“You ain’t nothing but a hound dog” sang Elvis. For any German listening, it was slightly redundant. That’s because the word “hound” has its origin in the German word “Hund”, which means “dog”.
“You ain’t nothing but a hound dog”
sounds a lot like,
“You ain’t nothing but a dog dog”
But shared German-American dog culture goes far deeper than redundancy in Elvis lyrics! There are nearly 90 million dogs in the United States, and a good number of them have German origins. The Boxer, the Pomeranian, the German Shepherd, the Dachshund, and many more breeds come across the Atlantic from Deutschland.
The American Kennel Club publishes a yearly list of the most popular dog breeds nation-wide, and Labrador and Golden Retrievers (neither a German breed) always top that list.
In 2018, the faithful German Shepherd ranked as the second most popular dog breed in the whole country! Not bad!
However, these data points from the AKC don’t provide us with breed popularity in each state, and don’t provide rankings for us to make a lovely map.
So which German breeds are the most popular in each state in the nation?
To find out, we took Google Trends data from the last 12 months. The percentage of search traffic for German breeds was then accounted for on a state-by-state basis. Then, we made several maps!
* It’s important to note that the drawback of these maps is that they account for search traffic and not ownership.They represent interest in a breed, not the number of dogs in a state. *
Map 1. The Hegemony of German Shepherds
As it turns out, making a map with the most popular dog breed in each state is a boring task. That’s because the country is 100% behind the German Shepherd. It’s the most searched German breed in all 50 states! Check out this chart of the German Shepherd stacked high above its closest competitors.
Map showing the #1 most popular German breed in all 50 states
Map 2. The Boxers and the Dachshund
So the German Shepherds win. But things get more interesting when we try to rank for the #2 and #3 most popular German breeds: the Boxer and the Dachshund. Look at this chart to see just how close they are in search traffic:
The boxer is more searched than the Dachshund, but just barely. Here are the #2 rankings broken down state by state. It’s safe to assume that if the Boxer is #2 for a state, the Dachshund is #3, and vice versa. The only exception is California, where Hollywood types helped launch the purse-sized Pomeranian into the #2 spot.
Map showing #2 most popular German breed in all 50 states
Map 3. Free-for-all for #4
So, in almost all cases, the German Shepherd was followed at #2 by the Boxer or Dachshund. #3 was also generally the Boxer or Dachshund. When we try to map the fourth most popular German breed in each state, things get even more fascinating. A veritable free-for-all breaks out between the Pomeranian, Great Dane, Rottweiler, and Dobermann. Here’s the chart, followed by the map.
Map showing the #4 most popular German breed in all 50 states
By William Fox, German Embassy