Top Dog Breeds of 2012 - Most Popular Dogs

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This year the AKC celebrates its 129th anniversary and for the 22th year in a row, the Labrador retriever is once again America's favorite purebred dog, according to registration numbers tallied by the American Kennel Club. The AKC released the figures and, as in past years, the Labrador far outstrips the other dogs in the top 10.

Changes This Year

Big Dogs Rule this year. The biggest change this year is the large breeds bumped out several of the smaller dog breeds. Here is the rundown. The Bulldog has climbed his way in to #5 dog! – which bumped the Yorkshire terrier in to #6 spot. The Golden Retriever has also pushed himself into the #3 spot – overtaking the Beagle. The Rottweiler also climbed in to 9th place – displacing the Dachshund.

Here are the trends of the past few years:

In 2011, The Beagle jumped into 3rd place from fourth knocking out the Yorkshire Terrier to #5. The Golden Retriever also jumped into 4th place. The Shih Tzu was knocked off the top 10 list and a new breed was added – the Rottweiler.

In 2010, the biggest change was that the Beagle jumped into 4th place from fifth knocking out the Golden Retriever to 5th. The bulldog also jumped into 6th place knocking out the boxer.

In 2009, the biggest change was that the German Shepherd Dog came in at #2 knocking the Yorkshire Terrier down one notch to #2 dog. The was first time the German shepherd ranked #2 in over 30 years. In 2011, the German Shepherd Dog retains it's second place spot.

If you look at to 2008, it was the first time the bulldog made it into the top ten list since 1935 and has continued to increase and maintained his spot in 6th again this year.

Over the past several years, the top 10 list has been relatively stable. The biggest changes are that six years ago, in 2005, one new breed joined the top 10 list and one got bumped off. The Miniature Schnauzer came in at #10 displacing the Chihuahua into the #11 position. In 2007, the Miniature Schnauzer was dropped from the top 10 list. And in 2008, the Bulldog jumped on the top 10 list. In 2010, the Rottweiler jumped on the top 10 list bumping the Shih Tzu off the list.

Large Vs. Small Breeds

Six out of the top ten AKC registered breeds are large breed dogs! These include the Labrador retriever, German shepherd, golden retriever, Boxer, Rottweiler, and Bulldog. The rest are smaller breed dogs which includes the Yorkie, Beagle, Dachshund, and Poodle.

The Top 10 Breeds of 2012 are:
1. Labrador retrievers
2. German shepherds
3. Golden retrievers
4. Beagles
5. Bulldog
6. Yorkshire terriers
7. Boxers
8. Poodles
9. Rottweiler
10. Dachshunds

The Top 10 Breeds of 2011 were:
1. Labrador retrievers
2. German shepherds
3. Beagles
4. Golden retrievers
5. Yorkshire terriers
6. Bulldog
7. Boxers
8. Poodles
9. Dachshunds
10. Rottweiler

The Top 10 Breeds of 2010 were:
1. Labrador retrievers
2. German shepherds
3. Yorkshire terriers
4. Beagles
5. Golden retrievers
6. Bulldog
7. Boxers
8. Dachshunds
9. Poodles
10. Shih Tzus

AKC Categories

The AKC recognizes dogs in seven categories: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting and herding. The largest breed registration in each group is as follows:

  • Sporting – e.g. Labrador retriever
  • Hound – e.g. beagle
  • Working – e.g. boxers
  • Terrier – e.g. miniature schnauzer
  • Toy – e.g. Yorkshire terrier
  • Non-sporting – e.g. poodles
  • Herding – e.g. German shepherd


    How Did YOUR Breed Score? Go to Top Dog Breeds of 2012 – Most Popular Dogs for the entire 2012 AKC ranking.

