A definitive ranking of the most overrated and underrated dog breeds

a(Click to enlarge)

This chart, from David McCandless‘ fascinating new book Knowledge is Beautiful, ranks 87 dog breeds and compares those rankings to the actual popularity of the breeds in the US.

The ranking is based on a number of factors: trainability, life expectancy, lifetime cost (including the price of food and grooming), and suitability for children, among others.

The result: Border Collies, according to McCandless, are the finest dog breed in existence. Labs, Beagles, and Golden Retrievers, while not at the very top, are other popular dogs (at the top right of the chart) that he rates highly.

On the other hand, the formula seems to penalize big dogs. German Shepherds, Great Danes, and Saint Bernards, all in the top left quadrant, are in McCandless’ words, “inexplicably overrated.” The formula also uncovers some overlooked breeds, at the bottom right, that should be more popular, like Border Terriers and Pointers.

Finally, on the bottom left, the chart shows the breeds that are unpopular and properly so: Old English Sheepdogs, Borzois, and Afghan Hounds.

Poor, poor Afghan Hounds:

aa(Via: Vox)

One thought on “A definitive ranking of the most overrated and underrated dog breeds

  1. Rachelle

    this will start a war, which is probably what Mr. McCandless had in mind. I have owned/trained/researched/studied dogs since I could walk, and my disagreements with the above classifications are too colossal to begin to express. Perhaps Mr. McCandless should next write a book on which race of humans is best based on similar parameters, being sure to exclude individuality. Actually, I wish he would take his “research” time and volunteer at an animal shelter. Or a human shelter, something worthwhile.


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