The Labrador retriever was the most popular dog breed in the United States in 2014, but the big takeaway from the annual American Kennel Club survey is the country's continued love affair with small dogs.
The Washington Post reported that, as late as the early 2000s
, the United States was a place where medium to large dogs — which weighed from 20 to 40 pounds — were all the rage for pet lovers. That has changed in a big way, with the French bulldog, Yorkshire terrier, and beagle now among the country's top 10 favorite breeds.
"Since 1999, the number of big dogs has fallen off by nearly 1 million pets, the number of medium-sized dogs has dipped by roughly half a million pets, and — wait for it — the small pet dog population has grown by almost 15 million pets," The Post reported. "In 2008, for the first time ever, small dogs were the most popular sized dogs in America. And they haven't looked back."
The Labrador retriever remains king of the hill, though, according to the Kennel Club survey, one of the few constants.
"The intelligent, family friendly breed held onto the No. 1 spot on the most popular list for the 24th consecutive year, continuing the longest reign as the nation's top dog in American Kennel Club history," wrote the club on its website.
German shepherd was No. 2 on the list, followed by golden retriever. The Kennel Club said the bulldog's jump to No. 4 was its best showing in the breed's history.
"Bulldogs make excellent family companions with a natural tendency to form strong bonds with children, an easy-to-care-for coat, and minimal exercise requirements," the Kennel stated on its website.
The beagle came in at No. 5, Yorkshire terrier at No. 6, poodle at No. 7, and boxer at No. 8. The French bulldog, the Kennel said, made real history by breaking the Top 10 list for the first time in nearly 100 years at No. 9. The Rottweiler was No. 10.
But while there are dogs people love the most, there are also dogs people love the least.
"But the news does not only bring wagging tails: just as there are winners, there must be losers," Time magazine reported
. "The Norwegian Lundehund was the least popular breed, trailed by the English Foxhound, and the Cesky Terrier. It's a dog's life, little Lundehund."
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