The Labrador Retriever Is the Most Popular Dog in America for the 31st Year in a Row

According to data from the American Kennel Club, Americans also love French bulldogs, golden retrievers, German shepherds, and poodles.

happy labrador retriever in field
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It's no secret that your favorite dog is the one that lives inside your home, but when looking at the most popular breeds nationwide there's one type of dog that statistics say shines above the rest. According to the American Kennel Club's annual list of the most popular dog breeds, the Labrador retriever has placed first for the 31st consecutive year, attributing its win to the breed's temperament and versatility.

To obtain their data the AKC, a nonprofit purebred dog registry in the U.S., uses its registration data to develop their list of the most popular dog breeds. Rounding out the top five is French bulldogs, golden retrievers, German shepherd dogs, and poodles. The AKC notes that poodles moved back into the top five for the first time since 1997. Besides that caveat to past records, most breeds are about as popular as they were in 2020, but there are a few exceptions. According to the nonprofit's data, the field spaniel moved up 24 places to the 136th slot, while the puli dropped 21 places to number 165. What's more, a new breed made the list—the biewer terrier, which ranked 83rd.

The dog breed that received the lowest ranking from the AKC is the Norwegian lundehund, which is one of the rarest breeds of dogs. The name literally translates to "puffin dog" as these canines had a reputation for scaling sheer-faced cliffs to raid puffin nests, bringing the birds back to their masters. Joining the Norwegian lundehund at the bottom is the sloughi (number 193), Belgian Laekenois (number 194), American foxhounds (number 195), and English foxhounds (number 196).

The list's wide range of dog breeds isn't a surprise to members of the AKC, attributing the variety to the fact that there are currently more families with dogs than with children. From large guard dogs and herders to tiny toy breeds, the pandemic has been an especially popular time for people to bring home new pups. Despite the list's diversity, Labrador retriever's remain on top—where they've been since 1997. The breed's consistent first place ranking isn't a surprise when you consider its reputation for being friendly and its propensity for forming a bond with the entire family.

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