Friday, February 26, 2010

More Popularity of Dogs

Well, after learning all about which dogs are the most popular dogs in America, I got to wondering if people in other countries like the same breeds that Americans do.  So I nosed around a little and came up with some top-10 lists from other places.

I will start with Canada, which is more like just another part of the U.S. instead of a whole other country.  And the list of favorite Canadian dogs proves this, since it's a lot like the U.S. list.  Except for the parts that are different.  This list is from 2007, which is the most recent list I could find.  Anyway, here it is:
 1.  Labrador Retriever
 2.  Golden Retriever
 3.  German Shepherd Dog
 4.  Poodle
 5.  Shetland Sheepdog
 6.  Yorkshire Terrier
 7.  Miniature Schnauzer
 8.  Boxer
 9.  Shih Tzu
10.  Bernese Mountain Dog

In the U.K., the Labrador Retriever is number one again.  Yawn.  But then things get different because there are a bunch of spaniels on the list.  I don't know why people like spaniels so much.  Well, okay, they are kind of cute, but they have that long, curly hair that is always getting tangled up and matted if you don't comb it all the time.  Short-haired dogs such as basenjis are not only cute but are much easier to take care of.  But here's the list, for what it's worth.  It is from 2008.
 1.  Labrador Retriever
 2.  English Cocker Spaniel
 3.  English Springer Spaniel
 4.  German Shepherd Dog
 5.  Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
 6.  Staffordshire Bull Terrier
 7.  Golden Retriever
 8.  Border Terrier
 9.  Boxer
10.  West Highland White Terrier

Here's the 2007 list from Australia, which is kind of like the U.S. and U.K. lists combined:
 1.  Labrador Retriever
 2.  German Shepherd Dog
 3.  Staffordshire Bull Terrier
 4.  Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
 5.  Golden Retriever
 6.  Border Collie
 7.  Pug
 8.  English Cocker Spaniel
 9.  Dalmation
10.  Rottweiler

Okay, I know you're probably getting tired of lists, so I promise that this is the last one.  I just had to prove that there is at least one place in the world where the labrador retriever is not the number one dog.  And that country is Italy!  Here is their 2009 list:
 1.  English Setter
 2.  German Shepherd Dog
 3.  Segugio Maremmano
 4.  Labrador Retriever
 5.  Epagneul Breton
 6.  Segugio Italiano
 7.  Golden Retriever
 8.  Boxer
 9.  Jack Russell Terrier
10.  German Shorthaired Pointer

Anyway, since the labrador retriever is so popular, now I will tell you about a lab who just won a Special Award because he was a very brave bomb-sniffing dog in Afghanistan.  This dog's name is Treo, and he got something called the Dickin Medal, which is an award that the British give to animals in the military. It is kind of like an award called the Victoria Cross, except that the Victoria Cross is for people and the Dickin Medal is for animals.

Treo is 8 years old, and he got this award on Wednesday.  He is now retired from the military, and he lives with his handler, whose name is Sergeant David Heyhoe.  I don't mean any disrespect to Sergeant Heyhoe, but whenever I see his name, it makes me want to giggle.  Except that dogs can't really giggle.  Anyway, if you want to see Treo and Sergeant Heyhoe, you can watch this video: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2010/feb/24/military-animals   Sergeant Heyhoe talks really funny, and I thought he was hard to understand.  Mom says he talks that way because he is from Scotland.  I am just glad that Mom doesn't talk like that because if she did, I would never know what she is saying.

So what Treo did to win the Dickin Medal was he sniffed out some bombs, and this saved the lives of a lot of soldiers.  You can see in the video that Treo is very brave because he even goes into some water, looking for bombs, which I would not be brave enough to do because if I did it, I might drown.  One time, Treo found a whole bunch of bombs that were wired together.  This is called a "daisy chain," even though there are no daisies in it, or any other kind of flower either.


Treo was awarded the Dickin Medal by Princess Alexandra, who is a real, live princess.  Before Treo won the medal, 26 other dogs won it, and so did 32 messenger pigeons, 3 horses, and 1 cat.

I am very proud that a member of my species won this Important Award, but you could never get me to go out there looking for bombs, personally.  I would much rather stay home where it is warm and safe and dry!

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