The 20 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 Beethoven and Balto in motion pictures.

However, because we are biassed by nature, some of the 195 registered breeds inevitably end up at the bottom. Stacker dissected the 28 least popular dog breed’s 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 breed’s, which reduces your chances of adopting one of the less well-known breeds into your home.

1. Black Russian terrier

– 2020 registration rank: #126 highest of 195 breeds
– Out of 177 breeds, 2013 registration rank: #118 highest
– Change since 2013: -8

This breed has only been in the U.S. since the 1980s. Before they made their way to the states, black Russian terriers worked alongside the Soviet military. Although this breed is incredibly devoted, loving, and hardworking, their tendency towards excessive excitement may make them an inappropriate choice for a first pet in the home.

#69. Black and tan coonhound
WILLEECOLE PHOTOGRAPHY / SHUTTERSTOCK

2. Black and tan coonhound

– Out of 195 breeds, 2020 registration rank: #127 highest
– Out of 177 breeds, 2013 registration rank: #113 highest
– Change since 2013: -14

The black and tan coonhound, like all coonhounds, is a working dog that enjoys raccoon hunting, though the breed is not selective. This breed will gladly pursue both small and large game—anything that will enable the dog to use its exceptional sense of smell. They are fantastic with kids, make great pets, and are content to lounge on the couch with their humans. Just be aware of any neighbours who might be close by—black and tan coonhounds are notorious for how loudly and frequently they bark.

3. Welsh springer spaniel

– 2020 registration rank: #128 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #124 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -4

Welsh springer spaniels, who are thought to be the oldest spaniels in Britain, are easily recognised by their rich red and white coats. Though they can be reserved around strangers, the energetic and active dogs are wonderful companions for kids and other household pets.

4. American hairless terrier

– 2020 registration rank: #129 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: un-ranked

The first hairless breed to come from the United States is the American hairless terrier. Although most breeds don’t need them, these hypoallergenic dogs make excellent family pets. They do, however, need sunscreen in the summer and a warm jumper in the winter to stay warm.

5. Norfolk terrier

– 2020 registration rank: #130 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #129 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -1

The Norfolk terrier is one of the smallest dogs around—but they don’t let its size stop fool you into thinking they’re not fierce hunters. These dogs were bred to be ratters, and run in packs for fox hunts. Preventing excessive barking requires regular training. They get along well with children and other pets in the house, particularly if they are raised together.

6. Breeds: Xoloitzcuintli

– 2020 registration rank: #131 highest of 195 breeds
– Out of 177 breeds, 2013 registration rank: #139 highest
– Change since 2013: +8

Despite having an unpronounceable name, this breed is the oldest dog breed in the United States. Xolos, or Mexican hairless dogs, do best in a pack (human or canine) and are known for being fiercely loyal to whichever human they bond with most.

7. Manchester terrier

– 2020 registration rank: #132 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #120 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -12

These prickly canines were referred to as “gentleman’s terriers” in Victorian England. The Manchester terrier is a lifelong friend and eager learner with the right training. These dogs are great family pets because they are playful and have a maximum weight of about 22 pounds.

#63. Kerry blue terrier
RADOMIR REZNY / SHUTTERSTOCK

8. Kerry blue terrier

– 2020 registration position: #133 out of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #126 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -7

The largest terriers recognised by the AKC, Kerry blue terriers are Irish-bred and are also thought to have a very Irish temperament. The dogs are mischievous, loyal, and have a nearly boundless sense of energy.

9. Australian terrier

– 2020 registration rank: #134 highest of 195 breeds
– Out of 177 breeds, 2013 registration rank: #122 highest
– Change since 2013: -12

The Australian terrier has been called the clown of the dog world, and for good reason. All these gentle dogs want is to play and make their owners happy. This is a resilient breed with a history of working on farms, despite their sweet disposition.

