Just as they have for the past 21 years, Labrador Retrievers earned the top spot on the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) list of the most popular U.S. dog breeds in 2011. If Labs keep the No. 1 spot in 2012, they will tie the Poodle’s record of 22 consecutive years.
And just as they have since 2009, German Shepherds are still nipping at Labs’ heels for first-place honors.
Beagle fans will be happy that this breed has bounded up to third place.
“While the Labrador Retriever has proven once again to be a family favorite, this year clearly belongs to the Beagle,” AKC Spokeswoman Lisa Peterson said in a statement. “The Beagle’s merry personality combined with his love of outdoor activities make him such a wonderful family pet that I wouldn’t be surprised to see this spunky breed sniff his way to the top of the list next year.”
These are America’s top breeds of 2011 (their 2010 rankings are in parentheses):
The AKC recognizes 173 breeds. To see where your favorite ranked in the 2011 list, check out AKC Dog Registration Statistics.