Labrador retriever wins top dog breed honor in US for record 28th year

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The loyal and dependable Labrador Retriever clung to the title of America’s most popular dog for the 28th straight year in 2018, the American Kennel Club said on Wednesday.

The top 10 dog breeds in the United States in 2018 remained unchanged from last year, except for the rise of the German shorthaired pointer and the decline of the Yorkshire terrier, which swapped ninth and tenth ranks, said the AKC, the world’s largest purebred dog registry. , based in New York.

After the Labrador, the nine most popular dogs in America in 2018 were, in descending order, the German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, French Bulldog, Standard Bulldog, Beagle, Poodle, Rottweiler, German Shorthaired Pointer and Yorkie. terrier, according to the organization which registers more than 1 million dogs and litters per year.

“Labs make wonderful companions – very smart, friendly and great with children,” AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo said in a statement.

The rankings are based on AKC registrations, with the Lab being the most registered dog in 2018, AKC spokeswoman Jessica Rice D’Amato said.

The Labrador’s 28-year run as the most popular dog breed in the United States eclipses the 22-year record held by the poodle in the 20th century.

The Labrador’s popularity comes despite a lack of prestige in the AKC show circuit. In 143 years of competition, a Lab has never won the Westminster Dog Show‘s Best in Show grand prize.

Still, their outdoor physique and family-friendly personality make them highly desirable as models for everything from pharmaceutical commercials to Ralph Lauren fashion shoots, said Cat Long, co-founder of professional agency All Creatures Great & Small. of animal talent in New York.

“They’re in demand for modeling, with yellow and chocolate being the two favorites,” Long said.

“He’s a classic, traditional American dog. They are known to be loyal and wonderful family dogs, gentle, intelligent, trainable, an incredibly well-rounded dog.

This week, Labs weaved its way into a new piece of history, escorting the first blind runner to complete the New York City Half Marathon without any human assistance. A relay team of three Labrador guide dogs ran with Thomas Panek in the 13.1-mile (21.08 km) race on Sunday, with each dog running 3 to 5 miles (4.8 to 8 km). The starter was a black Lab named Westley, followed by his sister yellow Lab Waffles with another yellow Lab Gus crossing the finish line.

Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Sandra Maler