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New rankings: Least popular dog breeds in America

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Wikimedia Commons

New rankings: Least popular dog breeds in America

It’s safe to say that few living creatures have as high approval ratings as our canine companions. They’re not called “man’s best friend” for nothing, and it’s generally accepted that they all go to heaven. Odes to their loyalty are well documented throughout human history, from Argos in Homer’s “Odyssey” to movie tributes like "Balto" and "Beethoven."

But human nature can lead us to play favorites, and with over 192 registered breeds to choose from, some inevitably fall to the bottom. To help understand what guides our choices, Stacker broke down the 96 least popular dog breeds in America based on newly released data from the American Kennel Club

There’s a dog out there for everyone, and if you need proof, then look no further than the 96 different breeds that are harder to find in America yet still have endearing qualities.

Looking for the breeds that top the list? Check out the new rankings for "Most popular dog breeds in America"

 

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Dmitry Guskov // Wikimedia Commons

#96. Norwegian Elkhounds

- 2018 registrations rank: #96 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -6 in popularity

Norwegian Elkhounds are believed to have a history that dates back to the Viking era. These dogs are known for their tracking skills, and they can sometimes be found on search and rescue teams.

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Okssi // Shutterstock

#95. Brussels Griffons

- 2018 registrations rank: #95 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -4 in popularity

This uncommon little breed is often confused with the Yorkshire terrier, but the Brussels Griffon is very much its own dog. Perhaps best known to Americans from the movie As Good As It Gets, the Brussels Griffon loves snuggling, and—believe it or not—climbing, cat style.

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Rdo01 // Wikimedia Commons

#94. Lagotti Romagnoli

- 2018 registrations rank: #94 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +18 in popularity

There is only one purebred breed of dog recognized for their truffle finding skills and that breed is the Lagotti Romagnoli. The dogs are used all around the Italian countryside to find the delectable mushrooms.

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jetsonphoto // Wikimedia Commons

#93. Spaniels (Boykin)

- 2018 registrations rank: #93 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -2 in popularity

These dogs were bred in South Carolina specifically to ride with hunters on small boats in order to hunt game. As a result Boykin Spaniels are loyal energetic and love to be around people.

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Walker Whited // Wikimedia Commons

#92. Fox Terriers (Wire)

- 2018 registrations rank: #92 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -2 in popularity

Wire Fox Terriers hold a record 13 Westminster Kennel Club Bests in Show. They're poised smart champions that are eager to learn.

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Tim Dawson // Flickr

#91. Neapolitan mastiffs

- 2018 registrations rank: #91 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +5 in popularity

As one of the largest dog breeds in the world Neapolitan mastiffs can weigh up to 200 pounds. Because of their size, it's recommended that training for these dogs start early—otherwise these big animals will rule the roost.

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Wikimedia Commons

#90. Borzois

- 2018 registrations rank: #90 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -1 in popularity

Borzois stand 32 inches from feet to shoulder. This large but sleek breed—once used to locate wolves in Russia—has exceptional vision that enables the dog to spot prey quickly and from a far distance.

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Tom Mooring // Wikimedia Commons

#89. Japanese Chin

- 2018 registrations rank: #89 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +4 in popularity

In the past Japanese chins were found in the palaces of Japan and China where they even occasionally had servants of their own. Their pampered natures persist to this day making them the perfect breed for someone looking for a companion dog with an appetite for being spoiled.

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Wikimedia Commons

#88. Schipperkes

- 2018 registrations rank: #88 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +5 in popularity

Schipperke means “little captain” in Flemish—an appropriate name for a breed that loves the water. Historically these pups were barge dogs that spent most of their time on the water with their owners.

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Max Pixel

#87. Belgian Tervuren

- 2018 registrations rank: #87 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -3 in popularity

A Belgian Tervuren won the first-ever AKC herding championship, which speaks volumes to this breed's work ethic and stamina. While they certainly make great pets, these animals are also superior working dogs that continue to work alongside the police in Belgium.

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Shleiderbmx // Wikimedia Commons

#86. Welsh terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #86 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +2 in popularity

The Welsh terrier is inseparable from the history of Wales. The breed was first mentioned roughly 1,000 years ago in the country’s history, but the pups didn’t receive their name until 1855. Welsh terriers were originally bred to hunt foxes and rodents; today, these dogs are more likely to found working the crowd at a dog show.

