Breaking News: The Labrador Retriever Wins Top Breed for the 26th Year In a Row

The Labrador Retriever does it again! In a press conference today at its new pet care space, AKC Canine Retreat, the American Kennel Club (AKC®), the nation’s largest purebred dog registry, is announcing that the intelligent, family friendly Lab firmly holds on to the number one spot on the most popular list for a record-breaking 26th consecutive year.

The Lab's eager to please temperament is just one of many reasons why this ideal family dog takes top honors year after year. They also excel at dog sports (like dock diving), make fantastic K-9 partners, and have even been known to save lives. On top of all that, they're also pretty cute.

While the Labrador Retriever continues its reign as America’s dog, the Rottweiler has been slowly but surely rising up the list over the past decade. The confident, loyal and loving Rottie was the eighth most popular breed in 2016, its highest ranking since landing at number two in 1997. The Rottweiler has risen nine spots over the past decade and is poised for a comeback.

“The Labrador Retriever has a strong hold on the top spot, and doesn’t show signs of giving it up anytime soon,” said AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo. “The Lab is such a versatile dog that it’s no wonder it makes a great companion for a variety of lifestyles. Keep your eye on the Rottweiler, though. It’s been quietly winning hearts over the past decade.”

It's no surprise that this calm, courageous guardian's popularity is on the rise. The Rottie has strong instincts to protects its loved ones, is intelligent and has a strong willingness to work. They're especially impressive when it comes to herding.

The German Shepherd Dog secured its spot as the second most popular breed again this year. This smart, confident and courageous breed is known as a superior working dog, who excels as a therapy dog, a K-9 partner, as well as a loving family companion. It's no wonder that the breed took home Best in Show at this year's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

In addition to the country’s most popular, terriers were on the move in 2016. The Russell Terrier jumped a substantial 14 spots (104th to 90th), the Rat Terrier rose five spots (101st to 96th), the Parson Russell Terrier rose two spots (111th to 109th) and the Dandie Dinmont Terrier jumped five spots (172nd to 167th).

See below for AKC’s top 10 most popular breeds in 2016, along with the 2015 comparison:

2016 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S. 2015 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.
1. Labrador Retriever 1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd Dog 2. German Shepherd Dog
3. Golden Retriever 3. Golden Retriever
4. Bulldog 4. Bulldog
5. Beagle 5. Beagle
6. French Bulldog 6. French Bulldog
7. Poodle 7. Yorkshire Terrier
8. Rottweiler 8. Poodle
9. Yorkshire Terrier 9. Rottweiler
10. Boxer 10. Boxer

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