For dog lovers there is no list more revered than the American Kennel club’s Most Popular Breeds of the year. And while there are some pooches who seem to top the list decade after decade, each edition of the list always manages to deliver a few surprises.
1. Retrievers (Labrador) – The classic American dog. Labrador retrievers are smart, lovable and great with kids. They are the most popular “family” dog according to several breeder surveys. Although they technically hail from the “Working Group” of dogs as classified by the AKC, Labs love to have fun and will knock you over in pursuit a good tennis ball.
2. Retrievers (Golden) – Golden Retrievers sit next to Labradors atop the “American Family Dog” pyramid of popularity. Goldens are big, active dogs that love to play in the water with their favorite dog toys. Males and females can grow as large as 90 pounds, so clear out an extra room in the house if you’re thinking about bringing one home.
3. Yorkshire Terriers – The Yorkshire Terrier, or “Yorkie” as it is commonly called, is the smallest breed of terrier in the world. These little pocket rockets are actually some of the bravest dogs you will ever meet, and are fiercely loyal when it comes to their home and family. Knock on the door of someone with a Yorkie, hold your ears and you’ll see what we mean!
4. German Shepherd Dogs – One of the most loyal breeds in the world, German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and temperament. The most popular police dog breed, Shepherds can sniff out a bomb, a criminal or a shipment of drugs with equal ease. Overbreeding and genetic issues have caused a large percentage of these dogs to develop hip problems, specifically dysplasia, over the past several years.
5. Beagles – Ever since Snoopy became a national icon (and MetLife pitch-dog) the Beagle has been a staple in American households. A medium-sized dog that was originally bred to hunt game such as rabbits and fox, the Beagle is a deceptively strong animal. Don’t look for any beagle to be finding work as guard dogs any time soon – their kind, gentle demeanor just wouldn’t be suited for the job.
6. Dachshunds – Dachshunds or “Weiner Dogs” have always remained a fascination with dog owners because of their unique appearance. But don’t let their odd look fool you, these dogs will run and play with the best of them, and can really get a head of steam going when in pursuit of a ball or another dog. The Dachshund is one of the most aggressive dogs on this list, and has been known to nip or bite at strangers or other dogs with some regularity.
7. Boxers – This dog always seems to be wearing a serious expression, but in actuality it is one of the most fun-loving, energetic breeds on this list. AKC reports extol the virtues of the boxer, stating that they have a great rapport with children, are relatively low maintenance and are “honest and loyal”. Sounds more like a good husband than a great dog breed, but so it goes. Boxers are extremely headstrong animals and as such require obedience training at a very young age.
8. Poodles – Standard and miniature poodles were the rich person’s dog of choice long before Paris Hilton ever stuffed a Chihuahua into a Fendi purse. Now, these incredible animals are popular with all socio-economic groups because of the beauty and loyalty.
9. Shih Tzu – A dog everyone loves, with a name that only a fifth grade boy could love. The Shih Tzu has been growing in popularity for years, and has finally cracked the “most popular breeds” list of the American Kennel Club. This little wonder has even found a home in Hollywood, in both the mansions of the ultra-wealthy, and on the silver screen in Christopher Guest’s mockumentary Best in Show.
10. Miniature Schnauzers – Another miniature dog breed that is relatively new to the list of most popular breeds, having just cracked the top ten in 2008. Miniature Schnauzers are obedient and rarely too-aggressive. The generally engage in gentle play, which makes them ideal companions for children and chew toys alike. The breed originated in Germany where they were originally raised as farming dogs used to chase mice and other vermin out of the area.
Popularity: 50% [?]