The Most Popular Dog Breeds From Different Decades

Different dog breeds have fallen in and out of favor in the U.S. over the years, much like fashion trends. As you will see, the list of most popular dogs in the 1900s is quite different from in the 2000s. Keep reading to find out which dog breeds were the most popular in the U.S. over the decades — you’ll absolutely be surprised.


Collies were popular at the turn of the century. |

According to the American Kennel Club, the collie the No. 1 breed of the first decade of the new century. The Boston terrier, in the No. 2 spot, was also the first small companion dog to rise that high. The top 10 breeds of the 1900s were:

Next: Made in the U.S.A.


It’s an American dog breed. | Studio-laska/iStock/Getty Images

An all-American breed, the Boston terrier, was the only “made in America” breed to reach the No. 1 position in the 1910s — and it did it twice, according to the AKC. The 1910s marked the only decade in which a French bulldog made it into the top 10 breeds and the decade during which the Airedale terrier reached the highest position it ever would. The top 10 breeds of the 1910s were:

Next: One dog achieved its highest ranking ever during this decade.


German shepherds topped the charts in the ’20s. | Bigandt_Photography/iStock/Getty Images

Accepted into the AKC in 1908, the German shepherd became the No. 1 dog of the 1920s, but then disappeared from the top 10 list until after World War II. The chow chow also achieved the highest ranking it ever would during this decade. The top 10 breeds of the 1920s were:

Next: The Great Depression choices


Small breeds were popular during the Great Depression. | nailiaschwarz/iStock/Getty Images

According to the AKC, the 1930s marked the cocker spaniel’s climb in popularity. You might notice that in the Great Depression decade, all top 10 breeds are small- or medium-sized companion dogs. The top 10 breeds of the 1930s were:

Next: This breed made it onto the cover of Life Magazine.


A cocker spaniel won the AKC’s Best in Show in the ’40s. | Korvit78/iStock/Getty Images

When the cocker spaniel named My Own Brucie became famous for winning Best in Show awards in the early 1940s, according to the AKC, the breed really took off. It also didn’t hurt that he appeared on the cover of Life Magazine. The top 10 breeds of the 1940s were:

Next: At last — a venerable breed’s time in the sun


Snoopy might have contributed to the beagle’s rise to fame. | igorr1/iStock/Getty Images

The lovely beagle, according to the AKC, had ranked in the top 10 breeds ever since the organization was founded before it rose to No. 1 in the 1950s. Interestingly, Charles Schultz’s beagle, Snoopy, appeared in national newspapers in 1950. The top 10 breeds of the 1950s were:

Next: Glam dog takes No. 1 spot


The poodle hit No. 1. | Fotojagodka/iStock/Getty Images

According to the AKC, the poodle didn’t make the top 10 list until the 1950s, and the glamorous show dog finally made it into the No. 1 spot in the 1960s. The top 10 breeds of the 1960s were:

Next: The poodle holds its ground.


Poodles maintained their lead. | disqis/iStock/Getty Images

The poodle kept its No. 1 spot for its second decade in the 1970s and the Doberman pinscher made it into the top 10 during this decade. In addition, the Labrador retriever first appeared in the top 10 list during this decade, according to the AKC. The top 10 breeds of the 1970s were:

Next: A retro breed makes a comeback.


Cocker spaniels dethroned poodles in the ’80s. | Bobhackettphotos/iStock/Getty Images

During the 1980s, the cocker spaniel made a comeback and snagged the No. 1 spot, according to the AKC. The poodle slipped in its position during this decade — after spending two decades as top dog — and would continue to fall in subsequent years. The top 10 breeds of the 1980s were:

Next: This dog still takes the No. 1 spot.


The Lab began its reign in the ’90s. | GlobalP/iStock/Getty Images

The Labrador retriever rose to No. 1 during the 1990s, and continues to enjoy that position to this day, according to the AKC. The Rottweiler appeared for the first time on the top 10 list during this decade as well, and the Pomeranian returns to the list for the first time since the 1930s. The top 10 breeds of the 1990s were:

Next: Here’s the situation today.


Labs continued to lead. |

According to the AKC, the Labrador retriever still reigns supreme as the No. 1 dog breed in the U.S. Keep in mind, however, that because the second decade of the 2000s is underway, that could change. The AKC information is valid through 2013. The top 10 breeds of the 2000s are:

Read more: You’ll Never Believe Which Dog Breeds Are on the Brink of Extinction

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