Sherlock and Berlin are four and eight year-old chocolate labradors. They are two of more than 4600 labradors in the city, the most popular dog breed this year.

Labradors are by far the most popular breed, with staffordshire bull terriers in at second, and close behind in third is bichon frise.

Owners Terry Hope and Marietjie Sandford say the best thing about having labradors is "they're beautiful natured and well behaved", although they can be a handful at times.

"They have a beautiful nature, but they will eat anything that is lying around. I have to give him a lot of exercise, but otherwise, yes he's well behaved," Mrs Sandford said.
Ms Hope said one time during a dinner party she took off her shoes and put them in another room while the guests and her were eating.


"Halfway through the meal though I heard a chewing noise coming from the next room, and went to find him (Sherlock) ripping up my new expensive shoes," she said.

New statistics released by the city council on the number of dogs in the city and their locations, shows that St Albans, Spreydon and Belfast are the top three most popular suburbs for dog owners.

The total number of dogs in the city as of August 16 is 31,859 dogs, which includes all registered dogs in the city, as well as some that have been registered previously, but are yet to be registered for this year.

About a quarter of dogs in the city live in north-western suburbs homes, and the eastern suburbs are not far behind. Together the two groups of owners make up half of the city's registered dogs.

About 19 per cent live in south-eastern households, 17 per cent in south-western suburbs, and the other 13 to 14 per cent live elsewhere around the city.

Most popular dog breeds in the city


: Labrador, 4686; staffordshire bull terrier, 2660; bichon frise, 2408; border collie, 2041; jack russell, 1837; fox terrier, 1123; cocker spaniel, 1114; german shepherd, 1038; huntaway, 931; golden retriever, 889

2014: Labrador, 4948; staffordshire bull terrier, 2821; bichon frise, 2476; border collie, 2146; jack russell, 1947; fox terrier, 1237; german shepherd, 1156; cocker spaniel, 1153; golden retriever, 956; huntaway, 954

Most dogs:

St Albans, 1452; Spreydon, 1114; Belfast, 975; Papanui, 946; Hornby, 936; Bishopdale, 853; Woolston, 841; Burwood, 784; Halswell, 775; Redwood, 773

Least dogs:
Bexley, 2; Ferrymead, 3; Middleton, 3; Redwood Park, 19; Balmoral Hill, 20; Richmond Hill, 25; Phillipstown, 40; Moncks Bay, 54; Masham, 57; North Shore, 58

Total number of registered dogs as of August 16: 31,859