There are approximately 83.3-million pet dogs in the United States. It seems we love our dogs. Seattle is no exception to this; nearly 63% of all Washington residents are pet owners. It’s no surprise, considering what great companions our furry friends make.
Studies show that dog owners have lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides, higher activity level, and less stress and anxiety than people who don’t own a dog. There is something about those wagging tails and wet noses that make us happier, healthier people.
All dog breeds have wonderful characteristics and traits but some dogs are more popular than others. You may have noticed a breed trend while visiting your local dog park or dog day care in Seattle. The American Kennel Club compiles an annual list of the 10 most popular breeds. Is your pup on the 2014 popular list?
1. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador retriever is America’s favorite dog and has been for the last 23 years. The lab, in its various colors, was originally bred to assist fisherman with fetching ropes and hauling nets. They are a muscular, athletic, and friendly breed and are often used as police dogs and assistance dogs because of their loyalty and intelligence. Their warmth and obedience makes them a wonderful family dog but not the best guard dog.
2. German Shepherd
German shepherds are herding dogs with high energy. Because of their strong sense of smell, fearless nature, and dependable personality, German shepherds are the leading police, guard, military, and search-and-rescue dog. They also make a loving family dog but are happiest when kept mentally challenged and physically occupied.
3. Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers were originally bred as hunting companion dogs and are most recognized for their flaxen coats. They are intelligent, hardworking, good natured, and playful. They often retain their puppy-like playfulness even into old age. Golden retrievers are pack animals and will look at their owner’s family as their own; it is important to involve them in family activities.
Beagles have been gaining popularity over the past few years. They love the outdoors and often have their nose to the ground, looking for a new scent. Beagles are spunky, playful, and cheerful, and they make a great family pet. With their size and gentleness, they are fine for apartment living, as long as they get plenty of exercise and outdoor time. Beagles love to eat and can become obese if their feeding isn’t monitored.
Bulldogs were originally bred from mastiffs and were used to fight in bull-baiting tournaments. Today, they are extremely affectionate and kind. Bulldogs are very gentle but are fiercely protective of their families and won’t hesitate to use their muscle when threatened. They are people lovers and can often be found close to their owners. Their gentle demeanor and loving nature make them an ideal family dog.
6. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire terriers, or “yorkies,” were once used to hunt rats in clothing mills and later became a status symbol for English high society. They are considered a Toy Group dog in size, rarely exceeding 7 pounds. Yorkies are a consistent favorite in the U.S. and are known for their long, silky coat and brave, energetic nature.
Boxer dogs were bred for hunting large game and fighting. During war time they made excellent couriers. Today, they are known for their intelligence, powerful build, and love of people. They are naturally protective of their families and make good guard dogs. Boxers are gentle with their human companions and love to please.
Poodles, known for their distinct curly fur, come in 3 different sizes and a variety of solid colors. They were originally bred in Germany as water retrievers for hunters and have been regarded throughout history as a status symbol. Poodles are exceptionally smart and excel in obedience training.
Rottweilers are confident, hardworking, and intelligent, and they have high endurance, making them great police and search-and-rescue dogs. Despite their muscular build and aggressive appearance, rottweilers make loyal companions. They are innately protective of their territory and their family, so proper introductions are crucial.
Dachshunds have a low, long body and excellent sense of smell, making them ideal hunting dogs. They are friendly, confident, eager, low maintenance, and a great household dog. Dachshunds come in standard and miniature sizes and can have short, long, or wiry fur.
It’s clear why dogs are such popular pets. They offer love, protection, and companionship. If you have questions about grooming or boarding your pet contact Central-Bark to find out more.