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Helene Gisin // Wikimedia Commons

#85. Norwich terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #85 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -3 in popularity

While the Norwich terrier's love of roaming makes it a bad idea to let this dog off-leash in a wide open space, it would be a shame not to nurture its love of the outdoors. Norwich Terriers tend to excel in Earthdog competitions and agility training.

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Caroline Granycome // Wikimedia Commons

#84. Spinoni Italiani

- 2018 registrations rank: #84 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +2 in popularity

With a name that means "prickly," you would be forgiven for expecting these dogs to have a temperament. However, these hunting dogs earned the name due to their prickly coats—not their attitudes.

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Pixabay

#83. Miniature bull terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #83 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +5 in popularity

Once these dogs came in three distinct sizes: toy, miniature, and standard (although the toy variety never quite caught on). Just because you can’t get an extra small bull terrier that shouldn't stop you from choosing a miniature to be part of your family. These dogs make excellent companions.

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everydoghasastory // Shutterstock

#82. Toy fox terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #82 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +1 in popularity

Like most terriers, this tiny breed was originally used as a ratter. These dogs' eagerness to learn and trainability has led to them being highly suitable for another profession: clown assistant. Their boundless energy and jumping skills have made toy fox terriers circus favorites.

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island silks // Wikimedia Commons

#81. Silky terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #81 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -6 in popularity

These tiny champions are often found in show dog competitions, and not just because of their shiny coats. The silky terrier is an accomplished herder tracker and fly ball competitor.

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Lilly M // Wikimedia Commons

#80. Afghan hounds

- 2018 registrations rank: #80 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -20 in popularity

These elegant dogs are as fast as a racehorse. Your average Afghan hound can reach 40 mph, which puts it neck-and-neck with a purebred racehorse.

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Anne Hornyak // Wikimedia Commons

#79. Pointers

- 2018 registrations rank: #79 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -1 in popularity

Pointers never go out of style. Need proof? Head to your local art museum where you'll no doubt find portraits of this superior hunting breed that date back to ancient Egypt.

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Scarlett2308 // Flickr

#78. Setters (Gordon)

- 2018 registrations rank: #78 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -11 in popularity

The largest and rarest of the setters, the Gordon, is likely to get along with every member of the family (including your cat). Due to their rarity, finding one of these pups usually requires patience.

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Sini Merikallio // Wikimedia Commons

#77. Irish terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #77 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -2 in popularity

The Irish terrier is a true farm dog. They can do it all: hunt, watch over flocks, and protect their families. They're such adept workers that they were used as messengers and watchdogs during WWI.

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Sadnes // Wikimedia Commons

#76. Parson Russell terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #76 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +2 in popularity

The Parson Russell Terrier was acknowledged in 2003 as a separate breed from the Jack Russell, although the two types of terriers are intrinsically linked. Both breeds are known for their energy and stamina and they share a creator in the English priest John Russell.

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Grigorita Ko // Shutterstock

#75. Black Russian terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #75 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -2 in popularity

This breed has only been in the United States since the 1980s. Before they made their way to the states, black Russian terriers worked alongside the Soviet military.

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Pixabay

#74. Tibetan spaniels

- 2018 registrations rank: #74 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +2 in popularity

A favorite among Tibetan monks, the Tibetan spaniel was sometimes used as a guard dog for monasteries. This instinct hasn’t gone away over the years—Tibetan spaniels still alert their owners when someone is approaching their territory.

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Yohannvt // Wikimedia Commons

#73. Salukis

- 2018 registrations rank: #73 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +3 in popularity

Arab tribesmen used to call Salukis a "gift from God." These sighthounds are true beauties who move quickly and are poised enough to have been considered the royal dogs of Egypt.

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Pixabay

#72. Boerboels

- 2018 registrations rank: #72 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +3 in popularity

Boerboels are large dogs that can weigh up to 200 pounds. They were bred to be watchdogs, but have also been used to hunt large game in South Africa.

