New dog breeds recognized the year you were born

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May 29, 2018
FCSCAFEINE // Shutterstock

New dog breeds recognized the year you were born

Just the sight of a dog can bring a smile to someone’s face. These happy creatures follow our commands, give us unconditional love, and make just about any day better. The only thing they ask for in return is a couple of bowls of kibble a day and a few walks.

So what’s better than a dog? Many dogs! Thanks to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the primary registry of purebred dogs in America, we now have over 190 recognized breeds from which to choose.

Back in 1920, though, only 74 breeds were recognized by the AKC. That means that 116 have been categorized since then meaning more dog owners have better ways to identify, and, ultimately, love their pooches. We’ve organized all of the new AKC breeds by the year they were introduced, so whether you’re into Basenjis or Beaucerons, this list will give you a timeline for when your beloved furball first got the recognition they deserved.

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Airman 1st Class Tom Brading // U.S. Air Force photo


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

There weren’t any new breeds introduced this year, but the German shepherd ranks as the #1 dog of the 1920s. First recognized by the AKC in 1908, German shepherds are prized for their devotion and companionship which makes them the perfect choice as both law enforcement partners and guides for the visually-impaired. The appearance of German Shepherd canine performer Rin Tin Tin likely influenced the breed’s popularity.

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Black Photograpy // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

Another year without a new breed, but one of the most popular dogs of the early 20th Century was the Boston Terrier. The breed had previously been known as a round head or a bull terrier, but fans of the dog officially changed its name to Boston Terrier after the city where breeders first crossed an English bulldog with an English terrier.

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Liliya Kulianionak // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Kerry Blue Terrier

Formerly known as the Irish blue Terrier, the Kerry blue is known for its soft, bluish-gray coat and long beard. Once in position to become the national breed of Ireland thanks to Irish independence activist Michael Collins, the Kerry blue terrier has seen better days—the UK Kennel Club registered less than 300 puppies in 2011.

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Khomiak // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

No new breeds in 1923, but the Chow Chow was at its peak as the second most popular breed of the 20s—the highest it would ever achieve. The Chinese breed traces its roots back two millennia to the Han Dynasty, and first became popular in England when Queen Victoria acquired one as a pet. 

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otsphoto // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Retriever (Curly-Coated)

Called “wickedly smart” by the AKC, the curly-coated retriever is well-loved by the hunting world for their swimming ability. These high-energy dogs originated in the late 1700s—when rifles became practical weapons for hunting—one of the oldest recognized breeds of retriever.

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Pavel Korotkov // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Miniature Pinscher, Retriever (Golden)

1925 was a big year for new breeds as it was the first official recognition for the golden retriever and the miniature pinscher, sometimes known as the min pin. Both breeds have remained popular, but the golden retriever is now one of the most popular dogs in America—holding steady in third place for the past three years.

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WildStrawberry // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Afghan Hound, Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature breeds were big in the mid-20s with Min Pins finding status in 1925 and miniature schnauzers earning recognition in 1926. The Afghan hound also hit the big time that year; they’re known for their distinctive long-haired supermodel looks.

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Ruth Ellison // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

With 1,871 dogs registered in 1927, the beagle earned the distinction of the most popular breed in the AKC’s hound category. It was first registered back in 1885 and instantly became one of the top ten most popular breeds in America.

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michaelstephan-fotografie // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Briard

The briard started as a French farm dog going back all the way to the days of Charlemagne. Small in stature but excellent as a sheepherder and defender of livestock, briards were the first show dog in Paris in 1865. Thomas Jefferson famously fell in love with the breed when he was living in France, and imported them back to America when he returned home.

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New breeds recognized: Saluki

One of the oldest dog breeds on the planet, the gorgeous Saluki was thought to be favored by Egyptian pharaohs and Alexander the Great. They’re known to be incredibly fast, and were previously used to track down gazelles on the Arabian Peninsula. The Saluki now serves as the mascot for Southern Illinois University.

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Crazelpup // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Border Terrier, Giant Schnauzer, Keeshond, Pointer (German Shorthaired), Siberian Husky

As the 30s started, the AKC introduced five new breeds into their ranks. The most obscure of the group is the Keeshond, which only had 18 animals registered the first year and just three and four dogs in 1931 and 1932, respectively. The Keeshond has a storied history in Holland where it was the symbol of the Dutch Patriots Party in the late 18th century.

