Posted on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

AKC: Lab most popular U.S. breed for 23 consecutive years

lab popular

Once again, the Labrador retriever is top dog in the hearts of Americans, and record books will show it’s the longest run of any breed since the American Kennel Club was founded in 1884.

With the results announced a little more than a week before the AKC Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden, the lovable Lab was named the most popular dog, ahead of Beagles, Golden retrievers and German shepherds, reported CBS News, noting that the goofy-looking French bulldog is now nipping at the heels of the all-American favorites.

Prior to the announcement, the Lab was tied with the Poodle for the longest run as number one – 22 years.

Determined by puppies
The ranking mirrors the numbers of newly registered dogs, who are usually puppies, and over the years, the AKC estimated that more than 40 million purebred dogs have been registered.

Regarding the game-fetching-turned-buddy Lab, AKC spokeswoman Lisa Peterson had nothing but praise.

“It does so many different things really well – it excels as a family companion, it’s an awesome hunting dog and it also has a great presence as a service and law-enforcement search-and-rescue dog,” she commented.

As for the upstart French bulldog, its surge in popularity is almost legendary, with the Frenchie moving from number 58 in 2002 to number 11 this year. Whether this is due to his bat-like ears and pug-like nose or his affable attitude – CBS News described it as a “clown in the cloak of a philosopher” – is unknown, but he’s certainly moving up in the favorites race.

More about this year’s winner
The Labrador retrievers, a perfect blend of family and sporting dogs, originally came from Newfoundland, where they first helped fisherman pull in their nets and catch fish that had escaped from fishing lines. According to the AKC, the Lab was a result of crossbreeding other Retrievers with Spaniels and Setters, and they were eventually taught to retrieve game.

Their good-natured temperament, however, also suited them to activities that went beyond hunting. Part of the AKC Sporting Group, they typically weigh 55-75 pounds and come in three colors – black, yellow and chocolate.

Animal Planet called the Labrador a moderate dog and one that certainly merits its popularity. This genial Canadian is loyal and devoted, loves to swim and fetch and is excellent with adults, children and other animals. It’s especially interesting to watch the Lab transform from snuggly and calm in the house to energetic and playful with the kids in the yard.

This content is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.