— Lovable Labs Hold Top Spot for 21 Years While Rottweiler Moves Into the Top 10 —

NEW YORK, Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Look out Lab, the American Kennel Club® (AKC) has announced that the Beagle has overtaken the beloved Yorkshire Terrier to become the third most popular dog breed in the U.S., according to AKC registration statistics released today. The Golden Retriever also made a strong push into the top ranks – advancing from the fifth to the fourth most popular dog breed – and the Rottweiler made news by unseating the Shih Tzu – which had been in the top 10 since 2000. But fans of the Labrador Retriever need not fear: the beloved Lab remains the champ – a spot it has now held for 21 consecutive years – thanks to its well-earned reputation for playfulness and loyalty and its use as a police and search-and-rescue dog.

“While the Labrador Retriever has proven once again to be a family favorite, this year clearly belongs to the Beagle,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “The Beagle’s merry personality combined with his love of outdoor activities make him such a wonderful family pet that I wouldn’t be surprised to see this spunky breed sniff his way to the top of the list next year.”

2011 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.
1. Labrador Retriever

2. German Shepherd Dog

3. Beagle

4. Golden Retriever

5. Yorkshire Terrier

6. Bulldog

7. Boxer

8. Poodle

9. Dachshund

10. Rottweiler


2010 Ranking
1. Labrador Retriever

2. German Shepherd Dog

3. Yorkshire Terrier

4. Beagle

5. Golden Retriever

6. Bulldog

7. Boxer

8. Dachshund

9. Poodle

10. Shih Tzu

Most Notable Dog Trends in 2011 Include:

•Larger dogs are moving up, with the Labrador Retriever (1), German Shepherd Dog (2), Golden Retriever (4), Boxer (7), and Rottweiler (10) all making this year’s top ten.

•It is the year of the Setters, with all four making big jumps over the past year – the English Setter (from 101 to 87), the Irish Setter (from 77 to 70), the Irish Red and White Setter (150 to 147), and the Gordon Setter (from 98 to 94).

•Coonhounds made the largest tumble – the Black and Tan Coonhound (from 91 to 109) and the Bluetick Coonhound (from 119 to 136) had the biggest decrease in rankings this year. The Redbone Coonhound also dropped from 122 to 126.
•Terriers are making a comeback! Closing the gap this year, a couple of breeds that had been on the decline over the past decade have risen up the ranks over the past year – Bedlington Terriers (from 140 to 134), Border Terriers (from 83 to 80), and Dandie Dinmont Terriers (from 164 to 160).

•Among smaller dogs that rose in the rankings this year are the Brussels Griffon (from 80 to 77) and the Manchester Terrier (121 to 119).

•This past decade has proven that bigger is better, with larger breeds continuing to increase in popularity. Among them: the Bernese Mountain Dog (from 54 to 34), the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (from 101 to 82), the Bullmastiff (from 49 to 40), the Rhodesian Ridgeback (from 57 to 44), the Irish Wolfhound (from 86 to 79), and the Belgian Malinois (from 94 to 74).

A complete list of AKC’s Most Popular Breeds, including statistics for 50 U.S. cities, is available on the AKC website at http://www.akc.org/reg/dogreg_stats.cfm.

For more information on finding a responsible breeder in your area, go to www.AKCpuppies.org.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Add to your story with a list of AKC trivia questions based on the rankings or book an interview with an AKC Spokesperson by contacting Jessica Rice at (212) 696-8346 or jxr3@akc.org. Photos from the press conference, including those representing the top five breeds and AKC’s new breeds, are also available upon request to members of the press.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) proudly celebrated its 125th Anniversary in 2009. Since 1884 the not-for-profit organization has maintained the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world, and today its rules govern more than 20,000 canine competitions each year. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Along with its nearly 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Companion Animal Recovery and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit www.akc.org.

Related Links:
AKC Most Popular Dogs List
Help Finding a Responsible Breeder
SOURCE American Kennel Club
CONTACT: Jessica Rice, +1-212-696-8346, jxr3@akc.org
Web Site: http://www.akcpuppies.org