NEW YORK — American dogs are having their day as the coronavirus keeps many people home with their pets and boosts adoption and fostering so much that some shelter kennels have emptied out.
But while a lot is changing for people and pooches across the country, here’s something as stable as a dog with a favorite toy: Labrador Retrievers remain the nation’s most popular purebreds for a 29th year record, according to the American Kennel Club’s current rankings. Friday.
The rest of the top 10 includes German Shepherds; golden retrievers; french bulldogs; bulldogs; poodles; beagles; Rottweilers; German shorthaired pointers – and, for the first time, Pembroke Welsh corgis.
Some highlights and details about canine cards:
The ranking indicates the relative popularity of different breeds among the 589,868 purebred dogs, mostly puppies, that joined the nation’s oldest dog registry last year. Registration is voluntary.
The list includes the 193 breeds the AKC recognizes — not Labradoodles, Puggles, Yorkipoos or other “designer” hybrids, at least for now. Races are sometimes added over time.
The chart also doesn’t reflect the everyday mixed-breed dogs that make up a large portion of the roughly 77 million or more dogs in American homes.
THE CORGI CHARM
Pembroke Welsh Corgis (not to be confused with the somewhat larger, longer-tailed Cardigan Welsh Corgis) have a long history of herding cattle and sheep in their native Wales.
But the Pembrokes are best known as the companions of their most famous fancier, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. Another Pembroke was California’s “top dog” on social media for a time under former Governor Jerry Brown’s administration in the 2010s.
The short-legged, long-bodied breed is known to be brave and sociable.
“They’re really cute…and they’re just fun to be around,” said longtime owner and breeder Bobbe Lord of Boonton, New Jersey.
Lord speculates that Pembrokes has received a boost in recent years thanks to some popular corgi-focused social media accounts and the Netflix series ‘The Crown’, which chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II.
Lord appreciates the interest in his beloved breed, but also worries that inexperienced people think they can make a lot of money raising fashionable puppies.
“If you do it right, it doesn’t happen,” she said.
THE RAREEST BREED
The English Foxhound is the rarest breed in the new classification. Large, high-endurance, vocal dogs have a long history in the United States, but are not often found as purely domestic pets. Fans tend to deploy the dogs for their traditional pack-hunting purpose.
“It’s a beautiful breed. I just don’t think people see them enough to know them,” AKC spokeswoman Brandi Hunter said.
THROUGHBRED, MIXED AND NEW POPULARITY
For years, animal rights activists and some humanitarian groups have complained that the popularity of purebred dogs is causing people to buy purebred puppies instead of adopting mixed-breed animals that need a little help. foyer.
And for years, the AKC has countered that breeding helps match dogs with owners who want to know what to expect in a dog, whether the priority is fugitive tracking acumen or a level of activity that corresponds to that of the household.
Now, those on all sides of the debate have something to celebrate in common: The coronavirus crisis has prompted more people to seek out dogs, in every way.
The New York-based American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says it has received more than 1,500 online applications to foster dogs and cats since March 15, up six times from the same period l last year. Seventy percent more animals have actually gone to foster homes in recent weeks, compared to last year.
“During this time of great uncertainty, a bright spot has been the incredibly compassionate response from people willing to open their homes to adopt and foster vulnerable shelter animals,” said CEO Matt Bershadker. The ASPCA currently does not require foster homes at this time, but notes that this may change as kitten season continues.
Dog breeders are also getting more and more requests: Lord says she’s been lining up five to seven a day lately, despite having no puppies available.
The AKC urges purebred researchers to research breeds that are right for them and plan pet care ahead for when, one day, people return to more normal routines.
“We’re in a very unique situation being home all the time,” Hunter notes. “For many of us, that won’t always be the case.”