A familiar choice made the top of the list of popular dog breeds for the 31st year in a row. But there was a surprise in the top five!
The American Kennel Club announced its annual list of America’s most popular dog breeds. The Labrador Retriever ranked in the top slot once again. That’s where we saw it last year — and for the past three decades.
The AKC bases the list on registries and says the Labrador Retriever dominated registries since the 1990s.
It cites the breed’s versatility and temperament for its popularity.
My dad had a black Lab, named Woody, that he brought home because he wanted a boating buddy. That didn’t work out so well, however. Woody, like most Labs, really really liked the water. My dad took him on a canoe trip. He quickly learned that Woody couldn’t resist hoping right into the water from the canoe. Dad would get him back in the canoe. Woody would then do the normal things dogs do when they get wet: shake off the excess water…all over Dad. Then, he’d hop right back in the water!
Woody was smart in a conniving way, but otherwise, he wasn’t the brightest bulb in the pack. But he was a character and had plenty of personality. So I can understand why the breed remains so popular.
But another breed hit the top five for the first time in a quarter-century!
The last time the Poodle made the top five breeds was in 1997. When I grew up, we had two Poodles. Both only lived to be four years old each. The first died after being hit by a car. The second died from some sort of pneumonia that caught even the veterinarian didn’t seem to see as that serious.
Both had strong personalities in their own way. The first was much more serious and the second was much more playful.
But they were very smart and watched every step you took.
Poodles are often at the top of lists of smartest dog breeds and I don’t doubt that. Unlike the Labrador Retriever, Poodles don’t shed and they’re considered hypoallergenic. I would think that alone would keep them at the top of the popular breed lists.
Given the fascination with hybrid breeds like Labradoodles — Labrador Retrievers and Poodles — I would imagine more people would look into either breed. So I’m not surprised that Poodles are near the top.
But I’m still a Rough Collie guy.
The first dog I had was a Rough Collie — the “Lassie” dog. My parents brought her home the Christmas right after I turned a year old. We grew up together and she looked after me like I was one of her puppies.
I’ve loved that breed ever since.
The Collie ranked 38th on the list. As smart and loyal as they are and as loving a breed as it is, they shed. If you have a Collie, you have a lot of dog hair. I can understand them not ranking higher.
But as far as I’m concerned, no matter which breed topped the list, for me, that 38th slot is the best!