Drum Roll Please: Most Popular Dog Breeds in Snoqualmie Valley, and Across Country

In her latest column, North Bend resident and pet trainer at Miss Lola’s Academy for Wayward Dogs, Melissa Grant, examines what are the most popular dog breeds right here in the Snoqualmie Valley. Did your pooch make the list?


The beautiful Snoqualmie Valley boasts many trails for its residents to hike and bike. I bike and walk my dog pretty regularly on the trail to Rattlesnake Lake or through the golf course towards the dog park.

All the different dogs I meet made me wonder if we follow along with the rest of the country in terms of most popular breeds.  Recently, the American Kennel Club released its statistics for dog registration in the US for the year 2013.

U.S  Top Five:

  • Labrador Retrievers
  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Beagles
  • Bulldogs

The entire list can be found HERE. I did an entirely unscientific poll on Facebook of Valley residents and aside from the top spot, our list was quite a bit different:

Snoqualmie Valley Top 5:

  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Aussie Mix
  • Chow Chow Mix
  • Border Collie Mix

I realize the AKC does not have any statistics on mixed breed animals, but I did find it notable, given their popularity in the rest of the country, that no one who was polled in our hometown had a Beagle or Bulldog.  However, I found that we do count a few unusual breeds as members of our doggie family here in the Valley.

Unusual Local Pooch Breeds

The first pooch parent of an unusual breed to answer the poll was Dennis of Wilderness Rim. He has two Spanish Mastiffs: Feye is 170lbs and Brutus weighs in at a whopping 225lbs. This breed of dog is exceptionally rare in the US and is not recognized by the AKC.

Spanish Mastiffs are livestock guardians bred to defend livestock against wolves and other predators. Like other mountain mastiffs, they have a thick heavy coat and an aloof, dignified demeanor. Dennis researched large breed dogs and went with these pups with home and family protection in mind. Dennis says they are both pet and protector – and fiercely loyal.

Spanish Mastiffs, Reye and Brutus, who live  in North Bend.
Spanish Mastiffs, Reye and Brutus, who live in North Bend.

Next I spoke to Cindi from the Silver Creek neighborhood whose rescue, Lucky, is likely a Formosan Mountain dog. These dogs are native to a mountainous region of Taiwan and are known for their energy and agility.  These medium-sized, pointy-eared dogs are bred to hunt small animals and were used by the early Aborigines to hunt boar.   They are very alert and make great guard dogs. Cindi says no delivery person goes unnoticed at her house.

Formosan Mountain dog, Lucky

My last unusual discovery was Cora, a Greater Swiss Mountain dog owned by Anne and her family at the end of Mt. Si Road. Affectionately known as “Swissys,” this giant breed was developed in the Swiss Alps to be a puller and guarder.

Heavy-boned, strong and agile, Swiss Mountain dogs almost died out in the late 19th century, but were rediscovered in the early 1900’s and have slowly made a comeback. They have a distinctive black, white and rust colored coat, and the males can weigh up to 150 pounds. As Anne will tell you, Swissys need a lot of stimulation and exercise to keep that agile nature in checkand off your countertops.

So, as it turns out, we Valley folks are similar to the rest of the U.S. in some ways, and in other ways quite different when it comes to our choice of dog companions.

I hope to see you all out on the trails sometime walking all those fabulous pooches and rocking your good trail-dog manners! Woof!

Cora, a Greater Swiss Mountain dog and North Bend resident.

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