Monday, February 9, 2009

AKC's Most Popular Dog Breeds 2008

Every year the AKC releases a list of the most popular dog breeds registered with the organization. This is the time of year that I dread, anxiously awaiting the list and hoping that the Sheltie remains off the list for one more year.

Again this year, my wish came true. The ranking is as follows:
  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. Yorkshire Terrier
  3. German Shepherd Dog
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Beagle
  6. Boxer
  7. Dachshund
  8. Bulldog
  9. Poodle
  10. Shih Tzu
Now, you may be wondering why I cross my fingers each year that the Sheltie does NOT appear on the list. Well, I will tell you. This list seems to guide the buying habits of many people, both in America and other countries. If a dog appears on the list, then more people are alerted to it's "greatness". As demand for a breed increases, the number of breeders increase to fill that demand. Now we all know that there are some fabulous breeders out there, dedicating their lives to improving their chosen breed. But unfortunately not all breeders are responsible and have the best intentions for the dogs in mind. There are those people out there that will try to make a quick buck off of a dog, and having a "most popular" list just adds to that problem. It encourages people to think along the lines of "Wow, my Fluffy is a popular breed. I bet I could sell some of her puppies really easily and make a buck." or "The AKC thinks these dogs are most popular, it must be for a reason. We should have more of them around."

I much prefer that the Sheltie remain comparatively "unpopular", remaining under the protection of responsible breeders intent on preserving the wonderful stability and temperament of the breed. There are plenty of horrible Sheltie breeders out there already, breeding without a purpose or goal in mind, thinking that more Shelties should be bred for the purpose of making "pets". The breed certainly will not benefit from those efforts. The longer that the Sheltie remains off of the "most popular" list, the longer we can hold out hope that it won't go the way of the Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, or German Shepherd. One on every corner, and very few of those that have stable conformation and temperament.

(For the complete list and explanation of the AKC's list of Most Popular Dogs in America, see the AKC Website)

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