In January, the esteemed American Kennel Club announced the ten most popular registered dog breeds in Chicago. Based on established canine characteristics, a celebrity owner or two, and a few things you might not have known about your beloved pet, The Closer determines what your dog says about you.
1. LABRADOR RETRIEVER
Characteristics: Outgoing; nonaggressive; eager to please
Famous owners: Pete Sampras, Bill Clinton
Little-known fact: Described in The Labrador Retriever: An Owner’s Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet as a “big, eighty-five-pound teddy bear”
What owning one says about you: I must be loved by everyone, at all costs.
2. GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG
Characteristics Fearless; direct; self-confident; aloof
Famous owners: Adolf Hitler, Norman Schwarzkopf
Little-known fact While playing hide-and-seek in 1978, The Closer was bitten on the butt by one for no apparent reason.
What owning one says about you: I am a control freak who enjoys frightening small children.
3. GOLDEN RETRIEVER
Characteristics Friendly; reliable; trustworthy
Famous owners: Conan O’Brien, Scott and Laci Peterson
Little-known fact: An Iowa woman and her golden retriever, Keeper, won the first “doggie dancing” national championship in 2001. “He’s almost always the lead partner,” she told The Des Moines Register.
What owning one says about you: My family appears so outwardly happy that our neighbors think we’re creepy.
Characteristics: Dignified; patient; wary of strangers
Famous owners: Lauren Bacall, Shirley MacLaine, Jodie Foster
Little-known fact: Bang Away, the greatest American boxer dog of all time, was so beloved at dog shows in the 1950s that one dubious loss resulted in a riot.
What owning one says about you: I cling to the notion that proper manners are a lost art in this day and age.
Characteristics Even-tempered; stable; dignified
Famous owners: William I “the Silent,” Prince of Orange (the 16th-century ruler of what is now the Netherlands), Tori Spelling
Little-known fact: The late Duke and Duchess of Windsor served their four pugs steak in crystal dog dishes.
What owning one says about you My dog and I have a joint savings account.
6. YORKSHIRE TERRIER
Characteristics: Compact; vigorous; self-important
Famous owners Amy Tan, Joan Rivers, Eva Gabor on Green Acres
Little-known fact: In 1999, a postman in Swansea, England, was accused of punting a two-pound Yorkie 13 feet in the air during his rounds.
What owning one says about you: I have TiVo’ed the entire season of Project Runway.
Characteristics: Powerful; self-assured; alert; protective
Famous owners: David and Victoria Beckham, Pamela Anderson
Little-known fact: Rumored to be a descendant of the extinct Molossian, a mastiff-type dog bred to fight lions in Roman amphitheatres
What owning one says about you: I am a control freak who enjoys scaring German shepherd owners.
Characteristics: Sturdy; strong; peaceful
Famous owners: Chuck Norris, Reese Witherspoon
Little-known fact: Uga, the proud sixth-generation mascot of the University of Georgia, has his own student identification card.
What owning one says about you: I own an animal for the sole purpose of dressing it up on Halloween.
9. SHIH TZU
Characteristics: Affectionate; arrogant; sedentary
Famous owners: Beyonce Knowles, Frank Sinatra
Little-known fact: Someone, somewhere has purchased a Shih Tzu Faithful Friend Collectible Dog Figurine (retail $34.95 from Bradley Exchange).
What owning one says about you: I have never been camping.
Characteristics: Active; intelligent; air of distinction
Famous owners: Winston Churchill, John Steinbeck
Little-known fact: Prince Rupert of the Rhine (1619-82) reportedly took a large poodle into battle with him on several occasions.
What owning one says about you: I can’t stand people.