L.A.'s Top Dogs is a collection of Los Angeles county dog registrations.

In the summer of 2008, Times staff requested public information from more than a dozen government bodies across the area. The result is the first publicly available database of L.A. County's dog registrations.

You can use it to learn the most common names and breeds overall, discover what's most popular in different parts of town, track your favorite name or breed or just look up the weird names people give their pets.

While we've made our best effort to present the information, it's far from perfect. Here are a couple things to keep in mind:

  • While registering your dog is required by law, only a fraction of owners do so.

  • The L.A. County Department of Animal Care and Control estimates that it licenses about 60 percent of the dogs living in its jurisdiction. Ed Boks, the general manager of the L.A. Department of Animal Services, said the city licenses about 120,000 dogs each year. Based on a national veterinary association's formula for roughly estimating dog popuations, there should be about 900,000 dogs living in the city of Los Angeles. The data published here, which were collected from the county as a whole, contain more than 500,000 records.

  • The database covers most of L.A. County except parts of Arcadia, Downey, Sierra Madre and La Canada Flintridge.

  • There is no centralized list of dog registrations for Los Angeles County. More than a dozen agencies perform the service at the local level. While we made an effort to collect records from as many areas as possible, a few fell through the cracks. Public records requests are a time-consuming process, and some agencies were unable to release the information without requiring a significant fee for the technical service. Others simply didn't get back to us in time for our deadline. Published here are more than 500,000 dog registrations drawn from the vast majority of possible sources. It's not everything, but it's a lot.

  • The breed totals reported here do not reflect purebred status.

  • The information published here is drawn from what was entered on the breed field of a dog registration form. It does not reflect the formal certification process overseen by bodies like the American Kennel Club. In other words, if the owner registered it as a Basenji, it is listed here as a Basenji. Although clear mispellings and slight variations found on the forms have been consolidated using the AKC's style and spelling. Unclear breed names and mixed breed designations have not be included.

The site was developed with Django.

L.A.'s Top Dogs is the Los Angeles Times' database of dog names and breeds in Los Angeles County organized by ZIP Code.

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About the Data Desk

This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers at The Times.