How popular is your pup? The American Kennel Club (AKC) just announced the organization’s annual list of dog breeds ranked by popularity. While many favorites remain near the top, there have been a few recent changes.
Labrador retrievers top the list for the 31st year in a row. French bulldogs maintained last year’s No. 2 spot, and golden retrievers jumped ahead of German shepherd dogs in third and fourth place, respectively.
Poodles edged out bulldogs for fifth place, making it the first time the breed has made the top five since 1997.
The organization took to Twitter to announce the top 10 breeds with gifs, such as this one presenting the two most popular of all.
#1 Labrador Retriever pic.twitter.com/pVpLhbHQ3b
— American Kennel Club (@akcdoglovers) March 15, 2022
The AKC used registration data to compile the list of 2021’s most popular breeds. The organization reports that there are currently more families with dogs than with children, and that the pandemic has prompted many first-time dog owners to bring puppies home. Because of this, the most popular breeds vary notably in size, temperament and appearance.
Here are the top 10 breeds for 2021:
- Retrievers (Labrador)
- French Bulldogs
- Retrievers (Golden)
- German Shepherd Dogs
- Pointers (German Shorthaired)
First recognized by the AKC in 1917, labs didn’t make the top 10 list until the 1970s. Finally, in 1991, they made No. 1, a record they have held for 31 years.
“Well-bred Labradors have absolutely the most wonderful temperaments,” Judy Heim, a long-time breeder and handler from Turlock, California, told the AKC. “They are not the smartest breed. We leave that honor to the Border Collie, but Labradors are one of the most intuitive breeds I have dealt with. I started in Labradors 49 years ago, have handled all breeds and I have wondered if I would find a breed I preferred to the Labrador. I have not.”
Though corgis sometimes seem to rule the internet, Pembroke Welsh corgis were just out of the top 10 on the AKC’s list, at No. 11, followed by Australian shepherds (No. 12) and Yorkshire terriers (No. 13).
Of course, the “best” breed is subjective. If you want a new furry friend and are considering several breeds, determine what will suit your family best.
For instance, if you would love a dog that’s big in size but low energy, you might prefer a Saint Bernard (No. 53) or Great Dane (No. 17). On the other hand, if loyalty is your favorite quality in a pooch, perhaps a boxer (No. 14) or Pekingese (No. 94) is in your future.
And let’s not forget mixed-breed pups. Adopting a dog from a rescue or shelter can be a fantastic way to find your new best friend and save a life. Who knows? They might even return the favor one day.