Depending on the region that you live in, your perception of the most popular dog in the United States may be a little different. In some areas, like large cities, small breeds are very popular. In some areas hunting hounds are the most common dog you see. But what’s the most common breed of dog in the United States?
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has recently named the sweet Labrador retriever as the most popular dog in America. Labs have actually topped the list for an amazing 25 consecutive years. The list is based on the AKC’s registration statistics.
The organization says that the popularity of the breed is likely linked to their intelligence and loveable nature. They are a very family-friendly breed and also very easy to train. Labs are common hunting dogs and also make wonderful service dogs too.
The top five most popular dog breeds in America are:
- Labrador retrievers
- German shepherds
- Golden retrievers
Rounding out the top ten are the French bulldog, Yorkshire terrier, poodles, Rottweilers and boxers. Last year, French Bulldogs were one of the biggest movers on the list, jumping from 11th place in 2013 up to 6th this year. Surprisingly, Chihuahuas have dropped a few spots over the years. In 2013 they were the 22nd most popular breed, and last year they dropped to 28th.
The Labrador retriever was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1917. They are a medium-sized breed with lots of energy. Labs are active, friendly and very outgoing. They are ideal family dogs and also tend to get along well with other animals.
In Maine, where I live, labs are very popular. In fact, we have an 8-month chocolate lab in our family. Our state is known for its abundant wildlife and pristine forests; that’s why hunting is such a popular recreational sport here. Because Labradors are so intelligent, they make great hunting dogs.
They are a double-coated breed, which means they require a bit more grooming and shed a lot, but their coat is also water-resistant. This makes a lab an ideal choice for hunting and retrieving water-fowl. This breed is also very active, so if yours is not a working dog he will likely require a lot of exercise throughout the day.
If you’re away from home a lot, a lab may not be the right choice for your family. Labs are social and active, and that’s a bad combination for a pet that will be left alone for long periods of time. Oftentimes when labs are surrendered to shelters or rescue organizations, it is because they are too hard to handle or are destructive when the owner is away.
Most likely, this is the case because the dog isn’t getting enough exercise or he is left alone too often. If your family is thinking about adopting a lab, you’ll need to make sure that you have time to give them the care that they will need. As I mentioned, labs are a double-coated breed, meaning they’ll also require regular brushing and they are seasonal shedders.
You can find out more about labs, and any other breed that you may be interested in, on the American Kennel Club’s website. Before adopting a dog you need to do research to decide which breed will best fit your lifestyle. If you’re looking for a dog that will snuggle on the couch and patiently wait for you while you’re gone to work all day, a lab probably isn’t the right choice.
If you’re active and you’re looking for a dog that will enjoy tagging along on your hiking trips, daily walks or bike rides, a lab may be the perfect choice. You’ll need to consider your family’s needs, your environment and your lifestyle when selecting your new canine companion.