The American Kennel Club announced that the Bulldog, a popular sports team mascot and one of the most recognizable and iconic purebred dogs, has muscled its way into the 10th spot on the organizationâ€™s annual list of the most popular breeds in America according to AKCâ€™s 2007 registration figures. The Labrador Retriever retains the title of â€œTop Dogâ€â€” a position it has now held for 17 consecutive years.
â€œThis is the first time the Bulldog has made it onto the top ten list since 1935,â€ said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. â€œThis breed appeals to a very wide range of dog lovers so itâ€™s no surprise that it is a favorite amongst AKCâ€™s 157 breeds. The Bulldog is both docile and adaptive, and can thrive in small or large homes. Itâ€™s an excellent all-around family pet.â€
The Bulldog was first recognized by the AKC in 1886 â€“ just two years after the organizationâ€™s founding â€“ and was most popular in 1915 when it peaked in 5th place. The breedâ€™s popularity ebbed and flowed throughout the mid-20th century, but since hitting a low of 41st place in 1973, its ranking has steadily increased.
Here is the list of the 2007 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.:
1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. German Shepherd Dog
4. Golden Retriever
9. Shih Tzu
The AKC looked at the Top 10 breeds in the nationâ€™s 50 largest cities. Some highlights:
The Bulldog is most popular in Los Angeles where is it currently ranked 2nd right after the Lab.
Despite having one of the worldâ€™s most beloved and renowned Bulldogs as the mascot for its state college sports team â€“ University of Georgiaâ€™s â€œUga,â€ â€“ Atlanta is one of the few cities in the nation that did not include the Bulldog in its Top 10.
The Poodle and Dachshund, who each once enjoyed the top spot in Manhattan (2006, 2005 for the Poodle and 2004 for the Dachshund) now share a tie for 3rd place, ousted by Americaâ€™s top choice, the Labrador Retriever.
Detroit, Knoxville, Miami, Honolulu and Orlando are the only cities that do not have the Labrador Retriever in the top spot. Detroit and Miami favor the German Shepherd, Orlando puts the Yorkie in 1st place, Honolulu the Golden Retriever and Knoxville the Boxer.
Salt Lake City is the only city to place the Shih Tzu in one of its top two spots. It moved from 3rd in 2006 to 2nd in 2007.
The only cities to not have the Yorkie on their lists are Buffalo, Milwaukee and Des Moines. And, Des Moines had the most unique list of all 50 cities, considering that it shared only four dogs with the national Top 10.
The Miniature Schnauzer, which was displaced on the national list this year by the Bulldog, still claims top dog status in Oklahoma City where it ranks 3rd, higher than in any other U.S. city.
San Francisco and Los Angeles were the only cities in the nation to include the French Bulldog in their Top 10 lists.
PET PREFERENCES: 1997â€“ 2007
Some of the most notable recent trends include:
The Miniature Schnauzer was bumped off the Top 10 list in 2007 to make room for the Bulldog.
The Yorkshire Terrier held steady in 2nd place, after making news last year by displacing the Golden Retriever and German Shepherd.
The Havanese, a small dog with a coat type that is a good choice for people with allergies, has enjoyed the greatest surge in popularity since 1997, increasing 994%. It now ranks as the 37th most popular breed.
Other small dogs (under 20 lbs.) that have gained popularity in the past decade include the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (+406%), the French Bulldog (+404%) and the Brussels Griffon (+157%).
Large dogs with notable increases are two Swiss breeds — the Bernese Mountain Dog (+74%) and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (+127%) — as well as the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (+130%).
Breeds on the decline include the Rottweiler (-81%) and the Dalmatian (-96%). Many breeds of Asian origins are also waning in popularity: Chow Chows (-84%), Pekingese (-79%), Akitas (-76%), Lhasa Apso (-75%), Chinese Shar-Pei (-73%) and Shiba Inu (-38%).