Labrador Retrievers are top dogs once again in the American Kennel Club's annual survey of most popular purebred dog breeds.
For the eighteenth straight year, labs took first place as the most popular breed in America. Trotting behind is the Yorkshire Terrier followed by the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever. The English Bulldog came barreling back last year, making its first appearance on the Top Ten list in 70 years.
The AKC says more than twice as many labs were registered in the U.S. in
2008 than the year before. Labs didn't even make the list in 1884, the year the AKC was founded. Back then Pointers and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers were the most popular.
Has the "Marley and Me" phenomenon - the brainchild of former Inquirer columnist John Grogan - helped keep the labs on top? Not so, says AKC spokeswoman Daisy Okas. She said in an email the breed was "melting hearts" long before the Marley book was a "gleam in Grogan's eye."
In a city-by-city breakdown the lab and Yorkie are one and two in Philadelphia followed by the Boxer - a tribute to Philly icon "Rocky" perhaps?
Pennsylvania shelter operators caution that labs and lab mix dogs are among the breeds most likely to end up homeless and urge prospective pet owners to consider adoption first.