In the past years, America has seen an increase in the popularity of miniature dog breeds, like the Yorkshire Terrier and the Miniature Schnauzer. They’re cute, cuddly and make for an eye-grabbing fashion statement. But with the New Year heralding a slew of social and cultural changes, not least among them the economic recession, American families might think differently about buying a new pet this time around.
In tough economic times, a puppy could be seen as too high-end of an accessory. Housebreaking such miniature breeds can be especially taxing. They require constant attention and grooming. They can be feisty and temperamental. Teaching them to use the dog toilet, might be too much of a chore for the working family.However, there’s no underestimating the power of celebrity. While working families might choose to adopt more practical breeds of dogs, Hollywood stars will likely continue their love affair with miniature pups.
Last year, the Shih Tzu made it into the American Knnel Club’s “most popular breeds” list for the very first time. And it’s easy to see why: it’s an adorable dog. A tiny pup, with floppy ears, a round head, bushy brows and big, inquisitive eyes, the Shih Tzu has become quite fashionable among the likes of Paris Hilton and actress Jane Seymour.
And while the Shih Tzu usually landed in the lower end of the last year’s top ten lists, it’s very possible that it will rise further up in 2009. Sometimes, in hard times, you need a little cuteness to cheer your spirits, even if said cuteness can be a bit difficult to housebreak, toilet train, groom, or generally keep up with. Now, traditionally popular “family” dogs have always held top spots in most-popular-dogs lists of years past, and they are likely to remain there.
The German Shepherd is an excellent example of a dog that exemplifies loyalty, family friendliness and hard work, ideals that many would consider essential in tackling the challenges that Americans are facing now.As the name implies, the German Shepherd hails from Karlsruhe, Germany. It was brought to the States in 1907 and became hugely popular thanks, in part, to its depictions in family shows like Rin-Tin-Tin and Stongheart. The GS is the top police dog working today. He is strong, dependable and fearless when it comes to the line of duty. But the GS is also a very good family dog. It is approachable and friendly. It is loyal, protective, and can form very strong bonds with children. Housebreaking and training a GS is not hard. Additionally, he does not require nearly as much grooming as the smaller and/or fluffier canine breeds.
The Boxer dog is another breed that will likely remain popular in 2009. With its flat snout and muscular build, it can appear to be perpetually serious or even angry, but the Boxer remains one of the most playful and friendly breeds of dog out there. The American Kennel Club praises this dog for forming excellent bonds with children and being relatively low maintenance, the latter quality being especially desired in our current economy.
The Boxer, like the German Shepherd, was also developed in Germany in the 1800s, and used for hunting and as a courier in war. They are protective of their human families and absolutely love being around people.
Now, there are other popular family dogs that we could talk about. There’s the playful Beagle, the gentle Bulldog, and many others. But the dog that will definitely take the top spot in 2009 is the same one that’s been at the top in the past: The Labrador Retriever.
With its sun-kissed coat, the Labrador remains the classic, all-American dog. Although it requires regular grooming, it is still one of the best family pets in the country, as it is easy to housebreak and train. The Lab is excellent with children and loves to exercise and be active, a perfect motivator for Americans who are trying to get back into the swing of life.The Lab has a water resistant coat that makes him perfect for outdoor play. It has a very calm, even temper, something which is direly needed in times of stress and hardship. It is loyal, dynamic and always up for fun. With a new president in office and new uncertainties and challenges facing the nation, families are bound to feel some of the patriotic vigor that’s circulating. And the Labrador retriever, with its knack for adaptability and friendly individualism, can compliment the search for this new vigor quite well.
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