Labrador retrievers hit their 25th year as top US dog breed

FILE- In this Oct. 8, 2011 file photo, a Labrador Retriever emerges from he water with a toy at Valley Falls Park in Vernon, Conn. Known for being easygoing, multi-talented and friendly, Labs have held the top spot for longer than any other breed since the AKC started counting in the 1880s. (Leslloyd F. Alleyne/The Journal Inquirer via AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP/WISH) – The American Kennel Club has released its rankings of the nation’s most popular purebred dogs in 2015, based on the number of puppies and other newly registered dogs.

At the top of the list are Labrador retrievers. They’ve remand at the top of the list for a quarter century as America’s most prevalent purebred dog. But a new top dog is making some ground – the French bulldog. Other lesser-known breeds are also climbing the popularity ladder, according to American Kennel Club rankings released Monday.

Labs have held the top spot for longer than any other breed since the AKC started counting in the 1880s. Rounding out the top 10 for 2015, in order: German shepherds, golden retrievers, bulldogs, beagles, French bulldogs, Yorkshire terriers, poodles, Rottweilers and boxers.

So what to make of a list that includes both the toy Yorkie and the powerful Rottweiler?

Americans “like easy-to-care-for, fun family dogs,” whether that means big, strong animals that can protect their families or small pets with “big-dog personalities,” says AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo.

Here is the list of top dogs:

  1. Labrador retriever
  2. German shepherd
  3. Golden retriever
  4. Bulldog
  5. Beagle
  6. French bulldog
  7. Yorkshire terrier
  8. Poodle
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Boxer

The stats reflect puppies and other newly registered dogs; the AKC doesn’t release raw numbers, only rankings. They don’t include mixed-breed dogs (or hybrids such as Labradoodles and maltipoos that aren’t AKC-recognized breeds).

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