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Vera Zinkova // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Bouvier des Flandres, Kuvasz, Rottweiler

The bouvier des Flandres of Belgium translates to “cowherd of Flanders” for its herding skills but has also been known as the Flemish word “vuilbaard” for its often-dirty beard. The kuvasz is a fluffy labrador cousin that originated in Tibet but came into its modern form in Hungary. Rottweilers are an ancient breed that have been used for protection since the days of the Roman Empire.

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Mike Baird // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

While no new breeds were added to the AKC in 1932, it’s interesting to note that the cocker spaniel had made the AKC’s Top Ten list since the 1890s, but it wasn’t until the 30s that it started its rapid ascent on the charts. There were 2,654 Cockers registered in 1930; by 1939, that number had jumped all the way to 18,568.

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HeartSpoon // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Great Pyrenees

These massive working dogs grow to over 100 pounds as adults. Their massive size allows them to survive winters in the Pyrenees mountains, where they traditionally looked after livestock with extreme courage. In 2014, a Great Pyrenees named Duke won an election as mayor of the small town of Cormorant, Minnesota.

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Pharaoh Hound // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Brittany, Bullmastiff, Lakeland Terrier, Welsh Corgi (Pembroke)

While the mastiff was inducted into the AKC in 1885, it wasn’t until 1934 that the bullmastiff joined the ranks. Although the smaller of the two breeds, the bullmastiff still gets up to 130 lbs. As for the Pembroke Welsh corgi, the breed has become a celebrity of sorts as the favorite dog of Queen Elizabeth II.

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Carina Wicke // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Alaskan Malamute, Lhasa Apso, Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)

The Alaskan malamute was traditionally a sled dog in Alaska, although that legacy is changing due to the malamute’s aggressive nature. The long-haired lhasa apso may be difficult to spell, but the breed has been around for 1,000 years and has long been associated with Buddhist temples in Tibet. If you want to tell the difference between a Cardigan Welsh corgi and its Pembroke cousin, check the tail—Cardigans have them while Pembrokes do not.

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Didkovska Ilona // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Affenpinscher, American Staffordshire Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Puli

Another big year for the AKC, 1936 brought four new breeds into recognition. The affenpinscher looks like a cross between Chewbacca and an Ewok and found great success in 2014 when it won “Best in Show” at the Westminster Dog Show. The Puli gets major attention because its fur very much looks like it’s made of dreadlocks.

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AnetaAp // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Bernese Mountain Dog, Komondor

Lovers of huge dogs would appreciate the Bernese mountain dog for its significant height (up to 27 inches tall) and weight (100 lbs. or more for males). NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger even owns one named Hercules. The Komondor is another mop look-alike breed, similar to the Puli.

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AHLN // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

No new breeds this year, but 1938 marked an interesting turning point for fox terriers. The third most popular breed of the 30s started the decade with more than 4,600 dogs; that number rose to over 7,000 in 1936. By 1938, however, the registered population had dropped to under 6,000 and then again to just over 5,000 the following year—marking a 17% decline in just one year.

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Kelly Hunter // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The Scottish terrier, known affectionately as Scottie dogs, experienced a similar descent to the fox terrier at the end of the 1930s. At their peak in 1936, there were 8,359 Scotties in the AKC databases—but just three years later, that number sank to 5,218. Certainly an odd development for the fourth most popular dog of the decade.

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Bennett Walker // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Spaniel (American Water)

This variety of spaniel comes from the Great Lakes regions, where it happily hops in and out of boats to snatch downed fowl for its master. The American water spaniel was named the official state dog of Wisconsin in 1985 and is now considered scarce, with less than 3,000 dogs remaining in the U.S.

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Canarian // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The 1940s were a good decade for cocker spaniels, with the breed serving as the most popular dog in America. Part of that may have to do with black cocker spaniel “My Own Brucie” winning Best in Show two years in a row (1940, 1941) at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

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Karen Arnold // PublicDomainPictures


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

Collies were the fourth most popular breed in the 1940s, but that popularity didn’t really take off until later in the decade. In 1942, there were only 2,211 registered collies on the books, but by 1949 that number exploded to 18,475. The reason for that incredible growth is simple: MGM released the first Lassie movie in 1943.

