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Dog Breed Registration Statistics of AKC Breeds

By: Courtesy of the American Kennel Club

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Have you ever wondered how many dogs the AKC registered per year and the stats of that increase? Learn more about the top spot and how little dogs are hot!

The AKC registered approximately one million dogs per year. They compile registration stasticis each year and represent registrations from Jan. 1- December 31 of the previous year.

Previous Top Dog Breeds

  • AKC registration statistics were compiled approximately every five years from 1915-1940, however, the Boston Terrier Club of America's records show that between 1905 and 1935 the Boston Terrier held the number one or two position consistently

  • In 1925, the German Shepherd Dog displaced the Boston Terrier, seizing the number one spot

  • Cocker Spaniels ranked number one from 1936-1952

  • Beagles took over the top spot in 1953 until 1959

  • Poodles enjoyed a long reign as the most popular dog for 22 years (1960–1982), the longest any breed has held that position consecutively

  • Cocker Spaniels made a comeback and were number one again from 1983-1990, making them the dog with the longest total reign in the top spot at 23 years.

  • In 1991, the Labrador Retriever took over and remains the leader of the pack today

    How Do Little Dog Breeds Rank?

    The popularity of small dogs (under 25 lbs) has steadily risen over the past decade. Some of the biggest movers include:

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels: 735% increase
  • French Bulldogs: 305% increase
  • Brussels Griffon: 231% increase
  • Papillons: 132% increase
  • Chinese Cresteds: 100% increase
  • Norwich Terriers: 91% increase

    Of the breeds that have seen the highest decrease in registrations during the past decade, larger dogs are affected the most:

  • Rottweilers: 83% decrease
  • Dalmatians: 97% decrease
  • Chow Chows: 91% decrease

    Hypoallergic Dog Breeds

    Though no dog is 100% hypoallergenic or non-shedding, several AKC breeds yield less dander, the real causes of allergies. The following breeds have risen in popularity over the past ten years:

  • Chinese Crested: 100% increase
  • Portuguese Water Dog: 54% increase
  • Bedlington Terrier: 29% increase
  • The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier: 23% increase

    Famous Dog Breeds

  • Shortly after Rin Tin Tin was featured in the Warner Brothers film Man From Hell's River (1922), the German Shepherd Dog was number one from 1925-1928

  • Lassie made her film debut in 1943 and the Collie's popularity began to rise until ranking third in the nation from 1947-1949. In 2005 the Collie ranked 36th

  • Big Red (1962), a film based on a popular book about an Irish Setter, triggered a rise in popularity of the breed. The Irish Setter rose from 27th in 1960 to 21 in 1965 and peaked at the third spot in 1973. In 2005, the Irish Setter was 67th in the rankings.

  • Today, dogs are routinely featured in films, advertisement and all other forms of entertainment, making it difficult to track resulting trends. The abundance of small dogs on the silver screen such as the Chihuahua in Legally Blonde and the Brussels Griffon in As Good As It Gets, combined with the bevy of jet-setting celebrities who tote their canine companions with them, appears to have fueled the popularity of the petite pooch.

    Top Dog Breeds in US, Canada and the UK

  • In 2005 the AKC registered nearly three times as many dogs than the Kennel Club (United Kingdom) and Canadian Kennel Club combined

  • The Labrador Retriever was number one in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada in 2005

    The U.K. Vs. U.S.

  • The Staffordshire Bull Terrier (often confused with a Pit Bull) is ranked fifth in the U.K. and 84th in the U.S

  • Labradors, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and Boxers appear in the top ten for both countries

  • A long-standing American favorite, the Beagle, is ranked 29th in the U.K. vs. 5th in the U.S.

  • The Cocker Spaniel and English Springer Spaniel enjoy great popularity as the number two and three breeds, respectively, in the U.K. (vs. 15th and 28th In the U.S.)

    Canada Vs. U.S. Dog Breeds

  • The Bernese Mountain Dog is ranked 12th in Canada but 47th in the U.S.

  • The West Highland White Terrier, English Springer Spaniel made it into the top 20 in Canada but rank much lower in the U.S. (32nd and 28th respectively)

  • The Maltese made the top 20 in the U.S. but is ranked 42nd in Canada

  • The Shetland Sheepdog enjoys more popularity in Canada, ranked fifth, while in the US it's ranked 18th

    "Top 10" Dog Breeds in 50 Major U.S. Cities

  • The Labrador Retriever is top in 47 of 50 major U.S. cities (in the remaining three cities--Detroit, Miami and Providence--the German Shepherd Dog ranks number one)

  • Boston is the most unique in its canine tastes, sharing only five breeds with the national list. Of course, the Boston Terrier makes an appearance in the 10th spot in Boston (ranked 17th nationally)

  • The rarest breeds to make an appearance on the "Top 10" lists are:

    - Havanese (ranked 43rd) is in the "Top 10" in New York and Seattle
    - Bullmastiff (ranked 42nd) is in the "Top 10" in Albany
    - West Highland White Terrier (ranked 32nd) is in the "Top 10" in Louisville and San Francisco
    - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (ranked 31st) is in the "Top 10" in Atlanta, Dallas and Minneapolis St. Paul

  • Albany and Des Moines are the cities that are most fond of the heavier breeds including:

    - Labradors, German Shepherds, Goldens, Boxers, Bullmastiffs, Bulldogs, Mastiffs, Rottweilers

  • Bulldogs have never appeared in the national "Top 10" but ranked in the top ten in 20 of the 50 major cities

  • Two years running, Bulldogs, Pugs and Rottweilers are more popular in our nation's capital than the rest of the country. For example, Rottweilers rank sixth in D.C. yet 16th nationwide.

  • The Rottweiler, which hasn't been in the "Top 10" nationwide since 1999, places fourth in Detroit, ahead of the highly popular Golden Retriever

  • Nationally popular breeds like the German Shepherd, Beagle and Boxer drop to 18th, 19th and 25th, respectively in New York City.

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