Doggie diversity reigns in S.F. 

Size doesn’t always matter for some San Franciscans — at least when they are picking out their own personal versions of man’s best friend.

The American Kennel Club’s annual poll of The City’s top 10 dog breeds, which was released Monday, tallied numbers of 153 different registered breeds around the country for a look atthe dog-ownership trends of 2006 — and for a city that has an estimated 120,000 dogs and only 100,000 children, dogs are not something San Franciscans take lightly.

The City’s "top dog," if you will, was the ever-popular Labrador — followed by the golden retriever, poodle, Yorkshire terrier, bulldog, German shepherd, pug, Shih tzu, dachsund and Pomeranian. National trends were similar, except for the addition of the beagle, boxer and miniature schnauzer.

Owners of top breeds at Delores Park, an area frequented by pooches, said they thought the results were pretty accurate.

Scott Lichtig said he didn’t have a breed in mind when he adopted his black Labrador, Sadie, but he adores her gentle spirit.

"She’s friendly and she’s got a great disposition, she’s always there when I need her," Lichtig said.

Carole Hines, owner of poodles Kelsey and Jester said she’s been a fan of the breed for 20 years and isn’t surprised they placed third on the list.

"They are affectionate and smart, such great dogs," Hines said, adding that her employer lets her bring her dogs to work with her. "I guess I’d just have to say when it comes to my dogs, I couldn’t be prouder of my San Francisco values," Hines said with a chuckle.

Sally Stevens, spokeswoman for dog ownership organization SFDOG, said San Franciscans are big on personality and activities when it comes to their canines.

"I don’t know that size really matters. It has to do more with personality and what [San Franciscans] want to do with their dogs — whether that’s taking it around with them or playing fetch," Stevens said, adding that she does see a large amount of the top two breeds at local parks.

Roman Burgos, who was walking his miniature schnauzer Bubu, said it isn’t the dog breeds that are unique to The City — it’s the attitude.

"When I die, I want to be reincarnated as a dog. They’ve got it so good in this city," Burgos said.

Favorite Dogs

Rank San Francisco Nationwide
1 Labrador retriever Labrador retriever
2 Golden retriever Yorkshire terrier
3 Poodle German shepherd
4 Yorkshire terrier Golden retriever
5 Bulldog Beagle
6 German shepherd Dachshund
7 Pug Boxer
8 Shih tzu Poodle
9 Dachshund Shih tzu
10 Pomeranian* Miniature schnauzer

*The Pomeranian and dachsund were tied.

Source: American Kennel Club, New York City

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