Two years ago at this time I wrote a Field Notes blog post on the American Kennel Club’s annual list of the nation’s most popular dogs and how it relates to the sorry state of hunting dogs in this country. In that post I asked the question of why, at a time when dogs have never been more popular, the sporting breeds (barring labs) continue to sink into obscurity. Well, the AKC just released its list of the 20 most popular dog breeds for 2010.
So what’s changed? Not much. As expected, the lab remains the top dog in terms of popularity. Here are last year’s top ten breeds.
1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd
3. Yorkshire Terrier
4. Golden Retriever
10. Shih Tzu
And here are the registered breeds from 1884 and their current rank.
Pointer, 111. Chesapeake Bay Retriever, 48. English Setter, 101. Gordon Setter, 98. Irish Setter, 77. Clumber Spaniel, 131. Cocker Spaniel, 25.
Many of the pointing dogs are registered with the Field Dog Stud Book, rather than AKC, but the numbers are still trending downward for most gundog breeds save labs and goldens, and of course the vast majority of those dogs are of the non-hunting flavor. Where does your dog land on the list, and how do you feel about it?