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Robert Southworth // Wikimedia Commons

#71. American Eskimo dogs

- 2018 registrations rank: #71 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -4 in popularity

When it comes to trainability, American Eskimo dogs are at the top of the class. This is the first-known breed to have learned how to walk a tightrope, earned the dog a reputation as circus dog in the 19th century. While you don't have to train your American Eskimo dog for the circus, the breed does seem to thrive on learning new things.

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Pixabay

#70. Fox terriers (smooth)

- 2018 registrations rank: #70 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -1 in popularity

Fox terriers are still working on gaining popularity in America. The feisty dogs have been members of the AKC since the 1800s but are still hard to find stateside.

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Pixabay

#69. Beaucerons

- 2018 registrations rank: #69 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +17 in popularity

These French shepherd dogs have worked alongside the military and police force for years. They're calm, steady animals that were even used by the Germans to infiltrate British trenches during WWI.

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Philco Ford // Wikimedia Commons

#68. Belgian sheepdogs

- 2018 registrations rank: #68 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -5 in popularity

Belgian sheepdogs served alongside soldiers in WWI and WWII with their popularity increasing after the first war in particular. They are incredibly loyal dogs, but also love the thrill of the chase. Belgian sheepdogs require a yard that's fenced in to keep them from scaring cyclists or runners.

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Flickr User // WIkimedia Commons

#67. Norfolk terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #67 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +2 in popularity

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.

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marbla123 // Wikimedia Commons

#66. Bearded collies

- 2018 registrations rank: #66 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -2 in popularity

The history of the bearded collie is intrinsically tied to farm life. These dogs were originally bred to herd sheep, but they also have friendly personalities that have made their transition to family pets a smooth one.

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Craige Moore // Flickr

#65. Spaniels (Welsh springer)

- 2018 registrations rank: #65 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +5 in popularity

Originally bred to hunt prey that preferred to stay hidden, the Welsh springer spaniel can seem tireless. These stubborn but adorable pooches maintain their hunting spirit and love to be near their owners as much as possible.

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Eponimm // Wikimedia Commons

#64. Kerry blue terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #64 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: no change in popularity

Kerry blue terriers have Irish hearts. Not only do the dogs hail from the island, they're said to possess a uniquely Irish spirit. These pups are mischievous, loyal, and have a nearly boundless sense of energy.

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Mark Riordan // Wikimedia Commons

#63. Bluetick coonhounds

- 2018 registrations rank: #63 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +2 in popularity

These dogs are happy to laze about during the day. But once they're on the hunt for a raccoon or following a scent during a search and rescue mission, the bluetick coonhound is relentless.

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MrNiceGuy1113 // Wikimedia Commons

#62. Tibetan mastiffs

- 2018 registrations rank: #62 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +22 in popularity

It's important to socialize this mighty breed early. Tibetan mastiffs are extremely territorial and wary of strangers—so if their owners want them to play well with others, they should get them used to a busy house early in life.

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Dardeche // Wikimedia Commons

#61. Briards

- 2018 registrations rank: #61 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -5 in popularity

Briards have a fascinating history as helper dogs. During WWI, they helped by carrying ammunition serving as lookouts while soldiers slept, as well as working alongside the Red Cross.

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Roger Ahlbran // Wikimedia Commons

#60. Manchester terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #60 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +2 in popularity

In Victorian England, these spry dogs were known as the "gentleman’s terrier." While he may have earned the name due to his popularity among the upper class this is one breed with manners to spare. With proper training, the Manchester terrier is eager to learn and be a lifelong companion.

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Shutterstock

#59. German pinschers

- 2018 registrations rank: #59 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +2 in popularity

German pinschers were almost entirely wiped out during the wars. A man named Werner Jung kept the breed from going extinct and is responsible for the continued popularity of German pinschers in modern times.

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Pets Adviser // Wikimedia Commons

#58. English toy spaniels

- 2018 registrations rank: #58 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -1 in popularity

The history of the English toy spaniel is linked to English nobility. Queen Elizabeth I had an English toy spaniel and her doctor reportedly called it “the comforter.” Their early popularity may have led to them becoming one of the first toy breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886.

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Nyaah // Wikimedia Commons

#57. American hairless terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #57 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -10 in popularity

The American hairless terrier is the first hairless breed to originate in the United States. These hypoallergenic dogs make great family pets but require a few things most breeds don’t: namely, sunscreen in the summer and a cozy sweater in the winter to keep them warm.

