Study Determines The Most Frequently Trained Dogs
December 24, 2002
An old canine maxim states “a trained dog is a happy dog and belongs to a happy owner.” Nevertheless, certain breeds receive training proportionately more than other breeds. On average, owners of large dogs enroll in pet training programs more frequently than owners of small dogs.
During a recent month, the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed registration data listed the following breeds as the 15 most popular: 1) Labrador Retriever, 2) Golden Retriever, 3) German Shepherd Dog, 4) Dachshund, 5) Beagle, 6) Yorkshire Terrier, 7) Boxer, 8) Standard Poodle, 9) Shih Tzu, 10) Chihuahua, 11) Rottweiler, 12) Pomeranian, 13) Miniature Schnauzer, 14) Pug, and 15) Cocker Spaniel. Comprehensive Pet Therapy (CPT), Atlanta’s most respected pet training company, compared the AKC’s registration list to their database of the last 4,000 dogs they have trained and observed some interesting information.
Similarly to the AKC’s list, CPT’s three most frequently trained breeds were Labs, Goldens, and German Shepherds. However, Beagles were only listed twelfth, Shih Tzus twenty fourth, Chihuahuas thirtieth, Pugs twenty seventh, and Pomeranians thirty ninth. Whereas, Boxers were CPT’s fourth most frequently trained breed, Rottweilers seventh, Siberian Husky’s tenth, Weimeraners fourteenth, and Doberman Pinschers fifteenth. Huskys, Weimeraners and Dobermans were not listed among the AKC’s top fifteen. Dachshunds were popular both with the AKC and in CPT’s training programs. Jack Russell Terriers were the exception to the rule. Jack Russell’s were listed 60th on the AKC’s popularity list, but were the sixth most popular dog enrolled in training, probably because of the dog’s deserved reputation for dominance and high energy.
After training over 21,000 dogs, CPT believes the principal explanation for the disparity amongst puppy registrations and training enrollment is the psychographic profile of large dog versus small dog owners. Small dog owners tend to be less controlling than large dog owners and place less importance on command oriented obedience. Moreover, small dog owners believe their dogs are less likely to pose significant liability to people or property due to aggression or other behavioral issues.
Mark Spivak, President of CPT, believes that training in obedience and household manners benefits both large and small dog owners. Said Spivak, “just because a dog is small in stature doesn’t mean the dog is any smaller in stubbornness, energy, or intellectual potential. All dogs love to learn and lead a happier life when they are stimulated. Likewise, all dog owners prefer a well behaved pet. Small dogs still need proper housebreaking training; they just leave a smaller puddle when they are untrained. Small dogs can still nip children; they just leave smaller teeth marks.”
After reviewing the study, CPT plans to better inform all pet owners of the benefits training provides to both the owner and pet. Patricia McDonnell, a CPT Head Trainer, believes “a large base of people and dogs presently remain unaware of the potential benefits of a rewarding training experience. By increasing the participation of small dog owners in formal behavioral and obedience training programs we can improve the symbiotic quality of life of pet ownership for many people who are presently underserved.”