Top-10 Dog Breeds
The American Kennel Club (AKC) currently lists 184 dog breeds, and there are another 200 or so in addition to these. Here’s a brief look at a recent top 10 most popular dogs in the USA, along with some of the special characteristics of each breed.
The Boxer was bred in Germany as a retriever, with the first one being registered in 1896. It is a much-loved breed especially as a family pet, since it gets
on so well with children. It thrives on having a companion, human or canine. The Boxer’s nature is to be very affectionate with its own human family members, but initially suspicious of strangers. It is an excellent guard dog which will defend its territory fearlessly.
The breed standards established by kennel clubs for the Boxer have traditionally called for the cropping of ears and docking of the tail. But with growing opposition from veterinary associations to such practices, these breed standards are being modified. The Boxer is an intelligent, energetic dog, and because of these qualities, hearty exercise is a must. In addition, the breed trains well and has demonstrated its abilities as a show dog in addition to being a capable working dog.
Yorkshire Terrier, #9
The Yorky is a small breed with a big personality that has stayed at the top of the 10-most-popular list for several decades. The breed gets its name from its origins in the county of Yorkshire, in the north of England, where the breed was developed in the 1800’s to help keep down the rat population. Yorkies are very protective and their inclination to bark a lot may need to be tempered with training. However, training a Yorkshire Terrier is not always easy, since they tend to have an independent streak. The Yorkie is a Toy variety of the terrier, and is known for its small size and long silky hair, which it sheds minimally.
This breed shares some commonality with the German Shepherd. They both originated in Germany, are excellent working dogs, guard dogs and companions. Both breeds thrive on training and vigorous daily exercise. The Rottweiler, named after a town in Germany, can be traced to the days of the Roman Empire, when the travelling legions used them to herd their cattle which they brought with them as food for the armies. Later the Rottweiler was used as a drover to haul meat and other products to market. The breed is steadily gaining in popularity, having climbed from number 17 in 2006 to its present 8th place.
The Poodle comes in Standard, Miniature and Toy sizes. The Standard is a full-sized breed, while the Miniature is not actually “miniature”, but medium-sized, and the most frequently bred of the three. The Toy Poodle is the smallest, and measures 10 inches or less at the shoulder. Although in the number 8 slot this year, the breed was number one from 1960 to 1982.
One of the reasons for this popularity may be the Poodle’s hypoallergenic coat (not necessarily allergen-free, but enough so to legitimately be considered hypoallergenic), and the fact it doesn’t shed.
These attributes have given rise to popular crossbreeding to produce Labradoodles, Cockapoos, Maltipoos and Schnoodles among others, dogs that may retain the benefits of the Poodle coats, at the same time as adding some desirable characteristics from other breeds. The Poodle is a water dog, originally bred to flush and retrieve game from the water. In addition it performs well in competition.
French Bulldog, #6
A good house pet, the French Bulldog, or “Frenchie” does not require much exercise – a little daily walking will suffice. The Frenchie likes to be around people and is fond of snuggling up on his or her owners’ lap.
Originally, miniature bulldogs were imported to France from England by lace workers put out of business by the industrial Revolution. Settling in Normandy, these dogs became a favorite in France thus eventually becoming a breed. The Frenchie was the #4 most popular dog in the United Kingdom, and in the US has risen to its present #6 spot from #58 in 2002.
The Frenchie is a shorthaired, muscular dog with folding skin over the face. Unlike its Bulldog cousin, it has upright ears, or “bat ears”. Coat colors include brindle (a subtle tiger-stripe-like pattern), fawn, white, brindle and white, black, black and fawn.
This beloved breed is the only one to have ranked in the top 10 since its acceptance to the AKC registry in 1885, at times hitting the #1 spot. This comes as no surprise given the Beagle’s good temperament and friendliness; they are ideal pets for young children. To many, this canine is the epitome of cuteness with its velvety ears, freckled muzzle and puppyish ways.
The Beagle has an acute sense of smell, hence its traditional popularity as a hunting dog. The beagle is known for an insatiable curiosity, so owners need to take steps to insure that their pet doesn’t run off in search of adventure, enticed by an ever-present world of fascinating scents!
As a symbol of stabilit
y and resoluteness, the Bulldog – also known as the English B
ulldog – is often used as a mascot for universities and other organizations. The Bulldog, a medium sized breed, is characterized by its short legs, large head, smushed face and the folds of loose skin on its face and neck (
these folds need to be kept clean to prevent infection). It comes in a wide range of coat colors.
The Bulldog has a strong, affectionate nature and is quite protective, making it an excellent family pet. Since it requires only moderate exercise, the Bulldog can be a good choice for apartment-dwellers. There has been a steady increase in its popularity in recent years. This intelligent dog is best trained as a young pup, responding well to enthusiastic praise.
Golden Retriever, #3
This perennial favorite has consistently ranked high on the AKC’s list of top-10
dogs. It enjoys similar popularity in Australia and the United Kingdom. The Golden Retriever is a medium-sized dog, and is considered by many to be the ideal family pet. Friendly and obedient, the “Golden”, as he is often known, is the ultimate fun-loving creature, never tiring of romping and fetching especially if it’s around water. The Golden also does well as a guide dog and in search and rescue operations. Originally bred as a gun-dog (another name for retriever), it is known for its ability to retrieve ducks and other game intact. Notwithstanding its name, the Golden Retriever comes in various shades of gold and cream.
German Shepherd, #2
A Starring role as Rin Tin Tin in the movie Man from Hell’s River, brought immediate popularity to the German Shepherd Dog in the 1920’s. In addition, servicemen returning from both World Wars brought additional acclaim to the breed, having seen them in Europe where the Shepherd saw live action on the German side. In 2012 TIME magazine named a German Shepherd its distinguished “Animal of the Year” for its role in taking down Osama bin Laden with Seal Team Six. Since this website, GermanShepherdPlace.com is all about the breed, we invite you to look to our many articles on the GSD for more information.
Labrador Retriever, #1
Americas top dog for 21 consecutive years! The “lab” as he is known for short, comes with three different coat colors: Yellow (“golden”), black, and chocolate. The breed is active, intelligent and easy to train and makes a loyal and protective family pet. Because of its background which was originally as a fisherman’s helper, one of the favorite ways for the Labrador Retriever to release its plentiful energy is by retrieving things, and playing in the water.
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