Dogs of Orion: A data-driven look at the most popular names and breeds
(Kurt Metzger, 09.10.2022)
Lake Orion, MI – This episode of Dogs of Oakland County takes us to the village of Lake Orion and the surrounding community of Orion. The Oakland County Dog License Database contains 2,893 records for dogs living in the 48359, 60, 61, and 62 ZIP Codes.
While there are some interesting variations (and spellings) in breed names, I’ve done my best to bring some consistency to the records. A total of 143 breeds were identified, including the mixed breed/mutt category. Figure 1 shows the 11 major “races” residing in the Lake Orion area (11 are identified as being responsible for at least 70 times the races listed).
Judging by national rankings, it’s no surprise that the Labrador retriever is once again the #1 spot, more than doubling its closest rivals, the golden retriever and German shepherd. Fourth is a personal favorite, the mixed breed or mutt. As I have said before, my personal experience has shown me that there are mixed breeds that are “designed” and commonly named such as the Goldendoodle (of which there are 60), the Labradoodle (of which there are 44), the Cockapoo (22), the Puggle (3), the Schnoodle (2), and the Daisy Dog (2)—a mix of Bichon Frize, Poodle, and Shih-tzu. Of course, there are also those that arise at run-of-the-mill meetings “in the neighborhood” – affectionately called mutts.
The next tier of four includes 3 small breeds – Shih Tzu, Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier – plus the popular Australian Shepherd. We end with 3 B’s – Boxer, Border Collie and Beagle. I also found that many dog owners chose small breeds that had size in their names – Toy Poodle, Toy Fox Terrier, Mini Goldendoodle, Mini Labradoodle, Miniature Pinscher, and Miniature Schnauzer.
I figured that a few dog shows in Westminster would make me an expert on breeds, but I have to admit that every community I study brings an additional breed or two to my study list. To our existing list of Shiba Inu, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Plott, Mountain Cur, Blue Heeler, Finnish Spitz, and Mountain Feist, I must add Biewer, Boykin Spaniel, Kuvasz, Lagotto Romagnolo, and Walker Hound.
Each year, the Social Security Administration publishes a list of the top names for boys and girls born in the previous year. I’ve always enjoyed scrolling through these lists to see how spellings have been changed to create “uniqueness” and how popular books, films, and television have led to a rise in a particular name. I’ve also had many opportunities to name pets over the years and have come across a variety of names while walking around the neighborhood – many of them being “personal names”. The listing of Lake Orion/Orion Twp. Dog names did not disappoint.
Figure 2 shows the top 15 dog names (with 20 or more entries) for the area. It is interesting to note that even with 2,893 dogs to be entered, the winner – Bailey – was only mentioned 41 times. Bella and Charlie followed closely behind.
Dog owners from the Lake Orion area certainly won’t be disappointed with the Department of Unique and Wonderful Names. There’s Mayhem, Dangerous, Killer, Monster, and Voodoo, as well as Hazzard, Knuckles, Trouble, Rampage, Rowdy, and Rumble. Someone in Lake Orion is calling for gnocchi, bourbon, Jack Daniels and faygo. My favorites are Coach Joe, Indigo 500, Capone, Sophia Loren, Princess Gingersnap and an Australian Shepherd named Ruby Chewsday.
The next article is about the Dogs of Lake Orion/Orion Township, all other communities will follow in the coming weeks. If you have a specific community of interest please let me know.
If you have a specific community of interest please let me know. Join the conversation on the Oakland County Times Facebook page and share your pup’s picture. And don’t forget to get your pet’s vaccinations and driver’s license, which can be done through the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center.
For more stories about population shifts, turnout and other election trends, and other interesting numbers, visit the Oakland County Times Data-Based Stories Archives. Thanks to data expert Kurt Metzger for this work!