Bulldog Makes the List for First Time in Nearly 75 Years; Labrador Retriever Continues to Fetch Top Spot
New York, NY – Today the American Kennel Club® announced that the Bulldog, a popular sports team mascot and one of the most recognizable and iconic purebred dogs, has muscled its way into the 10th spot on the organization’s annual list of the most popular breeds in America according to 2007 AKC® registration figures. The Labrador Retriever retains the title of “Top Dog”— a position it has now held for 17 consecutive years.
“This is the first time the Bulldog has made it onto the top ten list since 1935,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “This breed appeals to a very wide range of dog lovers so it’s no surprise that it is a favorite amongst AKC’s 157 breeds. The Bulldog is both docile and adaptive, and can thrive in small or large homes. It’s an excellent all-around family pet.”
The Bulldog was first recognized by the AKC in 1886 – just two years after the organization’s founding – and was most popular in 1915* when it peaked in 5th place. The breed’s popularity ebbed and flowed throughout the mid-20th century, but since hitting a low of 41st place in 1973, its ranking has steadily increased.
|2007 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.|
|1. Labrador Retriever|
|2. Yorkshire Terrier|
|3. German Shepherd Dog|
|4. Golden Retriever|
|9. Shih Tzu|
Unfortunately the Bulldog’s popularity – and irresistible appearance as a puppy – is often taken advantage of. Earlier this year the AKC and the Better Business Bureau issued a warning about Internet scams that often used photos of Bulldog puppies to lure in victims. Commonly, the scammer —posing as a breeder— places an ad offering a free or inexpensive puppy and then requests via email that shipping fees be wired. After the money is sent, the dog never arrives and the scammer is never heard from again.
“This is certainly not the only scam to be aware of, but it is a common one,” says Peterson. “Because of the emotional investment, consumers are more vulnerable to being taken advantage of when it comes to a cute, cuddly puppy than with any other purchase. Not only is it important to find the breed that’s right for your lifestyle, it’s just as important to take those extra steps and find a responsible breeder. A great resource is www.puppybuyerinfo.com.”
PET PREFERENCES: TOP 50 CITIES
The AKC looked at the Top 10 breeds in the nation’s 50 largest cities. Some highlights:
- The Bulldog is most popular in Los Angeles where is it currently ranked 2nd right after the Lab.
- Despite having one of the world’s most beloved and renowned Bulldogs as the mascot for its state college sports team – University of Georgia’s “Uga,” – Atlanta is one of the few cities in the nation that did not include the Bulldog in its Top 10.
- The Poodle and Dachshund, who each once enjoyed the top spot in Manhattan (2006, 2005 for the Poodle and 2004 for the Dachshund) now share a tie for 3rd place, ousted by America’s top choice, the Labrador Retriever.
- Detroit, Knoxville, Miami, Honolulu and Orlando are the only cities that do not have the Labrador Retriever in the top spot. Detroit and Miami favor the German Shepherd, Orlando puts the Yorkie in 1st place, Honolulu the Golden Retriever and Knoxville the Boxer.
- Salt Lake City is the only city to place the Shih Tzu in one of its top two spots. It moved from 3rd in 2006 to 2nd in 2007.
- The only cities to not have the Yorkie on their lists are Buffalo, Milwaukee and Des Moines. And, Des Moines had the most unique list of all 50 cities, considering that it shared only four dogs with the national Top 10.
- The Miniature Schnauzer, which was displaced on the national list this year by the Bulldog, still claims top dog status in Oklahoma City where it ranks 3rd, higher than in any other U.S. city.
- San Francisco and Los Angeles were the only cities in the nation to include the French Bulldog in their Top 10 lists.
PET PREFERENCES: 1997– 2007
Some of the most notable recent trends include:
- The Miniature Schnauzer was bumped off the Top 10 list in 2007 to make room for the Bulldog.
- The Yorkshire Terrier held steady in 2nd place, after making news last year by displacing the Golden Retriever and German Shepherd.
- The Havanese, a small dog with a coat type that is a good choice for people with allergies, has enjoyed the greatest surge in popularity since 1997, increasing 994%. It now ranks as the 37th most popular breed.
- Other small dogs (under 20 lbs.) that have gained popularity in the past decade include the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (+406%), the French Bulldog (+404%) and the Brussels Griffon (+157%).
- Large dogs with notable increases are two Swiss breeds — the Bernese Mountain Dog (+74%) and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (+127%) — as well as the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (+130%).
- Breeds on the decline include the Rottweiler (-81%) and the Dalmatian (-96%). Many breeds of Asian origins are also waning in popularity: Chow Chows (-84%), Pekingese (-79%), Akitas (-76%), Lhasa Apso (-75%), Chinese Shar-Pei (-73%) and Shiba Inu (-38%).
PET PREFERENCES: 1915 – TODAY
The AKC has maintained registration statistics of AKC recognized breeds for nearly a century. Some highlights:
- The Beagle is the only breed that has consistently been included in the Top 10 list since 1915. It reigned as the most popular breed from 1954 to 1959.
- Poodles enjoyed a long reign as the most popular dog for 23 years (1960–1982), the longest any breed has held that position consecutively.
- Cocker Spaniels ranked number one from 1936-1953 (replaced by the Beagle in 1954). Cocker Spaniels made a comeback and were number one again from 1983-1990, making them the dog with the longest total reign in the top spot at 25 years.
- The Toy group has been steadily on the rise since the 1970’s, when it made up only 12% of the registry versus 23% today.
- The Working group peaked in the 1990’s at 17%, most notably due to the Rottweiler being in the Top 10 at that time, including several years in 2nd place.
Dog lovers can see and learn more about all of their favorite breeds on Saturday, February 2 when the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship — where country’s top dogs compete for $225,000 in prize money and the title of “National Champion” — airs on Animal Planet from 8-11pm.
*First year AKC Registration Data was captured.