AKC's Top Ten is Bull

Every year the AKC releases its list of the top ten most popular dog breeds. Changes in this list are quickly picked up and discussed for filler on slow news days and puppy mills probably use the ranking to judge trends in demand.

Here is the list for 2007:

2007 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. German Shepherd Dog
4. Golden Retriever
5. Beagle
6. Boxer
7. Dachshund
8. Poodle
9. Shih Tzu
10. Bulldog

The newsworthy bit this last year is that the Bulldog snorted its way into the Top 10. The problem is, the Bulldog isn’t a Top 10 dog. The error in this list is that there’s no asterisk after “Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.” and there should be. Why? Because this list simply shows AKC registrations, not actual dogs in the US.

And although the AKC is the one and only registry of note for most breeds, that’s not true with Border Collies, and perhaps several other breeds, popular and rare.

The American Border Collie Association is the registry of record with Border Collies and they register more than 30,000 dogs a year. And of course, there are many working Border Collies that have no papers at all. The AKC only registers about 2500 Border Collies per year.

If we assume that all the dogs on the list exist wholly within the AKC, then where would the Border Collie rank? At least 8th.

Although the AKC hasn’t released the actual breed count numbers since 2006 (that I have found), I think it’s a safe bet that the numbers are probably pretty consistent.

Breed (AKC) 2006 Count
Retrievers (Labrador) 123,760
Yorkshire Terriers 48,346
German Shepherd Dogs 43,575
Retrievers (Golden) 42,962
Beagles 39,484
Dachshunds 36,033
Boxers 35,388
Poodles 29,939
Shih Tzu 27,282
Miniature Schnauzers 22,920
Chihuahuas 22,562
Bulldogs 21,037
Pugs 20,008
Pomeranians 18,218
Boston Terriers 14,955
Spaniels (Cocker) 14,790
Rottweilers 14,709
Maltese 13,312
Pointers (German Shorthaired) 12,822
Shetland Sheepdogs 12,822
Border Collies 2,181

With at least 35,000 new BCs being registered every year, they easily beat out all but the Labs, Yorkies, German Shepherds, and Goldens while giving the other popular dogs a run for their money for the last spot in the Top 5.

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.