Pet styles of the rich and famous

Wealthy people tend to pick "high-end" dog breeds as family pets.
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Jun 17, 2009
By dvm360.com staff

Adopting a mutt at the local animal shelter might not be sufficient for some wealthy pet owners. According to a new study, many affluent people would prefer a pricier pooch.

Researchers at British firm OnePoll found that people who considered themselves upper class tended to buy breeds like Afghan hounds, Akitas, Welsh corgis and affenpinschers, while those who saw themselves as lower in the social class system preferred more common canines, like Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, rottweilers, and German shepherds.

The breed preferences aren’t a coincidence. According to the survey, 44 percent of respondents who identified themselves as upper-class said they chose their dog breed because it reflected their social standing. Similarly, 80 percent of middle-class dog owners chose breeds that reflected their heritage. For example, families that historically owned hounds might have a legacy of hunting or tracking.

A University of California study found similar results, stating that when people buy a dog, “they seek one that, on some level, resembles them.”