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Top Dog Breeds by City in 2009

By: Courtesy of the American Kennel Club

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This year the AKC celebrates its 126th anniversary and for the 19th 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.

They also tallied top breeds by city for 50 US cities including Albany, Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Buffalo, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinatti, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Fort Worth, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Long Beach, Long Island, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, New York City, Oakland, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, Raleigh, Richmond, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Tucson, Washington DC, and West Palm Beach.

In reviewing these numbers by city, it is hard to draw any conclusions on why some cities prefer some dogs over other dogs. One might think that the warm-weather tolerant breeds might be more common in the South and outdoorsy dogs might be more common in the Midwestern cities. However, there seem to be no pattern to how these cities love their dogs!

The Top 10 Breeds of 2009 are:

1. Labrador retrievers
2. German shepherds
3. Yorkshire terriers
4. Golden retrievers
5. Beagles
6. Boxers
7. Bulldog
8. Dachshunds
9. Poodles
10. Shih Tzus

The Top Breeds by City include:

Albany's Top Dogs

1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd Dog
3. Golden Retriever
4. Pekingese
5. Bulldog/Pomeranian/Yorkshire Terrier**

*Registration data pulled from Albany zip codes as specified by U.S. Postal Service** Tied for 5th (2009)
"Despite the Labrador Retriever's continued reign in Albany, New York's capital city is now experiencing a takeover of the toy breeds," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "In 2009, the Pekingese moved up five places to secure the city's fourth spot while the Yorkshire Terrier made a huge leap and the Pekingese re-entered the Capital District's top dogs list, with the two tying for the fifth spot."

Albuquerque's Top Dogs

1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd Dog
3. Poodle
4. Bulldog
5. Yorkshire Terrier

* Registration data pulled from Albuquerque zip codes as specified by U.S. Postal Service. Tied for 2nd (2009)
"The registration trends in Albuquerque generally mimic the national trends, with several breeds on the rise in the Duke City," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "The German Shepherd Dog tied the Poodle to move into second place, while the Bulldog gained two spots to obtain the fourth ranking. Only the Golden Retriever, ranked fourth nationally, made a poor showing in Albuquerque – the breed plummeted to thirteenth place locally."

Atlanta's Top Dogs

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Golden Retriever
3. German Shepherd Dog
4. Boxer
5. Yorkshire Terrier

* Registration data pulled from Atlanta zip codes as specified by U.S. Postal Service
"Atlanta has remained loyal to its favorite dogs over the past two years, with the same breeds remaining in the top five," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "The German Shepherd Dog and Boxer have also tussled playfully in their rankings since 2007, but this year, the German Shepherd Dog triumphed."

Austin's Top Dogs

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. Golden Retriever
4. German Shepherd Dog
5. Dachshund

* Registration data pulled from Austin zip codes as specified by U.S. Postal Service
"After Austin's top five remained static in 2007 and 2008, last year brought changes to the Live Music Capital of the World's list," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "Dogs like the Yorkshire Terrier and Dachshund gained ground in the rankings – music to the ears of small dog enthusiasts in Austin."

Baltimore's Top Dogs

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. Boxer
4. Golden Retriever
5. German Shepherd Dog /Poodle/Rottweiler**

* Registration data pulled from Baltimore zip codes as specified by U.S. Postal Service
** Tied for 5th (2009)
"The charming Yorkshire Terrier leapt three spots to fifth place on the Charm City's top dogs list, dethroning some perennial favorites in the process," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "In 2009, the Top 5 also saw the rise of two hard-working breeds with jobs – the Poodle and the Rottweiler – perhaps reflecting the nose to the grindstone nature of Baltimore."

Boston's Top Dogs

1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd Dog
3. Bulldog
4. Boxer
5. Golden Retriever

* Registration data pulled from Boston zip codes as specified by U.S. Postal Service
"The Yorkshire Terrier fell out of the Top 5 in popularity in Beantown, leaving five large, family-friendly breeds in its place," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "Especially notable is the Portuguese Water Dog's large jump in popularity – from twenty-third to seventh – perhaps due to the late Senator Edward Kennedy, who championed the breed, and the popularity of the Obama family's "Bo," the new First Dog."

Buffalo's Top Dogs

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Golden Retriever
3. German Shepherd Dog
4. Rottweiler
5. Poodle

* Registration data pulled from Buffalo zip codes as specified by U.S. Postal Service
"The city of Buffalo seems to favor large, active breeds, with the Rottweiler's rise in the rankings from tenth to fourth especially notable," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "The Bulldog, however, dropped from seventh to thirteenth in 2009, despite the breed being on the rise nationally."

Charlotte's Top Dogs

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Golden Retriever
3. German Shepherd Dog
4. Yorkshire Terrier
5. Bulldog

* Registration data pulled from Charlotte zip codes as specified by U.S. Postal Service
"Charlotteans remain steady in their breed preferences, with the same dogs in their Top 4 again this year," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "Notably, the Bulldog moved into the city's Top 5 from seventh place in 2008, mimicking the breed's continued national rise."

Chicago's Top Dogs

1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd Dog
3. Bulldog
4. Yorkshire Terrier
5. Golden Retriever

* Registration data pulled from Chicago zip codes as specified by U.S. Postal Service
"Although its top two breeds are standing strong, Chicagoans remain ahead of the national trend with local favorite the Bulldog in the third spot," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "Its short, stocky body was practically made to withstand the weather in the Windy City!"

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