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New breeds recognized: Weimaraner

The Weimaraner was first bred by a German aristocrat in pursuit of the ideal hunting dog. Nowadays, the breed is well known in connection with artist William Wegman, who has photographed and recorded the breed in funny costumes and poses for over 40 years.

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fugzu // WIkicommons


New breeds recognized: Basenji

Hailing from Africa, the basenji is unique in that it doesn’t have a traditional bark. Instead, it emits a sound that’s somewhere between a yodel and a chuckle. Basenjis have a long and storied history that dates back to the ancient days of Egypt in 4000 B.C.E. The breed is so brave that the Masai tribe in Kenya actually use the dogs to hunt lions.

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eflon // Flickr


New breeds recognized: Black and Tan Coonhound

The black and tan coonhound was first developed by American hunters to track down raccoons. Standing tall at 27 inches, its known specifically for its highly sensitive nose. This breed is the very first coonhound to be recognized by the AKC.

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enil // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Spaniel (English Cocker)

While the American version of the cocker spaniel was tops in terms of 1940s popularity, the similar English cocker spaniel was designated as its own breed in 1946. Larger in size (as well as head) as its American-bred cousin, the English varietal had been around the United Kingdom as a hunting dog for centuries. Just a year after their official recognition, they were already the 40th most popular breed in America.

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Georg Pik // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

All three varieties of dachshunds (longhaired, smooth, and wirehaired) combined to put the breed in sixth place overall in the 1940s. First recognized in 1885, the wiener-dog (called so for their long bodies and short legs) didn’t crack the Top Ten until the 40s—they started at 3,391 registrations in 1940 and ended the decade with 10,205 dogs listed (a three-fold increase).

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Dogtelevision // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

By 1948, Americans’ love of dogs had fully coincided with the nation’s love of movies—producing a full subgenre of dog-related films. The “Lassie” franchise was on its fourth film (“Hills of Home”), with two more coming out in 1949. “My Dog Rusty” premiered in 1948 to compete with Lassie for the cinematic canine crown. Even the cartoons got in on the action, with Little Lulu trying to get her dog into a dog show in “Dog-Showoff.”

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Karen Arnold // PublicDomainPictures


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

As the fifth most popular breed in the 40s, boxers saw their popularity skyrocket towards the end of the 1940s. In just one year, the number of boxer registrations leaped by almost 30% from 11,415 in 1947 to 15,986 in 1949. The jump can be at least partially explained by boxers winning the Westminster Kennel Club “Best in Show” prize in both 1947 and 1949.

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New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The 1950s were a slow time when it comes to the AKC recognizing new breeds. Only one new breed got official standing in the decade until 1959 when four more were added. Cocker spaniels saw their dominance fade slightly as they slid from the top perch to being the second most popular breed (as they had been in the 30s), as well.

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Claude Valroff // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The mighty beagle climbed into the #1 spot in the 1950s as the AKC’s most popular breed. Pop culture contributed to the beagle’s rise, as Charles Schultz debuted his new “Peanuts” comic strip on October 4, 1950—which featured his own beagle, Snoopy, as one of the main characters.

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Chris Besett // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The 1950s also saw the addition of the chihuahua to the Top Ten. First recognized in 1904, the small Mexican dog dates all the way back to the Aztecs of the 12th century (and possibly even before). Chihuahuas saw their star rise in the 40s and 50s when popular bandleader Xavier Cugat started performing with his chihuahua Pepito under his arm.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The German shepherd had enjoyed much popularity in the 1920s, but Americans started shunning the breed during World War II for its obvious association with the enemy. The number of registered German shepherds dropped to just 788 in 1939 before rebounding in a major way after the war. By 1953, the ranks of German shepherds in the U.S. had swelled to 14,647, good enough for seventh place on the list of most popular breeds.

