In the last 27 years, things have changed dramatically. Facebook launched, Apple took over the mobile world, the United States has gone through four different presidents, and the AKC launched agility, Scent Work, Trick Dog, and more. One thing, however, has remained the same. Since 1991, the Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog breed in the nation, and with the statistics from 2017 in, the Lab continues his reign.
The Ever-Popular Labrador Retriever
The Lab is friendly, active, and outgoing. His eager to please temperament is just one of many reasons why he takes top honors year after year. Labs also excel at dog sports (like dock diving, obedience, and agility), make fantastic K-9 partners, and are some of the most popular service dogs, search and rescue dogs, and therapy dogs. On top of all that, they’re also pretty adorable.
“The Labrador Retriever has its paws firmly planted in Americans’ hearts,” says AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo. “It’s such a versatile and family friendly breed.”
The Lab has been top dog since 1991, when it beat out the gentle, smart, and happy Cocker Spaniel. In addition to being the most popular dog in the nation, the Lab is also the #1 dog in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Raleigh, Seattle, and Washington D.C.
Movers and Shakers
While the Labrador Retriever’s status hasn’t changed, however, the top 10 most popular list had a few switch-ups this year.
The easygoing, playful, adaptable French Bulldog is steadily rising in popularity. The breed jumped two spots from number six to number four in 2017. In doing so, the Frenchie knocked the Beagle out of the top five for the first time since 1998.
While the Frenchie is number four in the nation, he has taken the top spot in a few large cities throughout the country. The French Bulldog is the most popular dog in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and West Palm Beach.
The Rise of Rare Breeds
2017 was also a successful year for rare breeds. The Norwegian Buhund rose four spots (174th to 170th), Skye Terriers rose six spots (178th to 172nd), Canaan Dogs jumped six spots (181st to 175th), and Harriers rose three spots (186th to 183rd).
At the end of the day, though, it seems like America can’t resist the adorable face and loving personality of the Labrador Retriever.