News

Labrador is America’s ‘top dog’

Labrador is America’s ‘top dog’

TOP DOG: Labrador retrievers enjoy the longest consecutive reign of any dog in the annual ranking compiled by the American Kennel Club, or AKC, which bases its list of the most popular breeds on the number of dog registrations across the country. Photo: Reuters

By Marina Lopes

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Labrador retriever is the most popular dog breed in the United States for the 23rd straight year, but the French bulldog has gained ground by leaps and bounds, the American Kennel Club said on Friday.

Labrador retrievers enjoy the longest consecutive reign of any dog in the annual ranking compiled by the American Kennel Club, or AKC, which bases its list of the most popular breeds on the number of dog registrations across the country.

The German shepherd took second place, followed by the golden retriever and the beagle, respectively. Breeds pulling ahead in the pack included the Doberman pinscher, which scurried past 20 other breeds to 12th place and the Great Dane, which made an 11-place jump to 16th.

In a testament to their growing popularity, large breeds dominated the list.

“Owning bigger breeds – an economic indicator of sorts – has been on the rise during the past five years,” said Lisa Peterson, a spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club, or AKC.

“As the economy has improved, people are turning back to the big dogs they love, which cost more to feed and care for than the smaller breeds that saw a rise in popularity in 2007 and 2008,” during the financial crisis, she said in a telephone interview.

The English bulldog is the most popular breed in New York City, while the French bulldog rose three spots to No. 11 on the national list, its highest ranking.

“That’s a big jump. I haven’t seen anything like that in any breed,” Peterson said.

The breed has seen a 323 percent leap in registrations since 2003, according to the AKC. The club would not provide registration numbers.

French bulldogs require minimal grooming and exercise, making them an ideal choice for owners in apartments and suburbs.

“It’s a wash-and-wear, easy to care for companion dog,” Peterson, the AKC spokeswoman said.

After a decade in decline, rare breeds made a comeback. Giant schnauzers, the largest of the schnauzer breeds, climbed 13 places in the rankings. The keeshond, a medium-size dog with a plush silver and black coat, scrambled up 17 places.

The AKC announced its rankings in advance of next month’s Westminster Kennel Club dog show. The United States’ most prestigious dog competition culminates with the “best in show” award at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

Three new breeds will compete this year: rat terriers, Chinooks, and Portuguese Podengo Pequenos.

(Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Patricia Reaney and Jonathan Oatis)

Local Headlines

in Local

Education Funding

statehouse

Lawmakers from the Democratic-majority Senate and Republican-controlled House remain at odds over education funding...

in Local

Cherokee Standoff Plea Deal

courtnews1240

A Cherokee man who'd held officers at bay in a Cherokee County home has taken a plea deal...

in Local

Governor’s Appointees

branstad

Governor Terry Branstad announced appointments to fill Iowa's boards and commissions, and executive branch department directors...

in Local

Bullying Legislation

statehouse

Legislation aimed at expanding guidelines for Iowa educators who respond to school bullying has advanced in the House...

in Local

Mailed Drug Arrest

News Arrest1240 1

A Spencer woman is arrested after receiving drugs in the mail...