Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Popularity of Dogs

Sometimes, when you are just sitting around, thinking about Important Stuff, you have probably asked yourself "Why am I here?" or "What is the meaning of life?" or "What are the ten most popular dog breeds?"  Well, I can't really answer the first two questions, but luckily, I have all the inside scoop on the third one.

The American Kennel Club likes to keep track of lots of Extremely Vital Information, so every year they tell us which dogs are winning the Dog Breed Popularity Contest.  And most years the winners are the same as the year before.  Basenjis never win this contest, but that's okay, really, because it's probably better not to be one of those dime-a-dozen breeds anyway.

So now I will tell you that -- surprise! -- Labrador retrievers were the number one most popular dog in 2009, just like they have been for 19 years in a row.  But guess what!  German shepherds are gaining on them and are now the number two dog instead of yorkies.  And maybe someday German shepherds will be number one again, just like they used to be in the 1920s and in the 1950s.  My brother Barry, who looks a lot like a German shepherd, is very excited about this.  The AKC thinks that maybe German shepherds are getting more popular because they are good at doing police work and security and military stuff, which there's a lot of need for right now.

But anyway, here is the list of the 10 most popular breeds of 2009:
 1.  Labrador Retriever
 2.  German Shepherd Dog
 3.  Yorkshire Terrier
 4.  Golden Retriever
 5.  Beagle
 6.  Boxer
 7.  Bulldog
 8.  Dachshund
 9.  Poodle
10.  Shih Tzu

And these are some breeds that have become lots more popular in the last 10 years:  bulldog, French bulldog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Havanese.  Also people seem to like dogs now that are easier to groom, like mastiffs and Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

The Portuguese Water Dog has moved up from 80th to 60th in the last 10 years, which shows that this breed was already getting more popular even before Bo became the First Dog.

It turns out that people in different parts of the country have different ideas about what's the best kind of dog to own.  Here in Kansas City, German shepherds are tied with labs for the very most popular breed, and boxers are next, then bulldogs and yorkies.

I also checked out Houston, my hometown, and the top five breeds there are labs, yorkies, GSDs, bulldogs, and boxers.

In Washington, D.C., labs are first, then yorkies, goldens, poodles, and there is a tie for 5th place between bulldogs, dachshunds, and shih tzus.

One other city I looked at was San Francisco, and I was surprised to find that French bulldogs are 3rd there, after labs and yorkies.  Then goldens are 4th and bulldogs are 5th.

Anyway, if you want to check out the top five dog breeds in your own city, you can go here:

By now you are probably wondering where basenjis rank in popularity.  Of course, we are so darned cute that you would think we'd be Number One.  But apparently people prefer those big, dopey labs.  My own personal theory is that most people just want dogs that are easy to train and that will spend hours chasing a stupid ball and that won't bite their kids when the kids pull the dogs' tails.  Basenjis are too smart and independent for lots of people.  We know there are better things to do in life than chase balls, and we don't like having our tails pulled, so we might bite you if you try to do it.

Anyway, even though I knew we weren't Extremely Popular, I was still shocked, when I looked at the ranking for basenjis, to find out we had dropped to 88th in 2009, after being 69th in 1999.  Of course, we are a long way from being the least popular breed, like the English Foxhound is, but it kind of hurt my feelings to know that people don't like us as much as they used to.  Everybody likes to be popular, after all.  Luckily, Mom still loves me and Gabe, and she says we are the perfect breed for her.  Also Mom says that the AKC won't tell you this, but the very, very most popular dog breed in America is Mutt.

Oh, and if you would like to check on the popularity ranking of your own favorite dog breed, you can go to this website to do it.

1 comment:

  1. I think your mom is very smart to know that the most popular dog breed is Mutts.
    Aunt Lynn