Huntaway and labrador top dogs
Southland's most popular breedsMARY WITSEY
Southlanders love their dogs - all 20,000 of them.
Department of Internal Affairs figures show there are 7985 dogs registered in 2013/14 in Invercargill City and another 12843 in the Southland District.
Labrador retrievers top the popularity list for townies, while the faithful huntaway is the most popular dog breed in the Southland district.
Nipping at their heels are the fluffy bichon frise and the cheeky jack russell terrier, with the clever collie having the honour of being one of the top five most popular dog breeds for both Invercargill and Southland.
But it's the gentle, faithful labrador that has won out overall in the South and it also the most popular dog breed in New Zealand.
Southland Kennel Club Association president Dianne Tyssen said she was not surprised with the results.
"Labradors being the perfect dual purpose dog," she said.
"They're certainly a good dog with families and have quite a laid back temperament. They're also a good gun dog and they can work well retrieving ducks and then they come home and lay by the fire."
On the other hand the bichon frise was a good smaller dog, she said.
"They don't moult ... they're also meant to be hypo-allergenic for people who have problems with animal hair."
She stressed that dogs were a big commitment and encouraged people to do their research.
"Dogs are wonderful companions but they're with us for some years so you need to check them out.
"The NZ Kennel Club has a good website with information about dogs to suit people's lifestyles. We also have monthly ribbon parades in Southland and people are welcome to come along and have a look at the dogs on show."
They were happy to give advice and could then put people in touch with dog breeders.
"They may change their minds as to what dog they're best suited to."
Tyssen's own dogs were cavalier king charles spaniels.
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