New York, NY — For the 16th consecutive year, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular purebred dog in America, according to AKC® registration figures released today. The Golden Retriever held onto the number two spot and the Yorkshire Terrier made significant gains — beating the German Shepherd Dog and Beagle — to become the third most popular dog in the country.
Dog lovers will have the opportunity to watch these popular breeds and many others compete at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, which airs live January 14 and 15, 2006 on Animal Planet and The Discovery Channel at 8pm both nights.
"This may be the Year of the Dog in China , but in this country it's the 'Year of the Yorkie'," said Gail Miller, AKC spokesperson. "The Lab may still reign supreme, but the petite and often-pampered Yorkshire Terrier has taken the coveted number three spot for the first time since becoming AKC -recognized in 1885. Considering the increasing popularity of small dogs in the past decade—perhaps due to their exposure as celebrity companions – I'm not surprised to learn that this precious and portable canine may slip into the number two slot in 2006."
2005 Most Popular Dogs in U.S.
The Miniature Schnauzer, which hasn't been in the "Top 10" since 1990, wags its way into 10th place this year, displacing the popular Chihuahua, which drops to 11th place.
The trend in small dogs continues to be evident with increases in the following breeds over the past 10 years — Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (735%), French Bulldog (305%), Brussels Griffon (231%) and Papillon (132%). Yet, a few larger breeds have also experienced record growth including the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (124%) and Ibizan Hound (141%).
At the other end of the spectrum, the English Foxhound is again the least-registered purebred dog (22 registrations) followed by the Harrier (42), Otterhound (44), American Foxhound (48) and the newly AKC-recognized Glen of Imaal Terrier (49).
Surprisingly, the Otterhound, which is the third least registered dog in the U.S., experienced the highest percentage growth of all dogs over the past year with an increasing of 91%. Registrations increased or remained steady in 2005 for 55 other breeds as well, including the Sussex Spaniel (73%), Ibizan Hound (56%), Black and Tan Coonhound (41%) and Bedlington Terrier (32%).
In 2005, the AKC registered 153 different breeds for a total of 920,804 dogs and 421,128 litters.
A complete listing of 2005 registration statistics is available on the AKC web site at http://www.akc.org/reg/dogreg_stats.cfm and will be published in the March issue of the AKC Gazette. AKC registration statistics for the top 25 U.S. cities are also available at http://www.akc.org/reg/topdogsbycity.cfm .
Information provided by the American Kennel Club