Each year, the American Kennel Club (AKC) publishes a list of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, with the rankings being based on dog registration data. While 2021 showed some interesting movement in the list, as various breeds rose and fell in popularity. One constant, however, is the Labrador Retriever—it topped the AKC's list for the 31st consecutive year in 2021!
Although undoubtedly a very famous dog breed, readers may wonder just exactly why the Labrador Retriever has dominated the American dog market for three decades. A couple of important reasons the AKC offers include the breed's temperament and versatility. These traits make the breed a "something-for-everyone" dog—they can be serious hunting partners and gentle friends to infants.
The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th most popular breeds this year were the French Bulldog, Golden Retriever, and German Shepherd. Some other highlights of this year's list include the Poodle, Bulldog, Field Spaniel, Puli, and Biewer Terrier.
The Poodle has moved back into the top 5 (sitting at #5) for the first time in 25 years! This dog actually comes in three sizes: tiny, miniature, and standard. Originally bred as a hunting dog in Germany, the Poodle is highly active and requires a lot of exercise, regardless of whether it's a tiny- or standard-sized dog.
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The Poodle bumped the Bulldog out of the top 5 for the first time in nearly a decade. The Field Spaniel rose in popularity in 2021, jumping up 24 spots on the list to #136. On the other hand, the Puli dropped 21 places to #164. One breed that had not yet broken into the list, the Biewer Terrier, entered at #83.