What is dog owners’ favorite name? Which city is Israel’s dog capital? Here’s a peek into life of man’s best friend in past year.
More than 387,289 dogs are currently registered on the website of the Agriculture Ministry’s National Dog Register, which has released some figures on the life of man’s best friend in Israel.
According to the data, Israelis prefer adopting a male, purebred dog rather than a mixed breed.
Since the establishment of the National Dog Register about five years ago, 438,586 dogs have been updated on the website, but the Agriculture Ministry recently began deleting the listing of more than 50,000 dogs born after 1994, as dogs’ estimated life expectancy is about 17 years.
According to the ministry, most dog owners fail to update the Register when their dog dies.
There are currently 195,592 male dogs registered, compared to 191,697 female dogs. Since the beginning of 2010, 50,768 new dogs were registered – 14,657 of them born in the past year.
According to the Agriculture Ministry, only 46,942 of male dogs in Israel have undergone castration, compared to 116,935 of female dogs which have been spayed (24% of male dogs compared to 61% of female dogs).
This is the fourth year that the name Lady is considered the favorite name for female dogs (3,098 dogs), while this year the name Lucky (2,734) leads the list of most popular names for male dogs, after defeating the name “Bonnie”, which still remains very popular (2,699).
More unique names include Red Bull, Kinor (Hebrew for “violin”), Nautika, Abu Ali and Escape.
For the third time in a row, the Labrador Retriever has been named the most popular purebred dog in Israel, with 20,490 registered dogs. The Pinscher came in second for the second year with 17,881 registered dogs. They are followed by the German Shepherd with 13,848 dogs. The Pekingese is fourth with 15,544 dogs and the Golden Retriever seals the top five with 13,093 dogs.
According to the ministry figures, the Pekingese dog breed leads the list for the second year in a row in terms of the number of purebred dogs who have joined the reservoir with 2,222 dogs compared to the Labrador with 2,074 dogs.
For several years now, the Israeli public has shown a clear preference for purebred dogs. Some 250,000 purebred dogs, and dogs with physical traits similar to purebred dogs, were registered with the National Dog Register in 2010 – an addition of 30,000 dogs, compared to 183,000 dogs of mixed breed which were joined by only 21,000 new members last year.
It should be noted that this high number supports the blooming industry of breeding and trading in purebred dogs, which is mostly unsupervised in terms of breeding and maintenance conditions of the purebred dogs. The price of a purebred puppy can reach thousands of shekels. The alternative is adopting mixed-breed dogs for hundreds of shekels in dozens of dog houses across the country.
Animal welfare associations stress every year that buying purebred dogs does not guarantee eternal life in their owners’ homes. The past few years have seen a rise in the number of abandoned purebred and mixed-bred dogs who are looking for new owners.
The Agriculture Ministry has clarified the need to castrate and spay every single dog, in order to reduce the number of abandoned dogs, many of whom are put to death every year in dog houses across the country.
The animal density in Tel Aviv among dogs continues, and this is the first year the city leads the list. Last year Tel Aviv was joined by 1,930 dogs, and today the registered dog population totals 26,546. Jerusalem (1,301 new dogs) celebrates with 21,608 dogs, and in the north, Haifa marks an addition of 1,084 with a population comprised of 14,321 dogs.
A total of 40,650 dog owners raised more than one dog in their home in the past year (between two and five) compared to 30,000 in 2009. Nahariya and Ariel are considered the cities with the highest number (20%) of dog owners raising more than one dog.