Labrador retriever remains most popular dog in Allegheny County

Labrador retriever

Allegheny County, like the nation, is still in love with the Labrador retriever. It was the most popular breed by far in Allegheny County.

There were more than 8,100 Labrador retrievers in Allegheny County, according to active dog licenses from Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. That means roughly one out of every 15 dogs in the county is a lab.

The next closest breed was the golden retriever with 3,500 dogs.

These figures do not count mixed-breed dogs, which account for more dogs than any single breed. There were more than 11,000 dogs listed just as mixed breed and more than 7,500 dogs listed as Labrador retriever mixes.

The Labrador retriever has been the most popular dog in America since 1991, according to the American Kennel Club.

The German shepherd, American pit bull terrier and the beagle made up the other top dog breeds in Allegheny County.

There are nearly 20,000 registered dogs in Pittsburgh and nearly 100,000 more dogs registered in Allegheny County.

The county has more dogs per person than the city does. There was roughly one dog for every nine people living in the county (outside the city), whereas there’s one dog for every 16 people inside Pittsburgh city limits.

The data is separate because the city and county each runs its own dog licensing program. It costs $10 to have your spayed or neutered dog licensed for one year in Pittsburgh and $6.50 for a one-year license of a spayed/neutered dog in Allegheny County. It costs more to license a dog that has not been spayed or neutered.

About 80 percent of the dogs licensed in the city and county are spayed or neutered.

Certain breeds were more popular within Pittsburgh’s city limits than in the rest of the county.

Most notably, the pit bull was the second-most popular dog within the city and the seventh-most popular in the rest of the county. The golden retriever is among the favorites, but people living outside the city secured its spot in the popularity contest; it ranked second outside the city and ninth inside city limits.

There are also interesting differences between the number and type of dogs in Allegheny County and the national statistics.

In general, smaller breeds are more popular in Allegheny County than they are nationally. Chihuahuas have fallen out of favor nationally from 2009 to 2014. They used to be the 12th most popular dog, but ranked 24th last year. However, they are still the sixth most popular breed in Allegheny County.

The Shih Tzu, which typically weighs between nine and 16 pounds, is the seventh most popular dog in Allegheny County, but ranks 17th nationally. And the bichon frise is the 13th most popular dog in Allegheny County, but ranks 43rd nationally.

The city and the rest of the county both had the same most common dog names: Bella, Buddy and Max. Some dog owners may be upset, however, upon seeing that their dog names may lack the originality they thought it had. There were more than 60 black Labrador retrievers named “Shadow” in the county. There were more than 20 black and white dogs — many of them Shih Tzu’s — named “Oreo” or “Oreo Cookie.”

In a crushing defeat to the Bard, only four dogs in the county were named “Shakespeare” compared to five dogs named “Shakira.”

There were also several dogs named “Sheldon Cooper,” after Jim Parsons character on the TV show “The Big Bang Theory.” There was even one Sheldon dog that earned the honorific and was named, “Dr. Sheldon Cooper.”

There were also a couple more doctor dogs, including a “Dr. Pepper,” and a “Dr. Oz.”

Reach Eric Holmberg at 412-315-0266 or at eholmberg@publicsource.org. Follow him on Twitter @holmberges.