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10 Most Popular Dogs in America


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The List of the 10 most popular dogs

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriver chocolate puppy

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Labrador Retriever, despite his name, did not come from Labrador, but from Newfoundland. The area was populated with small water dogs, who, when bred with Newfoundlands, produced a breed referred to as the St. John’s Water Dog, a prototype for the Lab of today. Early in the 19th century, the Earl of Malmesbury reputedly saw one of the dogs of this type and had it imported; in 1830, the noted British sportsman Colonel Hawker referred to the Lab as "the best for any kind of shooting...generally black and no bigger than a Pointer, very fine in legs, with short, smooth extremely quick running, swimming, and fighting...and their sense of smell is hardly to be credited."

Initially, the dogs were not known as Labradors until the Duke of Malmesbury admitted that he "always called [his] Labrador dogs." However, the breed eventually died out in Newfoundland due to a heavy dog tax and quarantine law. Many Labs were interbred with other types of retrievers, but luckily, the breed prevailed and fanciers drew up a definitive standard. Accurate pedigrees of today’s Labs go back as far as 1878. The Lab was recognized as a distinct breed by the English Kennel Club in 1903. The first registration of Labradors by the AKC was in 1917, and from the 1920s through the ’30s, there was a great influx of British dogs that formed the backbone of the breed in this country

Story Credit: American Kennel Club

2. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier brown and black

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Yorkshire Terrier originated from Yorkshire, the North of England. The Yorkshire Terrier's history started in the middle of the 19 centuries. The onset of the Industrial Revolution being in England in that time, many former agricultural workers came to Yorkshire to seek work at coal mines, textile mills and factories. Some of them brought their dogs - various types of terrier of that time to catch rats. The crosses between those dogs produced the original Yorkie. At first, the Yorkshire Terrier was a much bigger than today's Yorkie, but by selectively breeding the smallest individuals, the dog was gradually miniaturized over the years. They were made into a toy dog. The Yorkshire Terrier appeared fist time on a dog show in 1870. In 1874 the first the Yorkies were registered in the British Kennel Club stud book.

Temperament and Personality
Yorkshire Terriers are alert, vivacious, playful, charming and clever. They don't need a lot of excercise but do like to run and play. Despite its little size the Yorkie is fearless, saucy and always eager for challenges. They defend their territory and are excellent watchdog.

Size and Appearance
The Yorkshire Terrier is a long-coated small-size toy dog. The weight of these dogs should not exceed 7 lb., the height should be 6-7 inches. The long body coat is glossy, fine, silky and straight. Hair on the muzzle is very long.

The Yorkshire Terrier's long hair need daily combing and brushing. Most pet Yorkies have their coats trimmed short or shaved for convenience. The Yorkie coat does not shed. Life Span is about 12-15 years.

Story Credit: Zoo Club

3. German Shepherd

two German Shepherds one brown and black and one black

Photo credit: My Four Favorite Breeds of Dogs

The German Shepherd Dog is respected and admired throughout the world for its versatility, intelligence, and loyalty. It has existed as a recognized breed for a relatively brief period of time compared to other dog breeds. The early shepherd dogs of Germany were of several types suited to their environments. Coat length and texture, color, and build all varied but these types all possessed ruggedness, intelligence, soundness, and the ability to do specialized work.

The German Shepherd Dog was widely sought after during World War II, employed by Allied and Axis forces, as mine detectors, sentinels, guard work, messenger, and other services. In America, Dogs for Defense was formed, providing thousands of dogs to the army.

Story Credit: Nova Scotia German Shepherd Dog Club

4. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever 11 puppies

Photo credit: catxdogs

Golden Retrievers were "developed" in Britain during the 1800's. Believed to be included in the formation of the Golden Retriever breed are the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel, the Newfoundland, the Irish Setter and a variety of water spaniels. Lord Tweedmouth takes credit for the development of the Golden Retriever. On his estate, near Inverness, Scotland, Lord Tweedmouth wished to develop a dog which was loyal and kind, yet spirited and energetic, with a love for the water and an ability to retrieve. His early vision of a Golden Retriever was for a dog that would have great enthusiasm for retrieving waterfowl.

