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Dog breeds losing popularity

  • Dog breeds losing popularity

    Trends of all kinds can fade in and out of popularity, including dog breeds. While some purebreds’ popularity rankings have stood the test of time for more than a quarter century, other breeds have quickly dropped in popularity.

    To identify which dog breeds are trending out of style, Stacker found the 50 dog breeds that have become the least popular over the last two decades. To do this, they used data from the American Kennel Club (AKC) to find the purebreds whose U.S. popularity ranking dropped the most from 1997 to 2017. The breeds are ordered by their 20-year rank change, with the breed experiencing the furthest fall from grace taking the #1 spot. When ties occurred, breeds are ordered by descending 2017 popularity rankings. In 1997, the AKC recognized only 145 breeds, so any breeds who have been added since then are not included in this list.  

    Whether you’re looking for a unique dog to bring home to the family or are seeing where your pet stacks up, check out the 50 dogs breeds that are losing popularity.

    ALSO: Dog breeds gaining popularity

  • #50. Norwegian elkhounds

    2017 AKC rank: 91

    1997 AKC rank: 72

    20-year rank change: -19

    The Norwegian elkhound is a spitz-type breed, known for its wolf-like appearance. Prospective families should be aware that due to the breed’s two-ply coat, shedding is an inevitable fact of life.

  • #49. Belgian sheepdogs

    2017 AKC rank: 120

    1997 AKC rank: 101

    20-year rank change: -19

    Belgian sheepdogs require a lot of exercise to keep them docile and happy. This breed will work extremely hard for its owners, but may develop behavioral problems if left alone for long periods of time.

  • #48. Briards

    2017 AKC rank: 127

    1997 AKC rank: 108

    20-year rank change: -19

    Belonging to the herding group, Briards originated in France and were originally bred to protect farmers’ flocks. Today, the dogs may be falling in popularity because their long, coarse coats require extra care and attention.

  • #47. Sussex spaniels

    2017 AKC rank: 161

    1997 AKC rank: 142

    20-year rank change: -19

    The Sussex spaniel was among the first 10 breeds to be formally recognized after the AKC was formed in 1884, and has decreased in popularity since then. The breed is known for its long, low build and golden color.

  • #46. Chihuahuas

    2017 AKC rank: 32

    1997 AKC rank: 12

    20-year rank change: -20

    Despite trending down in popularity since 1997, Chihuahuas are the second-most popular breed on this list. Americans may be straying away from these dogs because of their reputation for having a big attitude.

  • #45. Italian greyhounds

    2017 AKC rank: 74

    1997 AKC rank: 54

    20-year rank change: -20

    Smaller, more slender versions of the larger greyhound, Italian greyhounds are alert and playful lap dogs. Their docile demeanor makes them ideal for families with small children.  

  • #44. Affenpinschers

    2017 AKC rank: 147

    1997 AKC rank: 127

    20-year rank change: -20

    Affenpinschers are small, wiry-haired dogs belonging to the toy group. According to the AKC, in France, this breed is known as the “mustached little devil,” likely because of its scrunched face, wiry hair, and devilish personality.

  • #43. Cocker spaniels

    2017 AKC rank: 29

    1997 AKC rank: 8

    20-year rank change: -21

    The cocker spaniel is the most popular breed to make this list. These dogs retain their popularity owing to their soft, beautiful coats and gentle personalities. Prospective owners may, however, be straying away in recent years due to the regular and thorough grooming that this breed requires.

  • #42. Pointers

    2017 AKC rank: 113

    1997 AKC rank: 92

    20-year rank change: -21

    Pointers are fast, agile dogs that have been working alongside humans for centuries. The breed requires minimal grooming and maintenance, but aren’t great apartment dogs because they require a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy.

  • #41. Great Pyrenees

    2017 AKC rank: 66

    1997 AKC rank: 44

    20-year rank change: -22

    The Great Pyrenees may be mistaken for a polar bear thanks to its large build, fluffy white fur, and affinity for cold weather. Despite having a great deal of fur, these dogs don’t require regular grooming, but some prospective owners might hesitate to adopt one, due to the breed’s excessive shedding.