The reigning darling of the dog world, the Labrador Retriever, has again been chosen by American dog fanciers as their favorite canine companion, according to the American Kennel Club, or AKC, as it is commonly referred to.
Each year, the AKC compiles registration statistics to track which dogs are best favored by dog enthusiasts, and for the 18th time in as many years the Lab has ranked at the top throughout America. However, not all American cities favor the Lab. In Miami and Detroit, the German Shepherd outranks the Labrador in popularity. Meanwhile its cousin, the Golden Retriever, held its spot at number four, as the Rottweiler fell dramatically from its number four spot 10 years ago to number 14 in 2008.
The Bulldog has continued its upward momentum, climbing from number ten in 2007 to number eight in 2008. The rise in popularity of the Bulldog breed has been most note-worthy; it has not been in the top ten in over 70 years, but in the last ten years it is has steadily moseyed into more U.S. homes than ever before, going from 23rd place in 1998, to its current 8th place in 2008. The Bulldog knocked the previous eighth and ninth place-holders down a notch, taking the place of the Poodle, but the popularity of the other top ten breeds has remained essentially the same for the last several years, with the exception of the Miniature Schnauzer, which has been losing ground since it fell out of tenth place in 2007. While small breeds are still popular choices, it appears that most Americans prefer their dogs with some heft to them. One of the breeds expected to increase in popularity, not surprisingly, is the Portuguese Water Dog, a medium sized sporting dog that will soon be taking its place as the newest White House pet.
The AKC kicked off its 125-year celebration in 2008. Since its inception it has grown from a registry of nine purebred dogs in 1884 to 161 today, and has maintained its position as America’s top-most authority on pure-breed standards by staying focused on its mission to maintain and promote the highest health benchmarks for purebred dogs.
Along with their rankings of the most popular dogs in U.S. homes, the AKC also categorizes popularity by major U.S. cities. Variations in preferences are interesting to note, as some cities prefer altogether different breeds than the rest of the country. In Chicago, for example, the Vizsla is one of the top ten most popular breeds, while it ranks at 42 nationally; and in Kansas City, the Belgian Malinois ranks at an impressively popular number eight, even as it stands at number 77 nationally. If you want to see which breeds are popular in your home town, see more at the AKC website.
Without further ado, here is the AKC’s Top Ten Breeds for 2008:
1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. German Shepherd
4. Golden Retriever
10. Shih Tzu
To see the rest of the 156 breeds on the list, you can visit the AKC Web site.
Image: Brandon Weight / via Flickr