Labrador Retrievers Maintain Top Dog Status For 28th Straight Year

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
For the 28th year in a row, the Labrador Retriever tops the American Kennel Club’s registry list, maintaining a reining run like no other breed ever has.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recently released its top breed registration numbers and for an astounding 28th year in a row, the Labrador Retriever has topped the list.

It’s little wonder as Labs are known for their friendly disposition, their loyalty and their playful attitudes and have been for hundreds of years. Sporting breed darlings that they are, they are also perfect family pets as well.

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2018 saw few changes in the Top Ten standings from the previous year, with the lineup being the same as the year before with the exception of the last two spots. The rankings for 2018 are as follows:

1.Labrador Retriever

2.German Shepherd

3. Golden Retriever

4. French Bulldog

5. Bulldog

6. Beagle

7. Poodle

8. Rottweiler

9. German Shorthaired Pointer

10. Yorkshire Terrier.

The German Shorthaired Pointer has been carefully moving its way up the list over the last 10 years and being ranked 9th place is the highest its been since it became a recognized breed in 1930. The 10th placeholder, the Yorkshire Terrier was in 2nd place in 2008, and has been slowly moving down the list.

The Labrador Retriever first debuted on the Top Ten in the 1970s and hasn’t ever looked back. It’s always interesting to see shifts in the breed popularity list, as they are often reflective of the times. For example, the top breed of the 1940s was the Cocker Spaniel. From 1983 to 1990, it also heald the top spot, and overall, has been number one 23 different times.

So what makes the Labrador Retriever the top dog since 1991? Breeders say that the affable breed is friendly, has a stable temperament and tranability and has athletic prowess that encourages owners to get involved and bond with their dogs. Their easygoing and committed personality make them a top pick for families as well as those seeking their services in work positions as well.

The Labrador Retriever is known for being a do-everything breed–and particularly with their humans. They love to be part of whatever is going on, and they’ve got a versatility in ability that is appealing and quite frankly, adorable. (I say this as the unbiased dog mom of two fabulouse Labrador Retriever mixes.)

Interestingly, though the Labrador Retriever is clearly the belle of the AKC ball, the breed has never won a Best In Show in the Westminster, The National Dog Show and the AKC National Championship–which is considered the Triple Crown of dog shows.

Several breeds were up and comers on the list with pretty impressive jumps: the No. 13 Pembroke Welsh Corgi jumped from 24th; No. 14 Siberian Husky leaped up from 23rd; and No. 15 Australian Shepherd, pranced up from 29th. The No. 22 Bernese Mountain Dog took a significant jump from 40th; and the No. 24 Havanese moved from 36th.

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And while the Lab top spot seems pretty steady on the ready, the French Bulldog has been quietly approaching number one, moving up to the No. 4 spot in the last couple of years. It entered the Top Ten in 2014 in the No. 9 spot, and No. 1 doesn’t seem too far off.

Congratulations again to the Labrador Retriever. If you’d like to see where your pooch placed on the list, you can find the full list here.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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