The American Kennel Club's list of the top 10 dog breeds in America was released recently, so 40/29 decided to take a look at the breeds.
All of these pictures come from uLocal, and most of them were uploaded for this year's Pup Madness competition, which ended last Monday. All 10 breeds are represented in our area!
#1 - Labrador Retriever
What can be said about the lab that hasn't been said before? America's favorite dog is perfect as a family dog, a hunting dog, and a loyal companion. Originating in the eastern Canadian province of Labrador, labs were bred to retrieve waterfowl shot by hunters. Their high versatility (can hunt in water or on land) make them valuable gun dogs, and they're typically well-behaved around family and friends.
If you're planning on adding a lab to your family, keep in mind that these are high-energy dogs. Give them nothing to do or crate them in close quarters for too long, and they'll lose their classic fun personality and become destructive and unhappy.
#2 - German Shepherd
These highly intelligent dogs can herd and protect flocks of sheep or be used as guard dogs. Around the home, they get along well with kids and anyone who is established to not be a threat. They are not as high-energy as labs, making them a more realistic indoor dog.
#3 - Golden Retriever
These handsome dogs are very similar to labs. Not quite as hunting-savvy as labs, they are incredible sporting dogs, typically performing well in dog agility games. They also make great family dogs and loyal companions. Like labs, they are high-energy and need space and exercise.
#4 - Bulldog
English Bulldogs were one of 2014's movers, climbing from 5th to 4th, and it's not hard to see why. Calm and not too big, they make great indoor dogs. They need to kept clean, especially around the folds of their face, but they don't require much exercise or space to be happy and healthy.
#5 - Beagle
Beagles are a type of hound, a class of hunting dog that hunts small game using scent. Known for a happy appearance and friendly temperament, beagles make great family dogs. They get along extremely well with other dogs and even some other kinds of pets. Their small size makes them more manageable, but like all hunting and sporting dogs, they need exercise.
#6 - Yorkshire Terrier
Terriers are a type of dog originally bred to control rabbits and mice around a home, but by the 1800s had developed into a show dog. "Yorkies" originated around the English region of Yorkshire and have always been show dogs and personal pets. Spunky and friendly, Yorkies make good personal pets for people on the go, since they can be taken to a number of public places that larger dogs cannot go. They can also do well in a family setting. Be sure to give them plenty of attention, though.
#7 - Poodle
Another classic show dog, the poodle is long misunderstood. Often thought of as purely a feminine dog due to its carefully-sheared coat, poodles are actually highly versatile. The odd way the coat is cut actually comes from the fact that poodles were used as water-retrieval dogs, and hunters found that cutting some of their fur helped them swim better. Fur was left around major joints (like the knees) for protection. Still, poodles have adapted quite well as show dogs. They are very intelligent, high-energy dogs that need exercise and things to do.
#8 - Boxer
Boxers are descended from much large mastiff dogs. Their history is fairly ominous: they were bred for hunting large game like bear or wild boar. They would chase the target and use their large jaws to "lock on" until the hunter and/or some larger dogs arrived to make the kill. Their history took a heroic turn during World War I when they were used as messenger dogs by soldiers. They are very intelligent and strong, making good guard dogs and fun companions.
#9 - French Bulldog
A new addition to the list, French Bulldogs are very similar to English Bulldogs. They are slightly smaller than their English counterparts. If you're thinking about getting one, consider the weather: they need air conditioning during the hot Arkansas and east Oklahoma summers.
#10 - Rottweiler
These extremely loyal dogs make great guard dogs and companions. They are also used as guide dogs for the visually impaired. They have a regal history that dates all the way to the Roman Empire, when they were used as hunting dogs to provide food for armies on the march. Despite their intimidating name and historical use as ferocious guard dogs, they are very loving toward family and friends.