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–AKC Releases Registration Statistics for 2002–

For the 13th consecutive year, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular purebred dog in America, according to registration figures released today by the American Kennel Club. Nearly three times as many Labs were registered in 2002 as any other breed.

Golden Retrievers were a distant second, with German Shepherds, Beagles and Dachshunds rounding out the top five spots. The top five breeds are the same as in 2001, with the exception that Beagles moved ahead of Dachshunds into the fourth position.

The top 10 most popular dogs according to 2002 AKC registrations are:

  1. Labrador Retriever (154,616)
  2. Golden Retriever (56,124)
  3. German Shepherd Dog (46,963)
  4. Beagle (44,610 moving up one place from 2001)
  5. Dachshund (42,571)
  6. Yorkshire Terrier (37,277)
  7. Boxer (34,340 moving up one place from 2001)
  8. Poodles (33,917 down one place from 2001)
  9. Chihuahua (28,466)
  10. Shih Tzu (28,294)

Its no surprise that the Labrador Retrievers are number one again, said AKC Spokesperson David Frei. They are wonderful family dogs — smart, loyal, great temperaments — and good at many things including showing, obedience and hunting, and they also often work as service dogs.

At the other end of the list, for the second year in a row, the least-registered purebred dog (17 registrations) is the Otterhound. The other four less-registered breeds are: Harriers (23 dogs), English Foxhounds (38), Ibizan Hounds (50) and Finnish Spitz (52).

In 2002, the AKC registered 150 different breeds. In total, nearly one million dogs (958,503) and 440,586 litters were registered with the AKC in 2002. In 2001, the AKC registered 1,081,335 dogs and 461,863 litters.

The AKC recognizes dogs in one of seven variety groups: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, Herding. The largest breed registration in each group is as follows:

  • Sporting – Labrador Retrievers
  • Hound – Beagles
  • Working – Boxers
  • Terrier- Miniature Schnauzers
  • Toy – Yorkshire Terriers
  • Non-Sporting – Poodles
  • Herding- German Shepherd Dogs

There were increases in the litter registrations of over 60 breeds including Bulldogs (+9.14 %), Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (+33.81%), and French Bulldogs (+20.44%). Some less well-known breeds also saw significant increases in litter registrations, such as the Flat-Coated Retriever (+41.46%), the Bearded Collie (+30.99%) and the Kerry Blue Terrier (+21.43%).

It's important to remember that each of the 150 breeds recognized by the AKC has a distinct personality and characteristics that make them uniquely suited for particular lifestyles and family settings, added Frei. With the incredible diversity of purebred dogs, there is a right dog for everyone. Helping the public make an educated decision when it comes to deciding on a breed is a high priority for The American Kennel Club.

A complete listing of registration statistics is available in the February issue of the AKC Gazette.