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Paxson Woelber // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

Poodles enjoyed an impressive boost in popularity during the 50s. They started the decade with only 3,195 registrations, but in 1954, that number was already at 11,852—and at the end of the decade, there were 58,661 registered poodles in America. They made their mark in pop culture too, with poodle skirts and poodle haircuts finding their way into the mainstream.

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Bonnie van den Born // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Rhodesian Ridgeback

Huge but nimble, the Rhodesian ridgeback is a mix between European hounds and the ridgebacked dogs of South Africa. They were initially bred to serve big game hunters, charged with tasks like cornering lions and leopards in the African tundra. In 1955, their first year of recognition, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was already the 66th most popular breed in America.

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Anderson Nascimento // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

Elvis scored a major hit in 1956 with his song “Hound Dog.” The song climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for the first time on August 18, 1956, after performances on television programs like “The Milton Berle Show” and “The Steve Allen Show,” where the host supplied a basset hound in a top hat for Elvis to sing to. While there’s no direct proof that Elvis affected this, basset hound registrations almost doubled from 1955 to 1956.

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New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

As the Space Race dominated the news in the 1950s, one of the most interesting moments was in 1957, when the Russians sent a dog into orbit. “Laika,” a mixed breed, was the first living creature to orbit the Earth when the Russians launched her on their satellite, Sputnik 2, in November 1957. While she holds the honor of being the first dog in space, she sadly passed away just hours after launch due to overheating as a result of severe panic.

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Karen Arnold // PublicDomainPictures


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The Pekinese dropped to No. 10 on the list of most popular breeds in the 1950s. The native Chinese dog had actually been dropping in each decade of our list, starting in the 1920s when it was #4, then #6 in the 1930s, then #7 in the 1940s. The breed did rebound a bit in the 1960s, when it moved back to #6 on the list.

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Ksenia Raykova // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Belgian Malinois, Belgian Tervuren, Pointer (German Wirehaired), Silky Terrier

Two Belgian breeds got the nod in 1959: the malinois and the tervuren. Both breeds are working dogs that are used heavily as protection animals. The German wirehaired pointer, on the other hand, was bred purely for sport. The silky terrier from Sydney, Australia is neither a working dog nor a sporting dog—it’s really just known for being adorable.

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New breeds recognized: Australian Terrier, Vizsla

Small with a big personality, the Aussie is a classic terrier who loves digging but doesn’t get along all that well with other pups in a household. The vizsla originally hails from Hungary, and has become quite popular in the U.S. with their hard-charging athletic stamina and desire for companionship.

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Peter Griffin // Public Domain Pictures


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

Poodles surpassed beagles in the 1960s as the most popular breed in America. In 1960, it wasn’t even close—there were nearly 40% more registered poodles in the U.S. than beagles. That figure jumped to 80% in 1961. Sorry Snoopy, there’s a new top dog in town.

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Soozie Bea // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

TV cartoon “The Jetsons” premiered in 1962, and American audiences were introduced to the dog of the future: Astro. While there’s no definitive answer, it appears that Astro has some Great Dane heritage based on his size and demeanor. In “The Coming of Astro” episode, Astro has to preserve his spot in the Jetsons’ household by fending off a robot canine competitor.

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Airman 1st Class Alexis P. Docherty // U.S. Air Force


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The Civil Rights Movement was gaining momentum in 1963 and dogs became part of the story in May of that year—when police officers in Birmingham attacked protesters with their German shepherds. The photos have become iconic and serve as evidence of the brutality that African Americans faced in America while fighting for their rights. Bill Hudson’s famous photo appeared on the cover of the New York Times and has become one of the most well-known photos of the era.

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Fox Photo // Getty


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

1964 marks the passing of Checkers, one of the most famous presidential dogs in history. Richard Nixon made Checkers famous in 1952 with a speech denying wrongdoing when he was a senator running to be the Vice President. The dog was a gift to the family after a recent election, and Nixon defiantly said they wouldn’t be giving the dog back—even if it was an illegal campaign contribution.

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New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

By 1965, poodles had become so popular in the United States that the total number of registered poodles that year (207,393) was more than the next three breeds (German shepherds, beagles, and dachshunds) combined. Those numbers kept growing into 1966 (and beyond) when the registered poodle population hit 235,536.

