2018 is almost over, and DogTails wants to review it the way we know best – the Year in Dogs! Below are some of the most memorable dog stories of the past year. Enjoy, and a Happy New Year to hound and human alike. Here’s to a great 2019! 

JANUARY – 2 New Breeds Recognized by the AKC

Picture of two Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen dogs and one Kooikerhondje dog

On January 10, 2018, the American Kennel Club (AKC) kicked off 2018 by announcing that two newly eligible dog breeds would join their ranks: the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje and the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen.

The newest member of the Sporting Group, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje (pronounced Coy-ker-hund-tsje) hails from the Netherlands, and was bred to hunt duck. Its name in Dutch means “little cage dog,” as it is trained by hunters to use its long white fluffy tail to lure ducks into a duck cage trap. Happy, lively, intelligent and eager-to-please, the Kooikerhondje is a small dog with a big name and a bigger personality!

The Hound Group welcomed the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen (GBGV), joining its smaller relative the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (PBGV). The GBGV is a scent hound that was bred to hunt larger animals, including wolves and deer, as well as track smaller game like rabbits and hares. They are a friendly, laidback hounds that nevertheless need lots of exercise to channel that working dog spirit. Don’t let those short legs and droopy ears fool you – GBGVs are energetic, athletic hounds that love to run, play and explore!

Stay tuned to DogTails for news about any new AKC additions in 2019!


MARCH – Labrador Retriever is the Most Popular Dog in America for the 27th Year in a Row

Biz the Black Lab

On March 28, 2018, the American Kennel Club announced that, for the 27th year in a row, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed in U.S. The AKC’s top breed list is based on the number of registrations received by the AKC in the previous year. The lovable Lab is not only popular in the US; it is also the top breed in Canada, according to the Canadian Kennel Club. Way to go, Labs!

To view the full list, check out these blog posts:


APRIL – Queen Elizabeth II of England’s Last Corgi Passes Away

The Queen said goodbye to Willow, the last of her world famous Corgis on April 15, 2018. Willow was a familiar sight in photographs of monarch, including a Vanity Fair cover and a video with Daniel Craig as James Bond as part of the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

The Queen has raised Corgis for most of her life, and Willow was a descendant of a Corgi named Susan, who was a gift to the then Princess Elizabeth on her 18th birthday. The Queen still has two dogs, Vulcan and Candy, who are Dorgis – a breed that is a mix of a Corgi and Dachshund. While we were sad to see Willow go, the 14 year-old dog certainly had a memorable life in the spotlight, and brought lots of joy to dog lovers the world over.


JUNE and JULY – Zsa Zsa the Bulldog Wins The “World’s Ugliest Dog” Contest (and Wins Many Hearts, Too)

On June 23rd, Zsa Zsa, a senior bulldog with gigantic tongue, hot pink nails and a heart of gold, was crowned the winner of the annual “World’s Ugliest Dog” at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, CA. Zsa Zsa and her mom Megan Brainard traveled from their home in Anoka, MN to participate in the world-famous contest highlighting the unique charm of unconventional looking pups.

Before her moment in the spotlight, Zsa Zsa spent the first five years of her life in a puppy mill in Missouri before she was rescued and adopted by Brainard and her family. “From the moment we saw her beautiful face, we knew we would be her forever home,” Brainard said. Sadly, Zsa Zsa’s reign was short-lived; she passed away in her sleep on July 10th at the age of 9. It’s wonderful to know that this sweet girl found her perfect home and family who loved her, just the way she was.


SEPTEMBER – Uno the Beagle Dies at Age 13

Uno, the first Beagle to win the Best in Show title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and who attracted fans worldwide, crossed the rainbow bridge in September 2018. Back in 2008, the then three year-old 15 inch Beagle won the Best in Show in front of a roaring crowd who quickly fell in love with stunning pup.

After his win, Uno became one of the most beloved show dogs of the century, appearing on TV shows, shaking paws with celebrities, politicians and the public alike, and even riding on the Peanuts float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. After his retirement, Uno’s grandniece, Miss P, followed in his footsteps, winning Best in Show at Westminster in 2015. Uno’s legacy will live on among dog show fans and all of those lucky enough to meet this special pup or see him strut his stuff at Westminster like the champion he was!


OCTOBER – Giant Trio of Bonded Saint Bernards Find a New Forever Home Together!

Photo of Saint Bernard dogs Goliath, Gasket and Gunther - Photo Credit: Kylie Adams of Edmonton Humane Society

Taking one giant dog is big task. Taking on THREE giant dogs at once? That takes a special family. When 5 year-old Saint Bernard litter mates Gasket, Goliath and Gunther arrived at the Edmonton Humane Society in Alberta, Canada, they showed “high levels of anxiety” when separated. At a combined weight of over 350 pounds, the staff knew finding the right home for them would take some extra work, so they reached out the public to find just such a special home.

The dogs’ unique story quickly went viral, and within days, the Edmonton Humane Society received over 200 applications from across Canada and the US. A Calgary family was ultimately selected, and the dogs were joyfully welcomed into to their new forever home in late October. We love that this very special trio got the happy ending they deserved, thanks to a generous family and the hard work of the Edmonton Humane Society!


NOVEMBER – Dedicated Volunteers Unite to Rescue Animals Impacted by the Camp Fire in Northern California

One of the biggest news stories in November 2018 was the Camp Fire, the most devastating fire in California history. In addition to the brave individuals and groups helping residents trapped by the fire, the North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG), a non-profit organization in Butte County, California, stepped up to help rescue, evacuate, treat, foster and reunited the thousands of pets affected by the disaster.

NVADG relies on volunteers, including veterinarians, vet techs, firefighters, animal control officers and others. DogWatch Inc. appreciates and values the work of this important organization, and we have made a donation to support them this holiday season. To learn more about how to help, visit the NVADG’s website, www.nvadg.org.


DECEMBER – Sully the Service Dog Pays Tribute to his Veteran, Former President George H.W. Bush

Of the many moving images that were shared following the passing for former President George H.W. Bush, perhaps the most famous one featured his service dog Sully laying behind the President’s casket in Houston. President Bush, who had a form of Parkinson’s disease, was paired with Sully in June 2018 with the help of America’s VetDogs, who train and place service dogs with veterans across the country. Sully was trained to help his esteemed veteran with a variety of tasks, including opening doors and summoning for assistance.

Sully will soon begin his new post at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where he will help wounded veterans with their recovery. This smart and loyal pup has a long career ahead of him, but many will never forget his first assignment, and important role he played for the former President, his family and the nation.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these stories from the Year in Dogs, and we look forward to sharing many more stories like these with you in 2019 here and on our Facebook page!

Image Credits
January: iStock (Kooikerhondje) and “Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen” by Eelco Roes is licensed under CC BY 2.0. (Image is cropped.)
March: DogWatch, Inc.
April: ABC News Twitter
June and July: TIME Facebook Page
September: Westminster Dog Show Twitter
October: Photo of Goliath, Gasket and Gunther by Kylie Adams of Edmonton Humane Society
November: North Valley Animal Disaster Group Facebook Page
December: America’s VetDogs Facebook Page