The Labrador Retriever Is No Longer America’s Favorite Dog Breed

Cute Labrador Retriever Puppies America's second favorite dog breed

iStockphoto / GlobalP / Thomas Pajot

It has been 31 years since the Labrador Retriever wasn’t the top dog breed in America, but it has just been unseated by the French Bulldog.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) tracks registrations annually. For 31 straight years, the Labrador Retriever had been America’s favorite dog breed.

The AKC recently announced their most popular breeds of 2022, based on registrations, and the list goes (1) French Bulldogs, (2) Labrador Retrievers, (3) Golden Retrievers, (4) German Shepherds, and (5) Poodles.

They reported:

The French Bulldog has moved into the number one position after climbing the ranks in popularity over the last ten years. In 2012, the Frenchie was ranked at No. 14. Since then, registrations have increased by over 1,000%, bringing this playful breed to the top. French Bulldogs held the No. 2 spot in 2021.

There are just as many Frenchie haters out there as lovers. It’s a polarizing breed due to be sure.

As a breed, they are often plagued by breathing issues and skin allergies. They certainly wouldn’t pass the ‘would this animal survive in the wild?’ test.

Some people are picking the numbers part. A viral Twitter thread notes that there were about 750,000 AKC registrations last year out of 76 million pet dogs in the US.

But that’s the same data that has been used to track the ‘most popular breeds’ the entire time that Labs were on top. Furthermore, most dog breeders who breed purebreds automatically register their pups when they sell them.

Other movers on the list of America’s Favorite Dog Breeds include Rottweilers moving up to #7 (from 8), and the Dachsund up to #9.

Personally, as a Bernese Mountain Dog (#22) family I’m just glad to see that BMDs are more popular than toy breeds like Havanese and Pomeranians. If a dog is the size of a cat, it might as well be a cat.

The Labrador Retriever is my second-favorite dog breed behind the Bernese Mountain Dog. I grew up with labs. We had a black lab and a chocolate lab when I was a little kid and a yellow lab later. They truly are the best (behind Bernese).

It will be interesting to see if they can reclaim their title as America’s favorite dog breed in 2023.

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