  • The Entire Ranking of 2012 AKC Dog Registrations

    Rank        Breed        
    1.        Labrador Retrievers
    2.        German Shepherd Dogs
    3.        Golden Retrievers
    4.        Beagles
    5.        Bulldogs
    6.        Yorkshire Terriers
    7.        Boxers
    8.        Poodles
    9.        Rottweilers
    10.        Dachshunds
    11.        Shih Tzu
    12.        Doberman Pinschers
    13.        Miniature Schnauzers
    14.        French Bulldogs
    15.        German Shorthaired Pointers
    16.        Siberian Huskies
    17.        Great Danes
    18.        Chihuahuas
    19.        Pomeranians
    20.        Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
    21.        Shetland Sheepdogs
    22.        Australian Shepherds
    23.        Boston Terriers
    24.        Pembroke Welsh Corgis
    25.        Maltese
    26.        Mastiffs
    27.        Cocker Spaniels
    28.        Havanese
    29.        English Springer Spaniels
    30.        Pugs
    31.        Brittanys
    32.        Weimaraners
    33.        Bernese Mountain Dogs
    34.        Vizslas
    35.        Collies
    36.        West Highland White Terriers
    37.        Papillons
    38.        Bichons Frises
    39.        Bullmastiffs
    40.        Basset Hounds
    41.        Rhodesian Ridgebacks
    42.        Newfoundlands
    43.        Russell Terriers**
    44.        Border Collies
    45.        Akitas
    46.        Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
    47.        Miniature Pinschers
    48.        Bloodhounds
    49.        St. Bernards
    50.        Shiba Inu
    51.        Bull Terriers
    52.        Chinese Shar-Pei
    53.        Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers
    54.        Airedale Terriers
    55.        Portuguese Water Dogs
    56.        Whippets
    57.        Alaskan Malamutes
    58.        Scottish Terriers
    59.        Australian Cattle Dogs
    60.        Cane Corso
    61.        Lhasa Apsos
    62.        Chinese Crested
    63.        Cairn Terriers
    64.        English Cocker Spaniels
    65.        Dalmatians
    66.        Italian Greyhounds
    67.        Dogues de Bordeaux
    68.        Samoyeds
    69.        Chow Chows
    70.        German Wirehaired Pointers
    71.        Belgian Malinois
    72.        Great Pyrenees
    73.        Pekingese
    74.        Irish Setters
    75.        Cardigan Welsh Corgis
    76.        Staffordshire Bull Terriers
    77.        Irish Wolfhounds
    78.        Old English Sheepdogs
    79.        American Staffordshire Terriers
    80.        Bouviers des Flandres
    81.        Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs
    82.        Japanese Chin
    83.        Tibetan Terriers
    84.        Brussels Griffons
    85.        Wirehaired Pointing Griffons
    86.        Border Terriers
    87.        English Setters
    88.        Basenjis

    Rank        Breed

    89.        Standard Schnauzers
    90.        Silky Terriers
    91.        Flat-Coated Retrievers
    92.        Norwich Terriers
    93.        Afghan Hounds
    94.        Giant Schnauzers
    95.        Borzois
    96.        Wire Fox Terriers
    97.        Parson Russell Terriers
    98.        Schipperkes
    99.        Gordon Setters
    100.        Treeing Walker Coonhounds
    101.        Keeshonden
    102.        Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers
    103.        Toy Fox Terriers
    104.        Leonbergers
    105.        Norwegian Elkhounds
    106.        Belgian Tervuren
    107.        Anatolian Shepherd Dogs
    108.        Welsh Terriers
    109.        Black and Tan Coonhounds
    110.        Pointers
    111.        Tibetan Spaniels
    112.        Neapolitan Mastiffs
    113.        American Eskimo Dogs
    114.        Spinoni Italiani
    115.        Smooth Fox Terriers
    116.        Boykin Spaniels
    117.        Bearded Collies
    118.        Salukis
    119.        Norfolk Terriers
    120.        Black Russian Terriers
    121.        Manchester Terriers
    122.        Briards
    123.        Australian Terriers
    124.        Belgian Sheepdogs
    125.        Welsh Springer Spaniels
    126.        Miniature Bull Terriers
    127.        Petits Bassets Griffons Vendeens
    128.        Kerry Blue Terriers
    129.        Tibetan Mastiffs
    130.        Irish Terriers
    131.        Clumber Spaniels
    132.        Redbone Coonhounds
    133.        Bluetick Coonhounds
    134.        English Toy Spaniels
    135.        Lakeland Terriers
    136.        German Pinschers
    137.        Xoloitzcuintli
    138.        Affenpinschers
    139.        Scottish Deerhounds
    140.        Beaucerons
    141.        American Water Spaniels
    142.        Ibizan Hounds
    143.        Icelandic Sheepdogs
    144.        Bedlington Terriers
    145.        Pulik
    146.        Greyhounds
    147.        Field Spaniels
    148.        Swedish Vallhunds
    149.        American English Coonhounds
    150.        Plotts
    151.        Kuvaszok
    152.        Polish Lowland Sheepdogs
    153.        Curly-Coated Retrievers
    154.        Irish Water Spaniels
    155.        Irish Red and White Setters
    156.        Lowchen
    157.        Entlebucher Mountain Dogs
    158.        Pharaoh Hounds
    159.        Canaan Dogs
    160.        Finnish Spitz
    161.        Sealyham Terriers
    162.        Glen of Imaal Terriers
    163.        Norwegian Buhunds
    164.        Finnish Lapphunds
    165.        Pyrenean Shepherds
    166.        Skye Terriers
    167.        Sussex Spaniels
    168.        Otterhounds
    169.        Komondorok
    170.        Dandie Dinmont Terriers
    171.        Harriers
    172.        American Foxhounds
    173.        Norwegian Lundehunds
    174.        Cesky Terriers
    175.        English Foxhounds

    NOTES:
    Data from AKC website: http://www.akc.org/reg/dogreg_stats.cfm

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