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Erin McCarthy
Erin McCarthy

10 Photos of Adorable Puppies at the AKC

Erin McCarthy
Erin McCarthy

This morning, in the world's most adorable press conference, the American Kennel Club announced that, for the 23rd year in a row, the Labrador Retriever is America's most popular pup—the longest reign in AKC history. (The Poodle has the second longest run at the top, with 22 years.) The AKC brought the top five breeds to their offices in Manhattan for a meet and greet; we were there to partake in the photo opps and cuddles. Here's what we learned.

All images courtesy of Getty unless otherwise noted.

1. The Lab nabbed the top spot; German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Bulldogs, Yorkshire Terriers, Boxers, Poodles, Rottweilers, and Dachsunds round out the top 10. 

2. French Bulldogs haven't cracked the Top 10, but with a 323 percent increase in registrations since 2003, they managed nab the number 11 spot—its highest position since it was recognized as a breed in 1898. We got to play with six sweet puppies and their grandfather, Omar. 

3. New York City's most popular pup is ... the bulldog! (Photo by Erin McCarthy.)

4. They're also number one in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Newark.

5. NYC's neighborhoods also had a few favorite pups: Upper East Siders favor the Havanese, while Chelsea's top dog is the Beagle; Tribeca residents love Portuguese Water Dogs, but Astorians prefer the German Shepherd; people living in Staten Island's New Dorp 'hood are into Labs, and Park Slopers love Pugs. 

6. The Golden Retriever is becoming more popular in New York, rising from 9th place last year to number five this year.

7. Bigger breeds have been on the rise for the past five years. "As the economy has improved, people are turning back to the big dogs they love, which cost more to feed and care for than the smaller breeds that saw a rise in popularity in 2007 and 2008," AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson said in a press release.

8. Show dogs can have two names: Their registered name and a simpler call name (for example, the Best in Show winner of the 2009 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship dog show's registered name was CH Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot, while her call name was Sadie). There are a whole slew of regulations a dog's registered name must fit. (Photo by Erin McCarthy.)

9. Even as puppies, German Shepherds have really big paws. This fuzzy little pup's owner said that she'll be around 75 pounds when she's fully grown. (Photo by Erin McCarthy.)

10. Beagles don't drool!

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Animals
The Simple Way to Protect Your Dog From Dangerous Rock Salt
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iStock

Winter can be a tough time for dogs. The cold weather usually means there are fewer opportunities for walks and more embarrassing accessories for them to wear. But the biggest threat to canines this time of year is one pet owners may not notice: the dangerous rock salt coating the streets and sidewalks. If you live someplace where this is a problem, here are the steps you need to take to keep your pooch safe until the weather warms up, according to Life Hacker.

Rock salt poses two major hazards to pets: damage to their feet and poisoning from ingestion. The first is the one most pet owners are aware of. Not only do large grains of salt hurt when they get stuck in a dog’s paws, but they can also lead to frostbite and chemical burns due to the de-icing process at work. The easiest way to prevent this is by covering your dog’s paws before taking them outside. Dog booties get the job done, as do protective balms and waxes that can be applied directly to their pads.

The second danger is a little harder to anticipate. The only way you can stop your dog from eating rock salt from the ground is to keep a close eye on them. Does your dog seem a little too interested in a puddle or a mound of snow? Encourage them to move on before they have a chance to take a lick.

If, for some reason, you forget to follow the steps above and your pet has a bad encounter with some winter salt, don’t panic. For salty feet, soak your dog's paws in warm water once you get inside to wash away any remaining grit. If your dog exhibits symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and disorientation and you suspect they’ve ingested rock salt, contact your vet right away.

Even with the proper protection, winter can still create an unsafe environment for dogs. Check out this handy chart to determine when it’s too cold to take them for a walk.

[h/t Life Hacker]

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© Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
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Animals
Boston's Museum of Fine Arts Hires Puppy to Sniff Out Art-Munching Bugs
© Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
© Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Some dogs are qualified to work at hospitals, fire departments, and airports, but one place you don’t normally see a pooch is in the halls of a fine art museum. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is changing that: As The Boston Globe reports, a young Weimaraner named Riley is the institution’s newest volunteer.

Even without a background in art restoration, Riley will be essential in maintaining the quality of the museum's masterpieces. His job is to sniff out the wood- and canvas-munching pests lurking in the museum’s collection. During the next few months, Riley will be trained to identify the scents of bugs that pose the biggest threat to the museum’s paintings and other artifacts. (Moths, termites, and beetles are some of the worst offenders.)

Some infestations can be spotted with the naked eye, but when that's impossible, the museum staff will rely on Riley to draw attention to the problem after inspecting an object. From there, staff members can examine the piece more closely and pinpoint the source before it spreads.

Riley is just one additional resource for the MFA’s existing pest control program. As far as the museum knows, it's rare for institutions facing similar problems to hire canine help. If the experiment is successful, bug-sniffing dogs may become a common sight in art museums around the world.

[h/t The Boston Globe]

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