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U.S. Air Force photo // Airman 1st Class Amber Carter


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

In the thick of the Vietnam War, America needed a hero; it found one in Nemo, a German shepherd war dog. Nemo captured the hearts and minds of Americans after helping to fend off an enemy attack, and he is now immortalized with a memorial at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

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Frank Kovalchek // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The first incarnation of the Iditarod sled dog race (later race pictured here) was held in 1967. It took place over a course of 56 miles between Knik and Big Lake to celebrate the centennial anniversary of Alaska becoming a U.S. territory. The first official race wouldn’t take place until 1973, but the 1967 version paved the way for its eventual success.

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patchattack // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The basset hound cracked the Top Ten in the 60s for the first time in AKC history. First registered in 1885, the long-eared canine found fame thanks to Elvis—and later as the pet of the sheriff on “Dukes of Hazzard.”

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cheriejoyful // Flickr


New breeds recognized: Shih Tzu

This “lion dog” was bred to be an attractive pet for ancient Chinese emperors a thousand years ago. They were relatively unknown until the 1930s, but since their admission into the AKC, the shih tzu has been a very popular dog in the United States.

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Harlis.jpg // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

Scooby Doo premiered in 1969 and put great Danes squarely in the national consciousness. The AKC rankings reflect this fact as great Danes became more and more popular—from Scooby Doo’s debut until the mid-70s. The breed went from the 22nd most popular American dog in 1969 to the 15th in 1973.

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pato garza // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

Making its first appearance on the Top Ten list, the Doberman pinscher is a German import with attitude. Used mainly as obedient protection dogs, the Doberman got its name from a 19th-century tax collector in Germany named Louis Dobermann—who created the breed in hopes of getting an intimidating leg up on his tax collecting duties.

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Spalf // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Akita, Bichon Frise

Akitas may be the Samurai of dogs, as they have a strong Japanese heritage and serve as great protectors. Bichon frises, on the other hand, aren’t good at protecting much of anything. These non-sporting dogs look like stuffed animals and previously served as the preferred pet of French royalty before the French Revolution.

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Vadim Petrakov // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Tibetan Terrier

Tibet has a long and storied history of producing dog breeds (lhasa apso, kuvasz, Tibetan mastiff); the Tibetan terrier follows in that tradition as a watchdog and former guard of monasteries. The soft-coated Wheaten terrier is a bearded Irish farm dog that was first shown at the Westminster Dog Show in 1947.

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Melounix // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Stocky Staffordshire bull terriers are loyal and dedicated, with a tragic history as fighting dogs in England. They have gotten a bit of a bad reputation, as they are sometimes associated with less-than-savory types who want a dog that looks intimidating.

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Croes, Rob C. / Anefo // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The movie “Benji” was released in 1974, and the following year saw Benji-mania take hold around the lovable mutt. The movie’s theme song “I Feel Love” won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song in 1975 and received a glowing write-up in the New York Times. Sadly, Benji (real name: Higgins) passed away in 1975 just before his 18th birthday.

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marbla123 // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Bearded Collie

Shaggy Scottish bearded collies first appeared on the AKC’s registers with just under 1,000 dogs in 1976, although their numbers dropped almost immediately—to less than 500 in both 1977 and 1978. Originally known as a Highland collie, the breed became one of the original members of the AKC Herding Group when it was introduced in 1983. 

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John R. // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The 1970s marked the first appearance of the much-loved Labrador retriever into the Top Ten. There were only 12,370 registered Labs in 1965; just ten years later, there were nearly triple that at 36,565. Even back then, the Lab was well on its way to becoming America’s favorite dog.

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Dannydulai // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Ibizan Hound

Ibiza may currently have a reputation as a party haven, but back in the 70s the island was known for its hippie vibe and open-air dance clubs. The Ibizan hound isn’t much for dancing, but the breed was first brought to the Spanish islands 3,000 years ago—becoming known as ultra-fast rabbit chasers.

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Karen Arnold // PublicDomainPictures


New breeds recognized: Norfolk Terrier

They may be little, but these adorable little pups are fantastic rat catchers. Originally bred by an English horseman, the Norfolk terrier is easily confused with the Norwich terrier—but the Norfolk has ears that fold down, while the Norwich has ears that point up.

