Washington: A new research has revealed that dog breeds gain more popularity from movies featuring them.
New study from the University of Bristol, the City University of New York, and Western Carolina University showed that movies' influence was strongest in the early twentieth century and has declined since.
(Buddy from the film Air Bud)
The researchers used data from the American Kennel Club, which maintains the world's largest dog registry totaling over 65 million dogs, and analyzed a total of 87 movies that featured dogs.
They found that the release of movies is often associated to an increase in popularity of featured breeds over periods of one, two, five, and ten years.
(Marley in Marley and Me)
Additionally, they found that these trend changes correlated significantly with the number of viewers during the movie's opening weekend, considered as a proxy of the movie's reach among the general public.
(Milo in The Mask)
This suggested that viewing a movie might cause a long-lasting preference for a breed that could be expressed years later, when the time comes to buy a new dog.
Lead author Stefano Ghirlanda said that they focused on changes in trend popularity rather than on popularity itself to avoid attributing to movies trends that were already ongoing before movie release, as up-trending breeds might have been chosen more often for movies.
(Win-dixie in the film Because of Win-Dixie)
Co-author Hal Herzog said breeds with more desirable behaviours, greater longevity, and fewer inherited genetic disorders did not become more popular than other breeds, that is, the cultural shifts in types of pets largely reflect ephemeral changes in fashion rather than selection for functional traits.