While more than twice as many Labs were registered last year than any other breed making it a likely leader for many years to come, the Bulldog continues to amble its way up the list. The breed made news last year by returning to the AKC’s Top 10 for the first time in more than 70 years and now has jumped 6%, advancing two spots to land in 8th place.
"The playful Lab may still reign supreme, but the docile and adaptive nature of the Bulldog is gaining ground as a family favorite," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "It’s no surprise to learn that this devoted family companion is still growing in popularity."
The Yorkshire Terrier was the second most popular dog in the US, while the German Shepherd Dog and Golden Retriever were third and fourth. Other breeds in the top 10 included the Beagle, Boxer and Dachshund. The least registered purebred breed in the US was the American Foxhound.
Like the Bulldog, the popularity of breeds ebbs and flows over time. The AKC is celebrating its 125th Anniversary during 2009. In 1884 at the time of the organization’s founding, AKC registered only nine breeds versus the 161 it recognizes today:
"I think the comparison of our original nine to the current top 10 illustrates the different needs that dogs fill today," said Peterson. "In the 1880’s most breeds served a specific purpose or function. Today dogs still serve man and in even more diverse roles – from guide dog to bomb detection K-9 – but most of all, dogs are now companions that ground us to nature in a busy and increasingly technological world."