keep your dog stimulated, use puzzle toys and turn fetch and tug of water into training sessions by practicing recalls, long stays and drop-its. Health problems of the breed can include: hip and elbow dysplasia, Von Willenbrand's disease, bloat, allergies and cataracts. 4. Bulldog Thirty-nine American universities and the United States Marine Corps use the Bulldog as their mascot. Despite its gruff appearance, the Bulldog is a gentle dog who enjoys human companionship and is known for getting along well with children, other dogs and pets. They tend to be patient and protective. The dog's short, glossy coat comes in shades of red brindle, other brindles, white, red, fawn, fallow and piebald (spotted or blotched with black and white). The breed is an average shedder. You can groom your Bulldog with a bristle brush and be sure to clean the facials folds regularly between baths. To maintain good health, take your dog on daily walks. With his large head and flat face, the Bulldog is very sensitive to heat, so summer walks should be done early in the morning and after the sun sets. Bulldog owners live with a breed that snores, drools and slobbers. Bulldogs are prone to cysts between the toes, cherry eye, soft palate, allergies and several structural problems. 5. French Bulldog If you are heading down to Chelsea, don't be surprised if you see brindle, fawn, black, and white French Bulldogs everywhere. They seem to be the toast of the neighborhood. Distinguished by their bat ears, snub nose and naturally short tails, French Bulldogs are compact and boast a muscular physique. The breed has minimal grooming and exercise needs--a few daily walks will do. Be careful on those walks, though: this breed are skillful mousers. But have no fear, because these dogs get along with other pets. Frenchie owners agree that their dogs are extremely bright and have comical personalities. They also warn not to be fooled by the tough dog with a cute face. Experienced French Bulldog owners agree that this breed is not for the faint of heart. If you have a French Bulldog, you must be the top dog at home or you could have a willful dog on your hands. Specific illnesses affecting the breed include Von Willenbrand's disease, elongated soft palate, megaesophagus and Cherry Eye. What are the most popular breeds in your hometown? How about in your home? Charlotte Reed, a pet trend and lifestyle expert, is the author of "The Miss Fido Manners Complete Book of Dog Etiquette (Adams Media)."