Wisconsin's official state dog -- the American water spaniel -- may find Madison a lonely place. Only four are registered in the city.

Based on 10,505 dog licenses issued by the city of Madison, some breeds are more likely to be a Madisonian's best friend than others. A few nationally popular breeds, like the French bulldog and Rottweiler, don't reach the upper echelon, while other less-common breeds are more likely to be spotted.

A few breeds are exclusive, such as the silky coated Afghan hound. Just one is licensed in Madison.

Like people, some dogs are hard to categorize. Is Bailey a "Labrador retriever" a "lab mix" or a "labradoodle" (or, heaven help us, a "labradoodle mix")?

In determining a breed's popularity the Wisconsin State Journal combined pure-bred dogs with dogs whose owners have specified the mix of their canine, counting each listed breed once. "Designer dogs" -- popular cross-breeds that have taken on commonly used names like the goldendoodle -- are similarly counted under each of their parents' breeds.

In the case of pit bulls, schnauzers and corgis, totals are for a family of breeds instead of individual breeds, since some licenses lacked specification, such as whether a schnauzer was giant, standard or miniature. Each Madison ranking is also compared to the breed's popularity nationally, as determined by the American Kennel Club.

-- Logan Wroge

Logan Wroge has been a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal since 2015.

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