The American Kennel Club (AKC®) announced its nationwide registration statistics today, revealing that for the 20th consecutive year, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed in America.
This year's list included some shakeups in the top 10 - the Beagle overtook the Golden Retriever for the 4th spot and the Bulldog, who has been steadily rising up in rank, took 6th place away from the Boxer, who dropped to 7th in 2010.
"Not since the early 20th Century has the Bulldog enjoyed such sustained popularity," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "'Bob' was the first AKC registered Bulldog in 1886, and today the breed enjoys its highest ranking in 100 years at number 6."
2010 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.
1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd Dog
3. Yorkshire Terrier
5. Golden Retriever
10. Shih Tzu
Most Notable Dog Trends On This Year's List Include:
The most popular breeds with the biggest increase in rankings over the past year include the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (from 108th to 93rd), the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (from 101st to 88th) and the Smooth Fox Terrier (from 123rd to 110th).
The French Bulldog made the largest leap in the past decade, jumping 50 places from 71st to 21st. Other breeds with the biggest increase in rankings over the last decade include the Havanese (from 86th to 31st) and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (from 54th to 23rd).
Closing the gap this year, a couple of breeds that had been on the decline over the past decade made double digit increases over the past year -- Keeshonden (from 102nd to 87th) and Anatolian Shepherd Dogs (from 115th to 109th).
"Bully" breeds have been steadily increasing over the past decade, including the Bull Terrier (from 78th to 53rd) and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (from 97th to 74th).
Among smaller dogs that rose in the rankings were the Yorkshire Terrier (from 7th to 3rd), the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (from 54th to 23rd) and the Havanese (from 86th to 31st), proving that they are top of the Toys.
A trend toward larger breeds is seen with the rise of the Great Dane (from 28th to 17th), Mastiff (from 39th to 28th), Newfoundland (from 53rd to 44th), Bernese Mountain Dog (from 58th to 39th) and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (from 104th to 88th).
Three new breeds entered AKC's registry in 2010, and the larger the breed, the higher they appeared in the rankings. The Leonberger, the largest of the new breeds, was ranked 33rd; the Cane Corso ranked 51st; and the smallest of the new breeds, the Icelandic Sheepdog, came in at 82nd.
In addition, the AKC expanded its litter of registered breeds on January 1 to welcome the Norwegian Lundehund, the Xoloitzcuintli and the Entlebucher Mountain Dog - growing next year's list of Most Popular Breeds to 170 dogs.