The American Kennel Club (AKC) releasted its annual list of most popular breeds. There's no news regarding the top dog—the Lab reigns supreme for the 21st straight year—but check out this list of setters on the move:
-English setters move up from 101 to 87
And setters aren't the only gundog breed that's in more homes now than one year ago:
*English cockers are up three spots, and up a total of 13 spots since 2001. There are far more cocker field trials and hunt-test events than just a few years ago, and therefore much more effort is being put into breeding good English cockers out of field stock. Hunters have apparently noticed, as anecdotally I've seen an increasing number of English cockers in the field. Perhaps their stature and our increasingly suburbanized society is also fueling the interest.
*Beagles ascend to the third position, and AKC is even hyping its potential to challenge the Lab for the top spot.
*Flat-coated retrievers make a big jump from 103 to 90.
*Viszlas move from 41 to 37.
*Wirehaired pointing griffons move from 93 to 92, up 23 spots in the last decade
The gains led our good buddy Anthony Hauck of Pheasant's Forever to ask the following:
Are hunting breeds gaining in popularity? More than 10 breeds commonly associated with bird hunting moved up the chart this year. Hopefully that translates into more interest in upland hunting and upland conservation.
We hope so too, Anthony.
Here's the AKC's Top 10 Most Popular Dogs in the United States for 2011:
1. Labrador Retriever