Minneapolis by the numbers: For the dogs

Categories: General Archive
pitbull.jpg
As part of the research for a story I'm working on, I recently called Tom Doty, one of the managers at Minneapolis Animal Control, and asked him how many pit bulls live in Minneapolis. Doty said he wasn't sure but he'd run the numbers. Today he sent me a spreadsheet with all registered dogs in Minneapolis, broken down by primary breed. Most of this information is not particularly relevant to my research. But since Doty billed me $25 for his numbers crunching service, I figured I might as well post the data and engage in a little amateur sociology.

Here, then, are Minneapolis' top ten most popular breeds, with raw registration numbers in parenthesis:

Laborador Retriever (1,711)
German Shepherd (498)
Golden Retriever (479)
Siberian Husky (243)
Pit Bull (233)
Beagle (233)
Border Collie (162)
Cocker Spaniel (155)
Rotweiller (152)
Boxer (152)

Here are the ten most popular breeds nationwide, according to the American Kennel Club:

Labrador retriever
Golden retriever
Yorkshire Terrier
German Shepherd
Beagle
Dachshund
Boxer
Poodle
Shih Tzu
Miniature Schnauzers

To me, the most striking aspect of the comparison is the fact that neither the pits nor rots made the national list. Does this mean that Minneapolitans are (A) more bad ass than the nation as a whole or (B) just damn fearful. I suspect the answer is B. What do you think?

One aside: Yeah, I know the term pit bull doesn't describe a single breed, but refers to several distinct breeds, among them: American Pit Bull Terriers (presumably the 233 beasts identified by the city as "pit bulls"), Staffordshire Terriers (50 of which are registered in Minneapolis), American Bulldogs (36), and Bull Terriers (10). That fact--along with my suspicion that pit registration numbers are probably artificially low because a considerable subset of pit owners aren't paperwork folk--only serves to amplify the Minneapolitans-sure-do-like-bad-ass-dogs hypothesis. Again, the question is, Why?


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