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
9. Shih Tzu
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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