Soon Small Dogs Will Supplant The Human Race

As you may have heard and applauded, American women between the ages of 15 and 29 are not having nearly as many babies as they did even just seven years ago (10% drop between 2007 and 2012). MEANWHILE, as you may have also noticed, and may have also applauded, tiny dog ownership is on the rise. Roberto Ferdman at Quartz, along with a few market researchers, also men, think the two might be linked:

Meanwhile, the ownership of small dogs—that is, pets weighing no more than 20 pounds (9 kilograms)—is doing just the opposite. Americans have been buying more and more small dogs each year since 1999. The population of little canines more than doubled in the US over that period, and is only projected to continue upwards, according to data from market research firm Euromonitor…

It could just be a coincidence that Americans are birthing fewer babies at the same time as they’re buying a lot more little dogs. But there’s pretty good reason to believe it isn’t, Damian Shore, an analyst at market-research firm Euromonitor, told Quartz. “There’s definitely some replacement happening there,” he said.

Thanks Damian Shore, but as much as I want to talk about my friend who carries her dog in a Baby Bjorn and keeps wondering why guys don’t hit on her at the dog park (and boy, do I), my guess is the tiny dog trend has less to do with repressed baby craving and more to do with tiny apartments and/or Paris Hilton. Quartz mentions this, too: “Fashion trends aside, small dogs are also emblematic of a national migration to cities, where big dogs are harder to keep. Nearly 80% of Americans live in urban areas,” but the market researchers, dollar signs in their eyes, are having none of it.

More importantly, at the park on Saturday I saw a woman walking two rabbits on leashes. They were very soft. That is all.

Photo: Andrea Arden

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21 Comments / Post A Comment

BillfoldMonkey (#1,754)

Waaait is the Baby Bjorn thing real? Because I want to talk about that.

Meaghano (#529)

@BillfoldMonkey YES it is real. Very real. Also I was looking for a photo for this post and if you google ‘dog baby bjorn’ there is much fun to be had.

BillfoldMonkey (#1,754)

@Meaghano Well, that just made my day. Both the images and thinking about exactly how many ways my dog would murder me if I tried that.

Phew, my small dog clocks in at 25 lbs (30 after this winter, oof). I have successfully avoided being a trend piece!

Allison (#4,509)

Yeah, I would love a big dog (any dog really, but big dogs are the best) but unless it is the ultimate couch potato, I’m not trapping one in my condo all day.

sea ermine (#122)

@Allison I think weight limits that landlords have is a bigger factor than energy levels, which are more a breed specific/dog personality thing. Many many small dogs have high energy levels and need tons of exercise and training, I know way too many people who got little dogs thinking they’d be like toys, and didn’t exercise them, and now they they are stuck with super hyperactive dogs. And then there are some lazy big dogs! Maybe you could look into an older dog, like a retired police dog or something, older dogs (of any breed) tend to be more couch potato-y (they also have health issues and don’t live as long, so it’s kind of a trade off).

I’d love a big dog but I can’t afford one, so I’m sticking with fish for the time being.

Allison (#4,509)

@sea ermine I know, I love the big lazy lump dogs! But I’m just gone too long during the day/travel too much for it to seem like a good idea at this point in time. But that’s why I volunteer at a shelter! I get my fix and realistic expectations on how much work they are.

EmilyAnomaly (#4,238)

I’m guessing that it might have something to do with weight restrictions that landlords/condo associations have on dogs, too. My dog (now deceased) was a spry border collie/cocker spaniel/miniature pinscher mix who weighed in at 20 pounds exactly so I didn’t have too much trouble, but my friends with bigger dogs had difficulty finding landlords who would allow their dogs. When you’re a homeowner in the suburbs, you have much more flexibility.

MrDean (#6,289)

If you look at the numbers, there are two very clear trends: (1) a shift away from medium sized dogs that’s more than made up for by an increase in small dogs and (2) a drop in pregnancies in the 20-29 bracket, partially made up for by an increase in pregnancies for older groups, that coincide exactly with the recession. Makes perfect sense that young people are less secure in their ability to provide for a family.

Also, I’d posit that “dog in bjorn” > “dog in stroller.” Just throwing that out there.

Allison (#4,509)

@MrDean ok, but what about a pram full of approximately 6 dogs? because that’s up there among the greatest sights I’ve ever seen.

MrDean (#6,289)

@Allison I’d call that “happiness on wheels” and then try not to think any deeper than that.

Allison (#4,509)

@MrDean I believe I ended up squealing PRAM FULL OF PUPPIES!!!!!! for the rest of the day

Nibbler (#5,331)

@MrDean What about “dog(s) in grocery cart?” We get that around Brooklyn a lot.

MrDean (#6,289)

@Nibbler I still say no, unless it’s comically full of them, and is a full sized grocery store cart and not one of those little folding ones.

E$ (#1,636)

Women — we just can’t win. We can’t have sex, we can’t get equal pay, now we can’t get dogs?!

BornSecular (#2,245)

Wait, is this supposed to be a bad thing? Since the low end of their range sits squarely in teenage pregnancy years, I’m gonna go with this is actually good news? Also life does not stop at 30 and people can (and do) continue to have kids for decades after this range.

seakelps (#5,146)

@BornSecular yeah, starting at 15 is sketch.

I’m pretty sure according to market researchers everyone stops existing at 30. Or only exists to buy stuff for their babies (that they had in their 15-29 baby producing years, obviously).

andnowlights (#2,902)

I am waiting, desperately, for the time that I can me some GIANT dogs. Husband wants a corgi, which I guess would be acceptable as long as I can also have a mastiff or something.

I am not a small dog person.

Beaks (#3,488)

@andnowlights I keep putting in a vote for a Great Pyrenees in my household. Huge AND fluffy.

andnowlights (#2,902)

@Beaks YES! My friend posted on facebook a couple months ago about a Great Pyrenees that was up for adoption. I may or may not have had a total meltdown that we couldn’t get it (lease forbids it, moving a year or so and big dogs make it harder to find a place to rent, vet costs not in the budget). My poor husband probably thought I had lost my mind.

mckfox (#5,928)

I have a small (low energy) dog because I’m a renter and the ONLY reason I want to eventually own a home is so that I can finally get an Irish Wolfhound.

I love my small dog and I think it’s fair to say that she’s sorta delayed my desire for a child.

Side note: terriers are certainly high energy dogs, but there are plenty of lower energy options out there too. I have an Italian Greyhound and she sleeps all day.

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