Discussing dog breeds, dog-adoption, and the human-canine connection.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Review of Breed Popularity

Do you ever wonder what kind of dogs are actually the most poplur in different countries?
I do. I was able to find statistics for the top 20 UK and the U.S. and the top ten in Australia. There are some similarities and some interesting differences.

According to the UK Kennel Club the 20 most popular breeds they currently have registered are as follow:

Spaniel (Cocker)
Spaniel (English Springer)
German Shepherd Dog
Cavalir King Charles Spaniel
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Border Terrier

Retriever (Golden)
West Highland White Terrier
Miniature Schnauzer
Shih Tzu
Lhasa Apso
Yorkshire Terrier
Dogue de Bordeaux
Bull Terrier

Meanwhile, over at the American Kennel Club the top 20 are currently:
Labrador Retriever
German Shepherd Dogs
Golden Retrievers
Yorkshire Terriers



Shih Tzu
Miniature Schnauzers
Doberman Pinschers

German Shorthaired Pointers

Siberian Huskies
French Bulldogs
Great Danes
Shetland Sheepdogs
It is intersting to me where the overlaps occur - for example, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in also Canada, and New Zeland.
In Australia the top ten breeds have one or two surprises compared to the other lists we've reviewed so far, such as the breed at number one is not a Lab - they're all the way down at #2 in Australia:
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Labrador Retriever
German Shepherd
Cavaliar King Charles Spaniel
Golden Retriever
Border Collie
American Staffordshire Terrier 

There we have it -- a review of some of the most popular breeds of dogs in a handful of places from around the world.  I know I'm living with a few of the popular breeds - a Labrador and a Bull Terrier - and one breed that hasn't been in the top 20 for a long time - a Collie. Of course, perhaps the most popular dogs of all are the mixed breeds and I've certainly lived with many, many of these wonder dogs in my life.

How about you? What canine companions grace your home currently and is there any breed you're still hoping to live with one day?

My one day list - almost endless :-)



  1. Im surprised that pugs are not in the top 20 in the US I see more of them then bulldogs

    urban hounds

    1. You raise an interesting point - I've noticed that there are regional differences from what the national numbers. It is also interesting to note that some breeds are slowly declining in popularity - like the Pug. Since 2001 the Pug has moved from 15 to 25; in the same time the Bulldog has moved up from 19 to 6.

  2. I have wondered this... count on you to give me the goods! :-) I'm currently living with: Golden Retriever/Border Collie, yellow Labrador Retriever, and a black Golden Retriever/Labrador Retriever. Hmmm... there's a theme going here - lol. Hoping to live with one day? Truth is that I love so many...

    1. Hmm, some Collie wandered into the world of Retrievers :-)

      This reminds me of something I've noticed though; sometimes people imagine their mixed breed dog to be a very exotic mix...while it is fun to imagine,the reality is, a mixed breed dog is most likely to be made up of the breeds most common in a geographic area. Retriever/Boarder Collie is a lot more likely where I live too, than say Pharaoh Hound or Wolfhound (speculations which people have made about some local mixes.)

    2. There are very few Golden Retrievers in our immediate area. Confession: that is why we traveled north for Jeffie and Rosie. More Goldens up there. Not many Border Collies here either. Lots of Labs, Beagles, Cattle dogs.

      And I should have said... over the past few years I've often thought about (and we've talked about) adding a small dog to the mix. A (comfortable) forever lap sitter ;-) No specific breed in mind.

    3. Sue, you raise a good point - there can be a surprising difference in the type of dogs available in different geographic regions. While there are a few breeds that seem to be everywhere - pit bull mixes and lab mixes come to mind - even 'popular' breeds can be hard to find in particular areas.

      I'll confess that while there are a lot of Labradors around where I live, to find one that was responsibly bred and available I traveled over ten hours. If I could have been more flexible about the time of year when I added a dog to my home, however, I could have waited and adopted an adult Labrador within a few hours of where I live. (I also choose a breeder though due to the many problems Labs have with hips/joints, and confess I don't regret the choice as we've lost too many Labs due to hip failure and health complications.)

  3. I am a little confused. What list was the Shetland Sheepdog on? I can't find a recent AKC list. The most recent is 2012 and we are in 2013 :)

    1. Ah, interesting point. The 'top of' is always done in reflection - like best movies - you have to wait until the year is over to find out who was top dog for the year - which means the AKC is still putting together their list for 2012 and currently has listed the numbers for 2011.

      Also, another caveat I should mention. These lists are imperfect, in that they are a reflection of only one thing: how many purebred puppies of each type are registered a year (done at time of birth by the breeder, with the appropriate kennel club.)The general thinking though, is that if you're breed is registering the most puppies/litters in a given year, then you are 'the most popular breed' that year.

      Given these qualifiers, the Sheltie was #20 for the AKC registered dog population for the past year...the current past year noted being 2011 and hopefully, the 2012 numbers will be out soon. (You know you're a dog geek when you wait for the new registration numbers to be out.)

      This said, I'm not expecting any big jumps in positions, more likely a little further jostling for positions. Since 2001 the Sheltie has dropped from #16 to #20 in 2011 - they may just trade places with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and move from #20 to #21 this time around. Thanks for reminding me to clarify dates and such :-)