The American Kennel Club announced their annual ranking of the country’s most popular dog breeds this week, and there’s no surprise to which breed clinched the 2017 top spot.
Labrador Retrievers have been number one for the past 27 years in a row after dethroning the former favorite—the Cocker Spaniel—back in 1991. The Lab’s affectionate personality and goofy demeanor make it a great family pet, but they’re not the only breed worth noting.
The Lab’s popularity spreads across the country, but there are some cities where it doesn’t have enough clout to be put in the top spot. Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City reserve that honor for the French Bulldog. As small dogs that tend not to bark a lot, Frenchies are becoming a favorite for apartment dwellers. They’re ranked as number four nationally, and that’s coming up from being the 76th most popular breed 20 years ago.
Their popularity is partly fueled by media and celebrities, and many Frenchie fans are worried being popular won’t help the breed. As brachycephalic dogs, French Bulldogs have flat faces with shortened nasal passages. Their facial structure leaves them vulnerable to breathing problems, and many require expensive surgeries and veterinary treatments.
People want them because they’re cute, but many worry that too much attention will lead to under-informed owners and irresponsible breeders looking for money. As the breed continues to climb the ranks, prospective dog owners will need to do their homework.
Another dog breed that’s making waves in the ranks is the German Shorthaired Pointer. It made it into the top 10 for the first time in 2017. As part of the Sporting Group, GSPs are the overachievers of the dog world. They’ve been historically bred for hunting, and they’re also turning into a favorite when it comes to training dogs for bomb sniffing. At the same time, no one’s surprised when they take home gold at canine competitions like agility, nosework, dock jumping, and obedience. It’s no wonder they’re also beating out other breeds in popularity.
According to the AKC, here are the top 10 most popular dog breeds of 2017:
- Labrador Retrievers
- German Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
- French Bulldogs
- Yorkshire Terriers
- German Shorthaired Pointers
There are 190 breeds starting with the Labrador Retriever and ending with the least popular Norwegian Lundehund on the AKC’s list, and they all bring something different to the world. Regardless of breed, the most important thing to remember about dogs is they’re all individuals; with love and attention, they’re valued members of the family. And if “mutts” were considered a breed, we’re sure they’d also rank high on the list!
Check out the complete ranking of the country’s most popular breeds here.
(h/t: American Kennel Club)