Stumbling online a few days ago (I love StumbleUpon), I found a site listing the 20 most popular dogs in America. The list is way cool, from a dog lover’s perspective, but it made me a little uneasy. Christmas is a “great time” to get a puppy (DON’T DO IT!). I’m imagining families all over the country finding this list and saying, “Hey! Let’s get junior a Labrador Retriever for Christmas!” Or whatever.
I know y’all won’t do that. You all know that a puppy is a new member of the family, not a gift to be unwrapped then left in the yard, then taken to the pound. Y’all know that puppies are a lot of work, well worth the work, but they need time and attention. So we’ve got that out of the way.
Now, let’s talk about the first ten of the 20 most popular dogs.
- Labrador Retriever – sweet family dogs, bred to hunt and sport, loving water. Every one I’ve known has been a sweetheart. They’re large. Up to 75 pounds, and I’ve seen them larger.
- Yorkshire Terrier – I talked about this breed a couple of weeks ago. They’re small and fierce. Long, silky hair, they need regular grooming. They also need a dominant owner who can keep this dog from running the show.
- German Shepherd – this beauty is a working, herding dog, used by the military and police. They’re brave and strong. And large. And smart. German Shepherds need to work, to be well trained.
- Golden Retriever – a bright dog, eager to please, full of energy. This gorgeous dog is a great hunting dog, awesome companion, used for therapy dog. They’re affectionate. And they get big. About 75 pounds of big. They also have a lot of hair. I would love to have a golden.
- Beagle – AROOOO! Beagles are little hound dogs who love to hunt and run. Beautiful small dogs with a happy disposition, they make great family dogs. Do NOT leave this dog outside all day or all night. They love their family and want to be with them. Their displeasure at being left outside is … loud.
- Boxer– large, sweet dogs, loyal to family. This dog is sizeable and will need a lot of socialization if you want him to welcome friends and family. Boxers are very bright, bred to hunt, they’re working dogs.
- Dachshund– a small, low slung dog with a long nose and body, bred to hunt, with a keen sense of smell. This little dog is fearless and playful. Not always a good choice for families with small children.
- Bulldog– so ugly they’re cute, this dog is mid-sized, with lots of big wrinkles and a flat, snuffly nose. They’re gentle, protective dogs who bond well with children. A good family pet.
- Poodle – this brilliant dog comes in all colors and sizes. The hypoallergenic coat requires regular grooming. They are fantastic at obedience and agility. Active, smart, no shedding – a great dog who’s gotten a bum rap.
- Shih Tzu– small, smart, bred to be worshipped and loved. This little dog has a warrior heart and a diva attitude. They need a firm owner who adores them.
Check in next week and we’ll talk about the other most popular dogs. And please, PLEASE – don’t get a puppy without doing research. Find out more about the dog’s temperament, size, whether or not it will be suitable for your family. Determine in advance that you, not your child, will be responsible for the dog. Teaching your child responsibility should not happen at the expense of a dog’s life. Make your first family dog experience a good and happy one.
Until I write again …