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What’s your favorite dog? January 29, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in pets, wit and wisdom.
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Our friend Ben and Silence Dogood read with some astonishment the top-ranked purebred dogs of 2010 in terms of popularity, ranked by the folks who should know, the American Kennel Club. Number 1—apparently for the 20th year running—is the Labrador retriever. Number 2, the German shepherd dog, number 3, the Yorkshire terrier, number 4, the beagle, and number 5, the golden retriever.

We beg to differ. In our view, number 1 every time would be the golden retriever. More elegant, smarter, and better in every way than the stocky, stolid Lab, the golden is the perfect family dog and the ideal companion for anyone. We’re appalled that not only the Lab but that barky, pointless pack-dog, the beagle, and the Yorkshire terrier beat the golden in the AKC rankings. (What the hell’s a Yorkshire terrier, anyway? We can picture the Jack Russell,  wheaten, Scottie, and Schnauser, but can’t even begin to bring a Yorkshire to mind.)

And what of the noble German shepherd? We loved our goldens, and still think they’re the perfect all-round dog, but we have to admit that our black German shepherd, Shiloh, is our favorite dog of all time. We can’t say that a German shepherd is the right dog for everyone, unlike a golden, but for those for whom they are the right dog, there’s no finer, nobler, greater-hearted dog on earth. We’re proud to see them in the number 2 spot in the rankings.

If we could do our own rankings, we’d have goldens in the top spot, followed by German shepherds, with Springer spaniels (the perfect midsize dogs) as #3. After that, we’d say it’s up to you. We love most dogs, and are delighted to spend time with them. What breed or mix gets your top vote?

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1. SandySays1 - January 29, 2011

You are intelligent, discriminating, suave, debonair, and oh so correct!!! Goldens are number one!!! And, I’m perfectly impartial. Sandy
visit me at http://www.sandysays1.wordpress.com

Ha! Thanks, Sandy! We too think goldens rule. We’d never trade our Shiloh for anything, but if there were room in our little cottage for a second big dog, you can bet it would be a golden!

2. nikki counts - January 29, 2011

My favorite dog of my life was a Doberman Pinscher. The smartest, most loyal, best friend I’ve ever had. I had never considered having one before. She was the runt and was going to be left to starve. I took her home, fed her, and she was huge when she grew up. Such a beautiful dog. Little care was needed for grooming. She was friendly and gentle to every one. But once, when we were gone, some one tried to break in the house. She apparently scared them off. The only damage was the screen was knocked out of the window and there was a little blood on the sill (not from her). It’s been 30 years since I had her and I still miss her. Dobie’s would be my number one. I’ve had many other kinds since, including several mixes that were special, but she was the best.

Ack! You have to get another one, Nikki! 30 years is way too long not to enjoy your favorite. We’ve also found that big dogs, even goldens, are intimidating to intruders simply because of their size and despite calm, loving temperaments. We wish we could bottle Shiloh’s bark and sell it, we could take early retirement, and yet she’s so loving.

3. carolyn - January 29, 2011

I’m always happy to see that my choice is NOT in the top 10. When one breed becomes so popular it is usually ruined by greedy breeders that turn them out for the money.

Two of my favorite breeds are Collies and Shih Tsu, both of which I had for 14 and 18 years. I currently have a Black and Silver Mini-Schnauzer ( only 11 lbs. so really truly mini ! ) that is the apple of my eye. She is SO smart and is a good watch dog despite her small size.

Hi Carolyn! Good point! It’s so important to find a responsible breeder. Our friend Delilah is a huge fan of collies, and our relative Rick swears by Schnauzers, so it sounds like your choices are top-notch! We don’t know Shih Tsus, but will check ‘em out. Thanks!

4. Jen - January 29, 2011

So these are just ranked by popularity, right? Not intellect or temperment or appearance…interesting. I’m curious where they rank in these other categories. I go for the smaller, cuter varieties (though that is not to say that labs or goldens or sheps are not cute!). I LOVE the dachshund, and if I could tolerate a shedding dog, I would definitely have one. Greyhounds too. Given my current allergy restrictions, though, I’m sticking with the poodle and the bichon as runner-up.

Ranked by popularity in terms of registration and nothing else is my assumption, Jen! Certianly a poodle is hard to beat in terms of intelligence (not to mention cuteness). Bichons have to be one of the cutest animals ever, though we can’t talk about their intelligence having never owned/known one. But we haven’t known many dogs who were defective in the brains department!

5. Alan - January 30, 2011

My favorite dog is one that belongs to someone else. Preferably someone who lives several miles away. That way they dont wake me up in the middle of the night barking, or needing to go out. They don’t poop in my garden, or pee on my car. They dont shed on my couch, or chew on my shoes.

Of course at my house right now it’s a toss up between a Golden mutt, a Springer, and Jack terrier/beagle mutt.

CC loves Weimaraners, and if I had to pick a dog for my self it would be a Malamute. Glad I don’t have to vote.

Ha!! Oh, dear, Alan! Really, dogs don’t do those things. Really! Shiloh still gets OFB up between 5 and 7 to go outside, but it’s her only flaw, and she’s still a puppy. Give her another year and that will all be over! As for your dog choices, I’d go for the golden mutt or Springer. A Jack Russell terrier/beagle has huge potential for digging and mindless barking. My uncle always had Weimaraners and loved them, but they definitely require a firm hand. And Malamutes need cold! I’ve already had way too much of that! Anyway, let us know what you end up with.

Alan - January 30, 2011

Right now we have three (I should either be sainted or shot at dawn…) A golden mutt who is now at least 10 and won’t take a bath so he only comes in when it is really cold, a springer who is 5 and is RR’s constant companion. His only flaw is a poorly trained bladder (he gets me up at 3 am too often), and a Jack mix who is 10 months and who JJ is training for agility and hopes to train as a therapy dog. It makes for way more poop, barking, and hair than I should have to put up with.

Ha! I guess that’s one reason we don’t get another big dog. Cleaning up after two would definitely be no fun!

6. Alan - January 30, 2011

Love to hear your thoughts on fences. We are fighting with that right now. We have an invisible fence which works great, but we can’t put our therapy dog(s) in training on the invisible fence. Apparently the beeping sound the collar makes triggers an adverse response to any beeping, which is a problem in hospitals, nursing facilities, cross-walks, etc. How do you give a young, active dog some freedom without having to fence in/out the world.

Yikes, Alan, I’d never thought of that! Everyone tells us, “Just take them to a dog park and let them run,” but when the nearest dog park is far away, that’s a pretty crazy option, something you’re definitely not going to do every day. And young, active dogs need their exercise! We’d fence our whole yard if we could afford it, but we can’t scrape up enough money to fence any of it, so our own solution is to take Shiloh to the three nearby public community parks and walk her there. Yes, it’s not the perfect solution letting her run free would be, but on the plus side, we get some exercise, too!


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