March 16, 2023
The numbers are in! As the world’s largest registry of purebred dogs, the American Kennel Club uses its registration statistics to rank the most popular breeds nationwide of the past year. And in 2022, one breed broke all of the records: For the first time in history, the French Bulldog ascended to AKC’s number-one spot. This ends the Labrador Retriever’s 31-year reign as the most popular dog breed in America.
Indeed, the AKC notes, the French Bulldog has moved into the number-one position after climbing the ranks in popularity over the last ten years. In 2012, the Frenchie was ranked at number 14. Since then, registrations have increased by over 1,000%, bringing this playful breed to the top. French Bulldogs held the number-two spot in 2021.
Breaking the Lab’s top-dog status of over three decades is no small feat. The Frenchie is a smart, compact breed, and they can fit into various different lifestyles, perfect for people all across the country. This petite dog was first recognized by the AKC in 1898; they are beloved by everyone from families to single owners for their charming and adaptable nature. They have surged in popularity in cities across the country since their small size and generally quiet demeanor make them good fits for apartments and smaller homes.
Top five dog breeds of 2022
Aside from this massive move, the top five list looks a bit familiar. The Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd Dog, and Poodle took ranks two through five, respectively.
Bulldogs placed at number six; while Rottweilers moved up one spot—from number eight to number seven—and the Dachshund bumped the German Shorthaired Pointer from number nine in 2021 to number ten in 2022. Beagles placed at number eight.
Other breeds that made major jumps from 2021 to 2022 are the American Hairless Terrier, the Gordon Setter, the Italian Greyhound, and the Anatolian Shepherd Dog.
What’s more, over the past ten years, breeds like the Cane Corso, Belgian Malinois, Giant Schnauzer, and English Cocker Spaniel have been making their way up the rankings in popularity, as well.
Newly recognized by the AKC in 2022, the Mudi and Russian Toy debuted at numbers 150 and 144, respectively—not bad for their first year! The Bracco Italiano became the 200th breed fully recognized by the AKC in July 2022; as a result, it will debut in the registration rankings for 2023.
Least popular dog breeds of 2022
At the bottom of the list (numbers 197 through 199) are the Sloughi, the Norwegian Lundehund, and the English Foxhound. Last year, the Norwegian Lundehund was at the bottom, but they have surpassed English Foxhounds in registration over the past year. English Foxhounds, like their American Foxhound cousins, were bred as agile, scent-driven hunting dogs.
As for the most popular breeds in other countries worldwide, based on Google searches, the Pug rules in Guatamala; the Australian Shepard, in France; the Border Collie in Belgium, Iceland, Israel, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia, the Golden Retriever, in Luxembourg, India, and Canada; the Doberman, in Russia and Lithuania; the Labradoodle, in The Netherlands, the Great Dane, in the Bahamas; the Rhodesian Ridgeback, in Bostwana; the German Shephard, in Germany, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Latvia; and the Cockapoo, in the United Kingdom.
Research contact: @akcdoglovers