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PxHere

#56. Treeing walker coonhounds

- 2018 registrations rank: #56 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -6 in popularity

First bred in Virginia, these dogs are southern hunters through and through. Once the dog trees its prey—usually a raccoon—it will let out a distinctive bark to let its owner know where to find supper.

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Wikimedia Commons

#55. Black and tan coonhounds

- 2018 registrations rank: #55 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -8 in popularity

Like all coonhounds, the black and tan is a working dog with a love of hunting raccoons, although the breed doesn't discriminate. This breed will happily take on large and small game—anything allowing the dog to put its superior sense of smell to use.

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PxHere

#54. Australian terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #54 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -2 in popularity

The Australian terrier has been called the clown of the dog world, and for good reason. These sweet dogs want nothing more than play and keep their owners happy. Despite their good nature, this is a scrappy breed with a history of working on farms.

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Alfredo and Sara Aguirre // Flickr

#53. Xoloitzcuintli

- 2018 registrations rank: #53 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +3 in popularity

This breed may not have a name that rolls off the tongue, but it is nevertheless the oldest dog breed in America. These hairless pups are famously warm; in the past, their ailing owners would cuddle with them to help alleviate pains.

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Elyssa Albert // Wikicommons

#52. Bedlington terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #52 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +10 in popularity

Known best for their distinctive, sheep-like style Bedlington terriers look like cuddly toys. Looks are deceiving in this case—these dogs are fast and hearty hunters who love to track rabbits.

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Amy Lawson // WIkimedia Commons

#51. Redbone coonhounds

- 2018 registrations rank: #51 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -3 in popularity

As their name implies, these dogs were developed by American settlers to hunt raccoons. The breed was instrumental in tracking the small mammals that kept pioneers fed while moved toward the west and south.

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Lara // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Spaniels (clumber)

- 2018 registrations rank: #50 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -3 in popularity

Prince Albert and King Edward VII both loved clumber spaniels. Thanks to its high-profile owners, the breed became a favorite among the British upper class.

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Leanam // Public Domain

#49. Berger picards

- 2018 registrations rank: #49 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +2 in popularity

These dogs made perfect smugglers due to their unique coats. The breed was reportedly used to smuggle tobacco and matches across the Franco-Belgian border. Furry pouches of tobacco would be strapped to shaved dogs, who would then go unnoticed as they moved the contraband across the border.

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Pixabay

#48. Greyhounds

- 2018 registrations rank: #48 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +11 in popularity

The quintessential race dogs, Greyhounds are known for their speed above all else. Surprisingly these fast animals aren't all about the speed. Given the chance, they're perfectly happy to lounge around the house just like other breeds.

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Attribution-SA 3.0

#47. Setters (Irish red and white)

- 2018 registrations rank: #47 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +8 in popularity

Irish setters retain their puppy spirit longer than most dogs due to a slow rate of maturation. That means that even though they make excellent hunters, setters may require patience when training.

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Pixabay

#46. Lakeland terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #46 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -9 in popularity

Lakeland terriers are becoming increasingly rare. These furry dogs once worked the lake districts in England and they are notorious burrowers. The first president of the Lakeland Terrier Association claimed he had a Lakeland Terrier that once chased an otter into a 23-foot burrow (and had to be rescued as a result).

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PxHere

#45. Affenpinschers

- 2018 registrations rank: #45 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -1 in popularity

This breed has been described in French as “diablotin moustachu”—mustached little devil. The nickname is an affectionate one that has more to do with the dog's coat than personality.

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Peter // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Spaniels (field)

- 2018 registrations rank: #44 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -4 in popularity

These dogs were primarily bred to be show dogs and pets. Their reputation as a superior companion remains unchallenged.

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Caronna // Wikicommons

#43. Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes

- 2018 registrations rank: #43 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: n/a (new breed)

This breed’s tongue-twisting name indicates its Dutch origin, where these active and friendly spaniels were first used to help hunters lure ducks into traps. Though Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes weren’t recognized as a breed in the U.S. until 2019, these dogs have been showing off their watchdog abilities for centuries—even allegedly saving the Dutch prince William of Orange from assassins in the 16th century. The breed can be recognized by its distinctive orange-red and white coat and black-tipped ears.

