What is the most popular dog in the United States? Here’s the top 10.
The American Kennel Club released its list of the most popular dogs in the U.S., and
while many breeds retained their ranks, there were a few changes this year. The
ever-popular Labrador Retriever remains top dog among Americans and has
retained its rightful position as the most popular dog in the United States for
another year in a row. A few notable breeds have been knocked off their pedestals
this year and are no longer in the top 10 most popular breeds; including the Boxer
and Dachshund. In their place, two breeds have worked their way into the top 10 —
the French Bulldog and the German Shorthaired Pointer.
Is your dog one of the 10 most popular breeds in the U.S.? Check the list below to
1. Labrador Retrievers
Step aside Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock, America has a new sweetheart — the
Labrador Retriever. The most popular dog breed in the United States, Labrador
Retrievers are known for glistening yellow, glossy black, and luscious brown coats.
These pups are social butterflies and usually have no issues making new friends —
human or dog! In the past, these dogs were bred to assist fishermen with their work.
Now, these dogs are also used for hunting, search and rescue, and as assistance
dogs. With energetic, loving personalities and an always wagging tail to match, it’s no wonder Labrador Retrievers rank number one out of the top 10 most popular dogs!
2. German Shepherds
German Shepherds are a fan favorite thanks to their loyalty, intelligence, and loving
personalities. Not only can this breed be great for families, but they’re also
incredibly dedicated working dogs. They’re often used on police forces, as assistance
dogs, and search and rescue teams. With long, thick black and brown coats, German
Shepherds leave their mark on the world by leaving tufts of hair wherever they go.
Brushing is a must with this furry breed!
3. Golden Retrievers
The Golden Retriever has been among the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the
U.S. for years, and it’s easy to see why. With a thick, luxurious coat that gives the
breed its name, these dogs are easygoing, energetic, and very loving, which makes
them perfect for families. With a broad head and soft eyes, it’s hard not to fall in love
with these furry friends!
4. French Bulldogs
One of the more rare breeds on the top 10 list, French Bulldogs were created to be a
mini version of the regular Bulldog. With their signature bat-ears and small but still
muscular body, French Bulldogs continue to steal our hearts with their easygoing
and fun personalities. Similar to their bigger counterparts, French Bulldogs do enjoy
playing, but they are also equally happy spending the day snuggled up on the
With highly distinguishable features, Bulldogs stand out of the crowd with their
famously wrinkly faces, pushed-in noses, and hanging chops on the sides of their
mouths. Their iconic and expressive features have propelled the Bulldog to appear
among some of the biggest college mascots and famous cartoons. Despite their
somewhat fierce appearance, Bulldogs make adorable and loving pets.
With big, floppy ears that droop low over its head, Beagles continue to make
America melt with their sweet faces and curious nature. Beagles are known for
being compact and sturdy. They let their noses guide them through life, as they
were once bred primarily for hunting purposes. Due to this heritage, if they catch
onto a new scent, they may occasionally try to bring you along on a walk.
Cheerful and affectionate, beagles are great companions to other animals and
children — putting them high on the list for the most popular dog in the United
Forget movie and cartoon stereotypes — poodles are far from snobs! Poodles may
embody the glitz and glamour of the dog show world, but don’t be fooled. They were
initially bred to work. Today, poodles still carry many characteristics of their hard-
working ancestors. This breed is intelligent, friendly, and loving, which makes them
perfect for families that can keep them entertained and active. Known for fluffy
coats and signature hairdos, regal-looking poodles are playful, goofy, and
nonallergenic, earning them the title of one of America’s most popular dog breeds.
With a broad chest and a muscular body, a Rottweiler’s appearance can be
deceiving as they can be the biggest teddy bears and great cuddlers. Rotties can be
very protective of their families, but a well-trained dog will be calm and even a little
aloof toward strangers. Intelligent and energetic, this breed thrives in families that
can give them the attention and love they need.
9. German Shorthaired Pointers
The German Shorthaired Pointer is not just a great hunting partner; they also make
fun and loving family dogs. With a short, dense coat that comes in a beautiful
combination of brown, black, and white, German Shorthaired Pointers steal hearts
with their floppy ears and enthusiastic personalities. This breed is incredibly
intelligent and active, but they don’t need to be running after game to burn energy.
