Lab Retains 'Top Dog' Title

The American Kennel Club reports today that the Labrador retriever continues to be the most popular (registered) purebred among U.S. dog owners--a distinction the favored sporting breed has held for 17 consecutive years.

In recent years, the Lab has led its closest competitor to the number one spot by nearly a 3-to-1 margin, based on the number of AKC-registered purebreds.

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Rounding out the AKC Top Five for 2007 are the Yorkshire terrier, German shepherd, golden retriever and beagle.

The AKC also breaks down the national data and provides individual metropolitan figures for 50 major U.S. cities.

Interestingly, Detroit, Knoxville, Miami, Honolulu and Orlando are the only cities where Labs do not reign supreme. Detroit and Miami favor the German shepherd, Orlando prefers Yorkies, Honolulu the golden retriever and Knoxville the boxer.

And yes, Labs are even top dog in New York City and other highly urban locales.

The AKC notes in its press material that the poodle and dachshund, breeds that held the top spot in Manhattan for the past three years, now share a tie for third place, ousted by the dominant Lab.

Keep in mind that the rankings refer only to AKC registered Labs, and not all purebreds or mixed-breed Labs.

Another interesting item of note: The beagle is the only breed that has consistently been included in the AKC Top 10 list since 1915—the year that record-keeping began. The popular rabbit-hunting dog held the number one spot from 1954 to 1959.