Thursday, January 31, 2008

Favorite Dog Breeds

I was planning on blogging about something erudite about my writing this week... until I got yesterday’s newsletter from Dr. Jon.

Now, Dr. Jon e-mails out a nearly daily newsletter relating to pets, primarily dogs. He’s affiliated with, which advertises a lot of pet-related goods and services, especially health insurance. But a lot of his newsletters are well worth reading. And yesterday’s was particularly interesting to me. It concerned which dog breeds were the most popular in the country... and which were most popular by major city.

The results were based on a survey by the American Kennel Club. Unsurprisingly, Labrador Retrievers remained at the top of the entire popularity list. The top 10 all-over breeds were:
1. Labrador retrievers
2. Yorkshire terriers
3. German shepherds
4. Golden retrievers
5. Beagles
6. Boxers
7. Dachshunds
8. Poodles
9. Shih Tzus
10. Bulldog

Of course I had to check out whether Cavalier King Charles spaniels made any of the city lists. They did! They made it to the top 10 in several different cities--but not Los Angeles, where Lexie and I live. Those smart cities are Atlanta, Dallas, Honolulu, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, and Seattle.

Also, Cavaliers came in 25th in numbers registered by the AKC last year. That’s a lot of Cavaliers! And there are probably more Cavaliers registered by the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club USA, the original Cavalier club in this country, not affiliated with the AKC.

Okay, do you think I’m obsessed by Cavaliers? Count on it. Maybe it helps that Lexie is lying on my lap at the computer as I write this. She’s always an inspiration to my writing, and maybe she used doggy ESP to get me to use this topic today.

But I also had to see if Pulik (that’s the plural of Puli) were mentioned anywhere. My older son recently got a Puli puppy--a Hungarian sheepdog--and I think they’re even rarer than Cavaliers used to be when I got my first one, many years ago. On a list of 157 breeds recognized by the AKC, Pulik were number 141.

So will I use any of this information in my writing? Could be. My next Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery had quite a few Labs as characters, and I thought perhaps they would be featured on the cover which, as #1, could help with the book’s popularity. But I recently got the wonderful cover for the June 2008 release, and it instead has three adorable Akitas on the cover--51st on the AKC list, but also important to DOUBLE DOG DARE.



Anonymous said...

Any chance we can see a preview of the cover? I always look forward to seeing the covers of new books from my favorite series...and Berkley Prime Crime does such an amazing job!

Lee Lofland said...

One of my favorite pets ever was a black lab. He was one of two canine partners I had when I was a police officer. When I retired from the department he retired, too, so he could continue to live with me (actually, that was my choice, but he agreed). They're truly wonderful animals.

By the way, you might be interested in reading my blog today. It's about police dogs.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting stuff.

Linda O. Johnston said...

You're right, "anonymous"--I need to get the cover onto my website, at least! And, Lee, I found your blog about police dogs fascinating. While traveling earlier this month, I met a beagle in Australia that was trained to sniff out any illegal food or animal products in luggage. The handler had him take time from his duties and pose for me.

Cavalier Google Group said...

I'm probably as obsessed with my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bentley, as you are with Lexie. Thanks for your info on the breed rankings - very interesting. I maintain a website for Cavaliers and I hope you don't mind if I share some of that data with my Cavalier-loving friends!

Kris said...

I think it would be fun to see a Greater Swiss Mountain dog in one of your books. :)
That's the bread of my current dog and they aren't very popular, but she is so pretty and a lot of fun. Nothing is better than a dog with charactor.

Anonymous said...

I think Kendra should sit an American Eskimo Dog. They are extremely cute, devote themselves to training humans (came to this country as circus dogs)and the young ones can jump very high fences, which might provide a useful plot point for you. The fact that I am owned by one has nothing to do with it;.
I like Kendra. I wish she would sit something very exotic, either a rare dog breed (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, for example?) or some small cute exotic animal (do people have koala bears as pets?) so I could read about it.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I don't know whether anyone is reading posts this far back, but I appreciate all the comments--and would love to include the breeds you all mentioned. I'm working on Kendra #7 and just may be able to work some of them ones besides Cavaliers (of course!) in... stay tuned!