Labrador retrievers set popularity-ranking record - New York News

Labrador retrievers set popularity-ranking record

Posted: Updated:

By JENNIFER PELTZ
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - It's puppy love for the record books: The Labrador retriever was the nation's most popular dog breed last year for a 23rd year in a row, the American Kennel Club announced Friday.

That's the longest any breed has been top dog since the organization's 1884 founding.

German shepherds, golden retrievers, beagles and bulldogs are holding steady in the top-five pack, with Yorkshire terriers, boxers, poodles, Rottweilers and dachshunds continuing to round out the leading 10, which mirrors last year. But the comical French bulldog is newly on their heels after a decade-long popularity spurt.

Surpassing the poodle's 22-year reign some decades ago, the Lab has proliferated as a congenial, highly trainable dog that was developed to fetch game but has taken other roles in stride.

"It does so many different things really well - it excels as a family companion, it's an awesome hunting dog, and it also has a great presence as a service and law-enforcement search-and-rescue dog," AKC spokeswoman Lisa Peterson said.

The rankings reflect newly registered dogs, mostly puppies. The AKC doesn't release exact numbers but estimates its registry has included more than 40 million purebred dogs over its history.

The top 10 remains a testament to the variety of purebreds, from the pert, portable Yorkie to the muscular, purposeful Rottweiler. But overall, the AKC has logged some leaning toward larger dogs in the past decade.

Shih tzus and Chihuahuas have dropped out of the top 10, while Rottweilers and bulldogs have marched in. Such big breeds as the Doberman pinscher, the Bernese mountain dog and even the great Dane have made double-digit gains on the popularity ladder.

But no breed has rocketed up the rankings quite like the French bulldog, now the nation's 11th most popular purebred after its numbers more than quadrupled in the last 10 years. The Frenchie was 14th last year - and 58th in 2002.

With foreshortened faces, large pointed ears and an attitude that's been described as "a clown in the cloak of a philosopher," French bulldogs were in vogue in the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century. Then their popularity waned until recent years, when they've gotten exposure in such venues as Martha Stewart's chic-domesticity empire, TV's "Modern Family" and a 2012 Skechers Super Bowl commercial.

Some people flock to Frenchies because they're compact and don't need a lot of exercise or elaborate coat care.

After 15 years of breeding cocker spaniels, Gale Golden had tendinitis in her elbow from brushing them, so she decided to try the short-coated Frenchie. Now she has eight.

"They have so many funny and endearing qualities," including being people-oriented, said Golden, of Marlborough, Mass. "A Frenchie is everyone's friend."

Still, popularity causes some consternation for aficionados, who fear demand can drive irresponsible breeding.

To be sure, dog breeding in general has critics who feel it's more focused on human tastes than canine health and draws dog lovers away from mixed-breed pets that need homes. Purebred fans counter that conscientious breeding aims to create healthy dogs with somewhat predictable traits, helping people and dogs make lasting pairings.

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Report: Joan Rivers stops breathing during surgery

    Report: Joan Rivers stops breathing during surgery

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:20 AM EDT2014-08-28 15:20:11 GMT
    Joan Rivers was reportedly rushed to a hospital in New York City Thursday morning after she stopped breathing during a throat surgery.  TMZ reports that Rivers was undergoing the throat procedure in a clinic when she stopped breathing.
    Joan Rivers was reportedly rushed to a hospital in New York City Thursday morning after she stopped breathing during a throat surgery.  TMZ reports that Rivers was undergoing the throat procedure in a clinic when she stopped breathing.
  • Report: Missing NJ man found dead in Israeli forest

    Report: Missing NJ man found dead in Israeli forest

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:13 AM EDT2014-08-28 15:13:32 GMT
    Israeli police said Tuesday they are searching for a young New Jersey religious student who disappeared during a hike in a forest outside Jerusalem last week. Aaron Sofer, 23, of Lakewood, N.J., has been missing since Friday, when he went on a hike with a friend in the Jerusalem Forest, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
    Israeli police said Tuesday they are searching for a young New Jersey religious student who disappeared during a hike in a forest outside Jerusalem last week. Aaron Sofer, 23, of Lakewood, N.J., has been missing since Friday, when he went on a hike with a friend in the Jerusalem Forest, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
  • RV offers legal help outside NY, NJ family courts

    RV offers legal help outside NY, NJ family courts

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:09 AM EDT2014-08-28 15:09:22 GMT
    A new assistance program in New York and New Jersey seeks to help parents settle child support battles.
    A new assistance program in New York and New Jersey seeks to help parents settle child support battles.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices