No. 1 Labrador retrievers reigned as the nation’s top dog last year for the 24th year after breaking poodles’ decades-old record in 2013, according to American Kennel Club. Labrador retrievers hit the top 10 in the 1970s and haven’t left since. Originally bred to fetch game, Labs have proven able and willing to play virtually any canine role: search-and-rescue and police work, agility and other dog sports, guide and therapy dog work, and sensitive family companion. Breeder Micki Beerman recalls one of her Labs winning over a hesitant child by gradually moving closer, until the child began to pet the dog. “They’re just very intuitive,” said Beerman, of Brooklyn. “They kind of know when you need them.”
Kathy WillensAP FILE PHOTO
No. 2 Lexy the German shepherd works as a therapy dog at Fort Bragg, NC. German shepherds – intelligent, hard-working and easy to train – ranked No. 2 in the American Kennel Club’s list of America’s favorite dogs.
Alex SanzAP FILE PHOTO
No.3 Always an American favorite, golden retrievers came in at No. 3 in the American Kennel Club rankings released Thursday. Here, Golden retrievers Tweed, 5, right, and puppy Gypsy, from Campbellville, N.Y., play during a 2014 news conference at the American Kennel Club in New York.
Anne Chadwick WilliamsBee file photo
No. 4 Bulldogs’ rise to No. 4 on the American Kennel Club list is no surprise to fans who extol their unmistakable, push-faced expressions and generally calm demeanors. Here, a bulldog named Munch, left, and a puppy named Dominique attend a 2013 news conference at the American Kennel Club in New York.
Seth WenigAP FILE PHOTO
No. 5 Miss P, the 15-inch beagle, competes Feb. 17, 2015, at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York, where she went on to win Best in Show group. Beagles are holding their own in the club’s rankings, coming in at No. 5. Rounding out the top 10 were Yorkshire terriers (6), poodles (7), boxers (8), French bulldogs (9) and Rottweilers (10). The dachshund dropped out of the top 10.
Frank Franklin IIAP
No. 6 A Yorkshire Terrier named Massimo relaxes on his grooming table at the Westminster Kennel Club show in New York,
No.7 Phoebe, a standard poodle. Poodles come in three sizes and several color variations
No.8 A Boxer called Semi pictured at the Rose City Classic Dog Show in Portland, Ore., on January 16, 2015.
No.9 The French bulldog – smaller, and less jowly than a bulldog and sometimes dubbed “a clown in the cloak of a philosopher” – has surged from 49th to 9th in a decade. The French bulldog entered the top 10 for the first time since the decade of the 1910s (the breed was ranked 11th in 2013). Frenchies were No. 6 in the decade of the 1910s, but their prevalence later waned. Appearances in movies, TV shows and advertising raised their profile in recent years.
Seth WenigAP FILE PHOTO
No. 10 Rottweilers were originally bred to herd cattle and are happiest when working.
Fred R. ConradThe New York Times