New Yorkers aren’t just grabbing up small dogs to fit their small apartments, they are also after Rottweilers, German shepherds, and Golden Retrievers, according to the American Kennel Club’s latest list of the most popular breeds in the city, released Thursday.
French Bulldogs top the list as the most popular dogs this year, unseating the bulldog who held the title in 2013. But of the top 10, half weigh at least 55 pounds, according to the National Kennel Club.
“Big dogs can be fine in small places as long as they have adequate exercise,” said Gina DiNardo, vice president and assistant executive secretary for the AKC. “So it’s really about making sure that they get long walks and that they have playtime. Because when they crawl up in a ball and go to sleep, it doesn’t really matter how big the room is.”
The list is based off dogs that owners register with the AKC, DiNardo said. Nationally, the Labrador retriever is the most popular.
“People like dogs that they can be active with: You can run and walk long distances with bigger dogs, as opposed to small dogs. And I think sometimes people like them for protection — walking in the city, sometimes a big dog just acts as a deterrent just because of its size,” she said, but added that small dogs also have their appeal. “It’s a cosmopolitan city. They like the allure of a more exotic breed. They’re also small, they’re easy to carry around. New Yorkers love to be with their dogs all the time: take them to outdoor restaurants, take them on the trains.”
New Yorkers can travel to neighborhoods like TriBeCa, Park Slope, or Murray Hill to find the list’s top dog. The Frenchie is also the most popular dog in Los Angeles, DiNardo said.
“Frenchies are really a New York City breed,” she said. “People love them, they always have. And they just keep growing in popularity.”
Fran Prince lives in Manhattan with her Frenchie puppy, 15-month old BeBe. Prince said she isn’t surprised that more and more New Yorkers want Frenchies, but is wary of the commercialization of a breed that can sometimes accompany a surge in popularity.
“I had big dogs before and I don’t like ‘pocketbook’ dogs,” said Prince, who brought her puppy to the AKC’s midtown offices on Thursday. “I didn’t want a dog that needed to be groomed. And these are substantial little dogs with heft to them. And they have wonderful personalities.
“People have discovered them,” she added. “They’re wonderful.”
Another dog that may see a surge in popularity soon is the beagle, following a win by the breed at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show earlier this month. Mary Cummings, who breeds Beagles, German shepherds, and Australian shepherds in Binghamton, said it is important to make sure a dog is a good fit before taking it home.
“Popularity comes with its ups and downs,” said Cummings, 52. “[Beagles], they’re a great breed, they’re a very family dog, but they do have their down sides: they’re noisy, they like to dig, they can be somewhat energetic, they can be somewhat stubborn.”
Cummings brought along 6-month-old brother and sister beagles, Kiss and Lager, to the AKC. The puppies took in all the attention in stride, jumping up and down, giving a lot of kisses, and waiting for treats. Beagles were knocked off the top 10 list this year, after coming in at 10 in 2013.
“They’re a great city dog, great apartment dog, as long as they get the right amount of training and exercise,” she said. “They’re [a] great big dog in a little dog package.”
New Yorkers will be hard pressed to find any Boykin Spaniels, Welsh Springer Spaniels, or Toy Fox Terriers, which are among the rarest breeds in the city, according to the AKC. As for Italian Greyhounds, it seems the best place to spot those would be Washington Heights.
1. French Bulldog (Credit: Jeremy Bales)
2: Bulldog (Credit: Getty Images / Gary Gershoff)
3: Labrador Retriever (Credit: Deborah Weinman)
4: German Shepherd (Credit: Getty Images / Emmanuel Dunand)
5: Golden Retriever (Credit: Getty Images / Emmanuel Dunand)
6: Rottweiler (Credit: FLICKR/ Roel Wijnants)
7: Poodles (Credit: FLICKR/ Nicholas Lee)
8: Yorkshire Terrier (Credit: Getty/Christopher Furlong)
9: Havanese (Credit: Justine Layser)
10: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Credit: Craig Ruttle)