Monday, January 21, 2008

Bulldog back on top 10 dog list after 75 years

Bulldog back on top 10 dog list after 75 years
Wed Jan 16, 2008
By Robert Campbell

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bolstered by its popularity with celebrities and families, the Bulldog is back on the list of the 10 most popular purebred dogs after a 75-year absence, the American Kennel Club announced on Wednesday.

The Bulldog ranked 10th in the Kennel Club's annual ranking of popular dogs from the 157 different breeds it recognizes.

Topping the list of most popular dogs was the Labrador Retriever -- top dog since 1991 -- followed by the Yorkshire Terrier, the German Shepherd, the Golden Retriever and the Beagle, the Kennel Club said.

The broad-shouldered, stocky Bulldog with its characteristic under-bite and pugnacious gait has long been a mascot of sports teams and military units.

But their docile, even-tempered personality that belies their tough-guy image makes them good pets for families with young children, dog breeders say.

"Their personality is unlike any other dog. They are so expressive. If you look in their eyes you can almost see what they are thinking," said Tammy Hollock, 36, a part-time Bulldog breeder from Delran, New Jersey.

Bulldogs have been growing in popularity with celebrities including U.S. actors Adam Sandler and George Clooney, adding to their public appeal, Hollock said. The breed is the second-most popular dog in Los Angeles, the Kennel Club said.

The growing popularity of the Bulldog has a downside, according to Hollock and officials from the Kennel Club. Bulldogs can suffer from breathing problems and should only be treated by experienced veterinarians.

They are also unable to swim and breeders typically use artificial insemination and Caesarean sections when breeding the dogs to reduce the high risk of injury caused by the large size of the dog's head in proportion to its hips.

The elaborate precautions required when breeding Bulldogs puts the cost of a typical purebred bulldog puppy at $2,800, Hollock said.

Coming in at No. 6 on the Kennel Club list is the Boxer, followed by the Dachshund, the Poodle and the Shih Tzu.

(Editing by Michelle Nichols and Vicki Allen)

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