Labs lead, but staffys still popular

CHARLIE GATES
Last updated 05:00 21/05/2014

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Christchurch has a staffy belt.

The labrador retriever is the most popular breed in Christchurch, but the staffordshire bull terrier is top dog in suburbs stretching east from Addington to New Brighton.

Analysis of the Christchurch City Council's dog registration database reveals which breeds and names are popular in different suburbs and the city as a whole.

Dog owners are legally required to register their pets and local councils must keep a register of all dogs in the area.

The figures show that the labrador is by far the most popular breed in Christchurch, with 4952 registered in the city.

The staffordshire bull terrier comes a distant second with 2673 registered, followed by 2405 bichon frise, 2106 border collies and about 2000 jack russels.

Bella is the most popular dog name, according to the figures, followed by Max, Molly, Poppy and Charlie.

But the most popular names vary from suburb to suburb. In Fendalton, the most popular names are Ruby, Poppy and Bella, while in Aranui they are Bella, Shadow and Missy.

A breakdown of the top dog in each census area unit in Christchurch reveals a concentration of staffordshire bull terriers in eastern Christchurch.

The staffy belt stretches from Addington to New Brighton, passing through Philipstown, Woolston, Linwood, Bromley, Aranui and Bexley on the way.

Linwood stands at the epicentre of the belt, with more registered staffys than any other Christchurch suburb.

Linwood resident Sally Watson owns one of the 134 staffys registered in her home suburb.

Nicky the staffy is 12 years old and can mostly be found asleep on her favourite chair. She occasionally stirs to play a quick game of pull the rope.

Watson said Nicky was a great companion for her three young daughters, aged between 4 and 6 years.

"She is just a lovely dog. I wouldn't have anything else," she said.

"She provides friendship and companionship and is great with the kids. She plays gently with the kids. She doesn't pull as hard on the rope as she does with me.

"She likes to be on my bed at night or even under the blankets when it is cold. She is not really allowed though."

The data also reveals pockets of popularity for other dog breeds. St Albans is the suburb with the most labradors, with 234 registered there.

St Albans resident Dillyn Rule owns a labrador/staffy cross called Magic. He adopted Magic five years ago to keep him company while dairy farming in Dunsandel.

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He buys Magic a gift for Christmas and for his birthday on November 19.

"He is funny and loyal," said Rule.

"I used to be a dairy farmer, so I got him as someone to talk to. It was good to have a dog in the country. He came to work with me all the time."

On the more rural Banks Peninsula, the sheep herding huntaway is the most popular breed, while there are pockets of bichon frise lovers in Aidanfield, Kennedys Bush and Mairehau.

- The Press

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