AKC's Most Popular Breeds - Some Things Change and Some Remain the Same

PetMD Editorial
February 11, 2011
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With the Westminster Kennel Club revving up for their 135th annual dog show in New York City next week, there is a lot of buzz surrounding the six new breeds that will be entering the WKC competition, and some dog fanciers are curious to see which will be the darlings of this year’s judges and fanciers, and which breeds will move up on the list of America’s favored breeds.

With three of the new breeds added in 2010, and three becoming official on January 1st of this year, there are now 170 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Every year, the AKC checks its registration statistics and announces the breeds that were registered as a gauge of their popularity.

The Bulldog has continued is steady upward momentum, going from the seventh to the sixth most popular breed since last year and changing places with the Boxer. Similarly, the Golden Retriever switched places with the Beagle, moving from fourth place fifth place, and from fifth to fourth, respectively. The top ten list has otherwise remained static, with the top breed holding her own yet again; yes, the Labrador Retriever is still America’s top dog.

Other changes seen in the last year include trends toward larger breeds, with the Great Dane, Mastiff, Newfoundland, Greater Swiss mountain Dog and Bernese Mountain Dog breeds making the greatest leaps in popularity.

Small dogs have not fallen out of popularity, of course, and the breeds that best exemplified America’s love for those little balls of preciousness included the Shih Tzu, who maintained his hold at number ten, the Yorkshire Terrier, who bounced from number seven to number three, and the Havanese.

The Bulldog may want to watch his back, as his cousin the French Bulldog is making great gallops into the hearts and homes of American families. The Frenchie, as she is affectionately called, has seen the most dramatic rise in popularity in the last ten years, moving from 71st place to 21st place since 2000.

Here is the AKC's list of America’s most popular breeds for 2010:

10. Shih Tzu
9. Poodle
8. Dachshund
7. Boxer
6. Bulldog
5. Golden Retriever
4. Beagle
3. Yorkshire Terrier
2. German Shepherd Dog
1. Labrador Retriever

You may be curious to know which breeds are the most popular in your city. The AKC keeps track of them too. You can find them at Top Breeds in Major U.S. Cities.

Image: mattwunderle / via Flickr

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American Kennel Club