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Old 01-18-2008, 02:27 PM
GyBill GyBill is offline
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Bulldog breaks into AKC Top 10 list

Bulldog breaks into AKC Top 10 list

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Jan 18, 2008 15:37:29 EST

Marines everywhere, rejoice: The bulldog is back among the Top 10 most popular dog breeds in the U.S., a ranking it hasn’t pawed since 1935.

The beloved Marine mascot muscled its way to No. 10 in the American Kennel Club’s 2007 registration figures, which were released Wednesday. The Miniature Schnauzer was bumped from the Top 10.

The improved ranking will come as good new to Marines, said Staff. Sgt. Jeff Janowiec, a spokesman with Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, which has a 5-year-old English bulldog named Cpl. Molly as a mascot.

“A bulldog is very stocky, and if it latches on, it’s not going to let go,” Janowiec said. “It’s the same way with Marines: We’re not going to stop until we reach our objective.”

The ranking marks a continued resurgence for the bulldog, which was ranked No. 12 in 2006, No. 18 in 2005 and No. 26 in 2004.

“This breed appeals to a very wide range of dog lovers, so it’s no surprise,” said AKC spokeswoman Lisa Peterson in a prepared statement. “The bulldog is both docile and adaptive, and can thrive in small or large homes.”

The bulldog’s connection with the Corps stretches back to World War I, when lore has it that the Germans dubbed a group of leathernecks the Teufelhunden, or “devil dogs.” Marines adopted the nickname, using images of fierce, helmet-wearing bulldogs to represent the Corps.

Today, the floppy-faced pooch is synonymous with leathernecks, and used to name everything from the Camp Pendleton Bulldog Bike Road Race to the sports teams at Camp Lejeune High School.

The Marine Corps bulldog also has become popular on merchandise, said Diann Wall-Wilson, a civilian whose sketch of “Chesty the Bulldog” was copyrighted and approved by the Corps for use in 1983. The logo has been placed on everything from watches to coffee cups, selling thousands of items.

“It’s all about the patriotism,” Wall-Wilson said. “The bulldog has been an unbelievable mascot and one of the most popular in the military.”

Janowiec said Molly, who was promoted to corporal in November, regularly provides a morale boost to recruits and their families when they visit.

“When it’s time to go to work, she’s ready to get her uniform on and meet and greet the families,” he said. “She’s not the best-looking dog, but she’s cute in her own way.”
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