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Zingpix // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Australian Cattle Dog

A cousin of the dingo, the Australian cattle dog served as a vital part of the Australian cattle industry by keeping the herds in line. The first Australian cattle dogs were dingos cross-bred with collies, but a subsequent revision introduced Dalmatians into the mix to get the modern version of the always-active breed.

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Neil Conway // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

Poodles lost their spot in first place in the ‘80s to the cocker spaniel, which hadn’t been America’s most popular breed since the 1940s. The first year that cocker spaniels outnumbered poodles was 1983, with a 92,836 to 90,250 margin.

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Mariposa Veterinary Wellness Center // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

Hard to believe, but the golden retriever (currently #3, a position it’s held since 2012) didn’t crack the Top Ten until the 1980s—when it appeared as the fifth most popular dog of the decade. The breed was first developed in the Scotland Highlands by a man known as Lord Tweedmouth.

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WoodmonkeyPhoto // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Pharoah Hound, Portugese Water Dog, Tibetan Spaniel

Another breed with ties to ancient Egypt, the pharaoh hound was a favorite of the Phoenicians, who took to the oceans with their dogs and spread them all over the world. Today, the rabbit-hunting pharaoh hound is the national dog of Malta.

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Kevin Rodriguez Ortiz // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

Labrador retrievers continued their march towards their future crown in the 80s, as they jumped to third place in the decade’s rankings. It may seem like a given that they originated in the Labrador region of Canada, but the breed actually began as waterdogs in Newfoundland.

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Karen Arnold // Public Domain Pictures


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The first dog to achieve celebrity status in flying disc catching was Ashley, the whippet (breed pictured here) who set the standard for the canine version of the sport. Ashley died of old age at 13 years old in March 1985.

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Marvel Productions


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

Artist Brad McMahon created the “Rude Dog” character in 1986, and it became the symbol for skateboard and surf culture reflected in Sun Sportswear clothing. The neon-loving bull terrier character had his own TV cartoon series on CBS in 1989. 

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Mike Mozart // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

Another bull terrier mascot made its debut in 1987, this time it was “Spuds Mackenzie,” the party-loving pooch that advertised Bud Light. A much bigger success than Rude Dog, Spuds Mackenzie appeared in a Bud Light commercial as recently as the 2017 Super Bowl and inspired other mascots like Target’s miniature bull terrier, “Bullseye.”

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daveynin // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The least popular AKC breed of the 80s? That would be the harrier. With only 23 registered harriers on the rolls, the beagle’s larger cousin was falling out of favor with American dog owners.

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Llima Orosa // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The 1980s was the last time the chow chow made it to the Top Ten for a decade. Hanging on in 10th place, these large, obstinate dogs started the decade down at 24th place and actually saw their popularity increase: by the end of the ‘80s, they finished as the seventh most popular dog in America.

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Lilly M // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

One of the longest named breeds in AKC history is the petit basset griffon Vendéen. The name translates to small, low, shaggy dog from Vendéen and that’s exactly how this kid-friendly pooch was known back in its days as a hunter on the coastal shores of France.

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Ted Van Pelt // Flickr


New breeds recognized: Australian Shepherd, Chinese Crested, Finnish Spitz, Miniature Bull Terrier

This marked the first year since 1959 that four separate breeds were recognized by the AKC. The Australian shepherd has become a cowboy dog who’s a regular at rodeos, while the miniature bull terrier has become a bit of a celebrity (see 1987). The Chinese crested has a very distinct look, and comes in a hairless variety for those looking to cut down on grooming.

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David Raihelgauz // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Chinese Shar-Pei, Shiba Inu

Two dogs with Asian backgrounds got the official nod in 1992: the Chinese shar-pei, which is well known for its wrinkles, and the shiba inu, a Japanese import that serves as the most popular companion dog in its home country.

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Marilyn Peddle // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

Labrador retrievers grabbed the top spot as the most popular dog breed of the 1990s and they’ve stayed there ever since. It’s been 27 years and counting for the beloved breed, and these lovable family dogs show no signs of giving up the title.