German Shorthaired Pointers are perfect walking or running companions and will
always happily trot alongside you.
10. Yorkshire Terriers
Yorkshire Terriers are the definition of fitting a whole lot of fun into one tiny package.
These popular lap dogs may be small, but they have big personalities and are feisty,
loving, and occasionally a little bossy. With long hair in shades of steel blue and tan,
these pups fit perfectly into stylish totes. Yorkies will always be great companions
and conversation-starters whenever you’re out and about.
While all dogs are good dogs, some breeds are more popular in the U.S. for their
various characteristics and signature looks. However, no matter the breed, any dog
can be a great addition to the family when given lots of love, training, and plenty of
pets on the head and belly rubs!. Interested in a little dog breed trivia? Pop on over
to this American Kennel Club’s quiz on the most popular breeds.
Reptiles and amphibians range from low- to high-maintenance care
Thinking of adding an exotic pet like a reptile or amphibian to your household? While they’re not exactly cuddly and affectionate, many ‘herps’ (coined from the Greek word for creeping thing) can make great pets, but different species will need different levels of owner experience and investment. Because reptiles and amphibians may require varying degrees of specialized care, it’s important to
do some research! Before you consider adopting one of these critters, here’s some basic information on reptiles and amphibians that could help you make the right decision for you and your family!
Low maintenance reptiles and amphibians
For kids and adults who may be allergic to furry or feathered pets or just want a pet that’s out of the norm, low maintenance reptiles and amphibians can be wonderful options. Some notes of caution – many herps do not like being handled and do not do well being handled, so there can be a risk of biting or injury. Low maintenance reptiles and amphibians include corn snakes, bearded dragons, leopard geckos, tortoises, and frogs, making them a great beginner options for families with children.
Smaller carnivorous lizards and amphibians feed on a varied diet that includes insects dusted with supplements, such as calcium and other vitamins. Larger carnivorous reptiles, such as monitor lizards and snakes will eat rodents – whether live, freshly killed or thawed from frozen. Others may need to be fed live crickets, mealworms, cockroaches, or worms.
How long do reptiles live?
Another thing to consider when deciding to adopt a reptile is how long do they live? When properly cared for, many reptiles will live far longer in captivity than in the wild, so owning one may be a longer commitment than having a dog or cat.
Snakes: Many types of snakes can live for decades. Corn snakes have a lifespan of 10-20 years. Ball pythons can live for 20-30 years. Kingsnakes average between 12-15 years. Some can even grow well over 5-feet long, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before bringing a snake home.
Turtles & Tortoises: Turtles are water-lovers; tortoises live on land. Turtles and tortoises have the longest potential lifespan. With proper care, some species can live up to 40 to 60 years or even longer. Tortoises often live to a ripe old age, so they’re definitely a long-term commitment – especially since they could outlive you.
Frogs: It’s difficult to answer this as tracking the lifespan of a single frog is next to impossible unless it’s raised in captivity. Depending on the species, frogs can live anywhere between 2 to 40 years, but the average age to expect a frog or toad to live is about 4 to 15 years.
Setting Up a Healthy Habitat
Aquariums, terrariums, tanks, and other habitats will need some specialized equipment, regular cleaning, and care. Reptiles cannot regulate their own body heat, so you will need to have temperature and brightness-regulating devices like:
● A humidifier to help keep the air warm and moist.
● Daytime lights and heat sources. Reptile tanks need a “hot side” and a “cool side” to regulate body temperature.
● Nighttime lights and heat sources. The cool side of the tank needs infrared heat lamps for nighttime use. Most reptiles – like iguanas – also require ultraviolet light.
● Thermometers. Get two thermometers: one for the hot side and one for the cooler side.
Required Accessories For Reptiles and Amphibians
● Hides where they can retreat from the heat and rest.
● Food and water bowls, some will need deeper water for swimming.
● Tile, newspaper, or reptile carpet bedding.
● Rocks, logs, plants, and other accessories.
Health considerations with reptiles and amphibians
With owning a reptile or amphibian comes some health considerations for both the animal and humans. Regular cleaning of the pet’s habitats, as well as lots of handwashing, is a must to help keep your family safe. All children should be closely supervised when caring for reptiles and amphibians because they can potentially carry Salmonella bacteria.
