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Ferndale Dogs: A Data-Driven Look at the Most Popular Names and Breeds

Ferndale Dogs: A Data-Driven Look at the Most Popular Names and Breeds

(Kurt Metzger, September 18, 2022)

Ferndale, MI – Today we kick off a regular feature on “The Dogs of Oakland County”. I submitted a FOIA to Oakland County Animal Control/Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center for a list of dogs licensed in Oakland County, including dog name, dog breed, city, and county. Postal Code. That first effort, earlier this year, produced a list that seemed oddly small: just over 29,000 records. Subsequent discussions revealed that due to COVID lockdowns, many dog ​​owners had delayed renewing their licenses. We decided to review that FOIA request later in the summer after the county had conducted its “dog census.”

I am now in possession of a revised list that includes nearly 54,000 records, an 83 percent increase from the previous list. The list does not include communities that run their own licensing programs, including Berkley, Bloomfield Township, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Rochester, Royal Oak, Southfield City, and Southfield Township (Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms and Franklin).

Our inaugural community of interest will be the city of Ferndale, which has 1,374 licensed dogs.

While there are some interesting variations (and spellings) of breed names, I’ve done my best to achieve some consistency across the records. Figure 1 presents the top 10 ‘races’ (race mixing is a major issue) living in Ferndale.

It’s no surprise, judging by national rankings, that the Labrador Retriever is No. 1, doubling its closest rival, the Golden Retriever. I must point out that there was an intruder between the two retrievers, and that was the mongrel.

Personal experience has shown me that there are mixed breeds that are ‘designed’ and generally named, such as the Cockapoo (of which there are 3), and then those that result from run-of-the-mill “neighborhood” gatherings – affectionately called strays.

The German Shepherd follows closely behind the Dorado with the Chihuahua hot on its heels. While we see the generic “Terrier” with 38 responses, please know that there are a number of specific terrier breeds listed. Pit bulls put in a good showing, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier just came out of the race with 28.

A total of 120 different breeds were mentioned, some of which (Shiba Inu, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Plott, Mountain Cur and Blue Heeler) may not be as popularly known.

Each year, the Social Security Administration publishes a list of the top names of boys and girls born in the previous year. I have always liked to see these lists and I have been fascinated by those names that gain and lose popularity year after year. Plus, I’ve found that spelling varieties of similar-sounding names are a never-ending source of fun. The Ferndale dog name list (in advance also for other communities) has given me almost the same pleasure.

I must say that Ferndale dog owners have some wonderful and unique names including Butterbeer, D’Artagnan, Drizzy, Fatty, Gin Gimlet, Hugo Frankenstein, Mr. Chunks and Sir Frances Maple Bacon. However, I have chosen to provide you with the 8 names that appeared 10 or more times. (See Figure 2)

Cheers to all 16 Charlies, 13 Zoeys, and a dozen Buddys and Bellas out there.

The next article will look at Holly’s Dogs, with all the other communities to follow in the coming weeks. If you have a particular community of interest, please let me know. Join the conversation on the Oakland County Times Facebook page and share your pup’s photo. And don’t forget to get your pet vaccinated and licensed, which can be done through the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center.

For more stories on population changes, voter turnout and other election trends, and other interesting numbers, visit the data-driven story archives at the Oakland County Times. Thanks to data expert Kurt Metzger for this work!

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