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Great Dane Popularity in the United States

According to a survey conducted by the American Kennel Club (AKC), Great Danes were ranked as the 17th most popular dog breed in the United States in 2021. This represents a drop from number fourteen in 2017.

As a Great Dane owner and lover, I thought that this sounded a bit low, but I’ll admit that I’m biased!

For fun, I decided to dig in and find out where the largest groups of Great Dane lovers congregate. The results of this research were compiled into the infographic shown below. Enjoy!

Extended Thoughts and Analysis

To further elaborate on the list, here’s a snapshot of the bottom and top 10 states by interest.

I’ve also included the relative search volume score to further differentiate the interest level per region.

The dash (-) next to some states in the bottom ten indicates that there was not enough search volume relative to the other states to provide a numerical score.

Top 10

  1. West Virginia (100)
  2. Kentucky (94)
  3. Oklahoma (88)
  4. Arkansas (86)
  5. Mississippi (86)
  6. Alabama (83)
  7. Tennessee (82)
  8. Indiana (76)
  9. Missouri (75)
  10. Nebraska (75)

Bottom 10

  1. California (35)
  2. Alaska (-)
  3. Delaware (-)
  4. Hawaii (-)
  5. Montana (-)
  6. North Dakota (-)
  7. Rhode Island (-)
  8. South Dakota (-)
  9. Vermont (-)
  10. Wyoming (-)

Note: The search data covers the time period of January 1, 2014 to July 5, 2018.

To be clear – this data is only gauging interest based on relative search volumes / trends in Google.

It is not a count of registered Great Danes, or families with Danes in those states, as that information is not publicly available.

However, in today’s information age, it does seem to be a fair gauge of interest. The fact that you’re reading this now further confirms this opinion 

Other Variables for Consideration

Other variables considered in this relative index included state population and the number of registered Great Dane breeders per state. Continue reading below to see what these revealed.

State Population

My initial thought was that it would be necessary to weigh search volume against search trends to locate the most popular Great Dane states.

However, I was surprised to find that the states with the highest interest did not have the largest populations. In fact, they all have small to medium populations!

Looking more closely at the bottom ten states, there does appear to be a correlation with size. With the exception of California (the most populous state in the US), the remaining bottom ten states are also in the bottom ten states for population.

In this regard, the low search volume does appear to be correlated to the smaller population. Sorry California, you have no excuse 

By weighting a state’s population against its unadjusted search volume, there is some shuffling in the top ten. West Virginia still pulls away as the clear winner, with 3 others from the original top ten holding their ground as well.

States remaining from the original top ten have had their names bolded.

  1. West Virginia
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Maine
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Idaho
  6. Nebraska
  7. New Mexico
  8. Mississippi
  9. Arkansas
  10. Kansas

Due to the lack of search volume data, I was not able to perform an accurate re-ranking of the bottom ten.

Registered Breeders

Initially, taking into account the number of Great Dane breeders per state seemed like it would also be a useful data point in gauging interest in Great Danes.

High demand typically drives a higher supply, which in turn would indicate a generally higher level of interest. For this test, I leveraged my Great Dane breeder directory as the source of data.

While my theory initially appeared sound, the results of this test were perhaps the most surprising of the entire analysis!

After ranking the top ten states by the number of registered breeders with the GDCA, only a single state (congrats to Missouri) also appeared in the top ten by the search volume.

Even more surprising – the state with the most registered breeders was California! It wasn’t even close, they won by a landslide.

Clearly, this is not a perfect test as not all breeders will take the time to register with the GDCA.

However, the results are still surprising!

The top ten are listed below, with the actual count of breeders as of July 2018 listed next to their names.

  1. California (16)
  2. Florida (7)
  3. Ohio (6)
  4. Colorado (4)
  5. Michigan (4)
  6. Washington (4)
  7. Alaska (3)
  8. Missouri (3)
  9. New York (3)
  10. Georgia (2)

Due to the inconsistency in the breeder count results, I deemed it an unreliable factor in determining the final outcome.

2 thoughts on “Great Dane Popularity in the United States”

  1. That was very interesting…We are getting our first Great Dane in 3 weeks…I have scoured through your book daily, as well as the videos you post and the articles…I want to make sure we do this right. I was thinking, you mentioned a lot of people don’t actually worry about registering their puppies…maybe it’s because they are getting them spayed or neutered and figure why waste their time? Thanks for making that book…it’s been a great resource for us 🙂 We are in Louisiana and the breeder is in TX. And we will be getting him registered. Also, his name is Gus, and I promise, we named him before reading about your Gus :-/

  2. Surprising that Pennsylvania is not number 1.
    The Great Dane is Pa’s state dog!
    I live in Los Angeles now and see many great danes.


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