For the 14th year in a row, the Labrador retriever is America's favorite purebred, according to registration numbers tallied by the American Kennel Club.
And, as in past years, the Labrador far outstrips the second-most favorite – the golden retriever
. The 2002 and 2003 lists are almost identical to the 2001 list. For 2003, all the same breeds made the top 10, but two switched positions. The beagle moved into third place, switching positions with the German shepherd
, and the Shih Tzu
moved into ninth place, taking the chihuahuas's spot. The Top 10 Breeds of 2003 are:1. Labrador retrievers
144,934 2. Golden retrievers
45,033 4. German shepherds
39,4736. Yorkshire terriers
32,176 9. Shih Tzus
At the other end of the spectrum, the English foxhound came in with 19 registrations and the otterhound with just 34 registrations. Four other least-registered breeds are: the harrier (45), the American foxhound (52), the Komondorok (69) and the Canaan Dog (72). Who Were the Previous "Top Dogs"?
It is interesting to review who were the previous top dogs of years gone by. The list includes one breed, the cocker spaniel, that is no longer even in the top 10! Cocker Spaniels ranked number one from 1940-1952 & again 1984-1990
Beagles ranked number one from 1953-1959
Poodles ranked number one from from 1960–1983
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
In 2003, the AKC registered over 150 different breeds totalling nearly one million dogs (915,671) and 423,761 litters.
How Did YOUR Breed Score? Top Dog Breeds of 2003 for the entire 2003 AKC ranking.