Poodles pop in popularity, but Labs still No. 1 US dog breed

Published 7:06 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2022

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NEW YORK — Labrador retrievers are still tugging hardest on U.S. dog lovers’ heartstrings, but poodles just strutted back into the American Kennel Club’s top five most popular dog breeds for the first time in nearly a quarter-century.

The club’s annual popularity rankings came out Tuesday, drawn from more than 800,000 purebred puppies and older pooches that joined the nation’s oldest canine registry last year.

With 197 recognized breeds, the list ranges from such familiar furry faces as Labs — No. 1 for an unprecedented 31 straight years — to the newly added Biewer terrier (making a strong debut at No. 82) and unusual pups like the hairless Xoloitzcuintli (No. 119).

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For dog fans, there’s plenty to dig into (like a dachshund, No. 10) and point out (like a pointer, No. 120). So we’ve rounded up (like a border collie, No. 31) some highlights:

After Labs, the top 10 are: French bulldogs, golden retrievers, German shepherds, poodles, bulldogs, beagles, Rottweilers, German shorthaired pointers and dachshunds.

Poodles reigned as top dog from 1960 to 1982 before falling off somewhat in popularity. But in the new statistics, they reclaimed the fifth spot for the first time since 1997. (The standard, miniature and toy sizes are all counted as one breed.)

With their proud stance and elaborate cut in the show ring, “they do have a reputation, in some circles, as just being froufrou,” says longtime poodle owner and sometime breeder Page Hinds-Athan of Roswell, Georgia.