Once developed, early Golden Retrievers were shown in England as Flat-Coated Retrievers under the variety Golden. Over time the Golden Retriever made it's way to North America, brought back by people visiting Britain. It is believed that Golden Retrievers came to North America in the 1890's, however, Golden Retrievers were not "exhibited" in dog shows until the 1920's. Golden Retrievers, in the early years were used primarily in hunting. Over time, as the breed gained popularity, the Golden Retriever became a valued family companion, a hunting companion, and a show dog.

Early golden retrievers ranged from medium gold to dark gold to a "copper" gold. As the golden retriever developed and became more popular in the show ring, the lighter colours, seen in today's Golden Retrievers, emerged. Today Golden Retrievers range from cream to dark gold with the lighter colours seemingly more preferred by many than the darker colours of the original Golden Retrievers.

Golden Retrievers today are certainly known for their beauty. They are a dog with a kindly expression, pretty dark eyes, and a wagging tail. Golden Retrievers are also known for their temperament. A well bred Golden Retriever is gentle, kind, loving, loyal, happy, confident and outgoing. Neither lazy nor hyper, today's golden retrievers blend easily into many family settings. But, despite the beauty and the gentleness, Golden Retriever excel at obedience as well. Golden Retrievers strive to please their owners and, once taught what the owner desires, the Golden Retriever will astound you with their willingness to please. It is of interest to note that the first three dogs to achieve their A.K.C. Obedience Trial Championships were Golden Retrievers.

Story Credit: Rebelcreek Golden Retrievers

5. Beagle

Beagle Canis lupus familiaris

Photo credit: Animal World

The Beagle is a rather old breed, whose first mention in English literature dates back to 1475. It is suggested that the term Beagle could have come from several different sources: the French beguele which means "open throat," the Welsh beag which means small, or possibly from the German word begele meaning "to scold."

The Beagle was bred specifically for rabbit hunting, and King Edward III is known to have used the dog for just that purpose. Hunting with Beagles is done on foot, rather than horseback and has been called "beagling." The Beagle did not become as popular in America as it was in England for quite some time. It was not until 1885 that the American Kennel Club registered its very first Beagle. In 1888 both the National Beagle Club and the breed standard was established in the States. These days, the Beagle is occasionally used for practical purposes, for example, sniffing out out contraband at airports and locating traces of flame accelerants at disaster sites where arson is suspected. Generations of breeding specifically for loyalty and obedience have also made the Beagle a fantastic companion, which is why so many families today have welcomed the Beagle into their homes. The most famous Beagle in the world is Snoopy, from the popular syndicated comic strip Peanuts.

Story Credit: Breeder Retriever

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6. Boxer

Boxer dog with little goat

Photo credit: Metro Co Uk

The Boxer Dog's history could be traced back to feudal Germany, where it was a small hunting dog that could tenaciously hold onto a bull, boar, or bear till the master arrived. It was also a utility dog for peasants and shop owners, and even a performing dog in circus.

The Boxer Dogs as we know it today is a bigger breed – a mixture of the German Boxer with a taller, more elegant English import. The era of this modern Boxer began in the 1880s and became really popular in the United States in the late 1930s-1940s.

Handsome dog: Within the canine world, Boxer Dogs are medium-sized dog standing at 21 to 25 inches at the shoulder for a full-grown female, and weighs some 50 to 65 pounds. The male can be taller and 15 pounds heavier.

It has a striking good look with chiseled head, square jaw and muscled body that make for a very handsome silhouette.

The ears are cropped and erect that enhance its hearing – the Boxer most developed sense. It is always alert and vigilant, an instinctive guard dog.

The shortened muzzle makes hot and humid weather uncomfortable for the Boxer Dogs.

The coat is short, hard and smooth, and possesses a natural sheen that can be enhanced with rubdowns with a chamois cloth (especially after a bath).

The short coat cannot protect him well from extreme elements of the weather and thus Boxer Dogs should definitely not be kept outdoors. It is a housedog, sensitive to temperature extremes, does not enjoy the draft, summer heat or cold.

Boxer Dogs come in attractive basic colors of fawn and brindle. The fawn varies from a tawny tan to an especially beautiful stag red. The brindle (clearly defined black stripes on a fawn background) can be sparse, in between or dense.

A beauty standard for Boxer Dogs is that their white markings or “flash” should add to their look and may not cover more than one-third of the entire body. Some predominantly or all-white puppies (known as “check”) may be born in a litter.

