Can You Name the Top Ten Breeds in 1984?

News flash. People who are now twenty-one years old were born in 1998. Yeah, we know. We have socks purchased before then. For many of us, the following events that happened in 1984 feel like they happened yesterday, though today’s 21 year old doesn’t recall any of them because they were swaddled and sucking on a pacifier: In 1998, People Magazine named Harrison Ford, The “Sexiest Man Alive;” the first Apple iMac came out, the movie, “Titanic,” dominated the Oscars, Mark McGwire broke the single-season home run record, the FDA approved Viagra, and Google was founded.

Anyone younger than 35 years old won’t recall anything that happened in 1984, either, the year of our trivia question. No matter. If you’re too young, you can guess at the answer, but if you’re a bit older and were already an experienced fancier, you might actually remember.

In 1984, Clara Peller asked, “Where’s the Beef?” on TV, and Prince’s “When Doves Cry” would go on to become the year’s top song. The Supreme Court ruled that using VCRs in the home didn’t violate federal copyright laws, and Marcus Allen was named Super Bowl XVIII’s MVP (the Los Angeles Raiders beat the Washington Red Skins, 38-9).  In 1984, no new breeds were recognized by the AKC, but the AKC published their list of the Top Ten breeds, and we want to know if without cheating, can you name those breeds? The answer appears below Billboard’s #9 Top Single of 1984. Keep your eyes peeled, you’ll see some very young celebrities of the day:

In case you missed them, there were cameos from Chevy Chase, Irene Cara, John Candy, Melissa Gilbert, Ollie E. Brown, Jeffrey Tambor, George Wendt, Al Franken, Danny DeVito, Carly Simon, Peter Falk, and Teri Garr (Chase appears again after Garr, but chokes on his cigarette when he tries to shout “Ghostbusters!)

As for the Top Ten Dogs in 1984:

#10 was the Dachshund, the last year the breed would appear in the Top Ten until it reclaimed its #9 spot in 1986 which it would keep until 1989 when it moved up to #8;

#9 was the Shetland Sheepdog which slipped to #10 in 1986 and 1987. It wouldn’t make the Top Ten again until 1991 when it was #10, a spot it kept until 1993;

#8 was the Miniature Schnauzer which slipped to #9 in 1985 and kept until 1987. In 1988, it dropped to #10 and stayed there until 1990. After that, it never showed up in the Top Ten again as of 2000 (we don’t have Top Ten records for after the year 2000);

The Beagle was the #7 breed in 1984, and it held various ranks in the Top Ten at least until the year 2000 when it was the #5 breed in the country;

At #6 was the Doberman Pinscher, a position it kept in 1985, but lost in 1986 when it slipped to #11. It continued its slide: #15 in 1987, #16 in 1988, #20 in 1989, #22 in 1990, #21 in 1991 and 1992, and a climb back to #19 in 1993 and 1994;

The #5 slot was held by the Golden Retriever which it kept in 1985, and from 1986 to 1990, it maintained a #4 position. It visited various rankings in the Top Ten until 1998 when it came at #3, and we don’t believe it has fallen out of the Top Ten ever since.

The German Shepherd Dog appeared at #4 in 1984, then slipped to #5, a rank it kept until 1989. It fell a spot in 1990, then regained its #5 spot until 1993 when it shot up to #3 which it kept at least until 2000;

In 1984, the #3 breed was the Labrador Retriever which it kept until 1988 when it rose to #2, and in 1991, the breed took the top spot which we think it has held ever since.

The Poodle held the #2 spot in 1984, a fall from the #1 spot it held from 1960 to 1983 when the Cocker Spaniel knocked it out of its 23 year reign. It hung on to its #2 spot until 1988 when it fell to #3, and there it stayed until 1991 when once again, the Cocker Spaniel pushed it down a spot. The Poodle stayed in the Top Ten until at least 2000.

In 1984, the top breed in the country was the Cocker Spaniel, a position it held until 1990 when the Labrador Retriever took it to keep for a long time.

It’s interesting to compare these breeds to the Top Ten breeds of 2018:

1) Labrador Retriever

2) German Shepherd Dog

3) Golden Retriever

4)  French Bulldog

5)  Bulldog

6)  Beagle

7) Poodle

8 Rottweiler

9 German Shorthaired Pointer

10 Yorkshire Terrier

For some breeds, things came full circle, and other breeds on the list weren’t even AKC accepted in 1984.

So, how close did you come to guessing the top breeds in 1984?

Note: Only after we complied the aforementioned statistics did we discover that the AKC has posted post 2000 registration numbers on-line which you can find here. 


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