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Labs still tops; beagles, bulldogs rising

For the 20th year in a row, the Labrador retriever is America’s top dog.

While America’s three most popular dog breeds remained the same — Lab, German shepherd and Yorkshire terrier — the American Kennel Club’s annual list of most oft-registered purebreds had some surprises.

The beagle overtook the golden retriever for the No. 4 spot.

And the bulldog, who has been steadily rising up in rank, took 6th place away from the boxer.

“Not since the early 20th Century has the bulldog enjoyed such sustained popularity,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “‘Bob’ was the first AKC registered bulldog in 1886, and today the breed enjoys its highest ranking in 100 years at number 6.”

The AKC numbers are based on the numbers of purebreds registered with the organization.

Baltimore’s top five breeds reflected the national averages, except for the presence of the Rottweiler at No. 5.

Chihuahuas, ranked 13th nationally, were the sixth most popular breed for Baltimore.

Some other national highlights from the AKC’s count:

  • The French bulldog made the largest leap in the past decade, jumping 50 places from 71st to 21st. Other breeds with the biggest increase in rankings over the last decade include the Havanese (from 86th to 31st) and the Cavalier King Charles spaniel (from 54th to 23rd).
  • Closing the gap this year, a couple of breeds that had been on the decline over the past decade made double digit increases over the past year — Keeshonden (from 102nd to 87th) and Anatolian shepherd dogs (from 115th to 109th).
  • Three new breeds entered AKC’s registry in 2010, and the larger the breed, the higher they appeared in the rankings. The Leonberger, the largest of the new breeds, was ranked 33rd; the Cane Corso ranked 51st; and the smallest of the new breeds, the Icelandic sheepdog, came in at 82nd.


Comment from Peggy @Peggy’s Pet Place
Time January 26, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Nice to see some formerly lesser-known dogs enjoying some popularity. I’ve never met one in person, but I love the looks of the Havanese.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time January 27, 2011 at 12:51 am

Hooray! Hear that mighty AROOO? It’s the sound of Beagles moseying their way into America’s hearts. 🙂 Beagles can be stubborn. They shed a lot, love to invade your kitchen counters and trash can, and need to be on a leash while outside. But Beagles have a lot of qualities that make them great family pets. They’re sturdy and fairly long-lived. They’re usually good with kids–patient, jolly, and strong enough to put up with (and instigate) lots of kid shenanigans. They have great dispositions and are gifted with the dog’s version of a sense of humor. For all sorts of reasons, there are usually lots of Beagles around who are available for rescue and are searching for good homes. So you can enjoy all of their great qualities while still having the satisfaction of giving a home to a dog who needs and deserves one. If you’re thinking about sharing your life with a dog, the Beagle is worth a second look. I’ll shut up now. The Beagle is telling me he’s ready for all of us to go to bed.

Comment from Jim
Time February 2, 2011 at 11:44 am

Oh yeah? Well my Pomeranian is smarter than your honor student!! ;>)