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Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News
Despite the efforts of Humane Society employee Loraine Delgadillo, Marilyn Chastain's Shih Tzu, Madison Ming, appears unlikely to be occupying a spot among Santa's reindeer anytime soon.

To their credit, the Labrador retrievers at Desert Dog Daycare weren't walking with their noses in the air Wednesday, even though their breed has been named the top dog in America for the 17th year in a row. On the day-care's doggie cam you could see the Labs doing their usual just-one-of-the-guys thing. A Lab is the kind of dog who, if he were an actual guy, would be giving everybody a high-five and telling a joke.

Labrador retrievers are also No. 1 again this year in Salt Lake City, according to the American Kennel Club's annual list.

"You rarely meet a Lab that isn't easygoing and friendly," said Danya Twigg, owner of Desert Dog Daycare, explaining the breed's popularity.

In Salt Lake City, according to the AKC, the No. 2 spot this year was claimed by the Shih Tzu, making that breed more popular here than in any other of the 50 cities on the kennel club's list. Two other small dogs, the Yorkshire terrier and miniature schnauzer, are on Salt Lake's Top 10.

"Small dogs are nice because they're so portable," noted Twigg. "You can put them in a purse if you want to go to a movie."

The local list, which includes only pure-bred dogs and is based on AKC registration figures, also includes the poodle, German shepherd, boxer, golden retriever, pug and bulldog. The golden retriever this year knocked off the dachshund in Salt Lake City.

Some doggie trivia from the AKC:

• The Havanese, a small dog with a coat that apparently doesn't make allergy sufferers sneeze, has had the biggest surge in popularity in the past decade, increasing 994 percent to the ranking of 37.

• Breeds on the decline include the Rottweiler, the Dalmatian and many breeds of Asian origin, including chow chows, Pekingese, Akitas and Lhasa apsos.

• The beagle is the only breed that has consistently been included in the U.S. Top 10 since 1915 (it was No. 1 from 1954 to 1959) — but it didn't make Salt Lake City's Top 10 this year or last.

• Poodles enjoyed the longest reign of No. 1 Dog, from 1960 to 1982. Cocker spaniels ranked No. 1 from 1936 to 1953, and 1983 to 1990. Now they're not even in the Top 10.


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