The American Kennel Club (AKC) has released its annual ranking of dog breeds and for a historic 23rd year in a row, the Labrador retriever is tops in US homes. This is the longest any breed has been on top of the rankings and it’s no wonder, as the Labrador is known as a friendly, intelligent breed that makes a great family pet. The previous record-holder was the poodle, topping the list for 22 years. There is also a current trend towards larger dogs, with the German shepherd and Golden retriever rounding out the top three most popular breeds.
“Owning bigger breeds – an economic indicator of sorts – have been on the rise during the past five years,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “As the economy has improved, people are turning back to the big dogs they love, which cost more to feed and care for than the smaller breeds that saw a rise in popularity in 2007 and 2008.” Other large breeds that made double-digit gains in popularity over the past decade include the Doberman Pinscher, the Great Dane and the Bernese Mountain Dog.
The AKC statistics also show a dramatic rise in the popularity of the French Bulldog, with a 323% increase in registrations since 2003. This year, the cute and comical French Bulldog rose to number 11 on the list, the highest position for the breed since it was recognize by the AKC in 1893. Other trends include a comeback of rare breeds that had been on the decline, including breeds such as the Giant Schnauzer, Keeshonden, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, and Irish Terrier.
The most popular dog breeds in the US for 2013 are:
- Labrador Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
- Yorkshire Terrier