Is your dog’s breed winning popularity contests this year? Now you can find out! The most popular dog breeds of 2020 were released on March 16, 2021, based on American Kennel Club registration statistics.
America continues its love affair with the Labrador Retriever which tops the list for the 30th year in a row. Just below the Lab, the Frenchie takes the #2 spot, ranking above the German Shepherd Dog and Golden Retriever for the first time. And the Dachshund makes its way into the top 10 this year, knocking the Pembroke Welsh Corgi down to #11.
Some breeds rose in popularity, including the Belgian Malinois, which jumped from 60th in 2014 to 37th this year. Some breeds declined in popularity, even the adorable Coton de Tulear, which dropped 50 spots from 31 to 81, and the Boerbel, which declined almost 60 spots.
Like clothing styles and baby names, dog breeds go in and out of style. It’s likely that pop culture plays a large role in preferences. In fact, a study from the University of Bristol, City University of New York, and Western Carolina University found that movies, specifically durably popular ones, play a large role in breed popularity. For most of the twentieth century, even the breed’s temperament, health, and longevity played less of a role in selecting a dog than did association with a popular film.
The study used registration statistics from the AKC to compile and analyze the data. But there are more substantial reasons that dog registration is important. The AKC is the only purebred dog registry in the United States, maintaining systematic investigations and inspections. The AKC conducts thousands of inspections each year to ensure compliance with standards that support the safety, welfare, and health of dogs throughout the country. Additionally, the American Kennel Club and its affiliates have donated over $38 million to canine health research and $7 million to pet disaster relief.