Dog breeds with the most timeless popularity
Which do you like better, cats or dogs? If you chose dogs, you’re in the majority: a poll conducted by the Associated Press found that 74% of adults said they prefer dogs while only 41% of adults said the same about cats. That’s not to suggest that dogs are inherently better than their feline friends. Evolutionarily speaking, cats have actually been more successful, with superior hunting skills enabling survival even when food is scarce. On the other hand, science suggests that dogs are smarter than cats because their cerebral cortexes contain twice as many neurons.
There may never be a clear answer, but for the majority who prefers man’s best friend, Stacker has compiled a list of the top 35 dog breeds with the most timeless popularity. Using data from the American Kennel Club, we averaged each breed’s level of popularity in 1940 with its popularity in 2017. Any ties were decided by the breed that ranked highest in 2017.
Click through to find out if your favorite dog was just as beloved 80 years ago.
#35. Irish setters
Average rank (1940 & 2017): #58.5
1940 rank: #45
2017 rank: #72
Recognized by their silky chestnut coats, Irish setters were originally bred to hunt birds. Although they love humans, their hunting instincts can make them a threat to smaller animals. They are active and energetic, so potential owners should be prepared to take them on lots of long walks or runs.
#34. Staffordshire bull terriers
Average rank (1940 & 2017): #56
1940 rank: #30
2017 rank: #82
Staffordshire bull terriers are on the smaller side, with a typical height between 14 and 16 inches. They originate from a type of dog that was bred specifically for sport fighting, either against larger animals like bulls, or other dogs.
#33. Miniature pinschers
Average rank (1940 & 2017): #55.5
1940 rank: #40
2017 rank: #71
Part of the toy group, typical miniature pinschers stand only 1 foot high and weigh less than 10 pounds. It is sometimes incorrectly assumed that miniature pinschers are miniature Doberman pinschers. It’s more likely they’re are a mix of dachshund and Italian greyhound. Pinschers are energetic, territorial, assertive, and curious, making them great guard dogs despite their tiny stature.
Average rank (1940 & 2017): #54
1940 rank: #51
2017 rank: #57
While the Samoyed’s white coat may resemble a fluffy cloud, it’s thick enough to keep them warm in negative 60-degree weather. This coat was necessary protection in Siberia, their country of origin, where they were used for hunting reindeer. Due to their gentle personalities and penchant for interacting with humans, Samoyeds make ideal therapy pets.
#31. Cairn terriers
Average rank (1940 & 2017): #51.5
1940 rank: #34
2017 rank: #69
Cairn terriers were bred in Scotland to dig up rocks in search of vermin. This is where their name comes from: cairn means “pile of rocks.” One cairn terrier you’ve probably seen before is Toto from “The Wizard of Oz.”
#30. Irish wolfhounds
Average rank (1940 & 2017): #50
1940 rank: #27
2017 rank: #73
Irish wolfhounds are massive: Male dogs can weigh up to 180 pounds. Depictions in ancient art suggest that the Wolfhound breed may have existed earlier than 273 B.C. A modern portrayal of an Irish wolfhound can be found in the 2017 film “Paddington 2,” which features a character named Wolfie.
#29. Bull terriers
Average rank (1940 & 2017): #49
1940 rank: #38
2017 rank: #60
Bull terriers are a social breed with a distinctive egg-shaped head. A fun-loving dog, the bull terrier was found to have a similar temperament to the golden retriever. One of the most well-recognized bull terrier is Bullseye, Target's mascot.
#28. Chow chows
Average rank (1940 & 2017): #45
1940 rank: #14
2017 rank: #76
Originating in northern China, chow chows have thick double-coats and characteristic blue-black tongues. Martha Stewart is particularly fond of this breed, and has owned a number of them.
Average rank (1940 & 2017): #44.5
1940 rank: #26
2017 rank: #63
Dalmations have roots tracing back to Croatia, and are named after the country’s Dalmatia region. Their original job was to guard horse-drawn carriages, including horse-drawn fire engines, which is why they’re associated with firefighters to this day.
#26. West Highland white terriers
Average rank (1940 & 2017): #44
1940 rank: #46
2017 rank: #42
Going by Westie for short, the West Highland white terrier descends from a group of terriers bred to seek out vermin. As a result, they may share ancestors with cairn terriers and Scottish terriers. Though they look like soft stuffed animals, their outer coat is actually wiry and coarse.2018 All rights reserved.