Wag the Labradoodle: A Timeline of Pet Fads

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


1884 1,500 different styles of dog collar are for sale in Manhattan.

1907 The New York Times announces pigeons as the latest pet for fashionable women.

1935 An 8-foot alligator is found in an East Harlem sewer, helping launch an urban legend.

1936 Cocker spaniels are dubbed America’s favorite breed; beagles unseat them in 1953.

1960 Fascination with all things French makes the poodle America’s favorite dog.

1960 Sea-Monkeys, a.k.a. brine shrimp, surface.

Early 1980s Up to a million potbellied pigs become pets. A 1997 survey of slaughterhouses finds that many became dinner.

1983 Cocker spaniels regain the “most popular” title.

Late 1980s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hype leads to record numbers of pet turtles being released into the wild.

Early 1990s Rottweilers become status symbols for Russia’s nouveaux riches.

1991 Labrador retrievers fetch the top dog spot; they’re still there.

1995 Neuticles, fake testicles for neutered dogs, are introduced. Nearly a quarter million pairs sell.

Mid-1990s Hedgehog craze spikes in the U.S.; video-game character Sonic is blamed.

1996 More than 40 million Tamagotchi, or digital handheld pets, are sold worldwide.

1999 New York mayor Rudy Giuliani bans pet ferrets, saying, “This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness.”

Early 2000s Sugar gliders, flying marsupials from Indonesia, start to take off in the U.S.

2003 Finding Nemo inspires kids to free their fish—in the toilet.

2003 Crazes for prairie dogs and Gambian giant pouched rats are cut short by a monkeypox outbreak and a federal ban on further sales.

2004 A bug-fighting video game feeds stag-beetle mania in Japan.

2006 The toyger, a house cat bred with a “designer toy tiger pattern,” is recognized as an official breed.

2007 Rat retailers in France report a boost in sales following Pixar’s Ratatouille.

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE

We’re falling behind our online fundraising goals and we can’t sustain coming up short on donations month after month. Perhaps you’ve heard? It is impossibly hard in the news business right now, with layoffs intensifying and fancy new startups and funding going kaput.

The crisis facing journalism and democracy isn’t going away anytime soon. And neither is Mother Jones, our readers, or our unique way of doing in-depth reporting that exists to bring about change.

Which is exactly why, despite the challenges we face, we just took a big gulp and joined forces with The Center for Investigative Reporting, a team of ace journalists who create the amazing podcast and public radio show Reveal.

If you can part with even just a few bucks, please help us pick up the pace of donations. We simply can’t afford to keep falling behind on our fundraising targets month after month.

Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery said it well to our team recently, and that team 100 percent includes readers like you who make it all possible: “This is a year to prove that we can pull off this merger, grow our audiences and impact, attract more funding and keep growing. More broadly, it’s a year when the very future of both journalism and democracy is on the line. We have to go for every important story, every reader/listener/viewer, and leave it all on the field. I’m very proud of all the hard work that’s gotten us to this moment, and confident that we can meet it.”

Let’s do this. If you can right now, please support Mother Jones and investigative journalism with an urgently needed donation today.

payment methods

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE

We’re falling behind our online fundraising goals and we can’t sustain coming up short on donations month after month. Perhaps you’ve heard? It is impossibly hard in the news business right now, with layoffs intensifying and fancy new startups and funding going kaput.

The crisis facing journalism and democracy isn’t going away anytime soon. And neither is Mother Jones, our readers, or our unique way of doing in-depth reporting that exists to bring about change.

Which is exactly why, despite the challenges we face, we just took a big gulp and joined forces with The Center for Investigative Reporting, a team of ace journalists who create the amazing podcast and public radio show Reveal.

If you can part with even just a few bucks, please help us pick up the pace of donations. We simply can’t afford to keep falling behind on our fundraising targets month after month.

Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery said it well to our team recently, and that team 100 percent includes readers like you who make it all possible: “This is a year to prove that we can pull off this merger, grow our audiences and impact, attract more funding and keep growing. More broadly, it’s a year when the very future of both journalism and democracy is on the line. We have to go for every important story, every reader/listener/viewer, and leave it all on the field. I’m very proud of all the hard work that’s gotten us to this moment, and confident that we can meet it.”

Let’s do this. If you can right now, please support Mother Jones and investigative journalism with an urgently needed donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate