The American Kennel Club just released its list of the most popular dog breeds. Announcing that the Labrador retriever is once again (for the 22nd consecutive year) the most popular breed in the nation is kind of like announcing vanilla as America’s most popular flavor of ice cream. It’s just a given. But what about other sporting breeds? How did they fare? Let’s take a look…

From this press release from the AKC:
Proving that bigger really is better, the American Kennel Club (AKC®) announced today that the Bulldog has muscled its way into the top 5, becoming the fifth most popular dog in the U.S. according to AKC Registration Statistics, bumping the tiny Yorkshire Terrier into sixth place for the first time since 2003. The Golden Retriever also pushed its way back to the top, overtaking the Beagle for third place, and Rottweilers continued their climb up the top 10 list by taking ninth place away from the Dachshund, both adding to the bigger breed trend. Labrador Retriever lovers have again spoken – the playful, family friendly breed remains the number one most popular breed in the U.S. for the 22nd consecutive year, tying with the Poodle for the longest reign in the top spot. “Bigger breeds are making their move,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “The popularity of the pint-sized, portable pooch just gave way to a litter of larger breeds in the Top 10. These predictable, durable, steady breeds, like Labs and Goldens, are great with kids and offer the whole family more dog to love.”

German shepherds came in second, goldens were third and beagles came in at fourth. The complete list of registration rankings can be found here.

A few tidbits: the highest-ranked pointing breed on the list is the German shorthair, at 15th, English springer spaniels checked in at 29th, the Brittany at 31st, weimies 32nd, vizslas 34th, chessies 46th and English setters at 87th. These rankings, however, should be taken with a grain of salt concerning some sporting breeds, especially pointing dogs, as many of them (including every pointing dog I’ve ever owned) are registered with the Field Dog Stud Book rather than AKC.

Still, it’s fun to compare the various dog breeds, for meaningless bragging rights, if nothing else. How did your favorite breed fare this year?