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Some breeds, like Labrador Retrievers, have been popular pets for years, but other breeds (and popular mixed breeds) have moved steadily up the list over the past decade. For example, 10 years ago you might not have even heard of a Cane Corso, but these days you're likely to cross paths with at least one at your dog park or vet's office.
To determine which breeds and hybrids are truly the hottest ones, we searched Vetstreet's data and looked at how many places each breed climbed between 2002 and 2012. The results included a plethora of designer mixes and about 800 pounds of giant breeds, plus a few surprises. Did your favorite breed make the list?
And on the other side of the coin, check out our gallery of 20 breeds and mixes that are losing popularity, from the Schipperke to the Dalmatian.
Barbara O'Brien, Animal Photography
No. 159 most popular breed in 2002, No. 31 in 2012
The Goldendoodle tops our list of hottest dog breeds with a meteoric rise of 128 places over the past decade. This lovable and intelligent cross between the Golden Retriever and the Poodle is a perfect example of how popular designer mixes have become.
Tara Gregg, Animal Photography
No. 157 in 2002, No. 69 in 2012
Another designer mix, the Puggle is a cross between a Pug and a Beagle and has certainly wiggled his way into dog lovers’ hearts, moving up 88 places since 2002. This dog is robust and playful but can also be stubborn and uncooperative.
Vidar Skauen, Animal Photography
No. 117 in 2002, No. 38 in 2012
Sensing a trend? The third hottest dog breed is yet another designer mix, this time between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. The ideal Labradoodle has the friendliness and trainability of a Lab and the low-shedding coat of a Poodle.
Eva Maria Kramer, Animal Photography
No. 143 in 2002, No. 73 in 2012
The Cane Corso is an Italian Mastiff bred to hunt wild boar. While that’s not normally the duty assigned to this large dog these days, he’s still a good guard dog and known to be more athletic than other Mastiffs.
Robin Burkett, Animal Photography
No. 116 in 2002, No. 48 in 2012
The Maltipoo, a mix between a Maltese and a Miniature or Toy Poodle, is a playful, affectionate and clever companion who will still look (and act) like a puppy into his golden years. No wonder the breed climbed 68 spots in a decade!
No. 97 in 2002, No. 37 in 2012
Affectionate and adaptable, the French Bulldog is one happy-go-lucky pup who can live with nearly anyone, in just about any home environment, so long as there’s air conditioning. Between that and his small size, he’s a popular pick for city folk.
No. 107 in 2002, No. 54 in 2012
This cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Miniature or Toy Poodle is friendly, smart and playful. The Yorkipoo is very small at just 8 to 15 pounds and therefore is best suited for a home with adults or older children who understand how to gently handle him.
No. 121 in 2002, No. 76 in 2012
Crossed between a Shih Tzu and a Miniature or Toy Poodle, the Shihpoo can have either a curly Poodle coat or a straight, long coat like a Shih Tzu. His sturdy body and adorably alert expression make him a hit with dog lovers.
Nick Ridley, Animal Photography
No. 160 in 2002, No. 118 in 2012
The Cane Corso isn’t the only big dog in the top 10! The wrinkled Dogue de Bordeaux can weigh up to 160 pounds, which means he’s likely to turn heads, but he’s calm and gentle (if a bit stubborn) enough to handle the attention. He’s a great family pet, which is likely why he has jumped 42 places since 2002, but his drooling, snoring, shedding and sensitivity to temperature mean he’s not right for every home.
Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography
No. 84 in 2002, No. 43 in 2012
The Havanese is a bright and lively little dog who’s always ready to play, especially when it’s a game he has created. He’s trainable and loves to be pampered, and clearly, his people are happy to do so since he’s No. 10 on this list.
No. 130 in 2002, No. 93 in 2012
The small, white, fluffy Coton de Tulear is very sociable and friendly but also makes a good watchdog. He’s originally from Madagascar and has been portrayed on a postage stamp there, and considering he has risen 37 spots in the last decade, perhaps we’ll be seeing a U.S. stamp devoted to him, too.
No. 165 in 2002, No. 133 in 2012
The Blackmouth Cur is a resilient hunting dog, but don’t let that tough exterior fool you. He’s also a loving member of the family.
No. 140 in 2002, No. 112 in 2012
There are four types of Curs acknowledged by the United Kennel Club: Blackmouth, as seen previously, Mountain, Stephens’ and Treeing. They’re known as excellent tree dogs and hunt a variety of animals of all sizes.
No. 61 in 2002, No. 35 in 2012
He’s a classic gentle giant, but the imposing Mastiff can also have a stubborn streak, which can be troublesome with a dog his size. He’s a lover, not a fighter, but he will step in to protect his family if needed.
Sam Clark, Animal Photography
No. 63 in 2002, No. 39 in 2012
His origins as a farm utility dog don't deter the American Bulldog from being a devoted family pet. This is an alert and powerful breed that can also be a protective guard dog.
No. 38 in 2002, No. 14 in 2012
Tied with American Bulldog, the Bulldog is a family favorite who makes friends with everyone he meets. His flat, wrinkled face and heavy build make him very sensitive to heat, though, so this is one dog who should be kept indoors.
No. 79 in 2002, No. 56 in 2012
The Bernese Mountain Dog may have started out as a farm dog, but these days, he’s mainly kept as a loving companion. He can weigh up to 120 pounds, but his calm temperament and generally moderate activity level make him a great family dog. The biggest downside: a heartbreakingly short lifespan.
No. 51 in 2002, No. 28 in 2012
Tied with Bernese Mountain Dog at No. 17, the Great Dane cuts a truly great figure with a potential weight of 190 pounds and height of 32 inches (or more!) at the shoulder. Like many of the other giant breeds on this list, his looks tend to be far more intimidating than his sweet disposition.
No. 161 in 2002, No. 139 in 2012
Like the other Curs on this list, the Mountain Cur is an athletic treeing dog of medium size. He’s powerful and agile and is used for hunting squirrel, raccoon and big game.
No. 151 in 2002, No. 129 in 2012
Tied with the Mountain Cur, the Anatolian Shepherd is a giant breed originally used to guard livestock in Turkey. He’s very protective, wary of strangers and aggressive toward unknown dogs, so while he’s certainly big and beautiful, he’s best matched with an experienced and prepared owner.
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