Let’s go global and take a look at breed stats from the countries that collect data*, and celebrate the world’s passion for dogs. Here are some popularity particulars to stimulate conversation at your next international encounter:
- Not only are Labrador Retrievers the #1 most popular breed stateside, they’re the most popular breed worldwide. In fact, Labs are ranked #1 in over two dozen countries, including Finland, India, and (of course their motherland, the island of Newfoundland) Canada. The breed’s easy going nature and adaptability contribute to his popularity, as does his biddability (if you can’t train a Lab, what breed can you train?)
- German Shepherd Dogs: Well you won’t get an argument on why GSDs are so popular from me; they’re my breed of choice. The GSD is the #1 breed, for example, in Germany, Denmark, the Czech Republic, and Norway (I didn’t see that one coming: I was betting on the Norwegian Elkhound, but he appears to be ranked right behind the GSD).
- The world adores little dogs too. The Yorkshire Terrier may have been bred in the British Isles, but he’s claimed the hearts (and #1 spot) of Spaniards and South Africans too.
- Other small breeds, such as the Toy Poodle and Chihuahua, claim a popularity status worldwide, but especially in countries such as Japan, with many city dwellers in small apartments. After all, no good comes of a Great Dane in a 250 square foot mini apartment in Tokyo, for example.
- Geographical proximity to a breed’s country of origin isn’t always a clue. One of the most popular breeds in South Korea, for example, is the ancient companion breed, the Maltese, developed in Malta, some 5000 miles away.
- Similarly unexplainable by geography (Russia is not exactly next door to the USA), the American Staffordshire Terrier is one of the most popular breeds in Russia. The Am Staff was developed as an all-around helper for hunting, farming, and guarding. The Russians clearly value the Am Staff’s notable versatility.
- Another breed with popularity on both sides of the oceans, the Australian Shepherd, developed in America, is one of the most popular breeds in France. Aussies were bred here for a hard day’s work, herding livestock and all-around ranch jobs. As an aside, wouldn’t it be fun if Aussies were super popular in Australia, even though we hijacked the Australian name?
- The French and English Bulldog are popular across the world, in countries such as France and England of course. But Bulldogs are also popular in less expected countries such as Japan, where the Frenchie makes the top 10, and Russia, where the English Bulldog gets into the top 10.
*it’s difficult to find information on dog breeds in less developed countries. For more stats on breed popularity, check out BasementGeographer.com