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Americans Opt for Beagles, Large Breeds in 2011

Posted: Feb. 28, 2012, 5:10 p.m. EST


Americans Opt for Beagles, Large Breeds in 2011

The Beagle and the Golden Retriever surpassed the Yorkshire Terrier among popular breeds in the U.S. in 2011 compared with the previous year, but the Labrador Retriever remained America’s favorite breed, according to the American Kennel Club’s annual registration statistics, as reported by the AKC today.

The Beagle was the third-most-popular dog breed in the U.S. in 2011, followed by the Golden Retriever. The Yorkshire Terrier, previously the third-most-popular breed, was No. 5 on the list in 2011.

“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.”

The Shih Tzu dropped out of the top-10 most popular breeds to No. 11 in 2011, with the Rottweiler replacing it at No. 10. The Rottweiler’s popularity boost is part of a decade-long upward trend among large dog ownership, according to the AKC. Since 2001, the Bernese Mountain Dog moved from the 54th-most-popular breed to 34th, and other large breeds followed suit, including the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (from 101 to 82), the Bullmastiff (49 to 40), the Rhodesian Ridgeback (57 to 44), the Irish Wolfhound (86 to 79) and the Belgian Malinois (94 to 74). Along with the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever and Rottweiler, the top ten breeds in 2011 also included the German Shepherd Dog (No. 2) and the Boxer (No. 7).

All four setter breeds increased in popularity in 2011 compared to 2010, led by the English Setter (from 101 to 87), the Irish Setter (77 to 70), the Irish Red and White Setter (150 to 147) and the Gordon Setter (98 to 94). Meanwhile, three coonhound breeds declined in popularity from 2010 to 2011, including the Black and Tan Coonhound (from 91 to 109), the Bluetick Coonhound (from 119 to 136) and the Redbone Coonhound (122 to 126). Coonhound fans received some good news, however, as the newly-recognized American English Coonhound debuted at No. 33 on the registration ranking.

The complete ranking list is available online through the AKC’s website.

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