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Hot Dogs: America’s Most Popular Breeds

Published April 15, 2016

What predicts puppy popularity? Health, life span, and behavior are important, of course, but they don’t matter as much as movie roles, says Stefano Ghirlanda, a Brooklyn College psychology professor who has led studies on dog popularity. A breed starring in a successful film can enjoy a boost that lasts a decade, says Ghirlanda. “We were surprised the movie effect was so strong.”

Top Dog by Decade

  • 2000s

    1. Labrador Retriever
    2. Golden Retriever
    3. German Shepherd
  • 1990s

    1. Labrador Retriever
    2. Rottweiler
    3. German Shepherd
  • 1980s

    1. Cocker Spaniel
    2. Poodle
    3. Labrador Retriever
  • 1970s

    1. Poodle
    2. German Shepherd
    3. Doberman Pinscher
  • 1960s

    1. Poodle
    2. German Shepherd
    3. Beagle
  • 1950s

    1. Beagle
    2. Cocker Spaniel
    3. Boxer
  • 1940s

    1. Cocker Spaniel
    2. Beagle
    3. Boston Terrier
  • 1930s

    1. Boston Terrier
    2. Cocker Spaniel
    3. Fox Terrier
  • 1920s

    1. German Shepherd
    2. Boston Terrier
    3. Chow Chow
  • 1910s

    1. Boston Terrier
    2. Airedale Terrier
    3. Collie

Clash of the canines

The American Kennel Club currently recognizes 187 different breeds of dogs, but only an elite group has always ranked in the top 100 since the AKC started recording the number of each breed’s registrations in 1935. Select two elite breeds to see how they compare over time.

NG ART

TEXT: RACHEL HARTIGAN SHEA; ART: MATTHEW TWOMBLY, NG STAFF

DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT: ELAINA NATARIO AND GABRIEL FLORIT

SOURCE: AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB

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