In Philly German Shepherds are top dogs

Proving once again that Philadelphians don't follow the pack, a new survey shows German Shepherds are the top choice among purebred dogs in southeast zip codes.

Across the nation, Labrador Retrievers were the most popular purebred dogs, followed by shepherds, according to the 2011 breed popularity survey released by the American Kennel Club.

In Philly, Labs and Rottweilers tied for second, bumping out bulldogs which were second in 2010. (For more Philly's top dawg rankings click here.)

The AKC survey notes that Beagles have muscled out Yorkies for third place.

Among the national trends: large dogs are moving up, while lap dogs are on the decline, the four types of setters (Irish, Irish red and white, Gordon, English) are staging a comeback (should we call it "the Mitt effect?") as are terriers, but coonhounds are falling.

How about mutts? Oh wait, they don't count in the AKC surveys, which only include those dogs whose breeds are recognized and licensed with them.

Someone ought to do a mutt survey. 

Let's tally up the numbers of all those beloved pound puppies in Pennsylvanai homes and examine the proliferation of so-called designer breeds, those often abused genetic freaks churned out by backyard breeders and puppy millers who take advantage of the popularity of those oh-so-cute hyrbrid names: the "doodles" and the "Morkies," "Shorkies," the "poos" and the "Jugs."