Special Report

Most Popular Dog Breeds

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15. Doberman Pinschers
> Rank in 2006: 21
> Rank in 1996: 20
> Typical life span: 10 to 12 years
> Average puppy price: $1,350

Do you ever wonder who bred the first pup of a particular breed and why they did so? Doberman Pinschers have an interesting origin. They were first bred by a tax collector named Louis Dobermann, who had to peruse the streets of not-so-safe areas of town at night. Wanting a well mannered but also intimidating dog to walk alongside him on these late-night endeavors, he bred the Doberman Pinscher, a muscular canine with dark fur.

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14. Great Danes
> Rank in 2006: 24
> Rank in 1996: 32
> Typical life span: 7 to 10 years
> Average puppy price: $1,250

As gentle and tame as Great Danes generally are in the household today, their demeanor was entirely different four centuries ago. Germans raised this breed to hunt wild boars, which average around 400 pounds. As a result, Great Danes were taught to be aggressive and ruthless — not the kind of pooch you’d want mingling around your kiddos.

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13. Dachshunds
> Rank in 2006: 6
> Rank in 1996: 7
> Typical life span: 12 to 16 years
> Average puppy price: $1,000

Known for both agility and audacity, the Dachshund was named the first official Olympic mascot at the 1972 Munich games. The mascot, Waldi, sports a light blue color on his head and tail with stripes of at least three of the six Olympic colors on his chest and belly.

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12. Siberian Huskies
> Rank in 2006: 25
> Rank in 1996: 17
> Typical life span: 12 to 14 years
> Average puppy price: $1,000

This iconic sled dog was originally bred in northeastern Asia. The first team of Siberian Huskies made its debut in the United States in the early 20th century, at the All Alaska Sweepstakes Race. The Husky’s thick, fluffy coat is likely part of the appeal for owners. On the other hand, Huskies are bred for cold climates, and outside the arctic these dogs shed constantly.

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11. German Shorthaired Pointers
> Rank in 2006: 20
> Rank in 1996: 24
> Typical life span: 10 to 12 years
> Average puppy price: $1,200

Like a number of the most popular dog breeds, the German Shorthair Pointer is considered a prized hunting dog. They are bred to have excellent senses of smell, showcased as hunting companions, but also by their wide use by security personnel like the TSA.