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Top 10 Most
Popular dog breeds

By Jenna Stregowski, RVT in C.A.
   Every year, the AKC releases the list of the most registered dog breeds. More or less, that list ranks the breeds in order of popularity. With the order of the top ten "usual suspects" slightly shifted, 2009 brought no surprises. Check out this list of the top ten dogs breeds of 2009 according to the AKC dog breed registration statistics and see if your favorite breed made the top ten. Is your breed not on the top ten?
1) Labrador Retreiver
   There's no surprise here. The Labrador Retriever has held the number one spot for 19 consecutive years, and for good reason. This energetic, fun-loving retriever has "family dog" written all over it. Loyal and affectionate, the Lab wins over the hearts of just about everyone it meets. For over 200 years, the Lab has been treasured for its loyalty, intelligence and athleticism. The breed is often seen working as a service animal or gun dog, but remains a favorite among those looking for an all-around canine companion.
2) German Sheppard
   After many years in the number three spot, the German Shepherd has moved up to second place. This hard-working, loyal dog is probably best know for its skills as a protection animal, police dog and search-and-rescue hero. However, this serious and diligent dog breed has a softer, goofier side. Perhaps that is why the breed is still quite favored as a companion animal. One thing is for certain - the GSD will watch over and defend your home and family. Don't let the tough exterior fool you, though. This breed is affectionate with its loved ones.
3) Yorkshire Terrier
   Down just one notch to number three, the Yorkshire Terrier is still a favorite among fans of small dog breeds. The Yorkie is the quintessential "purse dog," rarely touching the ground and often seen with bow in hair. Yet make no mistake, this is not a wimpy dog. The Yorkie makes up for its small stature with a huge personality. Believe it or not, this breed can be quite the watch dog, vocally alerting you to the goings-on around the house. However, at the end of the day, the Yorkie is not here to do a job, but to be an affectionate companion.
4) Golden Retriever
   The Golden Retriever is back at number four and going strong. Much like the Labrador, the Golden is a loyal and affectionate family dog with a big heart. With an eager-to-please attitude, this breed is often found working as a service or assistance dog. The Golden also makes a wonderful therapy dog with its eternally happy disposition. Plus, this breed seems to have written the book when it comes to befriending children, making the breed a perfect match for family life.
5) Beagle
   The lovable Beagle also holds its number five spot on the list, and for reasons similar to the above. This energetic hound also has an affinity for children and family life. Vocal to an almost comical point, the Beagle can carry on quite the canine conversation - especially with that howl. The breed is small to medium in size, but is sturdy, robust and able to keep up with the rest. The Beagle also has a nose for mischief, but in the most endearing way. Plus, that amazing nose is perfect for sniffing out other kinds of trouble, specifically bombs and drugs at airports and similar checkpoints.
6) Boxer
   Sticking at number six, the beautiful Boxer is yet another affectionate, loyal family dog. Despite its history as a fighting dog, the breed has developed into a gentle, playful companion with no trace of aggression. This is another dog that gets along very well with kids when properly trained. Otherwise, the breed does like to jump up and can forget its size from time to time. All goofiness aside, the Boxer can have a serious side when it comes to protecting loved ones, making the breed a good guard dog.
7) English Bulldog
   The Bulldog made its big debut into the top ten rankings in 2007 and continues to work its way up the list. This increasingly popular dog shares ancestry with the Boxer. Yet, also like the Boxer, time has turned this former fighting dog into a gentle canine companion. The Bulldog is known for its stocky frame, extremely sturdy build and overall "tough guy" appearance. This is probably why the breed is commonly named the mascot of sports teams. However, when you get to know the Bulldog, you'll find that the breed is quite affectionate.
8) Dachshund
   Though still in the top ten, the Dachshund has slowly decreased in rank over the years. Not to worry - this little hound is still beloved by many. The Dachshund has many nicknames: doxie, wiener dog, sausage dog, hotdog, etc. Of course, they mostly relate to the breeds distinct appearance. With its short, stubby legs and a long, round body, the Dachshund is easy to spot. This breed is sweet and affectionate to its trusted family members, but can be a bit wary of strangers. However, once you fall for this little cutie, you'll never go back.
9) Poodle
   The Poodle is another memorable dog breed that was once even more popular. Holding at number nine, the breed has a rich history as a favorite of the aristocracy. Poodles have also been known as entertaining performers. Possibly due to its fancy haircut and "frou-frou" appearance, many people don't realize that this is a highly intelligent dog breed. Perhaps one reason the Poodle is some popular is that it comes in three sizes - toy, miniature and standard. Much to the delight of their enthusiasts, the smaller varieties are known for their longevity.
10) Shih Tzu
   Last but not least is the adored Shih Tzu, steady at number ten. This toy breed is basically the poster child for lap dogs, which is no surprise since the breed originated strictly as a companion. The Shih Tzu is a small dog with long, silky hair that often includes a bow. However, many owners like to keep the coat trimmed to a shorter length that is easier to maintain. The Shih Tzu is a pampered pet with an alert and confident disposition. Yet, despite its size, the breed is actually quite hardy and can hold its own.


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