Monday, August 27, 2012

Most Popular Dog Breeds by States

By Linda Cole

Many people who love dogs have one or two specific breeds they favor over other breeds. I've always loved the Siberian Husky and felt blessed to be owned by two of them at one time. My other preference would be a German Shepherd or Border Collie. I have a mixed Collie/Shepherd and a mixed Lab/Border Collie; both are rescued dogs, as are my other dogs, and I wouldn't trade them for the world. I've never been concerned with adopting a dog based on the popularity of a breed, especially when it comes to a dog that needs a home. The dog owners I know also aren't concerned if their dog is on a “most popular dog breeds” list, but it’s still fun to read the various lists that come out every year. It's interesting how the different breeds vary from state to state when it comes to which dog breed people prefer.

When you think of Siberian Huskies, you automatically associate that breed with Alaska. If it hadn't been for dogs like the Husky and other sled dog breeds, the wilderness of Alaska might not have ever been settled. Without the sled dogs to deliver supplies and goods to the people living in remote villages, surviving in a frozen wilderness would have been more difficult. If it hadn't been for the courage of the Siberian Husky, the town of Nome, Alaska may not have survived a diphtheria epidemic. In Denali National Park, sled dogs are used to patrol the vast areas of the park and help protect wildlife and the land. So it might be a bit of a surprise to know that the most popular dog breed in Alaska is the Labrador Retriever! The Siberian Husky comes in at number four.

The AKC has listed the Labrador Retriever as one of the most popular dog breeds in the country. The Lab has topped the most popular list for a long time, and that holds true for 42 states. In the states where the Lab didn't rank first, the breed is still in the top three, except in Nevada where it falls to number four.

The Yorkshire Terrier and the German Shepherd are ranked in the top five in 37 states, and the cute little Chihuahua is among the top three favorite dog breeds in 34 states. Rhode Island dog lovers are partial to the American Pit Bull Terrier where the breed sits in the number one spot, and 28 states rank the Pit Bull in the top three.

Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas dog lovers rank Chihuahuas as their number one pick, and the American Pit Bull Terrier and Labrador Retriever follow at number two and three. The Lab holds second place in Texas and Arizona, and number three in New Mexico. The only states where the lovable Chihuahua didn't make it into the top list are Vermont and California. California is a bit of a surprise considering that the state has the largest number of Chihuahuas in shelters.

There are a lot of similarities state by state when it comes to dog breeds. The Shih Tzu, German Shepherd, Boxer, Yorkshire Terrier, American Pit bull, Chihuahua, Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever are fairly consistent state by state, and all of them rank in the top eight. The Beagle, Dachshund and Maltese made the top eight in only a handful of states, as well as the Border Collie, Australian Cattle Dog, Pomeranian, Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, Bulldog and the Australian Shepherd.

California, Alaska and Hawaii are the only states that had a terrier mix of unknown origin make it into the top eight spots of most popular dog breeds in their states. Alaska is the only state where the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Husky made it into the top eight.

It doesn't matter if your dog is a purebred or mixed breed, adopted or rescued; we all still want what's best for our favorite canine from feeding them a high quality dog food like CANIDAE to making sure they have a comfortable doggie bed to rest on and some fun toys to play with. I do enjoy reading the “most popular dog” lists, but I love all of my dogs no matter what breed(s) they are!

Photo by Jeffrey Beall

Read more articles by Linda Cole


  1. And you know how much our humans love Siberian Huskies - we are now a pack of four!!!! Byt the breed isn't for everyone, we need a home that truly understands the breed. Mom says she is glad we aren't at the top of many lists because then everyone wants one and overbreeding and health issues can become a problem.

    Thanks for the nice article.

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  2. We yorkies are quite adaptable and do well in many different environments! 37 states, wow!

    Your pal, Pip

  3. With all the bad press pit bulls get its so awesome to see that people still love the breed I own a red nose and a cane corso thanks for the article!

    1. I agree with you so much,, I Love pits and they are an amazing breed to have around!!

    2. Yes! It is an awesome thing that true lovers of the breed are stepping forth to claim it for the Pits! Love my Greta APBT to bits!

  4. I too love to see how many states love the lovable pitty! Yes, I'm a lab owner (help raise guide dogs), but I love all breeds and hate so see how badly the pitties are treated. Change is hopefully on the horizon...

  5. Is there a link to the list? I would love to see it.


    That page has an interactive map, you can click your state for it's top 10!

  7. I'm surprised the Jack Russell Terrier didn't make it to the list for Ohio as there are a gazillion of them here, and backyard breeders galore (so many of them end up at the shelters).

  8. I would like to swap some information with Linda Cole about my Lab/Border Collie and hers. If she is willing, I am at .

    Jo and Stella

  9. That's cool information! How interesting that there are so many pit bulls (we love them, so we're saying it in a good way).

  10. I love that many people own pitbulls...I just hope that these are good, responsible owners!! I just love my two pitties!


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