Small Dogs Making the Most Gains

Labs still most popular dogs in America, but Yorkies on their way up.

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Yorkshire Terriers may be small, but they are gaining stature among dog enthusiasts.

The toy-sized terrier with the long, silky coat jumped up to third on the American Kennel Clubs list of registered dogs for 2005, released Jan. 10. Nearly 50,000 Yorkies were registered last year.

Considering the increasing popularity of small dogs in the past decade perhaps due to their exposure as celebrity companions I'm not surprised to learn that this precious and portable canine may slip into the number two slot in 2006, said AKC spokeswomen Gail Miller.

Other small dogs such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, French Bulldogs and Brussels Griffons also increased their numbers this year, consistent with their rise in popularity over the past decade.

Labrador Retrievers remained the most popular dog in America for the 15th straight year, surpassing their second-place cousins, Golden Retrievers, by almost 100,000. German Shepherd Dogs and Beagles slipped down a rung to fourth and fifth, respectively.

The top-ten AKC registered breeds are:
1. Labrador Retriever (137,867)
2. Golden Retriever (48,509)
3. Yorkshire Terrier (47,238)
4. German Shepherd Dog (45,014)
5. Beagle (42,592)
6. Dachshund (38,566)
7. Boxer (37,268)
8. Poodle (31,638)
9. Shih Tzu (28,087)
10. Miniature Schnauzer (24,144)

Overall registration was down this year, to 920,804 dogs representing 153 breeds. The AKC attributes the decline to tougher kennel inspections that ensure only purebred dogs are listed in the registry.

Three breeds that were accepted by the AKC recently Neapolitan Mastiffs, Black Russian Terriers and Glen of Imaal Terriers had increased numbers this year, as existing breeders joined the registry.

Photo Courtesy of the American Kennel Club.

Posted: Jan. 17, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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