New York Dogs have occupied the homes of many of the world's most sought-after celebrities since the dawn of the entertainment industry. Under constant surveillance of fans, critics and the media, celebrities turn to canine companionship for the unconditional love and support man's best friend provides.
"Celebrities are admired by millions of fans, and the choices they makefrom clothing to carsoften result in fans following suit," says Lisa Peterson, AKC Director of Club Communications. "After a breed is featured in a commercial, film, or television show, or on the arm of a celebrity, we often see a spike in registration numbers for that breed. But prospective dog owners need to make sure they choose the right breed for their lifestyle by researching exercise needs, grooming, temperament and other factors."
In honor of AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day, a national initiative to educate dog owners about the responsibilities of dog ownership, the American Kennel Club examined some of the world's most recognizable stars to determine which celebrities appear most in tune with their canine companions.
"We encourage future dog owners to consider all of the aspects required to be a conscientious dog owner," adds Peterson. "The AKC commends the following celebrities for setting a good example by choosing the breed of dog that suits their lifestyle."
Courteney Cox-Arquette: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The happy and affectionate Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an ideal dog for Courteney Cox-Arquette and her family. Cox, a young wife and mother, owns two Cavaliers named Hopper and Harley. In a June 2003 interview with Glamour magazine, Cox discussed how she and her husband, actor David Arquette, sleep beside their dogs every night. When asked when she is happiest, Cox replied, referring to her dogs: "They bring me so much joy… It makes me so happy when I'm lying in bed and look over and see my husband, two little dogs… I don't think I can be happier than this." Cavaliers are a good choice for a family like the Arquettes because, like all toy breeds, they naturally love being close to and spending time cuddling with their owners. They are playful yet gentle-natured, a perfect match for a family with a young child, like the Arquettes.
Will Smith: Rottweiler
Smith's choice of Rottweilers stays true to his Philadelphia roots. In 2004, the Rottweiler was ranked number three among the most popular dogs in the City of Brotherly Love. A member of the AKC Working Group, Rottweilers are calm and confident, with great strength, agility and endurance. Known for their inherent desire to protect home and family, Rottweilers can provide the kind of security desired by someone frequently away from home, such as the hardworking actor and rapper Smith. In addition, the Rottweiler's high endurance makes him a good match for Smith's active wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith. According to a July 1999 article in Australia's Sunday Telegraph, Jada Pinkett Smith said, "My weight goes through different stages, and I work out when I need to. I get lots of exercise walking our four Rottweilers."
Shania Twain: German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog is a courageous, intelligent and steadfast breed. Known for its ability to adapt to a variety of settings, country singer Shania Twain has no difficulty acclimating Tim, a German Shepherd, to the dozens of cities she visits each year while on tour. Twain, who relies on Tim for both companionship and protection, has taken the necessary steps to ensure that her beloved dog is well cared for while on the road. Among Tim's many perks, a May 1998 article in The Toronto Sun reported that Twain's luxury tour bus was equipped with a customized doggie door.
Pete Sampras: Labrador Retriever
The Lab is a strong, hardworking, versatile dog that is eager to please his owner. A member of the AKC Sporting Group, Labs are naturally athletic and require daily exercise, making them a great companion for a professional tennis player like Sampras. For couples with young children, such as Sampras and his wife, actress Bridgette Wilson, Labs are a particularly loving and gentle breed of choice.
Fran Drescher: Pomeranian
A popular member of the AKC Toy Group, Pomeranians are lively, bold and alert dogs bred specifically for companionship. Actress Fran Drescher, whose personality is often described as lively and bold, seems to have met her match with her like-minded Pomeranian, Esther. Esther's innate desire to be close to her owner proved important when Drescher was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. Esther was a key source of comfort for Drescher throughout her battle, illustrating that canine companionship can boost a person's spirits. Now that Drescher is healthy, she has continued to provide her Pomeranian with the love and attention the breed craves. Drescher is frequently seen around New York and Los Angeles, Esther always by her side.
Owen Wilson: Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is a lesser-known breed that is strong and agile, extremely loyal and protective of its owner, and often reserved with strangers. Owen Wilson, a characteristically laid-back comedic actor, writer and bachelor, offers the ideal lifestyle for his Australian Cattle Dog, Garcia. Whether it's bike-riding, skateboarding or hanging out at home, Wilson provides the one-on-one bonding a Cattle Dog needs to be happy.