Labrador Retriever, Other Large Dogs Top Popularity List

German Shepherd and Golden Retriever come in No. 2 and No. 3.

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The mild-mannered, family-friendly Labrador retriever is once again the most popular dog breed in the United States, the American Kennel Club reported Friday. Labs earned the top spot for the 23rd consecutive year, though the French bulldog could challenge for the lead at some point if its rise continues. The AKC found that the popularity of French bulldogs has jumped over the past decade, with a 323 percent increase in registrations since 2003. The breed is No. 11 on the list of the 2013 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.

Larger dogs dominated the list, with the Labrador retriever at No. 1, the German shepherd in the second spot and the golden retriever finishing third.

"Owning bigger breeds—an economic indicator of sorts—have been on the rise during the past five years,” AKC spokeswoman Lisa Peterson said. "As the economy has improved, people are turning back to the big dogs they love, which cost more to feed and care for than the smaller breeds that saw a rise in popularity in 2007 and 2008.”

The AKC, which maintains the world’s largest registry of purebred dogs, also found that some rare breeds whose registrations had declined over the past decade bounced back in 2013. Giant schnauzers rose from No. 96 to No. 83, the Keeshonden from No. 103 to No. 86; the Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever from No. 104 to No. 97; Irish terriers from No. 132 to No. 123; Kerry blue terriers from No. 130 to No. 126; Lakeland terriers from No. 137 to No. 134; Sussex spaniels from No. 169 to No. 162; and Dandie Dinmont terriers from No. 172 to No. 168.

The popularity of several Working Group breeds jumped by at least 10 points over the past decade—Doberman pinschers from No. 22 to No. 12, Great Danes from No. 27 to No. 16 and Bernese mountain dogs from No. 47 to No. 32.

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The Top 25 most popular dogs in the United States in 2013 were:

  1. Labrador retriever
  2. German shepherd
  3. Golden retriever
  4. Beagle
  5. Bulldog
  6. Yorkshire terrier
  7. Boxer
  8. Poodle
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Dachshund
  11. French bulldog
  12. Doberman pinscher
  13. German shorthaired pointer
  14. Siberian husky
  15. Shih Tzu
  16. Great Dane
  17. Miniature schnauzer
  18. Cavalier King Charles spaniel
  19. Pomeranian
  20. Australian shepherd
  21. Shetland sheepdog
  22. Chihuahua
  23. Boston terrier
  24. Permbroke Welsh corgi
  25. Havanese
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