Jake is going to get a swelled head over the latest “news” on what breed is top dog. For the 19th year in a row, Labrador retrievers are the most popular pooches in the US.
But Jake and his ilk (and there a lot of his ilk, it seems) may have to watch their tails: The American Kennel Club, which bestows these titles, says German shepherds are rapidly gaining popularity. This year, they displaced Yorkshire terriers for the No. 2 slot. This is the first time in three decades German shepherds have held such high ranking, according to the AKC.
“Labs have been Americas top dog for nearly two decades due to their loyal and gentle nature,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “But the German Shepherd Dog has gained ground recently, quite possibly due to the increased attention they receive for their security efforts at home and abroad.”
We’re not sure that’s quite the reason, but it sounds more feasible than any we’ve come up with yet. (Rin Tin Tin reruns a hit on Dish networks? More people discovering the absolutely charming old movie, You Never Can Tell? ) And why, in the AKC literature, are shepherds called “German Shepherd Dogs“? I doubt anyone is going to think they’re German shepherd cats or German shepherd hamsters… I haven’t seen other breeds have the word “dog” in their title, but then again, I haven’t looked very hard.
These dogs were followed by the Yorkshire terrier, the golden retriever and the beagle. Actually, that would make kind of a cute parade, especially with the wee terrier in the middle. Click here for a complete list of the top 10 dogs, and more about them.
(I should make a disclaimer Jake won’t like. We are not entirely sure he is all Lab. He came to us at six months as a foster dog with no known background. He looks at least 98 percent lab, but his tail is not what most labs wag around their hindquarters. It’s supposed to be like an “otter tail,” according to literature. I haven’t seen many otter tails, and when I have, they’ve been under water, but one gets the impression they’re fluffy. Jake’s is more like a stick. You can see it on the right. Not exactly on the par with one of the hallmarks of his breed. But we adore him, even if his otter tail looks more like an oak twig.)