Today, the American Kennel Club released its list of “top dogs” — the country’s most popular breeds based on the kennel club’s 2016 registration numbers.
No surprise — yawn — the Labrador Retriever maintained its statistical supremacy, holding on to the number-one spot for the 26th consecutive year. The list’s number-two and number-three breeds, the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever, also saw their primo-pooch status unchanged.
As for Molossers, you have to get to #28 on the list before you find one: Mastiffs, which slid from their #25 perch in 2015. Also losing ground on the AKC list were Cane Corsos (#40, dropping from #35), Bullmastiffs (#48, a dip from #43), Boerboels (#131, previously #126) and Tibetan Mastiffs (#135, down from #133).
Dogues de Bordeaux held steady at #63, and only Neapolitan Mastiffs saw a spike in popularity, clocking in at #99, up from #106.
While most “pure” Molossers experienced a backslide on the AKC list, three Molosser-related breeds held their top spots — the Bulldog (#4), French Bulldog (#6) and Boxer (#10) — while the Rottweiler saw an uptick (#8, up one slot from 2015).
The Bulldog, Boxer and Rottweiler are categorized as Molossers by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, which places them in section two of its Group 2, reserved for “Molossoid type” dogs. Though the Frenchie is in Group 9 with the Toy breeds, as a mini-Molosser it has a berth in section 11, “Small Molossian Type Dogs,” along with the Pug and Boston Terrier. But most fanciers of those breeds don’t consider themselves Molossers — if they even knew what the word meant. We consider them not-so-distant cousins.
While the American Kennel Club provides a ranked list of dog breeds, it does not provide the registration numbers on which the list is based.
You can view the complete AKC breed popularity list here.