Each year, around 70,000 people in the U.S. contract salmonellosis from direct or indirect contact with reptiles and amphibians. Children, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illness or death. If you or anyone in your household have health conditions that could put you at risk, it may not be the best fit.please consider another type of pet.
While many people would not consider owning these types of pets, some reptiles are prohibited by the Arizona Department of Wildlife. Illegal reptiles (without proper permits/licenses) include exotic venomous reptiles, such as cobras, cottonmouths, copperheads, mambas, etc., and any endangered or protected species. Crocodilians (crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and gharials) are also illegal to own without proper permits.
Finally, remember that reptiles and amphibians need veterinary care, too. Regular wellness exams can help keep them happy and healthy for years to come.
Click here for a list of AZPetVet hospitals that treat exotics and reptiles.
No matter what age, breed, or size, it’s important to teach your dog to walk on a leash. Good leash skills and mastery of basic commands are vital for your dog’s safety and your own.
First, the only real distinctions between teaching a puppy or an adult dog to walk on a leash are shorter training sessions for puppy attention spans, and the time it takes for them to get used to the leash, collar and even a harness. Once they’re used to the gear equipment, you can begin to leash train your dog. Puppy training sessions should be conducted in three- to five-minute training sessions a few times each day, and most adult dogs can handle training for 10 minutes, anywhere from two-to-four times a day.
Before You Begin to Train a Dog to Walk on a Leash
Make sure your puppy or dog has an appropriate collar or harness that fits properly to prevent them from slipping out, as well as a suitable leash. A great way to help your pup get used to wearing a collar/harness and leash is to put both on for short periods of time in the house and during playtime. During this exercise, give him/her small treats and praise so he/she learns to love collar-and-leash time since it’s now associated with food and fun. Another thing to determine prior to training is your marker for good behavior. Here are the most common options:
● Get a training clicker so the dog learns to associate the sound with a reward
● Training treats are tiny tidbits to keep your pup interested in earning a reward
● Positive Verbal Reinforcement
Your pup dog wants to please you, so consistency in your training commands can help your furry friend quickly understand what you want him to do.
Whichever reward you use, the method can produce the same result. It’s recommended to conduct your first leash training session in a quiet place indoors that’s free of distractions. One of the best exercises to start with is “Sit-Stay-Come” training while still wearing their leash and collar. Even though you are not actually holding the leash and walking your pup just yet, it’s a great first step that allows dogs to associate the reward with wearing the collar and leash, making it more likely for them to listen to these commands while on a walk.
Start out by making the marker sound or offering a training treat, and as soon as your puppy dog
reacts by turning towards you or looking at you, reward him. Trust us, it won’t be
long before they understand the new game!
Keep this exercise going and continue backing away from your pup, make him come to you, then reward him. You can gradually increase the distance, and once he’s mastered coming to you, you can now actually pick up the leash and walk together for a bit before he gets the reward. Remember, puppies have a short attention span, so keep your training sessions short.
Tips & Training Guidelines to Teach Your Dog to Walk on a Leash
Now that your dog has collar-and-leash walking mastered indoors, it’s time to introduce a few more distractions by going outdoors. You can expect challenges and a few mistakes because all the sounds, smells, and sights will be intriguing and new to him. You want him to learn to walk on a leash nicely by your side, without pulling or lunging. Always remember that you are in control. Do not yank or jerk the leash in an attempt for control or drag your dog along with you.
● Be patient and keep your first walks together short. Keep your eyes on your dog so you can anticipate any behavior issues such as lunging at something.
● Use your marker sound to redirect his attention whenever he’s distracted or drifting too far away from the task at hand. Reward him with a treat for following you.
When walking outside with your pup, being proactive and trying to avoid distractions like bicyclists, skateboarders, other dogs, and cars is very important. If you see some improvement , you can increase the distance between you, your dog and whatever is distracting him. If your dog starts lunging at something or pulling in the other direction, stop in your tracks, stand very still and refuse to move until your dog comes back to you. Once he does, make your marker sound again and reward
If barking while distracted is a problem, use the same process as you would if your dog is lunging or pulling — create distance and offer treats before he begins barking. Be consistent, and eventually every time he sees a dog he will know to turn his attention back towards you.
