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Dog breeds gaining the most popularity

  • Dog breeds gaining the most popularity

    Sorry cat lovers, but everyone knows dogs are man’s best friends. No other animal exhibits the absolute, unadulterated joy of a dog greeting its human companion after they arrive home from a long day at work. Dog owners have to ask: “Does any person love me as much as my dog?” The answer, of course, is probably no.

    Dogs are great friends to humankind, but they’re also something of miracle workers. They've saved countless owners' lives, dialed 911 in emergencies, served as guide dogs to humans and to each other, and stood the test of time as faithful companions for at least the last 35,000 years. But as times change, so too do pet owners’ preferences. Breeds that were wildly popular a few decades ago may have fallen out of fashion. In other cases, an underdog can rise to the top of the charts.

    Stacker pulled data from the American Kennel Club (AKC) to compare dog popularity rankings from 1999 and 2019; the 2019 popularity rankings were released on May 1, 2020. The 37 dog breeds that gained popularity since 1999 are ordered by their 20-year rank change and further ordered by their 2019 rank to break any ties. AKC only recognized 147 breeds in 1999, so any dog breeds added since then were not included in the original list.

    Read on to find out which dogs have gained the most in popularity in the last two decades.

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  • #37. German shepherd

    - 20-year rank change: +1
    --- 2019 AKC rank: #2
    --- 1999 AKC rank: #3

    The German shepherd has gained the least popularity but that is only because it perennially ranks as one of the most popular dogs. There are no real surprises behind the authoritative herder's consistency: loyalty, intelligence, hard-working, adoring, noble, and attractive. GSDs show up in police forces, the military, and as service companions.

  • #36. Irish wolfhound

    - 20-year rank change: +3
    --- 2019 AKC rank: #76
    --- 1999 AKC rank: #79

    The tallest AKC breed is known as a dignified, mild-tempered big-game hunter. Irish wolfhounds' history and legendary popularity trace as far back as antiquity, though the AKC notes they were bred from British and Middle Eastern hounds. By the 1700s, Irish wolfhounds had so successfully hunted wolves that they nearly went extinct with no work remaining. Today they remain popular as large, but inherently serene companions.

  • #35. Siberian husky

    - 20-year rank change: +3
    --- 2019 AKC rank: #15
    --- 1999 AKC rank: #18

    Even dog breeds can use some publicity now and again. That’s exactly what happened when Siberian huskies appeared on “Game of Thrones” as dire wolves. The show certainly contributed to the breed's popularity spike, in spite of animal welfare groups urging people not to purchase these dogs without a proper understanding of the extensive amount of exercise and attention they require. For those fully prepared to put in the work, the Siberian husky is free-spirited, playful, and sociable.

  • #34. Doberman pinscher

    - 20-year rank change: +4
    --- 2019 AKC rank: #19
    --- 1999 AKC rank: #23

    Doberman pinschers have become more mainstream as our culture has gradually dispelled pervasive, negative stereotypes about the breed. Many people wrongly thought of Doberman pinschers as “overly aggressive,” even sinister“ guard dogs. Most folks today understand Doberman pinschers are extremely intelligent, loving, and responsive to strong leadership. This dog is also a recent award winner, which has helped its rise to favoritism.

  • #33. Standard schnauzer

    - 20-year rank change: +5
    --- 2019 AKC rank: #97
    --- 1999 AKC rank: #102

    The standard schnauzer is the original version of the giant counterpart also featured on this list. This “sometimes willful but ever reliable” dog was loved so much that breeders were inspired to create both larger and smaller variations. The breed’s ever-growing popularity is highlighted by an AKC article begging the question, “Why doesn’t everyone have a standard schnauzer?”

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  • #32. Border terrier

    - 20-year rank change: +5
    --- 2019 AKC rank: #84
    --- 1999 AKC rank: #89

    The wiry, tough-as-nails border terrier is an annually popular small companion. Bred on the English-Scottish border as capable, agile foxhunters meant to protect sheep, their weatherproof coats and "no-frills" attitude meant they were historically low-maintenance workers. For the same reasons, they remain popular as easily trainable pets.

  • #31. Brittany

    - 20-year rank change: +5
    --- 2019 AKC rank: #26
    --- 1999 AKC rank: #31

    Brittanys share a name with the region of France where they were first bred, as well as with many women born in the ‘90s. This breed is happy, affectionate, and energetic. Brittanys also take quite well to obedience training. These dogs have seen a slow but steady rise in popularity, holding their spot in the mid- to high-20s on the AKC list for several years.

  • #30. Whippet

    - 20-year rank change: +6
    --- 2019 AKC rank: #57
    --- 1999 AKC rank: #63

    No, that Devo song is not about them. But whippets still have plenty going for them. Small, agile, and independent, the whippet became popular for its racing skills and ease with family living.

  • #29. Soft-coated Wheaten terrier

    - 20-year rank change: +6
    --- 2019 AKC rank: #54
    --- 1999 AKC rank: #60

    The adaptable soft-coated Wheaten terrier thrives with attention and exercise, and is perfectly happy in most places: the city, the country, anywhere except out in the rain. Some people have gone so far as to argue that soft-coated Wheaten terriers actually make the greatest family dogs on the planet.

  • #28. Mastiff

    - 20-year rank change: +7
    --- 2019 AKC rank: #32
    --- 1999 AKC rank: #39

    The mastiff makes quite a first impression with its drooping face, muscular build, and intimidating size. Males can weigh up to 230 pounds. These dogs may seem intimidating but are actually calm, loving, and great with children. Their affectionate nature and bravery as a watchdog and family guardian have gained mastiffs increased favorability in recent years.

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