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Labrador Retriever Reigns as Most Popular Breed in U.S.


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The labrador retriever remains the No. 1 most popular breed in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). 

While the labrador retriever continues its reign at the top, the German shorthaired pointer has been quietly climbing the charts over the past decade. This versatile, all-purpose hunter came in at No. 9 in 2018–its highest position since becoming recognized in 1930.

"The labrador retriever shows no signs of giving up the top spot anytime soon," said Gina DiNardo, AKC executive secretary. "Labs make wonderful companions for a wide variety of people, and for good reason. The breed is very intelligent, friendly and great with children. Attention must be paid to the German shorthaired pointer, however. This jack of all trades in the pointer world has slowly but steadily risen in popularity over the years. People continue to fall in love with its versatility, extreme intelligence and willingness to please." 

In addition to the country's most popular, rare breeds were on the rise in 2018. Pumik rose 11 spots last year (162 to 151), Ibizan hounds rose 13 spots (165 to 152) and Finnish Lapphunds rose 12 spots (173 to 161). Terriers also made a comeback after years on the decline. Rat terriers rose 11 spots (97 to 86), Border terriers rose four spots (92 to 88), Bedlington terriers rose 10 spots (151 to 141) and Dandie Dinmont terriers rose six spots (182 to 176).

The AKC's top 10 most popular breeds in 2018 are:

  1. labrador retriever
  2. German shepherd 
  3. golden retriever
  4. French bulldog
  5. bulldog
  6. beagle
  7. poodle
  8. rottweiler
  9. German shorthaired pointer
  10. Yorkshire terrier

Take a look at this year's most popular breeds in the gallery below.

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