“While the Labrador Retriever has proven once again to be a family favorite, this year clearly belongs to the Beagle,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “The Beagle’s merry personality combined with his love of outdoor activities make him such a wonderful family pet that I wouldn’t be surprised to see this spunky breed sniff his way to the top of the list next year.”
The Beagle moved up to the third-most-popular dog breed, followed by the Golden Retriever. The Yorkshire Terrier, previously the third-most-popular breed, moved down to No. 5.
Another small breed, the Shih Tzu dropped out of the top-10 most popular breeds to No. 11, with the Rottweiler replacing it at No. 10. The Rottweiler’s popularity boost is part of a decade-long upward trend towards big dog breeds, according to the AKC.
Since 2001, the Bernese Mountain Dog moved from 54 to 34 on the list, and other large dog breeds followed suit, including the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (101 to 82), the Bullmastiff (49 to 40), the Rhodesian Ridgeback (57 to 44), the Irish Wolfhound (86 to 79) and the Belgian Malinois (94 to 74).
All four setter breeds increased in popularity in 2011 compared to 2010, led by the English Setter (from 101 to 87), the Irish Setter (77 to 70), the Irish Red and White Setter (150 to 147) and the Gordon Setter (98 to 94).
Meanwhile, three coonhound breeds declined in popularity from 2010 to 2011, including the Black and Tan Coonhound (from 91 to 109), the Bluetick Coonhound (from 119 to 136) and the Redbone Coonhound (122 to 126). Coonhound fans received some good news, however, as the newly-recognized American English Coonhound debuted at No. 33 on the registration ranking.
Top Dog Breeds of 2011
1. Labrador Retrievers
2. German Shepherd Dogs
4. Golden Retrievers
5. Yorkshire Terriers
11. Shih Tzu
12. Miniature Schnauzers
13. Doberman Pinschers
15. German Shorthaired Pointers
16. Siberian Huskies
18. French Bulldogs
19. Great Danes
20. Shetland Sheepdogs
21. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
22. Boston Terriers
24. Australian Shepherds
25. Pembroke Welsh Corgis
The complete ranking list is available online through the AKC’s website.
See the most popular dog names.