The American Kennel Club® (AKC) has released the numbers of purebred dog breeds registered in 2009. Among the interesting results, the German Shepherd Dog has overtaken the Yorkshire Terrier into second place for the first time in over 30 years. The German Shepherd was the most popular breed in the 1920s but dropped in popularity after World War II.
"Labs have been America’s top dog for nearly two decades due to their loyal and gentle nature," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "But the German Shepherd Dog has gained ground recently, quite possibly due to the increased attention they receive for their security efforts at home and abroad. Hailed as the world’s leading police, guard and military dog, this energetic and fun-loving breed is a loyal family pet, ideal companion and dependable K-9 partner when duty calls."
And in fact, working canine breeds are in general more popular than other breeds. As well as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and Beagles work in airports and train terminals alongside law enforcement, military and homeland security to keep the country safe. Their activities range from border patrol, bomb and narcotics detection, to searching for missing persons and tracking down fugitives.
The Yorkshire Terrier was the third most popular breed, with the Golden Retriever, Beagle and Boxer in 4th, 5th and 6th respectively. The final 4 places are comprised of the Bulldog, Dachshund, Poodle and Shih Tzu. Among rare breeds on the decline are the Curly-Coated Retriever (from 114th to 142nd), the Sussex Spaniel (from 135th to 159th) and the Irish Water Spaniel (from 130th to 150th).
Picture courtesy American Kennel Club®