To What Extent Do Movies Influence Dog Breed Popularity?

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Movies that feature dogs can have an impact on dog breed popularity and the effect can last up to ten years. In addition, the influence is correlated with the overall success of the movie, according to new research from the University of Bristol, the City University of New York, and Western Carolina University.

The study also found that movies’ influence was strongest in the early twentieth century and has been in decline ever since.

For example, the 1943 hit movie Lassie Come Home attributed to a 40 percent increase of Collie registrations in the American Kennel Club in the following two years. The study has shown that the most dramatic example is the 100-fold increase in Old English Sheepdog registrations following the 1959 Disney movie The Shaggy Dog.

Hal Herzog, co-author of the paper, explained that the popularity of the breed has nothing to do with breed health and temperament.

“On the whole, breeds with more desirable behaviors, greater longevity, and fewer inherited genetic disorders did not become more popular than other breeds. In short, cultural shifts in types of pets largely reflect ephemeral changes in fashion rather than selection for functional traits.”

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