Labrador Retrievers Yet Again Break AKC Top 10 Breed Record

Labrador Retriever most popular AKC breed

Do you love Labs? You’re certainly not alone. Just as it has for the past 25 years, the Labrador Retriever once again topped the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) 2016 list of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Its 26-year run at No. 1 is the longest of any breed in the AKC’s 123-year history.

“The Lab is such a versatile dog that it’s no wonder it makes a great companion for a variety of lifestyles,” said AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo. “Keep your eye on the Rottweiler, though. It’s been quietly winning hearts over the past decade.”

The Rottweiler was the eighth most popular breed in 2016, moving up one notch from 2015. This was its highest ranking on the list since 1997, when it was the second most popular dog breed.

The Poodle also rose one spot in the top 10, from No. 8 to No. 7.

Other breeds growing in popularity are various terriers, especially the Russell Terrier, which climbed from 104th place in 2015 to 90th place in 2016. The Rat Terrier jumped from 101st to 96th place, the Parson Russell Terrier from 111th to 109th place, and the Dandie Dinmont Terrier from 172nd to 167th place.

The only top 10 breed to drop a couple of notches was the Yorkshire Terrier, which fell from No. 7 to No. 9.

Here’s the top 10 list, with the 2015 rankings in parentheses. I’ve also included helpful links to national rescue organizations for these breeds. Adopt, don’t shop!

  1. Labrador Retriever (1)
  2. German Shepherd (2)
  3. Golden Retriever (3)
  4. Bulldog (4)
  5. Beagle (5)
  6. French Bulldog (6)
  7. Poodle (8)
  8. Rottweiler (9)
  9. Yorkshire Terrier (7)
  10. Boxer (10)

Here’s the complete 2016 AKC breed popularity list.

Photo credit: Jonathan Jordan

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!