According to a press release recently issued by the American Kennel Club, Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dogs in America, yet again. After 21 years in first place, it doesn't look like love for the breed will be dissipating anytime soon.

The list featured some notable trends in puppy love: most obviously, big dogs are moving up the ladder with five of the top ten being larger breeds. Also, all four Setter breeds (English, Irish, Gordon, and Irish Red and White) made considerable jumps in rank, while Coonhounds took the largest dip. For smaller dogs, Terriers are on the rise again after a few years of falling on the charts.

Here is a breakdown of the top 10 breeds that made the cut:

1) Labrador Retriever

With a well earned reputation for playfulness and loyalty, it's no surprise the lab continues to take the top spot each year. Commonly used as a police and search-and-rescue dog, this family-friendly breed comes in three colours (black, brown and yellow) and is known for being trustworthy, active, and gentle. They are true retrievers, originally bred to work with fisherman and to accompany hunters. (Their skills now come in handy for fetching the paper.)

 2) German Shepherd 

Being named Animal of the Year by TIME for being the breed to help take down Osama Bin Laden just goes to show how popular German Shepherds continue to be. The German Shepherd became incredibly popular around 1920 after the film Man from Hell's River was released -- which featured the beloved Rin Tin Tin. They are excellent companion dogs, but also make great service dogs and are often used in the military and by police.

3) Beagle

The AKA considers the Beagle's jump from 4th to 3rd spot to be considerable, with their spokesperson Lisa Peterson noting that, "While the Labrador Retriever has proven once again to be a family favorite, this year clearly belongs to the Beagle. The Beagle's merry personality combined with his love of outdoor activities make him such a wonderful family pet that I wouldn't be surprised to see this spunky breed sniff his way to the top of the list next year." The Beagle has been the only breed to be consistantly ranked in the top 10 every year since it was accepted to the AKA in 1885.

4) Golden Retriever

Known as the classic American pet, the Golden Retriever is regularly on the top 10 list. Known for being friendly, active, versatile and beautiful, they have an even temper and playful nature, making for a perfect family pet.

5) Yorkshire Terrier

Although they lost their number 3 spot to the Beagle this year, Yorkshire Terriers are still the most popular of the smaller breeds. These tiny dogs are loved for their larger than life personality, portability, energy and an uncanny ability to adapt.


6) English Bulldog

The Bulldog might be the most popular breed to be used as a mascot for universities and organizations, and their popularity has only increased over the years. Just a decade ago they were sitting in the 19th spot, but now they have easily cracked the top 10. Known for their cartoonish short legs and wrinkled face, they are gentle, protective, and very easy to groom.

7) Boxer

The Boxer is known for adoring children, and for being incredibly protective and patient. The Boxer's name came from their development in the 19th century for dog fighting. Easily standing on its hind legs to battle an opponent, the breed quickly established the fighting moniker.

8) Poodle

Holding the number one spot from 1960 until 1982, the Poodle holds the record for being named the AKC's most popular breed. Known for being incredibly intelligent, this is a great breed for people with allergies because of their hypoallergenic coat.

9) Dachshund 

This tiny breed is consistently found in the top 10 because of its playful and adaptable nature. Known as excellent hunters, the name Dachshund literally means "badger dog" in German.

10) Rottweiler 

The Rottweiler managed to boot the Shih Tzu out of the top 10 this year, claiming the final spot. Steadily climbing in rank since 2006, these dogs may seem fierce, but are actually incredibly intelligent and obedient animals that make great protectors.

Did your favourite breed get a fair rank? Tell us in the comments!

Sources: Wikipedia, American Kennel Club, CBC

Photo © Diederich

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