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The Most and Least Popular Dog Breeds

While some breeds of dogs are always popular, others fall in and out of fashion.

SC Psychological Enterprises
Source: SC Psychological Enterprises

The latest data on the popularity of various dog breeds, based on the American Kennel Club (AKC) registration data has just been released. The mainstream media will doubtless cover this event the way that they always do, focusing only on the top 10 breeds. Thus you will hear it trumpeted that the Labrador Retriever has done it again, holding the number one spot on the most popular list for the 24th consecutive year and that this continues the longest reign of any breed as America's top dog. The media will probably also emphasize that the Bulldog has crept up in the top 10 list, now reaching number 4 in popularity for the first time, and that this is the highest ranking in the history of this breed. You will also probably hear that the French Bulldog has now made it into the top 10 for the first time in nearly 100 years while the Dachshund was knocked out of the top 10 this year for the first time since 1985, slipping to number 11.

I doubt that many journalists will note that, over a long period of history, at least six out of the top 10 breeds are almost always predictable. You can always find a pair of full-sized family-friendly dogs (Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers) and a pair of dependable guard dogs (most typically German Shepherds and Rottweilers), plus the elegant and intelligent Poodle and the endearing, lovable and apartment sized, Beagle. Most of the "action" in terms of dogs rising and falling into and out of the top 10 list deals with the remaining four open slots.

This focus on just the 10 most popular dogs ignores a lot of interesting information. It leaves people who care about Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Shih Tzu's, Pomeranians and other breeds that never make it to the top 10 without any data about where their dogs ranked in terms of popularity. Such dog lovers are without any information about trends for their chosen breeds which might answer the question "Is my favorite breed of dog increasing or decreasing in terms of popularity?" Therefore I thought that it might be useful to give you the full list of the rankings all all of the breeds of dogs registered by the AKC. I also thought that it might be useful to give you some comparison data so that you can see the trend over the past five years in terms of each breed's popularity ranking.

Just to give you a quick idea as to what the data shows, we find a number of dogs have increased in popularity by more than 10 ranks over the past five years. The greatest gains have been made by a number of breeds that might not be well known to the public, such as the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and Anatolian Shepherd Dog. But other breeds that have also increased in popularity by 10 or more ranks include more familiar breeds such as Australian Shepherds, Newfoundlands, Border Collies, Shiba Inus, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Samoyeds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Flat-Coated Retrievers, Keeshonden, and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.

However some breeds of dogs have taken a major hit in terms of their popularity. Three relatively unfamiliar breeds of dogs have dropped more than 60 ranks over the past five years, specifically the Bluetick Coonhound, Norwegian Buhund, and Pyrenean Shepherd. However a number of well recognized breeds of dog have also sunk 10 or more ranks in terms of their popularity including the Pug, Chihuahua, Chinese Shar-Pei, Pekingese, Parson Jack Russell Terrier, Black and Tan Coonhound as well as the Brussels Griffon, Silky Terrier, and Japanese Chin.

Why certain specific breeds rise or fall in terms of their popularity, while others remain constant is a mystery — but it does make for great cocktail party conversation. In any event, for your edification here is the full list of all of the 178 dog breeds registered by the American Kennel Club ranked in terms of their popularity over the past five years.

