Okay, America, I get it. The Labrador Retriever is known to be cute, sweet, loyal, and super small when they’re puppies. What I don’t get is how you continually make this breed #1 for over 25 years.
WTNH reports that for the 27th year in a row, America’s favorite breed is the Labrador retriever. Honestly, I can understand why labs dominate the annual American Kennel Club list year after year. However, the rest of the list is far more confusing.
Before I jump into that, let me preface that I grew up around labs. My neighbors down the road always had two labs (a black and a yellow) and they were, by far, the most behaved dogs on the street. They never broke loose, knocked people over, nor tried to bite me if I strolled by their yard. Yeah, I’m calling those English Springer spaniels and beagles OUT.
So, I get that they’re extremely easy-to-control and obedient. They’re a decent size and offer invaluable protection should the wrong person enter your property. Plus, they’re smart! Training them is kinda a breeze compared to other breeds. That’s what makes the Labrador Retriever such an attractive pet.
But being #1 for 27 years in a row? Whatever floats your boat, I guess. Then again, they are Connecticut’s favorite dog breed this year, too.
So, 2nd on the list again is the German Shepherd. Again, it’s a dog I have tons of experience with because I grew up around them. My dad’s K-9 companion was the white GSD named Patton. And, well, if you ask a CSP trooper that happened to be active in the 80’s about Patton, they’ll probably know exactly who you’re talking about.
Patton really loved his job, let’s say.
But besides Patton, my aunt owned (and still owns to this day) shepherds. Also, my sister owns 1, a working line GSD named Freyja. And, yes, the name definitely fits.
The fact of the matter is: German Shepherds are some of the hardest breeds to handle. They’re wickedly smart, stubborn, and STRONG. Not to mention, their size totally works in their favor.
I understand the allure of having a GSD at home because they’re the ultimate protector and are super loyal, but they’re not for everyone. Let’s just say they’re not for beginners and even some animal experts. Kinda like pit bulls. They require a ton of attention and guidance to become their best selves.
And, if they become bored… let’s just say they know how to entertain themselves. But, in a way you might not find conducive to your home life.
Still, it’s nice that the breed has significantly recovered from their nasty reputation they garnered in the 80s. If trained right (and I mean with A LOT of training) they make wonderful companions. Just like my sister’s dog, Freyja allows my 2 and 4-year-old nieces to climb all over her and genuinely adores the attention.
Would I ever own a German Shepherd? Eh, probably not. Their undying energy is definitely alluring since I’m a runner, but I see how much trouble these dogs love to get into. Also, my condo association banned the breed because a resident, who didn’t know how to handle the breed, neglected theirs.
Anyways, coming third again this year is the Golden Retriever. Honestly, it’s a no brainer. They’re gorgeous dogs and pretty easy to train. They’re also Hollywood’s favorite breed. Air-Bud, Homeward Bound, Up, Full House, FULLER House, Punky Brewster… the list goes on. They’re pretty easy to handle, too, if you enjoy endless games of fetch and chasing after them if they ever get loose.
They also… really love water so if you have a pool, you’ll want to fence it in.
Being in the top three is a huge honor in the AKC. It reflects what America currently values in a dog and, the biggest common denominators I can see are loyalty, size, and intelligence.
However, small breeds are starting to make a comeback.
The French Bulldog roared to the top 5 this year, coming in 4th and pleasantly surprising people everywhere. Maybe Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson had something to do with it. His Frenchie is absolutely adorable.
The French Bulldog is also the most popular dog in several major cities like New York or Los Angeles.
Anyways, here’s the remainder of the top 10.
- Labrador Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
- French Bulldog
- Yorkshire Terrier
- German shorthaired pointer
While the top three share some consistency, the rest of the list is kinda all over the place in terms of size, grooming needs, and temperaments. Then again, America is extremely diverse and people have different needs when picking a new member of the family. Neighborhood size requirements and restrictions have become a real pain lately, too.
Also, with home ownership on the decline and more people living in condos and apartments, smaller breeds are now increasingly attractive to property owners.
But, the top 10 is severely lacking the best dog of all: the rough collie. How it placed 40th this year is utterly baffling to me. Also, it hurts that the breed fell a total of 5 spots since 2014.
Collies are loving, loyal, gentle, excellent with kids, intelligent, and the ultimate sidekick. The only downside I can think of is they take a long time to groom because of their double coat. But, to me, it’s honestly worth it.
They’re gorgeous dogs who just want to please people. Plus, it’s so funny watching them run because of how much their coat bounces. It’s like watching a cloud with legs zipping all over the place.
To each their own, I guess. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion or favorite breed. But, if you are looking to add a new furry friend to your home and haven’t yet set on what breed of dog… consider the collie. Trust me.
So, hope you enjoyed me prattling off about dogs. What breed do you think deserves to be in the top 10? What breed should be #1? You know my answer, so I want to hear yours!