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TD // Wikicommons

#42. Pumik

- 2018 registrations rank: #42 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +11 in popularity

The Pumik originated in Hungary as far back as 800 AD. Officially adopted by the American Kennel Club in 2016, a Pumi is easily distinguished by his corkscrew curls and and incredible intelligence. The breed's history as sheepdog in the Hungarian countryside makes Pumik best suited to active, outdoor lifestyles with lots of attention from their owners.

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Eigene Aufnahme // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Ibizan hounds

- 2018 registrations rank: #41 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +13 in popularity

Ibizan hounds were once owned by Egyptian pharaohs, but that doesn't mean they won't be right at home in your less-than-royal abode. These athletic dogs make excellent pets.

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Perrodeaguas // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Spanish water dogs

- 2018 registrations rank: #40 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -5 in popularity

This breed is technically a herder, not a sporting dog. Nevertheless, Spanish water dogs are bright, easy to train, and quickly pick up on herd movements.

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Sally Walsh // Shutterstock

#39. Portuguese podengo pequenos

- 2018 registrations rank: #39 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +5 in popularity

The official dog of Portugal was once commonly found on ships of Medieval Portuguese explorers. These days, these small dogs can still be keen hunters but are just as happy being their owners' best friends.

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Gangleri // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Icelandic sheepdogs

- 2018 registrations rank: #38 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -11 in popularity

Iceland's only native dog breed is also one of the world's oldest. The breed's origin can be traced back as far as 8000 B.C.

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Małgorzata Miłaszewska // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Petits bassets griffons Vendeens

- 2018 registrations rank: #37 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +4 in popularity

Each word in this French breed's name is relevant to the description of this pack dog. They are small dogs with short legs and wiry coats that come from the Vendeens region of France.

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Pixabay

#36. Entlebucher mountain dogs

- 2018 registrations rank: #36 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -5 in popularity

Entlebucher mountain dogs can most often be found working in the mountains of Switzerland where they originate from. A cousin of the Bernese mountain dog, it can be difficult to tell the two breeds apart.

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Sisteskrik // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Scottish deerhounds

- 2018 registrations rank: #35 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +10 in popularity

This sleek breed is best for single-dog homes without small children. The Scottish deerhound is a friendly enough dog but they love a good chase—which makes them better as solo pets.

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PxHere

#34. Spaniels (Irish water)

- 2018 registrations rank: #34 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +5 in popularity

The Irish water spaniel is the tallest of all the spaniel breeds. These dogs are tare adept swimmers with water-repellent fur. Irish water spaniels are known for being downright clownish despite their working roots.

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Anita Ritenou // Wikimedia Commons

#33. pulik

- 2018 registrations rank: #33 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -18 in popularity

One misconception that has haunted the bright puli is that they have trouble with their eyesight. The truth is, the only eye issue plaguing the dog is its unruly, long mane that can obstruct vision if not trimmed. As long as you keep your puli well-groomed, its eyesight shouldn't be a problem (although keeping up with the energetic breed might be).

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Max Pixel

#32. Finnish lapphunds

- 2018 registrations rank: #32 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +12 in popularity

These dogs were once used to herd reindeer. That's a big job, but these vocal pups were up for the task. Despite their working past, they make excellent and friendly companions.

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Mattias Agar // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Retrievers (curly-coated)

- 2018 registrations rank: #31 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +9 in popularity

These retrievers are known for their spectacular curly coats. While they look like they've been crossed with Poodles, curly-coated retrievers share no relation.

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Erdelyi kopo // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Kuvaszok

- 2018 registrations rank: #30 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -6 in popularity

Hailing from Hungary, this was the chosen breed by King Matthias I. The troubled king is believed to have trusted his beloved Kuvasz more than any human in his court.

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Dr. Sabine Schumann // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Sealyham terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #29 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -14 in popularity

These white terriers were bred specifically to hunt small game like badgers, otters, and pheasants. Even the breed's white coat played a role in its jobs as excellent hunting companion, as the stark shade allowed the dog to stand out in landscapes full of brown and gray hues. Just because these dogs were bred to hunt that doesn’t mean they can’t become accustomed to a glamorous lifestyle—Sealyham terriers have won Best in Show from the Westminster Kennel Club four times.

