Guide Dog Breeds In AKC Top Dog List

The American Kennel Club (AKC) released it’s 2007 popularity rankings and the Labrador Retriever still reigns supreme (Labs have been number 1 for the past 17 years).

Three out of the top four breeds on the AKC’s popularity rankings are dogs used extensively in many guide dog programs around the world. The Yorkshire Terrier is stuffed between the three GDA breeds: Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds. Somehow I don’t see the tiny Yorkshire Terriers entering the Guide Dog programs any time soon.

The AKC Top Ten Most Popular Dogs

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. Yorkshire Terrier
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Beagle
  6. Boxer
  7. Dachshund
  8. Poodle
  9. Shih Tzu
  10. Bulldog

Guide Dogs Of America’s Breeds

Guide Dogs of America uses three breeds in their program:

  • Labrador Retrievers – 70%
  • Golden Retrievers – 15%
  • German Shepherds – 15%

GDA Breeds

The Labrador Retrievers make up the majority of our dogs because we have found them to be the most successful breed used for guide dogs. In fact, the Labrador Retriever is the dog most often used for guide dog programs throughout the world. – Guide Dogs of America

Interesting AKC Regional Variations

From USA Today with comments by me in bold:

  • Labs were knocked from first place in three states by beagles: Mississippi, West Virginia and Kentucky.
    • Beagles are my nemesis. Two live across the street from me and they bark and howl all day and sometimes at night when I’m trying to sleep. I’m sure they’re a great breed, but my neighbors are giving them a bad name.
  • Siberian huskies showed up in the top 10 in three states: Alaska, Vermont and New Hampshire.
    • My Aussie mix Linus might be part husky…he has a husky like tail.
  • Brittany spaniels were among the top 10 in three states, all in the northern tier of the nation: Montana, Minnesota and North Dakota.
    • We had a Brittany spaniel in our training class and he was a wonderful dog.
  • Golden retrievers didn’t make the top 10 list in four states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Oklahoma.
    • We have Golden retrievers in our Guide Dog training classes…beautiful dogs and they make up 15% of the dogs bred at GDA.
  • Pembroke Welsh corgis appeared among the top 10 in two states: South Dakota and Wyoming.
    • An adorable dog, but what happened to their legs…I think it’s good for burrowing in holes to flush out vermin.

Bulldog Makes the Top 10

The Bulldog made it into the AKC’s popularity rankings top 10 for the first time since 1935.

…the bulldog, which AKC breed specifications describe as a 50-pounder with a “dignified” demeanor and a “loose-jointed” and “shuffling” gait, is no surprise to bulldog lovers. AKC’s Lisa Peterson described the dog as “docile and adaptive” and an “all-around family pet who does well with children.” – USA Today

The Bulldog may have become more popular thanks to it’s popularity in Reality TV shows like MTV’s “Rob and Big.” If you haven’t seen Rob’s Bulldog Meaty on the show then check him out riding a skateboard on YouTube. The clip is not as good as some of the clips seen on the MTV show.

The most popular breeds can often be subject to overbreeding. The popularity of a breed often coincides with more puppy mills and backyard breeders churning out puppies by the hundreds/thousands with no regard for meeting high quality breeding standards. If you are interested in owning one of these top breeds please be sure to research both the breed and find a good breeder.

Tell me what you think about this article. What do you think about the AKC’s top 10 breeds?

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