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Izzy posing // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: American Eskimo Dog

Not necessarily what you think of when the word “Eskimo” comes to mind, these kid-friendly dogs didn’t actually come from native territories in the Great White North. Instead, they developed through the German immigrant communities of the Upper Midwest and descended from the German spitz dog.

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Rocbag // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Border Collie, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

In 1985, ten years before the breed was officially recognized, President Ronald Reagan gave his wife Nancy a Cavalier King Charles spaniel for Christmas—and Rex became a presidential pooch. Border collies also enjoy a reputation as a celebrity pet, with owners ranging from Queen Victoria of England, to James Franco, to Jon Bon Jovi.

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CharlitoCZ // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Anatolian Shepherd, Havanese, Löwchen

The massive Anatolian shepherd can tip the scales at up to 150 pounds, and comes to the U.S. from the Asian section of modern-day Turkey—where they stood guard over livestock. The Havanese is quite the opposite, with a small stature and the distinction of being the only dog native to Cuba. Löwchen means “little lion” in German, and can be seen in Renaissance paintings from hundreds of years ago.

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Samorodokhanaana // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Canaan Dog, Parson Russell Terrier

The Canaan is the national dog of Israel, and a perfect companion for hikers. The Parson Russell terrier is actually the official name for what is more commonly known as the “Jack Russell terrier” breed.

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New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

In a very impressive debut, the Rottweiler hit the decade Top Ten list at #2, the highest placement for a first-timer on any of the decade Top Ten lists mentioned in our article. Rotties are actually descendants of Roman “drover” dogs.

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New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

The cute Yorkshire terrier made its first appearance on the Top Ten in the 1990s, and another diminutive breed, the Pomeranian, got back on the list for the first time since the 1930s. Unfortunately, the Pomeranian fell back off the list in the 2000s and hasn’t returned.

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Caroline Granycome // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Spinone Italiano

The bearded spinone is a prized hunting companion for its excellent nose and soft mouth. Native to Italy, the breed is also known as the Italian coarsehaired pointer.

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BG Smith // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Polish Lowland Sheepdog

These fluffy little pups are favorites amongst Warsaw apartment dwellers. They’re generally referred to as PONs, based on their Polish name: Polski Owczarek Nizinny. They may be partially related to bearded collies after traders brought PONs to Scotland in the 1500s.

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everydoghasastory // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

Labrador retrievers became so popular in the 20th century that by 2003, their registration numbers were nearly triple the nearest competitor: the golden retriever. With 144,934 AKC registered Labs in 2003, the breed clearly held the title as the most popular dog in American Kennel Club history.

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Brian Kelly // Flickr


New breeds recognized: German Pinscher, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Toy Fox Terrier

And the award for most-specifically named AKC dog breed is… Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever! It’s the smallest retriever recognized by the AKC and loves to play fetch. The German Pinscher is actually the breed that begat the Doberman and the Miniature Pinscher, making it a living canine history lesson of sorts. The toy fox terrier is like a fox terrier, but… smaller.

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Carlyleshl // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Black Russian Terrier, Glen of Imaal Terrier, Neapolitan Mastiff

Two new terriers were recognized in 2004: the black Russian terrier (sorry Lebowski fans, there’s not a White Russian terrier) and the Glen of Imaal terrier. The BRT is a giant who’s made for patrolling frozen Russian territory, while the GoIT is a scrappy little cutie from Ireland’s County Wicklow. The Neapolitan Mastiff is similar to other mastiff breeds, but with a slightly different Roman heritage.

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hj_west // Flickr


New breeds recognized: No new breeds this year

In 2005, Yorkshire terriers made a big jump up the “Most Popular” chart and hit #3 on the list with 47,238 registered dogs. The ultra-popular movie “Meet the Fockers” came out in December 2004 and featured a Yorkie as the Fockers’ family dog, which could have influenced the climb.

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Croft Fite // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: Plott, Tibetan Mastiff

The Plott thickens with this newly added breed, which is also the state dog of North Carolina. Originally known as the Hanover hound, the Plott was brought to North Carolina by a German immigrant named Johannes Plott. The Tibetan mastiff is a giant fluffy pooch originally from Tibet.