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Jon-Eric Melsæter // flickr

#28. Norwegian buhunds

- 2018 registrations rank: #28 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +5 in popularity

Known as the dog of the Vikings, the Norwegian buhund is an ancient breed. The dog's history riding shotgun with the Vikings is a bit misleading, however, since there's nothing more the modern-day versions would rather do than simply hang out at home with their human companions.

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Awsguy1 // BY-SA 3.0

#27. Spaniels (American water)

- 2018 registrations rank: #27 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +1 in popularity

The American water spaniel is the state dog of Wisconsin. These sweet hunting dogs were bred to dive off boats after prey, making them a favorite for people who live in the Great Lakes region of the United States.

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Noveczki Katalin // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Wirehaired vizslas

- 2018 registrations rank: #26 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -12 in popularity

The vizsla is an incredibly trainable and disciplined breed. Not only are these dogs the first to become an American Kennel Club quintuple champion, they're also one of the TSA's top three preferred bomb-sniffing dogs.

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volofin // Shutterstock

#25. Lowchen

- 2018 registrations rank: #25 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +1 in popularity

Löwchen literally translates to “little lion dog”—an appropriate nickname for a breed that often sports an impressive mane. Löwchens are primarily companion dogs, and their gentle natures make them ideal for work as therapy dogs, as well.

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Matt Lemmon // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Swedish vallhunds

- 2018 registrations rank: #24 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -20 in popularity

This corgi relative has a distinct feature that's uncommon in most breeds: It's hard to know what kind of tail it will have. Some Swedish Vallhunds are born with nubs others have long tails and some are born without any tail at all.

 

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PlePle2000 // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Polish lowland sheepdog

- 2018 registrations rank: #23 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +6 in popularity

The Polish lowland sheepdog is a true hero of a breed. During WWII, a polish lowland named Psyche is said to have warned people in Warsaw when bombs were going to drop.

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Pets Adviser // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Plotts

- 2018 registrations rank: #22 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -5 in popularity

This all-American breed was developed in the Smoky Mountains. German immigrant Johannes George Plott and his descendants were responsible for breeding these superior trackers.

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WoodmonkeyPhoto // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Pharaoh hounds

- 2018 registrations rank: #21 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +2 in popularity

Malta's national dog is a favorite in the United States, as well. The dynamic breed is exceptional at hunting rabbits, and requires a high fence to keep the high-jumper from straying.

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David Blaine // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Komondorok

- 2018 registrations rank: #20 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -10 in popularity

There's just no getting around the fact that a komondor's fur looks an awful lot like a mop. But there's a good reason for that: their coats act as camouflage so that they can blend in with sheep and surprise any wolves that get too close.

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Kindall // Creative Commons

#19. Glen of Imaal terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #19 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -16 in popularity

If not for the Irish Rebellion, these little pups might not exist. When Queen Elizabeth gave the Flemish land for helping her squash an Irish uprising in the late 1500s, the men brought their hounds with them. Those hounds ended up breeding with the dogs native to Ireland, resulting in these sweet fluffballs.

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Pets Adviser // Wikimedia Commons

#18. American English coonhounds

- 2018 registrations rank: #18 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +3 in popularity

American English coonhounds are believed to have a presidential origin story. Evidence suggests George Washington was one of the first people in America to own these dogs.

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Wikicommons

#17. Dandie Dinmont terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #17 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +6 in popularity

Dandie Dinmont terriers have a literary origin to their name. The breed’s name comes from Sir Walter Scott's 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.

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Томасина // Wikicommons

#16. Grand basset griffon Vendeens

- 2018 registrations rank: #16 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: n/a (new breed)

This newly recognized French breed is rare in the United States because of its difficulty breeding; only 400 are registered by the American Kennel Club. Owners of these hunting hounds report that they’re quiet, family-friendly companions who require vigorous daily exercise to work off their huge amounts of excess energy. Their name is also descriptive, roughly translating to “large, low, shaggy dog of the Vendée.”

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Michal Manas // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Skye terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #15 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -6 in popularity

Skye terriers love their owners but can be pretty ambivalent about everyone else. These regal animals were a favorite of Queen Victoria's, and have working dog roots.

