This just in: Humans held a popularity contest for man’s best friend and the best in show is the lovable Labrador Retriever. Here are the deets: The American Kennel Club, that venerable institution of purebreds and dog shows, just announced its membership survey of most popular breeds. Did your handsome little guy or sweet little girl at home make the list? Read on.
1. Labrador Retriever
They’re gentle with the family but tough on crime (they’re especially talented sniffer-outers). That—plus sleek coats in yellow, chocolate and black—explain why this is the AKC’s top dog for 26 years in a row.
2. German Shepherd
Forget any connotations with the Five-O, this breed is all love. Maybe just give your mailman treats in advance to butter up your new puppy.
3. Golden Retriever
Preppy as hell, this breed’s ancestors hail back to the gamekeepers on the estate of the Scottish Lord Tweedmouth. No wonder these dogs like to act silly, they must be remembering that name.
With a short smushed nose and the bandy front legs of a canine Popeye, these are so funny-looking that they are beautiful. So what if their snoring keeps you up at night? Every night…
America’s love affair with medium-sized dogs eases a bit now that the beagle has made the list. He’s a hare-hound at heart, so be sure to hold the leash tightly when you’re approaching the yard of that damn cat.
6. French Bulldog
Pretty much the dog for the Instagram age: small and cute, with ridiculous bat ears and a jaunty little trot. (Fun fact: This is New York City’s most popular breed.)
The AKC wants to dispel “the old stereotype of poodles as a foofy velvet-pillow dogs looking down their long noses at us.” Fine. (And their popularity increased since last year’s list, so take that, macho dogs.)
A solid working dog, these have a fancy history accompanying soldiers in ancient Rome. Today he still looks that imposing, but he’s great with kids and increasing in popularity in the U.S., possibly due to the irresistible children’s book Good Dog, Carl.
9. Yorkshire Terrier
At around ten pounds, with a mass of flowing hair begging to be brushed into a top knot, the Yorkie is the American Doll of pets.
These sinewy creatures are super-smart, independent and love playing with children. But since they also love to jump using their muscular legs, just make sure they know the command “Down!” first.