Tips & Training Guidelines to Teach Your Dog to Walk Off-Leash
Let’s say that your dog has mastered walking on the leash. He’s healthy, even-
tempered and non-aggressive. You can trust him to come to you on command. Is it
enough for you to trust him to walk off-leash? The safety of you, your pet, and
others around you is always important to keep in mind, and that’s why we don’t
recommend off-leash walks with your pup. However, there are a few environments
distinctly designed for some off-leash fun in a fenced and controlled area. Working
with your dog to help prepare for these types of environments to ensure your pup
still follows your commands is a great idea. Here are some ways to safely work on off-leash training!
If you decide to begin off-leash training, know it is going to take firm, consistent training and lots of
positive behavior reinforcement. Your dog must stay right by your side or under your
voice control at all times when it is off the leash, even when distractions are
everywhere. Make sure your dog is micro-chipped and ID tags are current. If your dog gets away from you, ID tags and microchips will be your best bet at reunification.
If your dog is ready, the dog park can be an option as a place to practice being off-leash. You can test your voice control commands and his/her response, as well as see how your dog behaves when distractions are everywhere. Your dog should always follow your direction no matter the situation or distraction. If your pup is not responding well and does not maneuver around the dog park by your side while obeying commands, it may be beneficial to practice those commands some more at home on a leash with fewer distractions. If your pup does well at listening to commands at the dog park while sticking by your side, you can allow them to begin exploring interesting smells, running freely, and playing with other dogs in ways they can’t at home or while on-leash, and generally have some fun!
The best part? Your dog can develop more confidence while earning your trust. If you feel it’s appropriate, you can tackle more challenging situations each time, until you’re able to trust your dog and his behavior virtually anywhere it’s appropriate for him to be. Remember, consistent, positive reinforcement punctuated with random treats helps promote good behavior, build skills and good canine citizens.
Finally, if you’re worried about your dog’s weight or fear spoiling him with too many treats, enthusiastic praise (i.e. “Yes!”) is another type of reward for good behavior. You can mix it up so he never knows which he’ll get – food or praise. Both feel good to him because he’s pleasing you, and you are rewarding his good behavior.
We hope this gives you what you need to help begin leash training your furry family member! Happy walking!
Nothing feels quite as good as scratching an itch, but when the itch keeps itching, it can drive you batty! Just imagine what it’s like for your pet – they rely on you for their needs, so be aware of their scratching – it may be the first sign of a nasty problem – mainly, fleas and/or ticks.
Fleas and ticks are the two most common external parasites found in dogs and cats, and both will cause your pet to scratch themselves more frequently. These nasty little guys survive by feeding on the blood of dogs, cats and sometimes people. Flea and tick bites can lead to health problems including constant itching, hair loss (alopecia), hypersensitivity (allergic reaction), as well as infections and transmission of disease.
Common Myths About Ticks and Fleas
1/ A flea collar is all you will need to prevent problems. Sorry, no. Most flea and tick collars do not work well, and allergic reactions are common.
2/ Garlic is an effective dietary aid for preventing fleas and ticks. Feeding your pet garlic will not prevent flea and tick infestations anymore than you eating garlic will protect you from vampires. Fleas and ticks will bite anyway because they find you and your pets delicious.
3/ Fleas and ticks are normal parts of life and won’t hurt my pet. This is not true. Ticks can transmit many diseases, including canine ehrlichiosis (tick fever). Severe hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions may develop after even a mild flea infestation. Fleas can also transmit tapeworms to dogs and cats.
What to Do In Case of Flea and Tick Infestation
Step 1:Treat the pet’s environment.
You must kill fleas and ticks where they live when they’re not on your pet. Hire a professional exterminator. Be sure to explain that you have a flea or tick problem and that you have pets.
Step 2:Kill fleas and ticks that are on your pet. When used as directed, flea and tick control products are safe and effective at preventing re-infestation of your pet. There are several excellent products available for cats and dogs. Ask your vet for a product recommendation that will be suitable for your pet.