Story Credit: Ezine Articles

7. Dachshund

Dachshund puppy sometimes called a dashhound

Photo credit: Breeder Retriever

Short-legged, long-bodied, low-to-ground; sturdy, well muscled, neither clumsy nor slim, with audacious carriage and intelligent expression, conformation pre-eminently fitted for following game into burrows. (From the Standard) The Dachshund is popularly known as a dog of Germany although its origins can be traced throughout Western Europe. Some theories hold that the sculptured reliefs of the Tekel Dog on Egyptian tombs are either ancestors of this breed.

The very name of this loyal breed signifies its purpose ("dachs" meaning badger and "hund" meaning dog.) The Dachshund was bred to hunt and draw the badger, a formidable twenty to forty-pound vicious adversary. This dog possesses confidence and courage bordering on recklessness. He is well-suited physically and temperamentally to pursue his prey above the ground and also under the ground.

It wasn’t until 1888 that the German Dachshund Club or Deutscher Teckelklub was founded to standardize the conformation of the breed. The aim was to produce a dog whose beauty is commensurate with his intelligence.

The medium-sized, smooth-haired Dachshund, which has been the best known in this country, offers the city dweller the optimum of companions. The breed offers a range of three coat varieties; smooth, wirehaired, and longhaired. The breed also appears in two sizes — the medium or standard, and the miniature.

Story Credit: Pet Crest

8. Bulldog

Bulldog Canis lupus familiaris

Photo credit: K9 Owners

Although the origin of the Bulldog today is not known exactly, it is thought that the Bulldog comes from an ancient, fierce mastiff-like breed which was used to restrain wild oxen and to hunt wild boar. The word Bulldog was first used in a 1598 description of a bullbaiting contest. However, it is generally thought that the Bulldog was a well-known breed in England long before. Bandogs, Bonddoggess, and Bolddogges were repeatedly mentioned in English literature beginning around 1200, when the sport of bullbaiting first became popular in England. However, there is a reference to British Hounds that attacked bulls dating back to 395 AD. These dogs were bred and trained to bite and hang on to the noses, ears and necks of bulls.

During bullbaiting the Bulldog had to bite the bull in the nose and hang on, without ever letting go of his hold on the bull. These dogs could retain their hold even after their entrails had been torn out. The dogs often bled to death from wounds received from the bull. Enthusiasts in the early bull and bearbaiting contests included all classes of people. In 1559, Queen Elizabeth was noted to be an enthusiast and often hosted grand social gatherings centered on bullbaiting. At that time, almost every village in England had its own bullring and huge amounts of money were spent on sportrelated wagers. Therefore the dogs were selectively bred for power, courage and tenacity. In 1835, bullbaiting contests were forbidden in England by an act of Parliament. After the abolishment the number of purebred Bulldogs declined greatly. This was due to the growing popularity of the sport of dog fighting, which replaced bullbaiting as a favourite public entertainment in the late nineteenth century in England. Breeders began crossbreeding bulldogs with terrier-type breeds to develop a much more agile fighter.

Around 1840 the existing Bulldog breed was bred to become a smaller, gentler dog in order to create a more domesticated housedog. The Bulldog thus evolved from a sporting dog into a gentler companion, and its existence was preserved by fanciers of the breed in England and France to serve as a household companion and pet. Ironically, the English Bulldog today, because of its extraordinary calm, kind and sweet temperament and disposition, is very different from his ferocious and vicious ancestor.

Story Credit: Honey's Bulldogs

9. Poodle

Poodle with traditional grooming

Photo credit: The Pets Blogspot

Mention "poodle" to someone who has never owned or known one and it will typically conjure up images of pampered pets sporting outlandish haircuts being doted upon by old dowagers... In short, poodles don't do well in the PR department with the mainstream uninformed.

But it wasn't always that way. Historically, it's only recently that poodles have had to endure their bad rap in the public eye.

The poodle has been around for a long time. Ancient Egyptian and Roman artefacts often depict the poodle's ancestors assisting their owners as they bring in game nets, herd a variety of animals or retrieve selected catches from various marshes.

The poodle was originally bred to be a water dog -- retrieving game fowl trapped or shot down by its owners. In fact the name "poodle" is a derivative of the old German extraction "pudeln" which translates roughly as "to splash in water."

The poodle's true ancestry is as murky as the marshes it originally learned to work in. One commonly held belief is that it descended from Asian herding dogs then travelled west with the Germanic tribes known as Goths and Ostrogoths to eventually become a German water dog. Another theory holds that it was brought out of the Asian Steppes by the conquering North African Berbers and eventually found its way into Portugal in the 8th Century with the Moors.

