The American Kennel Club tells us the Labrador retriever is the most popular dog in America for the 20th straight year.
The German shepherd is ranked second, with the Yorkshire terrier third. Rounding out the top five are beagles and golden retrievers, respectively. See the whole list at www.akc.org.
Animal welfare advocates would be quick to note that as a result of their popularity, more breeding female Labs suffer in puppy mills than any other breed. The stress is particularly acute on large dogs that are forced to stand on wire in cramped hutches for their whole lives. Shelter operators would also point out that thousands of Labs and Lab mixes - those often overlooked "black dogs" that languish in so many shelters - are widely available for adoption. Check www.petfinder.com to find a homeless Lab near you.
The AKC also has added three dogs to its list of registered breeds.