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Matilda // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Canaan dogs

- 2018 registrations rank: #14 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -4 in popularity

Canaan dogs have a rich history that dates back to Biblical times. Before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, Canaan dogs herded sheep and other livestock. After their owners were driven out of their homeland, the dogs fled to the desert where they lived undomesticated until the 20th century.

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PlePle2000 // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Spaniels (Sussex)

- 2018 registrations rank: #13 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -19 in popularity

Sussex spaniels are talkers for good reason. Because their short legs keep them so low to the ground, the dogs bark and make other noises to alert hunters to their whereabouts.

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KeJa // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Pyrenean shepherds

- 2018 registrations rank: #12 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -1 in popularity

World War I brought these small sheepdogs out of the mountains and into the war zone. The breed served as couriers, led search-and-rescue missions, and worked side by side with soldiers.

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Two Otterhounds // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Otterhounds

- 2018 registrations rank: #11 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +4 in popularity

According to the American Kennel Club these shaggy dogs are on the endangered dogs list. There are said to be less than 350 of them currently in the United States and roughly 1,000 left worldwide.

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Wikimedia Commons

#10. Cirnechi dell'Etna

- 2018 registrations rank: #10 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +1 in popularity

First recognized by the AKC in 2015, this ancient breed's name literally means "dog of Cyrene (Libya)." These agile dogs have remarkable instincts for hunting—especially when it comes to rabbits.

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Karelgerda // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Finnish spitz

- 2018 registrations rank: #9 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -7 in popularity

Taimyr wolves live on through the Finnish spitz. The ancient breed of wolves is extinct, but DNA research has shown that they were at least partly responsible for the existence of these champion barkers.

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Ceskyfreund36 // Creative Commons

#8. Cesky terriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #8 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: no change in popularity

The American Kennel Club claims there are only around 600 Cesky terriers in the United States. This calm terrier breed may be rare stateside, but those who have the privilege of being a Cesky owner likely know that they’re keen hunters and eager agility competitors.

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South Wold Hunt // Wikimedia Commons

#7. American foxhounds

- 2018 registrations rank: #7 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +1 in popularity

As the state dog of Virginia, American Foxhounds are a beloved hunting breed. These dogs are also valuable during search-and-rescue missions, thanks to their keen sense of smell. More than 300 of them helped recover victims after the 9/11 attacks in New York City.

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Bergamasco // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Bergamasco sheepdogs

- 2018 registrations rank: #6 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -6 in popularity

These sheepdogs have instantly recognizable coats of long curly fur that needs to well-groomed. If you're up for the task, then this Italian breed is perfect for active families with big yards.

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dany003 // Creative Commons

#5. English foxhounds

- 2018 registrations rank: #5 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: +1 in popularity

Unlike many hunting dog breeds, English foxhounds still haven't completely caught on as companion dogs in the traditional sense. Generally, these dogs are kept by hunters and live in packs trained to chase foxes.

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daveynin // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Harriers

- 2018 registrations rank: #4 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -6 in popularity

A member of the hound group, these hearty little pooches are sometimes mistaken for beagles. Although they have a history as hunters, this is one breed that has adapted beautifully to life as a family pet. Harriers usually love children, but their energy might make them a bit too much for younger kids to handle.

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Nick Chase 68 // Shutterstock

#3. Chinooks

- 2018 registrations rank: #3 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -11 in popularity

These sled dogs are named after the dog that started their line. Breeder Arthur Walden crossed his dog Chinook with a stock husky to create the breed. Sadly, Chinook was later lost in an expedition to Antarctica.

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Radomir Rezny // Shutterstock

#2. Norwegian lundehunds

- 2018 registrations rank: #2 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -1 in popularity

Norwegian lundehunds boast two unusual characteristics that make them skilled at sniffing out puffins. These curious pups have six toes on each footthat seem to have developed to help them navigate slippery rocks; and they can wiggle their ears—which not only protects them from water, but also helps out when they're crawling into a puffin burrow.

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Sabine.schlenkrich // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Sloughis

- 2018 registrations rank: #1 lowest of 192 breeds
- Change in rank from previous year: -4 in popularity

Sloughi owners have been loyal to their dogs since ancient times—at least if the maxims are to be believed. These elegant animals have found favor with royals throughout history and even now some nomadic owners have been known to honor them after death like human family members.

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