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Richard Revel // PublicDomainPictures


New breeds recognized: Beauceron, Swedish Vallhund

The beauceron is a French shepherd whose gentle demeanor and intimidating appearance make them excellent watchdogs and protectors. The Swedish Vallhund is a Viking pup that bears more than a passing resemblance to the corgi.

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daveynin // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Dogue de Bordeaux

The Internet may have gone crazy for the shiba inu-based “Doge” meme a few years back, but the Dogue de Bordeaux is much older than the Internet. The oldest French breed, these “mastiffs of Bordeaux” were originally fighting dogs, then guard dogs and, finally, movie stars: Tom Hanks starred with a Bordeaux in 1989’s “Turner & Hooch.”

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SuperFantastic // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Bluetick Coonhound, Boykin Spaniel, Irish Red & White Setter, Norwegian Buhund, Pyrenean Shepherd, Redbone Coonhound

The previous record for most newly recognized breeds in a year was 1991 with four, but 2009 set a new record with six new breeds. Among them are two coonhounds, who are the first new coonhounds to earn recognition since the black and tan coonhound of 1945. The year also saw the addition of the Irish red and white setter, a subset of the Irish Setter that’s a bit shorter and stockier than its more athletic cousin.

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New breeds recognized: Cane Corso, Icelandic Sheepdog, Leonberger

The Leonberger sounds like a fast food menu addition, but it’s a hairy yet truly gentle giant from Germany. The Icelandic sheepdog is Iceland’s only native dog breed, and the strong and loyal cane corso is a worthy bodyguard.

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BurnAway // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: American English Coonhound, Cesky Terrier, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Finnish Lapphund, Norwegian Lundehund, Xoloitzcuintli

Another year when the AKC was swelling its ranks, six new breeds were officially recognized in 2011—including the nearly impossible-to-spell xoloitzcuintli, the Aztec dog of the gods. The Finnish lapphund is a reindeer herder and the Norwegian lundehund was bred to hunt puffins (before they became endangered).

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Radosław Drożdżewski // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Russell Terrier, Treeing Walker Coonhound

Not to be confused with the Parson Russell Terrier (although it’s easy to make the mistake), the Russell Terrier is a slightly separate breed from its very similar cousin. While the Parson Russell came directly from England, the Russell took a detour through Australia. Meanwhile, the treeing walker coonhound is one of America’s favorite hunting dogs.

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Kathleen Riley // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Chinook, Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, Rat Terrier

Rat terriers have long held one job: dispatching rats. Their straightforward name was said to be coined by Teddy Roosevelt himself. By contrast, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno sets its sights on rabbits, while the chinook aims to please its master.


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JackieLou DL // PublicDomainPictures


New breeds recognized: Coton de Tulear, Wirehaired Vizsla

Fluffy and white, the cotton-looking Coton de Tulear is known as the “Royal Dog of Madagascar.” The wirehaired vizsla is a cousin of the vizsla; it shares its Hungarian roots and stamina but has a different type of coat.

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Sannse // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Bergamasco, Berger Picard, Boerboel, Cirneco dell’Etna, Lagotto Romagnolo, Miniature American Shepherd, Spanish Water Dog

The most dogs ever admitted to the ranks of the American Kennel Club was 2015, when seven different breeds were recognized. They’re a veritable United Nations of pooches, with breeds originally hailing from the Italian Alps (Bergamasco sheepdog), France (Berger Picard), South Africa (Boerboel), Sicily (Cineco dell’Etna), the Italian Countryside (Lagotto Romagnolo), America (miniature American shepherd), and Spain (Spanish water dog).

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martynanysk // Shutterstock


New breeds recognized: American Hairless Terrier, Pumi, Sloughi

Not one to win beauty contests, the American hairless terrier is the right choice for anyone suffering from dog allergies. The Pumi is a small Hungarian sheepherder with tight curls, while the Sloughi is an Arabian greyhound.

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Burner83 // Wikicommons


New breeds recognized: Nederlandse Kooikerhondje, Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

The most recent additions to the AKC list of recognized breeds are a Dutch duck hunt helper (Nederlandse kooikerhondje) and the larger version of the formerly admitted Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. The grand basset griffon Vendéen is a shaggy dog who’s good on a hunt.

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