Step 3:Prevent re-infection. Treatment with a product like Frontline Top Spot will kill and repel ticks for one month, and fleas for up to three months. Frontline Top Spot is a topical treatment that can be used on dogs as young as ten weeks of age and cats as young as twelve weeks of age. Pet beds, carpets, blankets and other items must also be sanitized to kill any eggs that may be hiding.
Step 4:Break the reproductive cycle of fleas. In the past, controlling fleas and ticks has been difficult, however, new products are available which make external parasite control manageable. Your vet can recommend a safe and effective product for your pet.
Remember – fleas and ticks are NOT just summer time problems. While it does get cool enough during the winter to decrease flea and tick activity, it does not get cold enough to kill them. Fleas and ticks can live very happily indoors during the winter months, so be aware and check your pets frequently year round.
Hummingbird facts and myths: Discover the secrets behind these speedy birds
In Arizona, if you’ve ever spent a morning sitting out on your patio enjoying the sun,
gone on a leisurely trail hike, or spent the day at a botanical garden, chances are
you’ve had an encounter with one of the smallest birds in the world — the
hummingbird. These adorable feathered friends grace our desert landscape with
their beauty as they flutter around from flower to flower. While there are over 300
hummingbird species found around the world, only around two dozen can be found
in the U.S.
Hummingbirds may be little, but there are a lot of exciting facts, quirks, and even a
few myths associated with these tiny treasures. Here are 10 interesting facts about
hummingbirds to expand your knowledge of these fascinating birds:
1. The calliope hummingbird is the smallest bird species in the U.S. — measuring
just 3 inches long.
2. Along with being one of the few species of birds that can hover,
hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backward. This fantastic skill is due
to the structure of their wings. Hummingbirds can rotate their wings in a full circle —
change direction, and it’s effectively putting them into reverse!
3. Our tiny feathered friends are not fans of walking, and can only use their feet
to scratch, preen and shuffle side to side on a perch. Hummingbirds’ feet have
evolved and adapted to become smaller to be more efficient flyers, but they’re not
very useful for speed-walking.
4. One common myth about hummingbirds is that they suck nectar up through
their long bills using a force called capillary action. This action can be observed by
placing a very long, thin tube in a glass of water. Without using any suction, water
will travel up the tube. However, the capillary action idea was recently disproven in
2015. Hummingbirds lick up nectar using their long, forked tongues that have hair-
like extensions that open up. Once the bird’s tongue hits the nectar, it retracts,
trapping the liquid inside as the hummingbird pulls its tongue back into its mouth.
5. Want to see a hummingbird’s tongue at work? You’ll need a special camera for
that. A hummingbird can lick up to 13 times per second — so you’ll need to be in
super slow-mo mode!
6. While they may be small, hummingbirds are fierce and are one of the most
aggressive bird species. If you have a hummingbird feeder, you’ll often see one
dominant hummingbird that will guard your backyard as its own to protect its food
source. Hummingbirds are also known to attack other birds, such as crows and
hawks if they invade their space.
7. The sword-billed hummingbird is the only bird in existence that has a bill
that’s longer than its body. In fact, the bill is so long that the hummingbird has to
continually hold it upright if it’s resting on a perch — otherwise, it will topple over.
8. When flying forward, a hummingbird can reach a speed of up to 30 mph.
When diving, these birds can reach up to 60 mph! Despite being incredibly fast,
hummingbirds still have predators that will happily feast on them if they can catch
them. Some of the hummingbirds’ natural predators include owls, praying mantises,
snakes, spiders, and roadrunners, among others.
9. A hummingbird’s wings can flap up to 70 times per second. Hummingbird
hearts can reach a rate of up to 1,260 beats per minute to power their speedy wings
10. Hummingbirds have a speedy metabolism and have to eat about half of their
body weight every day. Our feathered friends have to consume so much food and
be consistently eating — if they slept the same way as humans do, they would starve!
Hummingbirds go into a much deeper form of sleep that’s similar to a mini hibernation. This process slows the bird’s metabolism down enough to make it through the night without needing a midnight snack.
Now that you know 10 interesting facts about hummingbirds, share these tidbits
with friends the next time you one of these speedy birds zooms by. Have a favorite
hummingbird fact that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!