Wag the Labradoodle: A Timeline of Pet Fads

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


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.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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