HOT DIGGITY DOG
The most popular pooch in the U.S.A. is the Labrador Retriever -- for the 22nd consecutive year. That's the word from the American Kennel Club in its annual ranking, which is based on the year's registration of some 175 different breeds. And while the German Shepherd Dog is still in the number two spot, the Golden Retriever moved up a spot and shoved aside the Beagle for the number three rung. Larger breeds, it would appear, dominate over the pint-sized pooch. But the beloved Lab remains the champ, thanks to its well-earned reputation for playfulness and loyalty and its use as a police and search-and-rescue dog.
The top 10 dog breeds in America:
Most notable dog trends of the year:
Mastiff-type breeds have risen in rank, with the Mastiff going from 34 to 26 and the Bullmastiff from 47 to 39 over the past decade. In addition, the Cane Corso (67 to 60), Neapolitan Mastiff (116 to 112) and Dogue de Bordeaux (69 to 67) all made gains since the year they became recognized.
"Bully" breeds have pawed their way into people's hearts over the past decade with the Bull Terrier (79 to 51), Staffordshire Bull Terrier (91 to 76) and Miniature Bull Terrier (132 to 126) all making strong gains.
Dog owners are showing their love for sporting breeds over this past year as the Spinone Italiano (123 to 114), Boykin Spaniel (138 to 116) and Welsh Springer Spaniel (130 to 125) have all made their way up the list.
Small dogs that are on the rise this year are the Havanese (31 to 28) and Affenpinscher (139 to 138), while the Chihuahua (14 to 18), Pomeranian (17 to 19) and Pug (26 to 30) seem to have fallen out of favor.