The American Kennel Club released its annual list of dog registration statistics, and for the 20th year in a row, the Labrador Retriever has come out on top as the most popular breed. The German Shepherd came in second, with the Yorkshire Terrier, Beagle and Golden Retriever rounding out the top five.
Three new breeds have been added to the list: The Entlebucher Mountain dog, which originated as Swiss cattle herder, the ancient and often-hairless Mexican Xoloitzcuintli, and the Norwegian Lundehund, which is most notable for its six toes.
The Entlebucher Mountain dog is believed to have descended from large molossers that the Romans brought to Switzerlands in the first century B.C. Although originally kept for guarding and herding, these days the Entlebucher is known as an energetic, loyal and “persistent” companion, and shares several of the same characteristics of other mountains dogs. It’s a medium-sized dog with small eyes, a muscular body and a strong, flat skull. The dog should be well socialized early in life with other dogs and people, and should be exercised regularly. It’s a generally good-natured dog and devoted to familiar people, and slightly suspicious of strangers. It’s promoted as a rare breed for people looking for a unique pet. Because of some inbreeding, Entlebuchers can suffer from congenital defects, most commonly hip dysplasia. The National Entlebucher Mountain Dog Association is working to eliminate the health issues from the breed through responsible breeding and genetic testing.
Dogs that most increased in popularity on the AKC list include the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and the Smooth Fox Terrier. Making a comeback are the Keeshonden and Anatolian Shepherd Dog. The top Toys are the Yorkshire Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Havanese. On the larger side, the Great Dane, Mastiff, Newfoundland, Bernese Mountain Dog and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog all rose in the ranks over the past year.
With the addition of the three new breeds, the AKC’s list of registered breeds now tops out at 170.
Are you in the market for a new family pet?