While Poodles are gaining popularity, Labs remain the No. 1 dog breed in the United States. 1 US dog breed

The Labrador retrievers still pull at American dog lovers hearts the hardest, but the American Kennel Club has just included poodles in its top five most beloved dog breeds.

While Poodles are gaining popularity, Labs remain the No. 1 dog breed in the United States. 1 US dog breed

The club's annual popularity ranking was released Tuesday. It is based on more than 800,000. purebred dogs and older canines that were registered with the nation's oldest registry.

The list includes 197 breeds that are recognized, including Labs (No. 1, for an unprecedented 31 consecutive years -- to the newly introduced Biewer terrier, making a strong debut at #82 and other unusual pups such as the hairless Xoloitzcuintli(#119).

Dog lovers will find plenty to look at (like #10 dachshund) and point out (#20 pointer). We've selected (like a border collie #31) the best highlights.


While Poodles are gaining popularity, Labs remain the No. 1 dog breed in the United States. 1 US dog breed

FILE - Memo is a Labrador retriever competing in the sporting group at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2018. The American Kennel Club's annual popularity ranking is out Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Labrador retrievers are the top-ranked dog. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

NEW YORK (AP), Labrador retrievers still tug at U.S. dog owners' heartsstrings but poodles have just stepped back into the American Kennel Club’s top five most beloved dog breeds for nearly a quarter of a century.

The club's annual popularity ranking was released Tuesday. It is based on more than 800,000. purebred dogs and older dogs that were registered with the oldest canine registry in America last year.

The list includes 197 breeds that are recognized, including Labs (No. 1, for an unprecedented 31 consecutive years -- to the newly introduced Biewer terrier, making a strong debut at #82 and other unusual pups such as the hairless Xoloitzcuintli(#119).

Dog lovers will find plenty to look at (like #10 dachshund) and point out (#20 pointer). We've selected (like a border collie #31) the best highlights.

EJ's CC Rider is a smooth 1-year-old dachshund who waits in the ring for the judges during the 132nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 11, 2008. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow File, File)

TOP 10

Labs is the number one breed after French bulldogs, golden retrievers and German shepherds.

Poodles ruled the world from 1960 to 1982, before they lost some of their popularity. They regained the fifth spot in the new statistics for the first time since 1997. (All sizes, including the standard and miniature, are counted as one breed.

Their proud stances and elaborate cuts in the show ring have earned them a reputation in some circles as being "froufrou", says Page Hinds Athan, a long-time owner and sometimes breeder of poodles from Roswell, Georgia. "There is more to them."

Poodles were originally water retrievers. They are still athletic dogs that are well-known for their intelligence and allergy-friendly hair. Hinds-Athan's Poodles have been to hospitals for therapy and are competing in obedience. Other poodles work as guide dogs for the blind, Hunt or compete in agility, or any other dog sport.

Hinds-Athan explains that intelligence is a result of high expectations. Hinds Athan states, "If you're going fuss at them then you better be really right." They will remember if you are not fair with them.

DOODLES AND OTHERS?

Many popular hybrids include Labradoodles (maltipoos), sheepadoodles (labradoodles), and maltipoos (poodles). These breeds are not recognized by the AKC, which is the governing body of many dog shows. Brandi Hunter, spokesperson for the AKC, said that poodle-mix owners have inquired about recognition.

To achieve consistency, it is important to articulate a breed ideal.

Hunter says, "The predictability of purebred dogs is one reason people choose them."

THE RARE IDE

Last year, the Norwegian lundehund was the most rare breed. in the U.S. is consistently sparse. These small dogs have extra feet and exceptional flexibility which allowed them to climb Norwegian cliffs to hunt puffins nesting within narrow crevices.

BREEDS ON The RISE

While the standings don't often change much from one year to another, they do change over time. Since the beginning of the century, eight breeds have risen to the top 25, including the Pembroke Welsh corgi at #11 and the great Dane at #17.

Some of them have achieved Olympian heights in popularity. French bulldogsnow #2, which are a common sight on TV commercials and streets throughout the world, were ranked at a distant 71st place in 2000. Since 2010, the cane corso was not recognized. It has since increased from 51st rank to 21st.

Mastiff-style, the cane corso is a mastiff-styled cane that was once used as a farm guardian and to hunt wild boar. It has been around for many centuries in rural Italy. Anthony Simonski, who owns or has bred corsi (that's plural), that compete in agility and dock diving, and appear in music videos and TV shows.

Simonski from Acworth, Georgia, says that while the dogs can be protective, it is not about being mean. It's about understanding their job.

Simonski, who has corsi since 1998, is married to Rebecca Simonski, Cane Corso Association of America President. Simonski has mixed feelings about the popularity of corsi, believing that it attracts questionable breeders.

He says, "There's a part of you that goes, 'Oh my God, the cat is out of the bags.' But the real problem lies in what people do with the cat once it's gone."

DATE ON DOG BREEDING

Animal-rights advocates argue that dog breeding is itself a problem. They claim that dog breeders are more concerned about dogs' looks than their health, and that purebreds promote puppy mills and abandon dogs in shelters.

According to the AKC, it and its affiliated breed clubs support and invest in dog health. This includes through an AKC-affiliated foundation. Club members also believe that breeding properly serves a purpose: to breed dogs with known traits such as size and sniffing ability that can be adapted to different lifestyles and human needs.

According to the club, purebred registrations have increased by 45% over a decade.

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