Top 10 Dog Breeds at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Many of America's favorite dogs are competing at Westminster. Here are a few of them.Published February 11, 2013
Mary Bloom, Courtesy of the American Kennel Club
Each year, the American Kennel Club counts the number of purebred dog registrations and determines the most popular breeds in the nation as well as in the 50 largest cities in the United States. What’s surprising about this year’s list?
“Bigger breeds are making their move,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. While some of the smaller or toy breeds were deemed popular in past years, the sturdy and predictable family breeds are still in our hearts.
Moreover, what's great is that dog lovers can see these breeds at the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 11th and 12th. If you come to the show, learn more about these dogs from their breeders, owners and handlers. If you can’t come to the show, watch them on the television. Check out the live television coverage on February 11th from 8pm-11pm EST on CNBC and on Tuesday February 12th from 8pm-11pm EST on USA Network. Television coverage in the Pacific Time zone is delayed for that time zone and is from 8pm-11pm PT both nights.
Here is the list of coutnry's top dogs:
The lively Lab is most popular dog in country for the 22nd consecutive year! Wherever you live, you can see yellow, chocolate and black versions of the breed next to their owners. Breeders 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. 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.
One of my favorite dogs, the German Shepherd is a highly intelligent breed and is known as the world’s leading police, guard and military dog. Moreover, GSDs are also known to be loyal family pets. Think Rin Tin Tin! These dogs are highly active requiring an abundance of exercise or a job to do. Although they are obedient, they can become over-protective of their family and territory, especially if not socialized correctly. This breed sheds, so be prepared. The breed can suffer from elbow and hip dysplasia, arthritis and Von Willebrand Disease, a common inherited bleeding disorder.
On a rainy day, don’t be surprised if you see a Golden enjoying a romp outside in a puddle. Their eager-to-please demeanor, intelligence and patience make them great family dogs. They’re easy to train and great around other pets. Their coat ranges in color from light to dark gold, is dense and waterproof, and may be straight or moderately wavy. Goldens shed, so brush them regularly. The breed should be exercised frequently and fed sensibly to avoid weight gain. Goldens excel at games that involve hunting and tracking, but they will be content to play fetch. For better bonding, take your dog to obedience class. The breed is prone to hip dysplasia and congenital eye defects, so make sure the breeder provides certification that your dog's parents have screened for these problems.
One of the most beloved dogs throughout the world is Snoopy, a Beagle from the comic strip, “Peanuts”. Like Snoopy, the Beagle is nosey. Beagles are scenthounds and were developed primarily for tracking small game. But now, don’t be surprised if you see Beagles working in train stations and airports as detection dogs. Due to their size, intelligence and gentle disposition, the breed makes a great family pet. Additionally, they are also good with other dogs. Generally, the breed is obedient but can be distracted by the scents around him. Known for its bay (its howl), you might get calls from your neighbors especially if you live with this dog in an apartment. Beagles may be prone to epilepsy, ear infections, eye and joint problems.
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 facial folds regularly between baths. To maintain good health, take your dog on daily walks or have an interactive playing session in your yard. 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.
The Yorkie is a big dog in a small body. 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. Due to their size, the Yorkie is a portable pet and can easily accompany his owner anywhere. This breed is not recommended for children who can fall over, drop or sit on the dog. Yorkies enjoy short walks and playtime.
“Although a small terrier, the breed requires gentle leadership or it can take over a household.”, says dog fancier Sharon Haber.
Yorkies should wear a sweater or warm coat in the fall, winter and early spring months. Possible health problems owners should be aware of include liver shunts, hypothyroidism, renal failure, luxating patella and collapsing trachea.
According to breeder, Ruth Pereira, “The head is the most distinctive feature of [the] Boxer.” Aptly named, since they like to lead with their paws, the Boxer is a good natured dog that is an intelligent and energetic family pet. The medium-sized dog with a short-haired coat comes in colors of fawn or brindle, black masked, with or without white markings which may cover their entire body. The breed’s short-haired coat requires a sweater or coat in the colder months. Additionally it is important to clean their facial folds regularly to prevent skin infections. The Boxer requires vigorous exercise to prevent digging, chewing or other destructive behaviors. The breed is prone to cancer, heart conditions, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, bloat and allergies.
Poodles are typically solid colors (ranging from black to brown to apricot to silver to white) and come in three AKC-recognized sizes (Standard, Miniature and Toy). While you might not guess it from their regal bearing, Poodles were originally bred as working water dogs, Although they need to be groomed every four to six weeks, they do more than lie around looking pretty. Considered to be one of the most intelligent breeds, they excel in agility, obedience, tracking and herding. They’re also easy to house train. Experts agree that for all sizes, playtime is essential. Even the toys like a good game of fetch. If you are looking for more challenging activities, try agility or trick training classes. Common illnesses that Poodles suffer from include Addison’s disease, cataracts and congenital heart disease. Poodles shed much less than other breeds and are less likely to trigger allergic reactions.
You can recognize the Rottweiler from its black coat with rust markings and its large and powerful head. These strong and robust dogs are happiest when given a job to perform. Due their confident and alert personality, the breed is a popular choice for its ability to protect. Originally bred to herd livestock and pull carts, Rottweilers still work, but as police and guard dogs, search and rescue dogs and, surprisingly, guide dogs for the blind. While the Rottweiler has an inherent desire to protect its home and family, these dogs are often wary of strangers. With those who know the breed best, Rottweilers are described as intelligent, loyal and clownish in nature. Due to its self-assured nature, the breed has a tendency to be headstrong and needs constant socialization and training. Daily, vigorous exercise is a must. As with most large breeds, hip dysplasia can be a problem. In recent years, cancer has become one of the leading causes of early death in the breed.
The Dachshund comes in three coat varieties (smooth, wirehaired and longhaired) and can be Miniature or Standard size. Dachshunds enjoy the outdoors because the breed is known for above and below-ground hunting. Don’t be surprised if your dog likes to chase squirrels and dig up the ground. The breed is devoted to its owners, but not necessarily social with everyone and every dog. As hounds go, they’re aloof. Dachshunds are known for their stubbornness and determination and are difficult to house train. Apartment-dwellers must have the patience to take their puppy down in the elevator for a walk several times a day. To prevent spinal injuries, these dogs should maintain a good weight, engage in limited exercise and jump as little as possible. If your Dachshund likes to lie on the couch or the bed, invest in a set of pet steps.