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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1. Chihuahua

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.

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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.

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4. Pekingese

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.

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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.

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Valentina R.
Valentina R4 years ago

Referring to living beings as "out of style" is truly disgusting. People who buy a dog only because it's cute, popular or small, as well as the ones breeding them, are absolutely revolting.

Summerannie Moon
Summerannie M4 years ago

wow, they are all such cute dogs... and the English sheepdog....thats sad but lots of work but if you love that particular breed, then there isnt a problem...just devotion.

Malgorzata Zmuda
Malgorzata Zmuda4 years ago

Szkoda, bo to piękne psy, chociaż i tak najpiękniejsze są kundelki.

Kate C.
Kate Collier4 years ago

Thank you; a couple of surprises here, especially the Old English Sheepdog. i know a couple of people who have them and they really are a lot of hard work!

Dennis F.
Dennis F4 years ago

I feel proper breeding has a lot more to do with some of this than heredity - I have had pugs, the last 2 I got as adults. I never had a problem with breathing, or with the eyes "popping out" as some have mentioned. I did notice that when looking at pics of properly - bred pugs that the eyes are not overly prominent, regardless of what the breed standards mention.
Also, on a hot day pugs are likely to be under a tree, or in air conditioning - I remember my male pug living with my mom and I in a mobile home with evaporative cooling (swamp cooler) - he would perhaps lay on his back sometimes on the tile floor, or sometimes in front of a fan - like any other dog - neither pug seemed to have problems breathing.

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

side note, many "breeds" end up with health issues since people think smushed faces are cute (major breathing/eating issues) or think shorter legs are endearing (hip issues, walking/jumping problems) We need to leave them alone. This whole breeding frenzy is pointless, whatever happened to having a dog to have a healthy, happy loyal friend to give extra love to?