That's why even today, it's believed that the poodle is related to the famous Portuguese water dog -- a working dog with a long curly coat, renowned for its intelligence, speed, agility and ruggedness both in and out of the water.

Unlike many other breeds of dog that were bred to specific sizes only within recent history, the poodle's three primary sizes -- toy, miniature and standard -- have been around for centuries. Aside from companionship, the toy versions and related cross-breeds played a somewhat dubious alternate role whereby they served as hand-warmers within the large sleeves of the nobility and emerging merchant classes around the time of the Renaissance. This practice became so widespread that they and other similarly small dogs became known as "sleeve dogs."

For centuries, the poodle's intelligence and personality made it a favorite with gypsies and other travelling performers who trained it to perform all manner of tricks and skits to the delight of paying spectators. Accounts of famous royal command performances along with stories of amazing street shows are littered throughout the historical record. Variety shows featuring poodles dressed in all manner of costumes and displaying amazing feats of intelligence, balance and agility became all the rage in the 19th century.

Story Credit: Poodle Place

10. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu nicely groomed with ribbon

Photo credit: The Eye Doctor Newsletter

Dogs of various sizes, shapes, and colors have been bred in China for centuries. Records substantiate the existence of short, square, "under the table" dogs from at least 1000 B.C. By piecing together historical facts and documented records, it is possible to some extent to follow the development in China of the breeding of dogs likely to be the ancestors of the present-day Shih Tzu.

The ancestry of the Shih Tzu is rather obscure, but it is probable that the breed is primarily of Tibetan origin. The history of the Tibetan “Lion Dogs” is interwoven with the tenets of Buddhism, which originated in India. The lion was closely associated with Buddhism, but the lion was not indigenous to China, so the Chinese and the Tibetan lamas bred their toy dogs to resemble lions. The Shih Tzu (whose name means “lion”) is reputed to have been the oldest and smallest variety of the Tibetan “holy dogs” and bears some similarity to other Tibetan breeds. For much of the long and illustrious history of China, the breeding of the small “Lion Dog” was a favorite pastime of succeeding imperial rulers.

Prior to A.D. 624, documents show that small dogs were exported from Malta, Turkey, Greece, and Persia as gifts to the ruling Chinese emperors. It is likely that the first small Tibetan Lion Dogs from which the Shih Tzu is probably descended came to China during the Qing (Ch’ing) Dynasty (1644-62) as tributes from the Grand Lamas to the Chinese Imperial Court, and that the Chinese interbred these Tibetan dogs with the early western imports and with the Pug and the Pekingese.

The existence of the Shih Tzu as we know it today is owed to the Dowager Empress Cixi (T’zu Hsi), whose kennel of Pugs, Pekingese, and Shih Tzu was world renowned. Although she carefully supervised the kennel during her lifetime and attempted to keep the three imperial breeds separate, the actual breeding was carried out by palace eunuchs who secretly crossed the breeds to reduce size and produce unusual and desirable markings. After her death in 1908, the kennels were dispersed and palace breeding became haphazard. Some breeding was still practiced by private individuals and specimens were exhibited, but the dogs were almost impossible to acquire. So far as is known, the breed became extinct in China after the Communist revolution.

Seven dogs and seven bitches comprise the gene pool of all existing Shih Tzu. These fourteen include the Pekingese dog used in an admitted cross in England in 1952--a cross which caused considerable trouble, as it was done by a newcomer to the breed and reported after the fact. The other foundation dogs included three Shih Tzu imported from China that became the foundation of the Taishan kennel of Lady Brownrigg in England and eight additional imports to England between 1933 and 1959. Three other Shih Tzu were imported into Norway from China in 1932 by Mrs. Henrick Kauffman, including a bitch that was the only Shih Tzu bred in the Imperial Palace to reach the Western world.

Returning military personnel brought some of the first Shih Tzu into the United States during the late 1940s and 1950s and began breeding programs. The unique beauty and outstanding temperament of this “new” breed quickly found favor with the fancy. From the first day of formal AKC recognition (Sept. 1, 1969), the Shih Tzu catapulted from a relatively unknown breed to one of the most glamorous and popular of all canine companions.

Story Credit: American Shih Tzu Club

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