Beating the German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, and French Bulldog to the top spot, the Labrador Retriever has once again been named the nation’s favorite dog breed by the American Kennel Club, and it’s certainly not for the first time, as Paula Bullock veterinarian finds out. Here, the North Carolina-based expert and lifelong animal lover explores the breed’s incredible 28-year reign as America’s best-loved variety of pooch.
Based on registration statistics for the past 12 months, the American Kennel Club releases an annual list of its most popular breeds nationwide. Last year, the ever-popular Labrador Retriever topped the list ahead of the German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, French Bulldog, and Bulldog, which took second through fifth place, respectively. “It comes as little surprise that the Labrador Retriever should top the list once more,” says Paula Bullock veterinarian, speaking from her office in North Carolina, “having now been the most popular breed, according to the American Kennel Club, since 1991.”
The whole top five, in fact, Paula Bullock veterinarian goes on to reveal, has now remained unchanged since 2017. “In 2017, the smaller French Bulldog replaced the Beagle, and the thick-set, low-slung traditional Bulldog fell from fourth place into fifth,” she explains.
Prior to this, the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Beagle, and Bulldog had ranked first through fifth since 2013, according to the expert. “Although change is slow to occur at the top of the list generally speaking, it’s incredible to think that the nation’s favorite dog breed has remained unchanged for almost 30 years,” says Paula Bullock veterinarian.
Born in Lumberton, following high school, Paula Bullock attended North Carolina State University for undergraduate and veterinary medicine. She graduated in 1993 and completed an internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, before taking her first job at an emergency facility back in Raleigh, close to where she studied at North Carolina State University. “It’s amazing that, for as long as I’ve been a qualified veterinarian, our favorite dog breed in America has not changed,” Bullock points out.
According to Paula Bullock veterinarian, the Labrador Retriever’s place as the nation’s favorite breed of pooch comes down largely to its temperament. “Friendly, active, and outgoing, Labrador Retrievers make great pets,” she explains.
Sweet-faced and lovable, Labrador Retrievers are, Paula Bullock veterinarian says, also high-spirited companions, perfect for individuals or couples, and often similarly suited to family life, too. “Sweet-faced and lovable, Labrador Retrievers typically have more than enough affection to go around,” she reports, “regularly making them a wonderful choice for families looking for a medium-to-large dog.”
The Labrador Retriever was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1917 as its 74th breed. They now recognize a total of 196 distinct dog breeds, according to Paula Bullock veterinarian. “In addition to being America’s favorite dog breed among families, couples, and individuals alike, the Labrador Retriever,” adds the North Carolina-based veterinarian, wrapping up, “is also among the top breeds selected to be trained for guide dog duties, and to work in life-saving search and rescue roles, both in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world.”