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Americans Favor Larger Dog Breeds, AKC Finds

Posted: Feb. 4, 2013, 2:45 p.m. EST


The American Kennel Club released its annual “Most Popular Dogs” list for 2012 last week, and while the top 10 breeds are the same as they were in 2011, larger breeds moved up the ranks.

“Bigger breeds are making their move,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson.

The Labrador retriever retained its position as top dog for the 22nd consecutive year, tying with the poodle for most popular dog breed of all time.

The popularity of “portable pooches” appears to be waning, Peterson reports. There were no toy breeds in the top five for the first time since 2003, which was the last time Yorkshire terriers were not in the top five. In 2012, Yorkshire terriers swapped places with bulldogs, falling to sixth.

labs top AKC most popular breed list.
Labs top AKC's 2012 most popular breed list.
Chihuahuas, pugs and Pomeranians all dropped some notches on the popularity roster last year.

Here are the AKC’s top 10 U.S. breeds for 2012:

1. Labrador retriever
2. German shepherd
3. Golden retriever
4. Beagle
5. Bulldog
6. Yorkshire terrier
7. Boxer
8. Poodle
9. Rottweiler
10. Dachshund

And the least popular breed in 2012, drum roll, please: English foxhounds, which finished in 175.

To read about the most popular dog breeds in 2011, click here.

In related news, New York City-based AKC expanded its roster of recognized breeds to 177 in January with the inclusion of the Chinook and Portuguese Podengo Pequeno breeds.

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