The Labrador Retriever is the champion once again.
For the 28th year in a row, the Lab was named the most popular dog breed in the United States by the American Kennel Club. According to breeder Linda Maffett, the Lab is so popular because the breed is versatile, has a stable temperament, is friendly, easy to train, and also happens to be really athletic. And AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo released a statement saying that the popular breed is showing no signs of slowing down anytime in the near future.
“Labs make wonderful companions for a wide variety of people, and for good reason. The breed is very intelligent, friendly and great with children,” DiNardo said. “Attention must be paid to the German Shorthaired Pointer, however! This jack of all trades in the pointer world has slowly but steadily risen in popularity over the years. People continue to fall in love with its versatility, extreme intelligence and willingness to please.”
Here is how the rest of the top breeds round out the list:
2. German Shepard
3. Golden Retriever
4. French Bulldog
9. German Shorthaired
10. Yorkshire Terrier
The top 10 list is exactly identical to the previous year’s other than the fact that the German Shorthaired and the Yorkshire Terrier swapped spots. The AKC makes the list each year by counting the number of each breed of dog that is registered in each of the AKC’s 193 recognized breeds.
According to The New York Post, the 28-year run by the Lab is the longest streak of any other breed. In the 20th century, the Poodle took the top spot for an impressive 22 years before the beloved Lab took over. But as popular as the Lab is as a household pet, it isn’t nearly as popular when it comes to competition. In the 143 years of dog competition, the lab has surprisingly never won Westminster’s Best in Show.
Animal Planet reports that the Lab is also the top breed in other countries like New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. They’re also very popular dogs for commercials and even in some fashion ads like Ralph Lauren. The pooches are members of the sporting group, and they make great guide dogs and assisted living dogs.
When they are full grown, Labs are expected to be somewhere in the weight range of 55-80 pounds. They’ll also be constant companions for people for a good amount of time as their average lifespan ranges from 10-12 years.
All hail the Lab.