The Labrador retriever has retained its crown for No. 1 dog in the United States.
The popular family dog
has topped the list for the past 22 years, one of several large breed dogs that continue to dominate smaller breeds, which have lost their popularity over the past decade, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).
"Bigger breeds are making their move," AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson said in a press release. "The popularity of the pint-sized, portable pooch just gave way to a litter of larger breeds in the Top 10. These predictable, durable, steady breeds, like Labs and Goldens, are great with kids and offer the whole family more dog to love."
The German shepherd took second place for the second year in a row, followed by the Golden Retriever, Beagle, and Bulldog. Bulldogs have steadily gained popularity, rising to number 5 from number 18 a decade ago.
"The bulldog has muscled his way into the top five," Peterson said, noting that the Yorkie was displaced to sixth.
The Labrador ties with the poodle for longest number of years in first place. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the poodle was the nation's most popular breed, the AKC said. This year, the breed is the 8th most popular.
So what is it about the Labrador that makes it so popular? Some owners say it's their loyalty.
"I have five, and she never leaves my side. They're just everyday, intelligent, loving animals," owner Micki Beerman told Reuters.
In addition to the national ratings, the AKC also released regional dog preferences. In New York City, bulldogs in particular have grown in popularity, nabbing the number two spot, and up-and-coming French Bull Dogs are 3rd.
Following the national trend, labradors took the number one spot in NYC, Yorkies also lost their standing -- from 1st to 5th in the past year.
The rankings will be officially revealed at next month's Westminster Kennel Club dog show, the nation's most prestigious dog competition held annually at NYC's Madison Square Garden.
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