What a Streak – AKC Says Labrador Retriever is Still America’s Most Popular Dog

For the 27th year in a row, the American Kennel Club has ranked Labrador Retrievers as the most popular dog in America, with German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers coming in at second and third place.

But with their highest ranking ever, French Bulldogs cracked the top five spots, coming in at number four with Bulldogs coming right behind, dropping from the number four spot from last year.

Related: Best French Bulldog at the 2017 Westminster Dog Show

The Beagle was the sixth most popular, followed by the poodle, the Rottweiler, Yorkshire Terriers and German Shorthaired pointers finishing the top ten slots.

The Lab has reigned supreme for the longest time, breaking the record for most times at the top of the list in 2013. It’s no surprise as they’re sociable, loyal and great family dogs. Beagles are the only breed to make the top ten list every year decade since the AKC was founded in 1884, while German Shorthaired Pointers are more and more gaining visibility in agility and bomb-sniffing abilities.

The French bulldog has skyrocketed in the last 20 years, moving from 76th place to fourth. It previously found its highest rankings in 1910 at sixth place and then again in 2015-2016.

But being popular has its issues, say breeders. Many appreciate the interest in the breed, but worry that the demand for such popular dogs will bring out the irresponsible breeders as well as owners who are not necessarily the best match for the dogs. Because they are known to easily overheat and/or sometimes need nasal or palate surgery, owners may not know what they are in for with regard to medical costs. Often, Frenchies are born by c-section because of their big heads, and they can also be prone to have eye and spinal issues–people looking for them because they are adorable and popular may not be prepared to handle those conditions.

Related: What is Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome?

Additionally, the rankings showed the Siberian husky and Australian shepherd made it into the top 20 while the pug, the Maltese and Chihuahua fell out of those stats. The AKC doesn’t chart hybrid dogs like puggles or Labradoodles, but did make note of the rarest breed of dog, the Norwegian lundehund with its six toes.


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