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Famous Dogs and Cats

Updated on October 9, 2019

The US is home to millions of dogs and cats, and we love to show off our furry friends in the many beauty pageants we organize for them. These contests make them famous, and then, some companies even use their image to promote their products and services. Pets are often the protagonists of successful ad campaigns or even the main characters in movies like Beethoven or 101 Dalmatians.

Dogs and cats are probably the best entertainers from the animal kingdom. The Internet is full of funny movie clips that captured the clumsiness of our furry friends. But during a beauty pageant, we can also see that pet owners go above and beyond for their pets by training and grooming them in the hope of winning a prize.

Famous Dog Breeds

Humans have been training baby wolves for millennia. In the past, they helped with hunting, herding and guarding, and still to this day some breeds are valued by hunters and shepherds alike. However, most of them are precious companions. Also, it is believed that dogs may even help with recovery in some patients and are often referred to as therapy dogs. But what are the most popular dog breeds in the US?

According to the American Kennel Club, you’re more likely to run into a Labrador Retriever. Highly favored are also the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever. Pitbulls, Pointers and Yorkshire Terriers are also in the top 10. Beethoven’s breed - Alpine Mastiff or Saint Bernard- took the 29th position, while Dalmatians are only in the 56th place.

When it comes to beauty pageants, the winners always take us by surprise. Last year, during the 2018 National Dog Show, which took place on Thanksgiving Day, a 3-year-old Whippet named “Whiskey” took the “Best in Show” title and the top prize as well. Another important pageant is the Westminster Kennel Clun Annual Dog Show which takes place every year in New York. Last year’s winner was Flynn the Bichon Frise, while in 2019, King the Wire Fox Terrier took home the big prize.

A dog show’s podium is the springboard to a new career in advertising or the film industry. However, there are companies that specialize in training dogs for the cameras. This is exactly the goal of Worldwide Movie Animals, a company owned by David J. McMillan and currently hosting Target’s Mascot, the Bullseye - a Miniature Bull Terrier. A Weimaraner and a German Shorthair were included in a Lincoln commercial featuring Matthew McConaughey three years ago. Then, you probably remember Spuds Mackenzie - white English bull terrier used in Budweiser commercials. In fact, many Bud Light commercials use dogs in their scripts and the results are quite funny. But probably the first companies to use dogs in their ads are the ones selling dog food such as Pedigree and Purina.

Dogs are beloved characters in cartoons as well. The fearful Scooby-Doo is a male Great Dane. The Paw Patrol includes many dog breeds such as a cockapoo, English bulldog and dalmatian. While in Lady and the Tramp you can see an American Cocker Spaniel (Lady) and a Schnauzer mix with some Terrier traces (Tramp). Pluto and Droopy are also quite popular. And the list could go on and on.

Famous Cat Breeds

A press release by The Cat Fanciers’ Association revealed that the Ragdoll is the most popular cat breed in the US. The Exotic and the British Shorthair are next, bot with a dense short-hair fur, ideal for families. Persian cats and Maine Coon cats occupy the fourth and fifth positions, respectively. The Sphinx breed, with its weird look and fur-free skin, is also quite popular, ranking in the 8th position.

However, at the CFA 2018 International Cat Show, a Shorthair Manx - a brown patched tabby and white cat - stole the hearts of the jury. The first runner-up was a Shorthair Scottish Fold, while a Persian cat came in third. The CFA’s best cat seems to be a copper-eyed all-white Persian male cat from Georgia.

Cats are less demanding, they don’t have to be walked, and so, they are more suitable for less active people. But cats are playful and very sociable, and they love to be petted. When it comes to training, cats are more challenging than dogs, because they aren’t motivated by food or sweets.

As movie characters, cats aren’t very frequent. They do provide a lot of inspiration for cartoons, though. Tom and Jerry still make our children laugh. Then, let’s not forget about the humor of Garfield’s cynical remarks. The AristoCats is also a really old cartoon featuring cats. It was produced by Walt Disney in 1970. And it would be a shame not to mention The Secret Life of Pets.

Moving into more serious business, cats have been used in advertising, too, and generated the term “catvertising”. In fact, one company from Toronto, John St., decided to focus entirely on these furry creatures when promoting their client’s brands or products. The logic behind this is that people like to watch videos with pets, especially with cats, thus advertising agencies achieve two goals at once: they deliver content that people enjoy watching while also marketing products and services.

What makes dogs and cats famous? Their owners, for sure. Nowadays, celebrity pets have their own Instagram profiles with millions of followers without winning any important prize at a dog or cat show. Moreover, famous pets also benefit from a pet trust, so anyone who will inherit that pet will be able to provide the same lifestyle as money won’t be a problem. So is the case with Choupette, the late Karl Lagerfeld’s cat. Nala, Grumpy Cat, and Lil Bub are the names of the cats with most followers on Instagram. As for the dogs, Boo the Pomeranian has really made it big on social media, with over 16 million likes.


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