Most popular breeds of 2007

The Yorkshire Terrier is one of many small dogs voted most popular last year by Americans.

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. German Shepherd Dog
4. Golden Retriever
5. Beagle
6. Boxer
7. Dachshund
8. Poodle
9. Shih Tzu
10. Bulldog

The Labrador Retriever took the number one spot among the breeds top registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC) last year–again, for the 17th year in a row. The pocket-size Yorkshire Terrier clung to number two for the second year running. And the Beagle made the list as it has every year since 1915. So the real news may be that the Bulldog, a docile, apartment-friendly breed, is now a top 10 dog for the first time since 1935.

You have to look outside the top dogs to see the other development: the continued rise of the small dog. The Toy group has increased from 12 percent of the AKC registry in the 1970s to 23 percent now.

Members of the popular small dog crowd include the rough-coated Brussels Griffon, whose ranking jumped 157 percent over the past decade, and the sweet-natured King Charles Cavalier Spaniel. The pucker-faced French Bulldog saw a surge in popularity of 400 percent, and the cuddly Havanese, whose popularity in the last 10 years increased a stunning 994 percent, now ranks as the 37th most popular breed.

Before getting a dog, do your homework!

With all this talk of trends and popularity contests, it may be tempting to join the in crowd and run out and get a Yorkie, or two, of your own. But the best dog for you is not the cutest, nor the most popular. She’s the one with the personality that works best with your family and your lifestyle. And if that means you’re going home with the craziest looking mutt ya ever saw, no one here’s complaining.

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