Most Popular Dog Breeds Of 2018 Announced

The American Kennel Club recently released its annual “paw-pularity” contest, listing the 10 most popular dog breeds in the United States.

We’re taking a step further: We’ve got the top 192 dog breeds, with a side-by-side comparison of where each breed was in 2017 vs. 2018. Where does your favorite dog breed fall in the list?

With preface this list by saying that the best dog, of course, is the one near you right now. If you’ve got more than one dog, you’re pretty doggone popular.

most popular dog breeds

How AKC Determines Popular Dog Breeds

Based on registration statistics of purebred dogs, the American Kennel Club releases the yearly list.  Once again, the Labrador Retriever holds the number one spot, where it has remained since 1991.

This writer grew up with a Dachshund and a Labrador Retriever. Labradors are a part of the Sporting group. The AKC assigns their registry of dogs into various groups, seven in total.

Those ‘groups’ represent the characteristics and function for which dogs were originally bred. Sporting dogs point, mark game, flush game, and recover dead and wounded game. Think of those traits when you see your own sporting group dog going about his ball hunting, pointing his nose to a scent of pot roast cooking, and wanting to roll in not-so-fun things at the park.

The Labrador Retriever is so beloved that he is the first dog to make the cover of Life magazine and the first to appear on a United States postage stamp.

most popular dog breeds listing

Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds

Here is the listing for 2018 vs. 2017 of AKC’s Most Popular Dog Breeds:

most popular dog breeds listing

We wondered where our beloved American Cocker Spaniels rank on this list. The playful merry wigglebutts with the endearing personalities come in at number 30. There are three varieties of American Cocker Spaniels (ASCOB, black, and parti). The English Cocker Spaniel ranked at 52 for the 2018 calendar year.

cocker spaniels

Surprising Dog Breed Movers And Shakers

In terms of shaking up the list, notable moves were made by:

  • Terriers also made a comeback after years on the decline. Rat Terriers rose 11 spots (97 to 86), Border Terriers rose four spots (92 to 88), Bedlington Terriers rose 10 spots (151 to 141), and Dandie Dinmont Terriers rose six spots (182 to 176).
  • Ibizan Hounds rose 13 spots (165 to 152).
  • The Pumik rose 11 spots in 2018 (162 to 151).
  • Finnish Lapphunds rose 12 spots (173 to 161).

AKC Executive Secretary, Gina DiNardo, shared, “Attention must be paid to the German Shorthaired Pointer, however!  This jack of all trades in the pointer world has slowly but steadily risen in popularity over the years.  People continue to fall in love with its versatility, extreme intelligence and willingness to please.”

DiNardo’s statement is interesting because I’ve noticed more German Shorthaired Pointers on our walks with my Cocker Spaniel, Dexter.

For those who geek out on dogs like me, the German Shorthaired Pointer won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2016. CJ’s co-owner and breeder Valerie Nunes-Atkinson does an amazing job with the beautiful dog. I met CJ twice during Westminster festivities, and here’s a snapshot of us from February 2019. L to R: Valerie, me, CJ, my on-site assistant, Christine Aiello.

german shorthaired most popular dog breeds listing

The Big List of Popular Dog Breeds

Here’s a complete listing of where 192 of the AKC-recognized breeds rank for the past several years. Click the download to view.

[gview file=”https://fidoseofreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/yearoveryear.pdf”]

The AKC currently registers 193 dog breeds, and you can access the list of when each breed was recognized on this Breeds By Year Listing.

dog popular labrador retriever

About Purebred Dog Breeders

It’s totally okay to get your dog from a reputable dog breeder. What I am about to say might just help facilitate this age-old debate between reputable breeder vs reputable rescue. Spoiler alert: It’s possible to have both.

Allow me to shine the spotlight on truths and remain steadfast in the goal of this blog: A “Fidose” of Reality.

Read more here: Is it okay to get a dog from a reputable dog breeder?

Here’s how to find a reputable dog rescue

Your Turn 

Discover more about dogs and if a Cocker Spaniel is right for you

Did your dog make the list? We love all dogs, and we salute the canines of the world!

Join The Pack

If you found this article helpful or would like more information, please subscribe below to our twice-monthly newsletter to help your dog stay healthy and well!

Similar Posts


  1. I have a young Labrador, my first and truly I discovered that every single day I had her she has make me laugh.
    I can’t believe the the most popular dog in America never win at Westminster Dog Show.
    Also I can believe the Labradors shown at shows are so fat… there dogs are supposed to be stocky not fat!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.