10. Clumber spaniel

– Out of 195 breeds, 2020 registration rank: #135 highest
– Out of 177 breeds, 2013 registration rank: #131 highest
– Change since 2013: -4

Clumber spaniels were adored by both Prince Albert and King Edward VII. The largest of the spaniels, the breed gained popularity among the upper class in Britain because of its well-known owners. It is well known that clumber spaniels are incredibly playful and simple to train.

11. Lakeland terrier

– Out of 195 breeds, 2020 registration rank: #136 highest
– 2013 registration rank: #134 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -2

Lakeland terriers are becoming harder to find. The little dogs, who are infamous burrowers, used to labour the English lake districts. According to the first president of the Lakeland Terrier Association, he had to have his Lakeland Terrier rescued after it chased an otter into a 23-foot burrow. Even though Lakelands are a more independent-minded breed, they are generally hypoallergenic and form strong bonds with their families.

12. Bluetick coonhound

– 2020 registration rank: #137 highest of 195 breeds
– Out of 177 breeds, 2013 registration rank: #128 highest
– Change since 2013: -9

During the day, these amiable dogs like to lounge around. But the bluetick coonhound is unrelenting once they’re tracking a scent or hunting raccoons. Men can weigh 80 pounds and reach a height of 27 inches. These dogs require a lot of activities and exercise because they can become noisy and destructive if not given enough of either.

13. English toy spaniel

– 2020 registration rank: #138 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #135 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -3

An association exists between English nobility and the history of the toy spaniel. According to legend, Queen Elizabeth I’s physician dubbed her English toy spaniel “the comforter.”They might have been among the first toy breed’s approved by the American Kennel Club in 1886 as a result of their early popularity.

German pinscher
MPIRAT/GETTY IMAGES

14. German pinscher

– 2020 registration rank: #139 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #130 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -9

During the wars, German pinschers were all but exterminated. A man named Werner Jung kepot the breed from going extinct and is responsible for the continued popularity of German pinschers in modern times. These intelligent, loving canines, which fall somewhere in size between min pins and dobermans, make excellent companions.

15. Tibetan mastiff

– 2020 registration rank: #140 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #132 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -8

It is crucial to socialise this powerful breed at a young age. If their owners want their Tibetan mastiffs to play well with others, they should acclimatise them to a busy house from an early age, as these dogs can be fiercely protective of their territory and suspicious of strangers.

16. Bedlington terrier

– 2020 registration rank: #141 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #137 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -4

Bedlington terriers are most known for their unusual, sheep-like appearance, which makes them resemble plush toys. In this instance, appearances can be deceiving—these dogs are agile and robust hunters who enjoy pursuing bunnies.

17. Greyhound

– 2020 registration rank: #142 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #148 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: +6

Greyhounds are the classic race dogs, prized above all for their quickness and gentle nature. Unexpectedly, these swift creatures are also renowned for their laziness; if given the opportunity, they would gladly spend time lounging around the house with their owners.

18. Pulik

– 2020 registration rank: #143 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: #136 highest of 177 breeds
– Change since 2013: -7

One myth that has persisted about the bright puli is that they struggle with vision. In fact, the only eye issue plaguing the herding dog is an unruly, long mane that can obstruct vision if not trimmed. Your puli’s eyesight shouldn’t be an issue as long as you keep it well-groomed (although keeping up with the energetic, stubborn breed might be).

19. Saluki

– 2020 registration rank: #144 highest of 195 breeds
– Out of 177 breeds, 2013 registration rank: #115 highest
– Change since 2013: -29

Some Arab tribesmen once referred to Salukis as a “gift from God.”These sighthounds are real beauties, with quick reflexes and enough poise to have served as Egypt’s royal canines.

20. Barbet

– 2020 registration rank: #145 highest of 195 breeds
– 2013 registration rank: unranked

A French hunting breed that dates back at least to the 16th century, the Barbet is described as joyful, intelligent, loving, and devoted. These energetic, fun, and constantly playful puppies resemble real-life Muppets with their shaggy, curly coats. The breed is becoming more and more well-known both locally and globally after battling its way back from the verge of extinction.

Redbone Dog
VIDEODET/GETTY IMAGES

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