Because I'm in a good mood due to the baseball team currently sitting atop the polls and softball shaping into postseason form, I will find grant CRACKLES his greatest wish: the official ATVS Dog Rankings.
As always, we start with rules. LSUJoshua will complain about the rules and my application of them tomorrow, as per the ATVS Guidebook. I'm not going to try and say what is the best hunting dog or best seeing-eye dog or whatever. This is simply: what dog makes the best pet? If you had a stranger ask what dog should they get, and you knew nothing about them, what would you recommend?
Pugs are an ugly, stupid dog. Its face looks like it has been hit by a shovel and they are a ridiculous amount of work, as you have to pick out their eye boogers or they get infected (the eyes, not the boogers). They don't even bark right, as they do this disgusting snorty thing. Pugs are easily the most useless and ridiculous dog ever conceived. But here's the thing, people who love pugs love them to an almost fanatical degree. Pugs are so silly that they swing the pendulum all the way back to sort of cool. And I really admire the fanaticism of pug owners. So you go, ridiculous snorty dogs.
9 GERMAN SHEPHERDS
I hear great things about this breed and it is consistently one of the most popular breeds in the country. German shepherds are smart, loyal, and are good at all of your classic dog games. I was also bit by a German shepherd when I was a little kid, so I unreasonably dislike this dog. Sorry. I just can't be fair here. Let's just move on.
Huskies are the most beautiful dogs on the planet. They are smart, playful, and really good with kids. And if you ever need to pull a sled, this is the dog you're gonna call. I love huskies so much. Here's the rub. If you live south of the Mason-Dixon Line, you should never, ever get a husky. It's just cruel. The dog is approximately 80% hair, and it's just cruel to have this dog any place in which the weather is not horrible. OK, if you are going to move to Canada, get a husky, but then you are living in the land of curling and maple syrup. No dog is worth living in a cold climate.
7 PIT BULLS
Speaking of fanatical dog owners, pit bull lovers insist that pits are the sweetest, kindest dogs in the world. And that can be true, as I'm a big fan of the breed myself, but let's not pretend there's never been an incident of a pit bull attacking a kid. Their scary rep is overblown, but it's also not based on nothing. But my favorite thing about pits is that they all think they are lap dogs, which is just adorable.
Corgis are the unofficial Dog of the Internet. When a writer needs a picture of a cute dog doing something adorable, it's corgis to the rescue. But what is the obsession with docking their tails? A dog has got to have a tail, y'all. That just bothers me. Yes, corgis are fun and playful, making them a great pet, but that's also the problem: they are just exhausting. Corgis have no off switch. I swear to God, corgis have more energy than toddlers high on candy.
5 GOLDEN RETRIEVERS
Goldens are suckers. They will do just about anything you ask them to do. They are the worker bees of the dog world. Need a hunting dog? A service dog? A dog who will open your refrigerator and bring you a beer? (I swear to God, I knew a golden that could do this) A golden retriever can be trained to do just about anything. They are also loveable, playful, and pretty much everything you think of when you think "dog". They also shed. A lot. Pet a golden retriever for five minutes, and you will be covered in hair for pretty much the rest of your natural life. And this just in, fetch has no end game.
Terriers do not give a single damn. You could drop a terrier off a building and it would probably bounce right back up and look for a hole to dig (NOTE: Do not try this). Terriers get dinged for being a small dog and I know, small dogs are just cats, but that's just anti-terrier propaganda. Take a terrier to a dog park, and odds a pretty good that it will dominate the larger the dogs. Being low to the ground means a lower center of mass, making them harder to knock over. Terriers love tripping up the bigger dogs, exposing their flaws. Also, goldens are smart in the sense you can tell it what to do. Terriers are smart in the sense that it is plotting the dog uprising. But it will likely only bring you a ball back twice before he gives you that look of "Dude, I brought you this thing back twice, now you're just being irresponsible." Still, Ron Swanson does have a point.
3 LABRADOR RETRIEVERS
The lab is the most popular dog breed in America, and for good reason: labs are awesome. They are fun and loving, to just about anyone. They are great at going outdoors and helping you, well, retrieve anything, but they also can dominate a couch. I mean, labs go from super lazy to a bundle of energy in the moment it takes you to put your shoes on. They know when it's time to chill out, so they don't drive you insane during the week. Labs also have that instinct of knowing exactly how much to power down around kids. If I play tug with a lab, it's going all out, but give the rope to the Lil Poseur, and a lab will still play tug, but at 25% capacity. It's kind of amazing how they know the exact level of energy to use around each person.
Know what is better than a breed? A mutt. Mutts are healthier, as they tend to not have the degenerative diseases unique to each specific breed due to centuries of inbreeding. They also tend to be smarter and prettier, because as Eddie Izzard tells us, the first rule of genetics is to spread them around. But what is so cool about mutts is that each one is unique. The answer to "what kind of dog is that?" is "This one." And she's the only one. Also, mutts are more democratic, befitting a true American. We're not elitists. We don't check who your parents are. We don't believe in hereditary titles and the aristocracy. Mutts are the most American of dogs, a true melting pot.
1 YOUR DOG
All that said, there is no better dog in the world than your dog. You know that thing she does when you wake up in the morning? That is so cute. You know the way she looks at you in that special way? Irresistible. And what about that cool thing she does? That's totally the best. Your dog is your best friend, and that's the greatest thing in the world. There's no one who can tell you that there is a better dog on earth because for you, there isn't.