What dog breeds are the most popular in La Plata County? – The Herald of Durango

The Pet Registry May Reveal More About Local Communities Than We Think

Aidan Distasio, a kennel technician with the La Plata County Humane Society, plays Thursday with Lacy, a one-year-old athletic mongrel in the organization’s playground. La Plata County pet owners are attracted to energetic and athletic breeds, according to data from the La Plata County Humane Society’s licensing registry. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The people of La Plata County love their dogs. But each owner has their own preferences – Labrador retrievers or Chihuahuas, small dogs versus large dogs, males versus females.

The Plata County Humane Society maintains a database of all licensed dogs in the county. This data reveals trends in pet popularity in the region: Labrador Retrievers and Pit Bulls are by far the favorite breeds and about half of the dogs are male and half are female. Trends change from city to city, but many La Plata County dogs are medium to large in size and energetic.

“La Plata County has one of the friendliest and most welcoming pet communities,” said Emily Phillips, marketing and development manager for La Plata County Humane Society. “This whole community is full of animal lovers. We see it on a daily basis. »

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 38.4%, or approximately 48 million households, own dogs in the United States.

Data from the Humane Society lists 629 dogs up-to-date on their license registration as of March, though that figure is likely an undercount, Phillips said.

Banana, a lab-mixed breed, is available for adoption at the La Plata County Humane Society. Labrador retrievers and pit bulls are the two most popular breeds in La Plata County, according to data from the La Plata County Humane Society. Medium and large dogs like Cattle Dogs and Australian Shepherds, German Shepherds, Border Collies and Alaskan Huskies are also popular breeds. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“There are a lot more animals. The problem with licensing is not that a lot of people know about it,” she said.

Of the county’s 629 dogs, their distribution is what one would expect. About 60 live in Hesperus, 80 in Bayfield, 22 in Ignacio and 470 in Durango.

In La Plata County, Labrador retrievers, pit bulls, shepherd mixes and smooth-coated Chihuahuas are the four most popular breeds, according to data from the Humane Society, although the breeds change from one city ​​to another.

Rosie, a 9-month-old retriever mix, smiles for the camera Thursday at the La Plata County Humane Society shelter. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

In Bayfield, pet owners prefer pit bulls and smooth coated Chihuahuas. Residents of Ignacio love their smooth-coated Chihuahuas and American Blue Heelers, while in Durango, Labrador retrievers and pit bulls reign supreme.

Australian Shepherds round out the top three breeds that visit the Pet Haus pet store in Durango, said Cresa Peterson, a Pet Haus employee.

Hesperus has perhaps the weirdest race stats. Alaskan huskies overwhelmingly comprise registered dogs, accounting for more than 30% of those in the region, a fact likely due to Hesperus’ Durango Dog Ranch, which runs dog sledding tours with Alaskan huskies.

The La Plata County Humane Society database paints a picture of dog owners attracted to medium and large breeds that are athletic, energetic, and outdoorsy.

“There’s something about the outdoors and the pets here,” Phillips said. “People love taking their pets out and you can do all these great hikes and trails.”

Australian Cattle Dogs and Shepherds, German Shepherds, Border Collies, Alaskan Huskies and American Blue Heelers are all popular breeds in La Plata County, although only one of these breeds – the Australian Shepherd – was listed in the American Kennel Club’s top 20 most popular breeds. in 2021.

La Plata County dogs reflect people drawn to southwest Colorado, said Susan Riches, who serves on the board of the Durango Kennel Club and is president of the La Plata County Humane Society.

Brody, a 7-month-old border collie mix, Thursday at the La Plata County Humane Society shelter. Residents of La Plata County have a number of Border Collies and Sheepdogs, although only one of those breeds – the Australian Shepherd – made it to the American Kennel Club’s top 20 most popular breeds. in 2021. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“We have a lot of very energetic outdoors people,” she said. “The fact that we advertise so much of an outdoor lifestyle and attract so many people interested in skiing, hiking and fishing affects the type of dogs most common here.”

Although present, La Plata County has noticeably few French bulldogs, bulldogs, beagles and dachshunds, according to data from the Humane Society. Each ranked in the American Kennel Club’s Top 10 Breeds Nationally for 2021.

Still, the Humane Society sees more demand for small breeds than the medium and large dogs it usually houses in its shelter.

“We get a lot of adopters and people calling and asking for little dogs,” Phillips said. “When we integrate them, they are sometimes adopted before they even appear on the website. People want them and love them and we just don’t see many of them.

A number of small dogs participate in Durango Kennel Club events, Riches said.

“Goldens and Labradors are very popular, but we’re also seeing a lot more small dogs,” she said. “We see more French bulldogs, for example. … It is sometimes a surprise as to what we see.

The majority of dogs in La Plata County and the Humane Society shelter are mixes, according to Phillips and Riches, which is reflected in the data. Only about 40 of the 629 dogs on the Humane Society’s licensing registry are purebreds.

Luna, a 9-month-old heel mix, at the La Plata County Humane Society shelter on Thursday. Although most of La Plata County’s most popular breeds are medium and large dogs, small dogs are adopted faster at the Humane Society shelter. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“We have people who really want to adopt a Golden Retriever or a German Shepherd, and we’re very honest and say we get a lot of mixed breeds and we don’t know a lot of breeds,” Phillips said. “We don’t really get a lot of thoroughbreds. It happened and it’s going fast.

La Plata County requires all residents to license their dogs with the Humane Society once they are 3 months old or older if they live in the county more than 30 days per year. New residents must register their dogs within 30 days of moving.

“We’re trying to do our part to educate the community that La Plata County pets are legally required to be allowed, but it’s not a widely known thing,” Phillips said. “There are a lot more pets that need to be allowed.”

A license costs $10 per year for a spayed or spayed dog, $25 for county residents who choose not to spay or spay their pet, and $55 for city residents who choose to leave their dog intact.

Licenses are an important protection for pets and can save pet owners money.

The Humane Society uses the license tag and the information gathered during the licensing process to return dogs to their owners if they escape or are picked up by animal welfare.

“It reunites lost animals and their families,” Phillips said. “…It’s another way to bring them home.”

If animal welfare retrieves a dog, the owner pays a $40 impound fee for a licensed animal, which is $20 less than an unlicensed dog. However, if an owner registers their pet within 60 days, Animal Protection will drop the citation, she said.

Licensing money also goes directly to the Humane Society to support the organization’s work.

“It’s a way to support our mission and give back,” Phillips said.

What Makes La Plata County a Great Place to Own a Dog?

“There’s so much outdoor space where you can take dogs,” Riches said. “I don’t know what it is, (but) people come in and say, ‘Oh, I must have a dog. “”

For Phillips, it’s the supportive, animal-friendly community of La Plata County.

“People are really happy to see pets,” she said. “It’s just a warm, friendly atmosphere and a really nice place to own pets.”

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Cydney Arnold, a kennel technician with the La Plata County Humane Society, takes Banana, a lab mix, outside Thursday at the Humane Society shelter. La Plata County requires all residents to license their dogs from the Humane Society. Information provided by owners during the licensing process can help the Humane Society reunite owners with their escaped and lost pets and reduce the fees owners must pay if their dog is impounded. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

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