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Australian Shepherds' Popularity in The United States

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It’s no secret that Americans love their dogs and consider them to be part of their family. As of 2024, 86.9 million U.S. homes own a pet, with dogs being the most popular. Statistically, approximately 65.1 million households own a dog in the U.S. A new survey by Forbes Advisor finds some interesting trends among American dog owners regarding their favorite breeds. While all breeds of dogs are special, it turns out that U.S. each state has its favorite breeds.

In order to find out which breeds are the most beloved in the U.S., Forbes Advisor surveyed 10,000 dog owners. The survey options included AKC's list of the top 25 most popular breeds in the country. It’s no surprise that Australian Shepherds rank as the top most favorite breed in America.

Forbes Advisor chart of the most favorite dog breeds in the US

As it turns out, Australian shepherds, commonly referred to as "Aussies," ranked as the top dog breed in 10 states, including:
  1. Virginia
  2. New York
  3. Montana
  4. Missouri
  5. Indiana
  6. Georgia
  7. Arkansas
  8. Arizona
  9. Alaska
  10. Alabama
Aussies also rank as the second favorite dog breed in nine states and as the fourth-bottom-ranking dog in North Dakota.

Most Favorite Dog Breeds vs. Most Popular Dog Breeds

Although Aussies rank as the most favorite dog breed in the U.S., they aren't ranked as the most popular. In terms of popularity, Australian Shepherds rank 12th nationwide, according to the AKC. As of 2024, the French Bulldog remains the most popular breed in the U.S.  At this point, you may want to understand the difference between a favorite and a popular dog.

When it comes to determining a favorite breed, personal preferences play a significant role. It's all about that special connection. After all, who can resist the charm of Australian Shepherds' beautiful smile and eyes? Not too long ago, someone took to Reddit to gush about how "Aussies have the most beautiful smile and eyes." See the picture below.

2 Aussies with beautify eyes and smile
Source: Reddit

A Buzz Feed article also describes Australian Shepherds as the "coolest-looking dogs around" and "basically the top models of the dog world."

In terms of favoritism, temperament plays a huge role. Favorite dog breeds, such as the Aussie and German Shepherd are like a perfect match made in heaven for their owners. For example, Australian Shepherds are beloved for their intelligence, affability, versatility, and biddability. In addition, they are sweet-natured and form strong attachments to their humans. Further, Aussies are known for being playful and energetic thus winning hearts with their charming personalities.

What's more, most favorite breeds often boast unique physical appearances that set them apart. Aussies, for instance, are beloved for their fluffy coats that come in an array of colors, including Merle, Black, Red Merle, Red Tricolor, Black Tricolor, Blue Merle, and Red. Additionally, their exercise needs make them favorite dogs for active people.

On the other hand, when it comes to popular dog breeds, numbers don't lie. In terms of popularity, statistical data, breed registrations, and media play a huge role. For example, a heartwarming viral video of a dog can significantly influence its popularity. Also, a celebrity flaunting their furry friend on Instagram can result in a breed becoming popular. Of course, fans would want to emulate their favorite celebrity's choice of furry best friend. After all, who can resist the allure of a stylish French Bulldog taking the skateboarding world by storm?

Corgis, for example, became popular thanks to Queen Elizabeth II, who owned more than 30 of the dogs in her lifetime.

Overall, favorite breeds capture our hearts with their traits and characteristics. Popular breeds, on the other hand, garner widespread attention through media exposure and societal influences.

Why Americans Select a Specific Breed as Their Favorite

According to the Forbes Advisor Pet Insurance Survey, the primary factors that motivated Americans to rank a breed as their favorite include:
  • "Either currently or formerly owning the breed" (52%)
  • "Believing the breed would be a good companion" (50%)
  • "Thinking the breed is really cute" (48%)
  • "Thinking the breed would be good protection" (37%)
  • "A family member or friend currently or formerly owning the breed" (34%)
  • " Developing a love for the breed via social media or TV (17%)
  • " Developing a love for the breed through research" (16%)
  • "Other reason" (2%)
  • "No reason in particular" (2%)

Australian Shepherds' Popularity in Massachusetts

Someone on Reddit asking Why are Australian Shepherds so popular in Boston, MA
Source: Reddit

Not too long ago, I came across a Reddit post wherein the OP wanted to know why Australian Shepherds are so popular in Boston, Massachusetts. The OP said he would love to eventually adopt a dog. However, what motivated him to ask that question was the fact that he was seeing adorable Aussies everywhere in the city. 

If I am not mistaken, the OP wants to know whether the breed is popular in Boston only or if it is a general thing. In the comment section, some individuals say Aussies are just generally popular in the US. However, others suggest that Aussies' exercise needs are what make them more visible in Boston. Like, for instance, if you are an apartment dweller and own an Aussie, you need to walk them constantly.

Conversely, a less energetic dog that doesn't require frequent walks might be less obvious even if there are more of them in the same city. Although I agree with this comment, I can't deny the fact that Australian Shepherds are becoming increasingly popular in the country.


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