BULL-Y FOR US!
BREED HITS TOP 10 AFTER LONG RUFF SPELL
By LUCY CARNE
January 17, 2008 -- It's a face only a mother, George Clooney and Manhattanites could love.
After 75 years in the doghouse, the humble bulldog is back on the list of Top 10 favorite breeds, both in Manhattan and in the nation.
The stocky sports mascot muscled the miniature schnauzer out of 10th spot on the annual national list, which was released by the American Kennel Club yesterday.
New Yorkers set the trend, placing the bulldog in ninth place for 2007.
The Labrador retriever retained its top-dog spot, followed by the Yorkshire terrier.
Breeds on the popularity decline include the Rottweiler and the Dalmatian.
Bulldogs enjoyed their most popular year in 1915, when they hit fifth place on the national list.
Queens breeder Brigitte Gitte Antonocci, 39, of Big City Bulldogs in Astoria, was not surprised by the rise in popularity of the breed, which can vary in price from $800 to $5,000.
She said they're the ultimate roommates.
"They are like cartoon characters come to life," Antonocci said. "In apartments, they're lazy and just want to lie on the couch and watch TV.
"But when they're outside, they pep up. They are natural comedians. They also love cookies and peanut butter."
Comedian Adam Sandler, several Philadelphia Eagles, and actor Clooney all own bulldogs, - and Sandler even devotes a section of his Web site to his canine crony.
But their sudden rise in popularity does concern some bulldog breeders.
"We screen everybody. It's almost like a credit check," said Tammy Hollock, 36, of Delran, NJ, who runs the Vanetten Bulldog kennel.
"I won't sell them to anyone with an in-ground pool. They can't swim. They sink. You hear real horror stories," she said.
Gina Lash, 39, the assistant vice president of the American Kennel Club, said Manhattanites are sophisticated dog lovers who set national trends.
"There are hundreds of thousands of dogs in Manhattan. We are a dog lovers' city," she said.
Manhattanites bucked the national trend by favoring the hypoallergenic Havanese, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel - beloved by Charlotte in "Sex and the City" - the pug, and the French bulldog.
BULL-Y FOR US!
My buddy finally made it!