News

Labrador is America’s ‘top dog’

Labrador is America’s ‘top dog’

TOP DOG: Labrador retrievers enjoy the longest consecutive reign of any dog in the annual ranking compiled by the American Kennel Club, or AKC, which bases its list of the most popular breeds on the number of dog registrations across the country. Photo: Reuters

By Marina Lopes

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Labrador retriever is the most popular dog breed in the United States for the 23rd straight year, but the French bulldog has gained ground by leaps and bounds, the American Kennel Club said on Friday.

Labrador retrievers enjoy the longest consecutive reign of any dog in the annual ranking compiled by the American Kennel Club, or AKC, which bases its list of the most popular breeds on the number of dog registrations across the country.

The German shepherd took second place, followed by the golden retriever and the beagle, respectively. Breeds pulling ahead in the pack included the Doberman pinscher, which scurried past 20 other breeds to 12th place and the Great Dane, which made an 11-place jump to 16th.

In a testament to their growing popularity, large breeds dominated the list.

“Owning bigger breeds – an economic indicator of sorts – has been on the rise during the past five years,” said Lisa Peterson, a spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club, or AKC.

“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,” during the financial crisis, she said in a telephone interview.

The English bulldog is the most popular breed in New York City, while the French bulldog rose three spots to No. 11 on the national list, its highest ranking.

“That’s a big jump. I haven’t seen anything like that in any breed,” Peterson said.

The breed has seen a 323 percent leap in registrations since 2003, according to the AKC. The club would not provide registration numbers.

French bulldogs require minimal grooming and exercise, making them an ideal choice for owners in apartments and suburbs.

“It’s a wash-and-wear, easy to care for companion dog,” Peterson, the AKC spokeswoman said.

After a decade in decline, rare breeds made a comeback. Giant schnauzers, the largest of the schnauzer breeds, climbed 13 places in the rankings. The keeshond, a medium-size dog with a plush silver and black coat, scrambled up 17 places.

The AKC announced its rankings in advance of next month’s Westminster Kennel Club dog show. The United States’ most prestigious dog competition culminates with the “best in show” award at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

Three new breeds will compete this year: rat terriers, Chinooks, and Portuguese Podengo Pequenos.

(Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Patricia Reaney and Jonathan Oatis)

Recent Headlines

3 hours ago in Entertainment

Hugh Jackman had skin cancer – again

hughjackman

The "X-Men" star is recovering after his fifth skin cancer surgery in two years.

6 hours ago in Music

LISTEN: Nelly covers Thomas Rhett’s ‘Die a Happy Man’

18-overlay-4

The hit song gets a pop twist from the "Hot in Herre" hitmaker.

7 hours ago in Music

Blake Shelton teams up with Oak Ridge Boys for next album

blakeshelton

The "Gonna" hitmaker hasn't announced a title or release date - but he's got quite a backing band.

8 hours ago in Viral Videos

Elton John carpool karaoke

19-overlay

James Corden asks Elton John to help him navigate Los Angeles on a rainy day.

11 hours ago in Entertainment

‘Star Wars’ breaks new record

24-overlay-2

The sci-fi epic, directed by J.J. Abrams, previously became the highest-grossing release in North American film history, after recently passing the $760.5 million "Avatar" hauled in in 2009.