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Labs Stay Popular: American Kennel Club’s Most Popular Dogs

by Joe Genzel   |  March 7th, 2012 4

This breed continues to be No. 1

The American Kennel Club recently announced its list of the most popular dogs in the U.S. Wouldn’t you know it, the Labrador came in first—a spot it has held for 21 years. And, why not? This breed makes for an excellent family pet, not to mention the fact it’s one of the most versatile hunting dogs around.

There aren’t many working dogs that can excel in the upland and the water. If you’re a pheasant and duck hunter, it’s tough to beat a Lab, especially if he’s a pointing Lab.

Moving up a spot to fourth, is the golden retriever, just behind the beagle and German Shepard—one of my favorites. A state trooper friend of mine was just delivered one of these “pups” (just barely a year old, Dax is already over 80 pounds). Obviously, not a gun dog, but what a beauty.

Another friend recently purchased a yellow pointing Lab, which comes from a long line of champions—or so he was told. We’ll find out soon enough. Again, I love this breed’s ability to hunt multiple types of game. They may not be as accomplished in the field as a pointer or setter, or as stout as a Chessie in the water, but you won’t find many dogs that can excel at both, like a Lab does.

Here’s the full listing of AKC’s Top 10:

2011 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.

2010 Ranking

1. Labrador Retriever 1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd Dog 2. German Shepherd Dog
3. Beagle 3. Yorkshire Terrier
4. Golden Retriever 4. Beagle
5. Yorkshire Terrier 5. Golden Retriever
6. Bulldog 6. Bulldog
7. Boxer 7. Boxer
8. Poodle 8. Dachshund
9. Dachshund 9. Poodle
10. Rottweiler 10. Shih Tzu
  • Holum

    Bulldogs are a genetic mess, but a veterinarians dream.

    • Drahthaar

      The curse of any popular AKC breed. Uncontrolled breeding for profit…..Don't you think there are some genetic messes in the 150,00 Labs whelped every year? We just hear about the good ones, and with those numbers, there have to be some good ones….

  • Jane Edwards

    I raised labradors on our farm for years – never had more than 4 adult dogs at a time, raised 1 litter per year. They were housed outside in runs with insulated houses and smooth 1" chain link fence. The kids and I raised them and sold them. When the vet came to work on the hogs or cattle, he brought vaccine for the pups. I quit raising puppies when the kids were in college and had my own white lab who died 4 years ago and now because of the new breed regulations, I cannot find a purebred lab anywhere that I can afford and neither can my daughter who is a CPA in southern Illinois. I live near St. Louis in Missouri. Where can you get a pu rebred lab for hunting or for a pet?

    • KGB


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