6 Declining Dog Breeds (Slideshow)
Just like jeans and hairstyles, dog breeds go in and out of style. In the 1960s and 1970s, poodles were the United States’ most popular breed; today, labs reign supreme. Mastiffs and pit bulls are on the rise, but not every dog breed is so lucky. Click through to check out some of the dog breeds that are falling out of favor.
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Chihuahuas soared in popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s thanks to a certain fast food commercial and the breeds’ favor among some stylish young celebrities. But by 2009, chihuahuas were brought in droves to animal shelters, particularly in California. This was due in no small part to the economic recession, but it also had to do with the temperament of the breed: they’re not the best family dogs, and they have a tendency to be nervous and yappy. From 2002 to 2012, chihuahuas dropped 9 places in the American Kennel Club’s (A.K.C.) list of most popular dog breeds by registration.
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With just about 1,000 left in the world, Otterhounds are one of the rarest dog breeds out there. And they only continue to decline, with just 15 registrants in their native United Kingdom in 2011. Otterhounds were originally developed to hunt, well, otters. With the decline of the otter population, otterhounds declined, too.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
3. Miniature Pinscher
Like chihuahuas, Min Pins rose in popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s, though they’ve dropped 30 places on the AKC’s list in the years since. Its rise in popularity is probably due to the same reasons for its swift decline: essentially, min pins are big dogs trapped in a small dog’s body — for some, that’s great — but for many, min pins proved to be just too much.
The pekingese, chihuahua and miniature pinscher were all in the last wave trendy dogs, and their popularity has waned since. Pekingese registration has slipped all the way to 73rd place, down from 33rd place in just ten years before. Sadly, the Pekingese was a popular target for puppy mill breeders — which contributed to their fall in popularity. Inbreeding has led to many health problems among these ancient dogs.
5. Old English Sheepdog
Old English Sheepdogs have long been known as an ideal family pet — but that hasn’t stopped their continual decline, both in the United States and in their native U.K. They do require a good deal of grooming, and the big dogs are just not the ideal match for an increasingly urban population. They’re on a U.K. watch list for vulnerable breeds. Stateside, the Old English sheepdog has dropped 11 spots in the past decade.
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6. English Foxhound
Once a very popular breed among wealthy English fox hunters, the English Foxhound has declined considerably in popularity in recent years. Part of that decline has to do with the banning of fox hunting in the U.K., but the breed has never been a very popular companion or show animal. In the United States, they rank dead last in terms of A.K.C. registration, and they’ve fallen 30 places in the past decade.