For the 20th consecutive year, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed in America, according to American Kennel Club's recently announced 2010 registration statistics.
German shepherds and Yorkshire terriers rounded off the top three as they did last year, coming in second and third on the top-10 list, respectively.
Although the results may seem somewhat predictable, AKC's listing did reveal some shake-ups in the line-up. The Beagle and the Golden Retriever traded places, with the beagle beating out the retriever for 4th place. And, the Bulldog, which has been steadily rising up in rank in recent years, stole 6th place from the Boxer, which dropped to 7th. This is the Bulldog's highest ranking in quite some time.
"Not since the early 20th century has the Bulldog enjoyed such sustained popularity," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. at number 6."
Moving Up the Ranks
While the stars of the canine world duked it out to fill the top ten slots, 2010's statistics revealed a number of other noteworthy trends, with some breeds racing up the ranking of 167 breeds. Popular breeds with the biggest increase in rankings over the past year include the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (108th to 93rd), the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (101st to 88th) and the Smooth Fox Terrier (123rd to 110th).
The French Bulldog holds the distinction of having made the most significant jump up the list in the past decade, soaring 50 places from 71st to 21st. Other breeds with the most notable increases in rankings over the last decade include the Havanese (86th to 31st) and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (54th to 23rd).
In the past decade, smaller dogs have been consistently represented in the top 10 by the Yorkshire terrier, which has moved up from 7th to 3rd. Other small breeds, however, are coming up the ranks recents, with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel having jumped from 54th to 23rd and the Havanese, from 86th to 31st.
A sharp rise in the popularity of Great Danes, Mastiffs, Newfoundlands and Bermese Mountain dogs in the past 10 years point to a trend toward larger breeds.
Three new breeds entered the registry in 2010, and the AKC reports that the larger the breed, the higher they appeared in the rankings-again, suggesting a larger-breed trend. The Leonberger, the largest of the new breeds, was ranked 33rd; the Cane Corso ranked 51st; and the smallest of three, the Icelandic Sheepdog, ranked 82nd.
The AKC added three new breeds this year that will be counted as part of the 2011 registry statistics--the Norwegian Lundehund, the Xoloitzcuintli and the Entlebucher Mountain Dog. The list now includes 170 breeds.