Breed 2014 2013 2009

Labrador Retrievers 1 1 1

German Shepherds 2 2 2

Golden retrievers 3 3 4

Bulldogs 4 5 7

Beagles 5 4 5

Yorkshire Terriers 6 6 3

Poodles 7 8 9

Boxers 8 7 6

French Bulldogs 9 11 24

Rottweilers 10 9 13

Dachshunds 11 10 8

German Shorthaired Pointers 12 13 16

Siberian Huskies 13 14 22

Doberman Pinschers 14 12 15

Great Danes 15 16 21

Miniature Schnauzers 16 17 11

Shih Tzu 17 15 10

Australian Shepherds 18 20 28

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels 19 18 25

Pomeranians 20 19 14

Shetland Sheepdogs 21 21 18

Pembroke Welsh Corgis 22 24 26

Boston Terriers 23 23 19

Chihuahuas 24 22 12

Havanese 25 25 32

Mastiffs 26 26 27

Brittanys 27 30 30

English Springer Spaniels 28 28 29

Maltese 29 27 20

Cocker Spaniels 30 29 23

Bernese Mountain Dogs 31 32 39

Pugs 32 31 17

Vizslas 33 34 42

Weimaraners 34 33 31

Collies 35 35 38

Newfoundlands 36 37 46

West Highland White Terriers 37 36 36

Rhodesian Ridgebacks 38 39 48

Border Collies 39 44 52

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers 40 43 49

Basset Hounds 41 41 34

Papillons 42 38 37

Bichons Frises 43 40 35

Bullmastiffs 44 40 42

Akitas 45 45 50

Shiba Inu 46 46 65

Cane Corso 47 50 -

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers 48 51 62

Bloodhounds 49 48 43

Saint Bernards 50 47 45

Portuguese Water Dogs 51 49 60

Bull Terriers 52 52 57

Alaskan Malamutes 53 57 58

Australian Cattle Dogs 54 58 67

Whippets 55 59 61

Airedale Terriers 56 56 59

Chinese Shar-Pei 57 54 47

Scottish Terriers 58 55 51

Belgian Malinois 59 60 81

Miniature Pinscher 60 53 33

English Cocker Spaniels 61 62 66

Dogues de Bordeaux 62 65 69

Chinese Crested 63 68 55

Dalmatians 64 64 75

Lhasa Apsos 65 63 54

Samoyeds 66 67 76

Cairn Terriers 67 61 56

Chow Chows 68 70 63

German Wirehaired Pointers 69 71 74

Irish Wolfhounds 70 73 84

Irish Setters 71 72 73

Italian Greyhounds 72 66 68

Great Pyrenees 73 69 64

Wirehaired Pointing Griffons 74 80 108

Old English Sheepdogs 75 78 79

Cardigan Welsh Corgis 76 75 83

Staffordshire Bull Terriers 77 79 77

Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs 78 74 101

Bouviers des Flandres 79 82 85

Pekingese 80 77 53

Giant Schnauzers 81 83 89

American Staffordshire Terriers 82 76 70

Border Terriers 83 81 82

Basenjis 84 85 88

Keeshonden 85 86 102

Tibetan Terriers 86 88 96

English Setters 87 91 94

Standard Schnauzers 88 90 99

Brussels Griffons 89 84 72

Flat-Coated Retrievers 90 94 106

Japanese Chin 91 87 71

Anatolian Shepherd Dogs 92 93 115

Wire Fox Terriers 93 96 95

Norwich Terriers 94 89 98

Afghan Hounds 95 95 91

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers 96 97 110

Gordon Setters 97 105 97

Silky Terriers 98 92 78

Borzois 99 99 90

Norwegian Elkhounds 100 103 105

Leonbergers 101 98 -

Russell Terriers 102 102 -

Welsh Terriers 103 104 103

Boykin Spaniels 104 121 92

Schipperkes 105 109 93

Belgian Tervuren 106 108 109

Rat Terriers 107 - -

Treeing Walker Coonhounds 108 101 -

Neapolitan Mastiffs 109 111 113

Toy Fox Terriers 110 107 100

Parson Russell Terriers 111 100 87

Spinoni Italiani 112 117 119

Pointers 113 114 114

American Eskimo Dogs 114 110 118

Bearded Collies 115 112 116

Tibetan Spaniels 116 106 111

Belgian Sheepdogs 117 119 120

Fox Terriers (Smooth) 118 116 123

Irish Terriers 119 123 132

Black and Tan Coonhounds 120 113 86

Black Russian Terriers 121 118 130

Kerry Blue Terriers 122 126 121

Miniature Bull Terriers 123 125 125

Bluetick Coonhounds 124 128 44

Norfolk Terriers 125 129 122

Briards 126 127 127

Welsh Springer Spaniels 127 124 136

Salukis 128 115 112

Tibetan Mastiffs 129 132 131

Manchester Terriers 130 120 117

Field Spaniels 131 140 137

English Toy Spaniels 132 135 129

Australian Terriers 133 122 124

Bedlington Terriers 134 137 135

German Pinschers 135 130 146

Xoloitzcuintli 136 139 -

Clumber Spaniels 137 131 128

Affenpinschers 138 143 133

Beaucerons 139 152 148

Icelandic Sheepdogs 140 142 -

Greyhounds 141 148 140

Redbone Coonhounds 142 133 41

Lakeland Terriers 143 134 138

Petits Bassets Griffons Vendeens 144 138 134

Pulik 145 136 149

Irish Water Spaniels 146 141 150

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs 147 155 -

Plotts 148 149 126

Irish Red and White Setters 149 145 80

American English Coonhounds 150 146 -

Scottish Deerhounds 151 165 142

Swedish Vallhunds 152 147 147

Ibizan Hounds 153 151 144

American Water Spaniels 154 144 139

Kuvaszok 155 150 141

Glen of Imaal Terriers 156 167 158

Curly-Coated Retrievers 157 163 145

Pharaoh Hounds 158 160 152

Lowchen 159 154 143

Portuguese Podengo Pequenos 160 153 -

Dandie Dinmont Terriers 161 168 151

Komondorok 162 159 154

Sealyham Terriers 163 158 157

Polish Lowland Sheepdogs 164 157 153

Chinooks 165 156 -

Norwegian Buhunds 166 166 104

Finnish Lapphunds 167 171 -

Finnish Spitz 168 170 160

Sussex Spaniels 169 162 159

Canaan Dogs 170 164 156

Skye Terriers 171 161 155

Pyrenean Shepherds 172 169 107

Otterhounds 173 172 161

American Foxhounds 174 176 162

Harriers 175 173 163

Cesky Terriers 176 174 -

English Foxhounds 177 177 164

Norwegian Lundehunds 178 175 -

Stanley Coren is the author of many books including: The Wisdom of Dogs; Do Dogs Dream? Born to Bark; The Modern Dog; Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses? The Pawprints of History; How Dogs Think; How To Speak Dog; Why We Love the Dogs We Do; What Do Dogs Know? The Intelligence of Dogs; Why Does My Dog Act That Way? Understanding Dogs for Dummies; Sleep Thieves; The Left-hander Syndrome

Copyright SC Psychological Enterprises Ltd. May not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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