Labrador retriever tops list of the most popular dog breeds of 2021

Dogs come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, styles and personality types. Every dog is beautiful in its own way, and all dog owners have their preferences of what kind of dogs suit them best.

So it’s always interesting to see what dog breeds are the most popular. In this year’s annual ranking by the American Kennel Club, a familiar favorite once again proved to be America’s “favorite” dog.

The AKC ranked the top registered dog breeds in the US for 2021, and the most popular dog breed is the Labrador Retriever, which has topped the list for a whopping 31 years in a row.

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Labrador Retrievers are known for being loyal and friendly, so it’s not surprising that so many people continue to pick them as their family pet.

But while some things stay the same, other things change over time, and the rest of the list shows some changing trends in what breeds dog owners love most.

The poodle, for instance, made it into the top 5 for the first time since 1997, according to AKC. The Field Spaniel saw a boost in popularity this year, going up 24 spaces in the ranking, while the Puli dropped 21.

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At the very bottom of the list โ€” ranking at #197 of the 197 breeds โ€” is the Norwegian Lundehund, or “puffin dog,” a breed originally bred to retrieve puffins and their eggs from steep, inaccessible cliffs.

It seems they haven’t quite taken off as a popular American pet.

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According to AP, the list tends to stay the same year-to-year but can change drastically over time. The English bulldog, for instance, started the century at #71, but is now the second-most popular breed overall.

While these statistics are interesting to look through for dog lovers, it comes with a caveat that the list only ranks purebred dogs that have been registered with the American Kennel Club.

There has always been a debate about purebred dogs: defenders say that breeding dogs with certain distinct attributes is useful in that they can fit different human lifestyles, while detractors have questioned the health of many purebred dog breeds.

And there’s the issue of purchasing a purebred dog from a breeder while there are many adoptable dogs in shelters. While we love Labrador Retrievers and poodles as much as anyone, it’s important not to forget about all those mutts and rescue dogs.

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But statistics show that more and more people seem to be taking the “adopt, don’t shop” motto to heart: in 2021, adoption rates were the highest they’ve been in years with over a million pets adopted.

And according to AP, the American Kennel Club has seen a 45% decrease in purebred registrations.

What do you think of this ranking by the American Kennel Club? Where does your favorite dog rank? Share this story with your thoughts!

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