The 15 Least Popular Dog Breeds in America

Few living things have as high of an approval rating as our canine friends, I think. It’s a well-known fact that they are referred to as “man’s best friend” and that they all attend paradise. Throughout human history, there have been numerous tributes to their loyalty, ranging from Argos in Homer’s Odyssey to films like Beethoven and Balto.

However, because we are biassed by nature, some of the 195 registered breeds inevitably end up at the bottom. Stacker analysed the 15 least popular dog breeds in America using data from the American Kennel Club, which was released on March 16, 2021, to help understand what influences our decisions. For comparison, AKC rankings from 2013 were also added.

It goes without saying that a breed’s size, upkeep, allergies, temperament, and disposition all affect its level of popularity in the country. However, brand recognition, or name recognition, is just as important; this is why labradors, retrievers, and bulldogs rank among the most popular breeds every year, while the fourth-least popular breed featured here debuted at the 2020 Westminster Dog Show and is descended from a nomadic West African breed that dates back to prehistoric Saharan times. Accessibility can also be a barrier to popularity; there are fewer respectable breeders of newer or less popular breeds, which reduces your chances of adopting one of the less well-known breeds into your home.

Find out about 98 adorable dog breeds you may not be familiar with, whether you’re adopting a dog and looking up breed traits or choosing a trustworthy breeder.

1. Dandie dinmont terrier

– 2020 registration rank: #181 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #168 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -13

The Dandie Dinmont terrier got its name from Sir Walter Scott’s 1815 novel “Guy Mannering.” The diminutive dogs are known for their prominent poofs of hair atop their heads, as well as their relatively mild-mannered temperaments.

2. Pyrenean shepherd

– 2020 registration rank: #182 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #169 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -13

Find out about 98 adorable dog breeds you may not be familiar with, whether you’re adopting a dog and looking up breed traits or choosing a trustworthy breeder.

3. Skye terrier

– 2020 registration rank: #183 highest of 195 breeds
– Out of 177 breeds, 2013 registration rank: #161 highest
– Change since 2013: -22

Skye terriers are loyal to their owners but can be conflicted about other people. These majestic creatures have roots in working dogs and were a favourite of Queen Victoria.

4. Canaan dog Breeds

– 2020 registration position: #184 out of 195 breeds, highest
– 2013 registration rank: #164 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -20

The rich history of Canaan dogs dates back to the Bible. Canaanite dogs were used to herd sheep and other livestock before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. The dogs fled to the desert after their owners were forced from their homeland, where they remained uninhabited until the 20th century.

#11. American English coonhound
RICHARD PROSS / SHUTTERSTOCK

5. American English coonhound

– – 2020 registration position: #185 out of 195 breeds, highest
– 2013 registration rank: #146 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -39

It’s thought that American English coonhounds originated with a president. There is evidence to suggest that George Washington was among the first Americans to own these dogs.

#10. Chinook
NICK CHASE 68 / SHUTTERSTOCK

6. Chinook

– 2020 registration rank: #186 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #156 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -30

The dog that began their lineage is honoured in the names of these sled dogs. To create the breed, breeder Arthur Walden crossed his Chinook dog with a stock husky. Regretfully, Chinook was subsequently lost in an Antarctic expedition. These dogs, who are renowned for their gentle disposition and excessive affection, make wonderful family pets.

7. Finnish spitz

– 2020 registration rank: #187 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #170 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -17

The Finnish spitz carries on the Taimyr wolf lineage. Though this ancient breed of wolves is extinct, DNA testing indicates that they contributed to the existence of these champion barkers who resemble foxes. These intelligent canines pick things up quickly, but they’re also crafty and will look for ways to test their masters.

8. Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen

– 2020 registration position: #188 out of 195 breeds, highest
– 2013 registration rank: unranked

Due to its difficult breeding, this recently recognised French breed is rare in the United States. These hunting hounds’ owners say they are calm, amiable pets who need a lot of daily exercise to burn off their enormous amounts of excess energy. Another descriptive aspect of their name is that it means “large, low, shaggy dog of the Vendée.”

9. Sloughi

– 2020 registration rank: #189 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: unranked

If the proverbs are to be believed, Sloughi owners have been devoted to their dogs since antiquity. Throughout history, these graceful animals have been favoured by royalty, and some roving owners have even been known to treat them with the same respect as human family members after they pass away.

10. Harrier

– 2020 registration rank: #190 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #173 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -17

These robust little dogs, who belong to the hound group, are occasionally confused for beagles. Despite their hunting heritage, this breed has done a fantastic job of adapting to life as a family pet. Although harriers are generally good with kids, their energy may be a bit much for younger children to handle.

11. Cesky terrier

– 2020 registration rank: #191 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #174 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -17

There are only about 600 Cesky terriers in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club. Though they may not be common in the United States, owners of Ceskys are probably aware that they are enthusiastic agility competitors and excellent hunters.

12. American foxhound

– 2020 registration rank: #192 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #176 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -16

Virginia’s state dog, the American Foxhound, is a popular hunting dog breed. These dogs’ excellent sense of smell makes them useful in search and rescue situations as well. After the 9/11 attacks in New York City, over 300 of them assisted in the recovery of victims.

13. Azawakh

– 2020 registration rank: #193 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: unranked

The rarity, recentness, and unfamiliarity of the Azawakh in the United States are the reasons for its lack of popularity there. The African sighthound was first seen wandering the Sahara with nomads in prehistoric times in the western part of the continent. By the end of the 1980s, the first Azawakh had arrived in America and had given birth to the first domestic litter. They were categorised as “miscellaneous” by the AKC in 2011, but they only recently became members of the Hound Group in 2019 and are now qualified to compete in the Westminster Dog Show.

14. English foxhound

– 2020 registration rank: #194 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #177 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -17

English foxhounds haven’t quite taken off as traditional companion dogs, in contrast to many other hunting dog breeds. These dogs are usually owned by hunters and are socialised into packs that are taught to pursue foxes.

#1. Norwegian lundehund
RADOMIR REZNY / SHUTTERSTOCK

15. Norwegian lundehund

– 2020 registration rank: #195 highest of 195 breeds
– Out of 177 breeds, the 2013 registration rank was #175.
– Change since 2013: -20

Norwegian lundehunds are excellent at spotting puffins because of two peculiar traits. These inquisitive puppies can wiggle their ears to shield themselves from the elements and to aid in their crawling into a puffin burrow. They also have six toes on each foot, which appear to have developed to help them navigate slippery rocks.

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