Chart of the day: small dogs

Interesting post from Wonkblog on the rise of small dogs.  The numbers are pretty amazing.  Here’s the key chart:



Wonkblog explains this all as a function of urbanization, but there’s no way that’s near enough to account for this very substantial shift:

Why are America’s pet lovers choosing to raise smaller and smaller dogs?

The clearest reason is likely tied to the national migration to urban areas. Almost 80 percent of the country now lives in cities and their surrounding areas,  where space is harder to come by. It’s of little coincidence that big dogs are much more popular in the south, where land is more plentiful.

“Smaller homes and apartments are helping drive the growing popularity of smaller dogs,” Damian Shore, an analyst at market-research firm Euromonitor, told Quartz last year.

Maybe in part, but I don’t need to do any googling to tell you that the rate of urbanization is absolutely nowhere near the change in preference for smaller dogs.  Clearly, there’s cultural factors at play.

And here’s where I risk offending my readers by sharing my bias against small dogs.  I think a lot of people just naturally think smaller dogs are better for smaller living space, but that’s simply not true.  In my experience, smaller dogs are far more likely to be hyper-active and barky.  The smaller your home, the more annoying that is.  That matters more than the fact that a Labrador takes up a couple more square feet when they’re lying down.  In fact, my current dog, Bennie (about 45 pound Golden mix), is by far my least favorite because he seems to have too much of the small dog personality (actually, he lies around the house peacefully, but he’s so annoying outside around other people and dogs).  Anyway, this is one trend I will not be joining.  Kim, in fact, would love for us to have a Great Dane some day (personally, I’m a little scared of the volume of poop coming out of dog that big).

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to Chart of the day: small dogs

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    You should worry about how wet you get when that really big dog gives you a lick! I like bigger dogs too, I just teach mine to control their likker….

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