An ANIMALS 24-7 electronic survey of 206,014 classified ads offering dogs for sale or adoption confirms that large retrievers are still by far and away the most popular dogs in the U.S., births of pit bulls and their close mixes are continuing to increase at the rate of about 10% per year, and Dachshunds have displaced beagles and Chihuahuas as the most rapidly rising small breed.
Done during the first week of July 2014, the ANIMALS 24-7 survey was the fifth of an annual series conducted by editor Merritt Clifton using the same methodology within 10 days of the same time of year each year. If the average age of dogs in the U.S. is five years or younger, the cumulative survey data should now reflect all of the major post-2010 dog population trends. Of the dogs advertised for sale or adoption each year, about 80% appear to be puppies; older dogs appear to be advertised mostly by shelters and shelterless “rescues.”
The longterm overall trend appears to have been toward fewer total dog births each year, and greater diversity of breeds advertised. No common breed appears to have been born in greater numbers every year, but the numbers of pit bulls advertised for sale or adoption have markedly increased in every year since 2011. This reflects both a sterilization rate among pit bulls running at 20% or less of the pit bull population, and increasingly aggressive adoption promotion of pit bulls by animal shelters. An ANIMALS 24-7 survey of U.S. animal shelter inventory found in May 2014 that pit bulls account for approximately 34% of animal control shelter dog intake, 29% of open admission humane society intake, and 26% of no-kill and/or selective admission shelter intake, amounting to total shelter intake of more than a million pit bulls per year for the 12th consecutive year. This comes to nearly a third of the total U.S. pit bull population of about 3.5 million.
Despite the rapidly rising pit bull birth rate, large retrievers––including Labradors and goldens––continue to outnumber pit bulls in homes by nearly two to one. Chihuahuas, after rising to 18% of U.S. shelter dog inventory in 2012, dropped bqck to 14% in 2013 and 10% in 2014. Nonetheless, Chihuahuas are surrendered to animal shelters about four times more often than would reflect their abundance among dogs offered for sale or adoption. As of midsummer 2014, Chihuahuas appeared to have dropped out of the top ten most popular breeds.
Poodles, Dachshunds, and spaniels, while born in greater numbers that Chihuahuas, appear to be comparatively rarely surrendered to animal shelters.
The ten dog breeds most often listed for sale or adoption, plus Chihuahuas: