Every year, the American Kennel Club comes out with the top ten dog breeds adopted in the year. I find this useful because it tells you the direction of breeds that are more in demand. However, the flip side of that is they may wind up being adopted by backyard breeders and puppy mill owners. When you run into overbreeding, many times, the health of the dog is affected. Many overbred dogs can have hip dysplasia or other joint problems.
Looking at the dogs other than the top ten, also is good to find a less common breed.
Here are the top breeds of 2011:
- Labrador Retriever (pictured above)
These dogs have taken the top spot for 21 years straight. They are a dog who can assist in search and rescue, walk the police beat and have the gentleness to be around a child.
- German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a working dog that makes a great companion. They are famous for being police dogs, detection dogs and family dogs. They are highly trainable.
This is a dog that's more popular than ever. Jumping from #5 to #3, this breed provides an allure with their charming looks and unique personality, this is a dog who is gentle and loving. The independent spirit of this breed requires an experienced owner, that can keep it on its toes.
- Golden Retriever
The golden retriever is a true beauty. Known for its lustrous coat, this is a dog that's a true family dog and known for being an excellent therapy dog as well. It isn't much of a watch dog but its gentle nature makes this dog an ideal family companion.
- Yorkshire Terrier
This tiny pooch has all of the fierceness of a big dog being part of the terrier family. They are highly energetic, active and assertive. It's a must for the owner to be the alpha and strong pack leader in a house with this dog. They are a devoted companion and extremely protective on their pack.
Known for its intimidating looks and tenaciousness, it may surprise some that this dog is quite gentle in appearance. It has a unique combination of being gentle with children yet can be an intimidating guard dog who will protect his territory and family.
Poodles are one of those dogs that come in a array of sizes. You can get a dog that's as small as 6 pounds (2.7kg)and as large as 70 pounds (31.75kg). They also have different temperaments. The Standard poodles are more relaxed where the toy and miniature poodles are more high energy. However, all of these dogs are intelligent and active. They need an adequate amount of exercise and are very much the companion. They are friendly towards strangers and are great with children.
The Dachshund is known for its excellent temperament and lively personality. Coming in a variety of colors they have two sizes, regular and miniature. They are great with kids but can be a challenge to train for some owners. It's important to let them know who's boss. They don't require as much exercise as other breeds but are still happy with a daily walk.
Rottweilers are known to be guard dogs. Their popularity has boomed as large dogs are climbing in popularity.They are very protective but will have a calm demeanor. This is a dog where pack order MUST be defined. Because of its large size, it's important to train and socialize it at a young age. They are friendly to visitors but at the first sight of danger, they're right on the situation. This is one of the reasons they are favored for police work, military work and customs patrol.
Other Dogs Of NoteLast year, the AKC added five breeds to the mix. This pushed the total number of breeds in the AKC to 173. The most popular newcomers were the American English Coonhound (#33), a descendant of the Foxhound and Finnish Lapphund(#104), a medium size shepherd dog best known in Finland for herding reindeer. Other additions included the Cesky Terrier (#106), the Entlebucher Mountain Dog (#146), on of the four Swiss Mountain Dogs. Also added were the Xoloitzcuintli (#155), that Mexican hairless dog and the Norwegian Lundehund (#170), a smaller spitz dog.
Large Leaps and Small SlipsThere were two dogs who flew up the ranks in popularity. The Bernese Mountain dog climbed from #54 to #34 and the Belgian Malinois —famous for being police dogs— zipped from #94 to #74. Coonhounds fell in popularity. The one that had the steepest drop was the Black And Tan Coonhound (from #91 to #109).
Although, sometimes when dogs fall in popularity, that can be a good thing as breeders who are in it to make a quick buck will move on to another breed. However, most of the breeders who exist today do breeding to improve the quality of the breed, instead of trying to turn a huge profit. By knowing more about what breeds are out there, and what type of personality thye have, the better choice a prospective owner can make when it comes time to add a new member to the family.
Let's Discuss!What is your favorite dog breed? Were you surprised with the top 10 rankings?
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