For the 26th Year in a Row, Labrador Retrievers Win Most Popular Breed in America

Posted by Amber King
yellow lab in snow

The Labrador Retriever holds onto its top spot as the most popular dog breed in the country.

Each year, the American Kennel Club (AKC) uses their reach as the nation's largest purebred dog registry to compile a list of the country's most popular dog breeds. At a press conference on March 21, they made an announcement that no one was particularly surprised about. Since 1990, the Labrador Retriever has ranked number one, and 2016 saw no change. AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo said,

"The Labrador Retriever has a strong hold on the top spot, and doesn't show signs of giving it up anytime soon."

These family-friendly dogs are known to be intelligent, loyal, and endearingly goofy. Their easy-to-love personalities make them excellent companions, and they're valued family members in homes across the country.

lab swimming

Labs are happiest when they're scooting in close to their owners and playing fetch, but their natural affinity for canine sports and service careers also contributes to their popularity. Born hunters and water-lovers, Labs are trained as hunting partners and known for excelling in sports like K-9 nose work and dock diving. It's also a common sight to see Labs working as K-9 partners, guide dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support animals.

Yellow, black, brown, or silver, Labrador Retrievers aren't hard to find, but DiNardo also mentioned another breed making its way up the list. Over the past decade, the Rottweiler has climbed its way up to the number eight spot. It's the closest its been since 1997 when it came in second place to the Lab.

rottweiler walking with owner

This year, second place went to another long-standing place holder, the German Shepherd. A German Shepherd took top honors at this year's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and according to the AKC, the breed has long since been known as a superior working dog. Here's what the coveted top 10 looks like this year:

2016 Most Popular Dog Breeds

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. German Shepherd
  3. Golden Retriever
  4. Bulldog
  5. Beagle
  6. French Bulldog
  7. Poodle
  8. Rottweiler
  9. Yorkshire Terrier
  10. Boxer

This year's top ten remained relatively unchanged from 2015, but further down the list, breeds vied for higher ranking spots. The Russel Terrier jumped an impressive 14 spots to be the new number 90, and the Dandie Dinmont Terrier went from number 172 to 167.

Did your dog's breed make the list? Let us know in the comments.

WATCH NOW: Labrador Retrievers Are Your Dogs Next Door

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For the 26th Year in a Row, Labrador Retrievers Win Most Popular Breed in America