Dog breeds gaining popularity

Sorry, cat lovers, but everyone knows that dogs are man’s best friend. No other animal shows the absolute, unadulterated joy with which a dog greets a human companion after a long day at work. Dog owners have to ask, “Does someone love me like my dog?” Of course, the answer is probably no.

Dogs are great friends of man, but they are also miracle makers. They have saved the lives of countless owners, called 911 in emergencies, served as guide dogs for humans and each other, and stood the test of time as faithful companions for at least the past 35,000 years. But as times have changed, so have pet owners’ preferences. Varieties that were popular decades ago may be outdated. In other cases, losers may rise to the top of the leaderboard.

Stacker pulled data from the American Kennel Club (AKC) to compare dog popularity rankings from 1999 to 2020; The 2020 Popularity ranking was released on March 16, 2021. The 37 dog breeds that have grown in popularity since 1999 were ordered by its 20-year ranking changes and further ordered by its 2020 ranking to break any ties. The AKC recognized only 147 breeds in 1999, so any dog breeds added since then were not included in the original list.

Keep reading to learn which dogs have been the most popular over the past two decades.

10. English Cocker Spaniel

– 21-year rank change: +30
—2020 rank: #47
— 1999 rank: #77

The English cocker spaniel knows good hair. But there’s more to love about this little dog than its silky, flowing mane; these guys are also funny and great with children. It’s no wonder the English cocker spaniel seems to only grow in popularity.

English Cocker Spaniel

9. Portuguese Water Dog

– 21-year rank change: +32
—2020 rank: #49
— 1999 rank: #81

The Portuguese water dog was originally bred as a fisherman’s helper. The breed remains desirable today for its low-shedding coat and hypoallergenic status. Portuguese water dogs are great with children and love to socialize, making them perfect family additions. Two of the most famous dogs from this breed are Bo and Sunny, the Obamas’ pets who grew up in the White House.

Portuguese Water Dog

8. Anatolian Shepherd Dog

– 21-year rank change: +33
—2020 rank: #85
— 1999 rank: #118

Anatolian shepherd dogs are no fad: This ancient breed was depicted as far back as 2000 B.C. Many, many years later, Anatolian shepherd dogs are still profoundly protective, intelligent, and loving. While you won’t normally find this breed on the red carpet, they have been spotted multiple times on the big screen.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

7. Bernese Mountain Dog

– 21-year rank change: +37
—2020 rank: #22
— 1999 rank: #59

The Bernese mountain dog is an ideal cuddling partner and is well known for protecting its human family. These dogs can appear—and often act—goofy, but they’re also known for having eyes in the back of their heads. Their loyalty to the pack, human and otherwise, is a signature of the breed.

Bernese Mountain Dog

6. Border Collie

– 21-year rank change: +38
—2020 rank: #32
— 1999 rank: #70

The border collie was developed to help with herding livestock along the border of England and Scotland. The breed is still used for herding, but also makes a great choice of the family dog. Border collies have endless energy and high intelligence, and may just try to herd children if there are no sheep in sight.

Border Collie5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

– 21-year rank change: +41
—2020 rank: #17
— 1999 rank: #58

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is a hefty, royal name for a tiny dog. The breed does have an undeniably elegant look in spite of its petite form, with a shiny coat and long, graceful ears. This snuggly and sweet breed has only been officially recognized by the AKC since 1995, but has more than made up for the late registration with ballooning popularity.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel4. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

– 21-year rank change: +59
—2020 rank: #63
— 1999 rank: #122

The wirehaired pointing griffon may sound like a mythical creature straight out of “Harry Potter,” but in reality, it’s an intelligent, energetic dog originally bred as a gun dog. This breed can be independent, but also takes well to training, and is easy to spot because of its unique coat.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon3. Belgian Malinois

– 21-year rank change: +59
—2020 rank: #37
— 1999 rank: #96

The Belgian Malinois is a serious dog whose intensity and intelligence make it a perfect choice for police work, drug detection, and rescue operations. This kind of bravery and agility has brought the breed plenty of attention in recent years, which in turn has made it an increasingly popular choice as the family pet. The Belgian Malinois is affectionate, easy to train, and makes a perfect guard dog and herder.

Belgian Malinois2. Havanese

– 21-year rank change: +69
—2020 rank: #24
— 1999 rank: #93

The Havanese is the only dog breed native to Cuba, where it had been well-loved for hundreds of years before its arrival in the United States in the early 1960s. The dog’s striking appearance has made it a growing sensation in the U.S. ever since. The lively, social energy, and small size of this breed make it an ideal choice for city dwellers.

Havanese1. French bulldog

Charming, sociable, and photogenic, the French Bulldog has been steadily and swiftly growing in popularity for the past 20 years. But the breed goes way back: A small Bulldog became popular in England in the mid-19th century before crossing into France, where it was mixed with other breeds to create the distinct bat ears and French bulldog we recognize today. In 2020, the ACK’s list of most popular purebreds showed the French bulldog may soon take the #1 spot away from Labs, as it reached #2, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down.

French bulldog

Published On: December 21st, 2022Categories: Dog knowledge