Home Dog News This Year’s AKC Top Breed: Labrador Retriever

This Year’s AKC Top Breed: Labrador Retriever

This Year’s AKC Top Breed: Labrador Retriever
Photo: AKC.org/Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever just took home the AKC’s Top Breed Award for the 26th year in a row.

The esteemed Labrador Retriever just won the AKC Top Breed, as announced at the organization’s new pet care space, the AKC Canine Retreat.

The American Kennel Association, or the AKC, is America’s largest registry for purebred canines. Recently, they announced that for the 26th year running, the esteemed Lab won 2016’s most popular breed award.

The breed’s friendliness, athleticism, and helpful nature are just some of the reasons this breed took home the award yet again. They excel at sports and often assume life-saving roles such as search-and-rescue or K-9 police partners. Their good looks did not go unacknowledged, either.

This Year’s AKC Top Breed: Labrador Retriever
Photo: AKC.org

The AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo said that the breed is so versatile that it’s easy to see why it makes a great companion for a wide array of lifestyles.

But DiNardo also acknowledged the comeback of the Rottweiler, commenting that the breed has been quietly winning over hearts recently.

The Rottie hit the #2 spot on the charts in 1997, but experienced a decline in popularity in the past decade or two. Over the past ten years, the Rottie has climbed a whopping 9 spots, making its way back up toward the top.

In 2016, Rottweiler was the 8th most loved breed in the U.S.A.

The calm, confident, and courageous Rottweiler’s rising popularity should come as no surprise. The breed has strong protective instincts over its family, possesses fierce intelligence, and is working breed. They are especially adept at herding.

In this year’s #2 spot once again is the German Shepherd.

German Shepherds are renowned for their intelligence, obedience, and K-9 police abilities. In addition, they are also exceptionally loyal family companions, and strong working dogs. The German Shepherd also won the latest Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show’s Best in Show Award.

One breed family deserving a special mention is the Terrier family. The Russell Terrier cascaded a whopping 14 spots, up to 90th from 104th.

Both the Rat Terrier and the Dandie Dinmont Terrier climbed up 5 spots, and the Parson Russell Terrier rose 2 spots.

But according to DiNardo, the Lab isn’t going anywhere down on the charts anytime soon, and poses pretty stiff competition to all other competing breeds. Labs are most commonly associated with families and active lifestyles, whose categories comprise significant numbers in the dog owning or dog seeking demographic.

This Year’s AKC Top Breed: Labrador Retriever
Photo: AKC.org

It isn’t hard to deduce why Labs are so loved. Hardly anyone can say they ever met a vicious Labrador; their demeanors are overwhelmingly calm, happy, and lovable. They are obedient, loyal, and great at their assigned tasks.

Most breeds have a specific sort of person that they are compatible with. But whether you are a retired professor, a mother of toddlers, or an athlete, a Lab is a good fit. The same versatility is tough to come by in most other breeds.

Congratulations to a breed who deserves this most esteemed and prestigious award!

Cody has worked and volunteered with rescue animals her entire life. She worked as a veterinary assistant and technician in shelters, rescues, boarding facilities, doggy daycares and animal hospitals in New York and Chicago throughout her teens and twenties, and now resides as a pet foster mom in Upstate New York.