Over the past decades, many things have changed, but one thing has not: America’s love for the Labrador Retriever. The breed continues its hold on Americans’ hearts for the 30th straight year as the most registered dog breed with the American Kennel Club. The German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever, previously the other top dogs in America, had to make way for trendy pooch the French Bulldog.
The breed rose 19 ranks in the past 10 years into rank 2 and is just the latest in a string of dog-related trends that have surged and ebbed through the list. In the 2000s, the Yorkshire Terrier climbed through the ranks and clawed on to the top 2 position between 2006 and 2008, but was out of the top ten in 2019. The Rottweiler was America's second-favorite dog throughout much of the 1990s, then fell out of favor and in the 2000s and only recently made a resurgence.
The Cocker Spaniel is the only dog that rose to the number one spot twice - in the 1940s the breed stayed on the top of the list for several years, but was dethroned by the Beagle in the 1950s, possible aided in its rise by a new cartoon gaining popularity at the same time: Snoopy. In the 1980, the Spaniel was back on top, ending the reign of the poodle as the most adored dog in the 1960s and 70s.
Now, the lab's success run has gone on for three decades. The record has been credited to the breed's ability to hold many jobs, from bomb-sniffer to service dog to hunter as well as their popularity as a family pet.