The dog breeds most often featured on Instagram, and some reasons why

Analysis of 10 million Instagram photos posted publicly revealed interesting patterns in the geography of America’s dog obsession, which breeds are most featured and which most liked

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 July, 2016, 1:03pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 July, 2016, 5:03am

If love means posting photos of your beloved on social media, then people in the Midwest and the southeast of the US really love their Labradors. Westerners, on the other hand, are head over heels for German shepherds.

So suggests an analysis of 10 million Instagram photos posted publicly over three months in the spring and marked with the hashtag #DogsofInstagram, which revealed some interesting patterns in the geography and timing of America’s dog obsession.

The data was crunched by Havahart, a company that makes animal-related products, including electronic dog fences, and so has an interest in tracking pooch power.

According to mentions in photo captions, Labs, German shepherds and bulldogs rule Instagram. This will come as little surprise to people familiar with the American Kennel Club’s annual list of the country’s most popular breeds – they’re three of the top four on that list.

Labs, in fact, were the most represented dog of Instagram in 17 states. Pit bulls, the dogs Americans love and hate, took top honours in seven states. Alaskans, no surprise, love to snap photos of their huskies.

Dogs on the coasts – and in Colorado – are the most featured #DogsofInstagram subjects. Poor Missouri and North Dakota pets: their owners aren’t so quick to post dog photos (or maybe they have better ways to spend their time).

When it comes to how lovingly they’re described, different breeds overtake the usual top dogs. The folks at Havahart said they analysed the words used in these Instagram posts to determine “how positive” they were. The company didn’t reveal more about its methodology, but the dogs it awarded the highest “average sentiment scores” were Irish setters, Akitas, bichon frises and golden retrievers.

A few other #DogsofInstagram facts to throw out during your next chat at the dog park: although 60 per cent of the photos used no filters, the most commonly used was Clarendon. The most frequently Instagrammed dog parks are in Hollywood and Manhattan. And about one-third of #DogsofInstagram photos are posted over the weekend.