In fact, for the past 5 years, the top 5 breeds have remained virtually unchanged. German Shepherds are #2, followed by Golden Retrievers at #3 and Bulldogs – who snagged the #4 spot from Beagles in 2013.
So what is it about Labs that Americans just can’t get enough of? Let’s explore some of the possible reasons they have been the unchallenged champions for more than a quarter of a decade.
First off, they are ridiculously adorable as puppies! Chubby, clumsy and overflowing with extra skin to grow into, these black, yellow and chocolate fluff balls are the epitome of cuteness!
— Marie Sawle (@BillyandMargot) January 27, 2017
In addition to their stunning good looks, Labs are also smart, highly trainable and have excellent personalities. These traits make them the natural choice for families who need a patient, obedient dog to grow up alongside their children. Oh yeah, did I mention they’re great with kids? Labs really are the entire package!
On a more serious note, their intelligence and trainability have led countless private organizations, military and law enforcement agencies to choose them for service roles. Whether assisting people with mental and physical disabilities, sniffing out bombs and drugs, or assisting our brave soldiers overseas, Labs are nothing short of heroic in their professional endeavors.
Even Labrador Retrievers without formal service training have been known to rescue humans during fires, break-ins, and medical emergencies. They have an extremely affectionate nature and love of humans that inspires them to risk their own safety to help their owners – and sometimes perfect strangers.
As fabulous as our American Labradors truly are, AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo is encouraged to see another breed rapidly climbing the list. The Rottweiler stole the number 8 spot this year, and has been slowly climbing through the ranks for the past decade.
“The Labrador Retriever has a strong hold on the top spot, and doesn’t show signs of giving it up anytime soon,” DiNardo said. “The Lab is such a versatile dog that it’s no wonder it makes a great companion for a variety of lifestyles. Keep your eye on the Rottweiler, though. It’s been quietly winning hearts over the past decade.”
Rotties have a long, complicated history of discrimination and Breed-Specific laws/restrictions largely based on unfair stereotypes. As attitudes about so-called “dangerous breeds” change, these muscly blockheads are being recognized for the wonderful pets they are.
How did your breed do on the list? Check out the full rankings for the past 5 years from 1 – 189!
H/T to the American Kennel Club
Featured Image via Flickr/smerikal
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