I Heart My Pet
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, September 20, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, September 6, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, August 30, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, August 23, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, August 2, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, July 26, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, July 19, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, July 12, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, July 5, 2014
- Dog trapped at bottom of 40-foot pit rescued
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, June 14, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, June 7, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, May 31, 2014
- Ask Mike: Saturday, May 24, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, May 17, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, May 10, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, May 3, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, April 26, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, April 12, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, April 5, 2014
- Dog found in Hamilton returning home to Texas
- Stray dog to get new home
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, March 29, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, March 22, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, March 15, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, March 8, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, March 1, 2014
- Behaviorists: Dogs feel no shame despite the look
- Stray dog Hank becomes big hit in Brewers camp
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, Febuary 22, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, Febuary 15, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, Febuary 8, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, Febuary 1, 2014
- Arizona shelter has 36-pound cat
- Labrador retrievers set popularity-ranking record
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, January 18, 2014
- 18 Dogs Rescued from Local Puppy Mill
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, January 11, 2014
- Ask Kelly: Saturday, January 4, 2014
- Deep Freeze Pet Safety: Bring Pets Inside
- Emergency Workers Use Gifted Tool to Save Puppy
- Ask Kelly: Sunday, December 28, 2013
- Ask Kelly: Sunday, December 15, 2013
- Ask Mike: Saturday, December 14, 2013
- Cat emerges alive from rubble of burned shelter
- Probation in Animal Cruelty Case
- Ohio Senate Considers Pet Protection Orders
- Panda Cub Learns To Crawl
- Social Media App For Pets
- Kayak Encounter With 80,000 Pound Humpback Whale
- Rare White Bengal Tiger Cub Born In A Peruvian Zoo
- Rare Sumatran Rhino On Brink Of Extinction
- Green Township Family Dog Drowns in Flooded Basement
Labrador retrievers set popularity-ranking record
Updated: Friday, January 31 2014, 12:14 PM EST
NEW YORK (AP) -- It's puppy love for the record books: The Labrador retriever was the nation's most popular dog breed last year for a 23rd year in a row, the American Kennel Club announced Friday.
That's the longest any breed has been top dog since the organization's 1884 founding.
German shepherds, golden retrievers, beagles and bulldogs are holding steady in the top-five pack, with Yorkshire terriers, boxers, poodles, Rottweilers and dachshunds continuing to round out the leading 10, which mirrors last year. But the comical French bulldog is newly on their heels after a decade-long popularity spurt.
Surpassing the poodle's 22-year reign some decades ago, the Lab has proliferated as a congenial, highly trainable dog that was developed to fetch game but has taken other roles in stride.
"It does so many different things really well — it excels as a family companion, it's an awesome hunting dog, and it also has a great presence as a service and law-enforcement search-and-rescue dog," AKC spokeswoman Lisa Peterson said.
The rankings reflect newly registered dogs, mostly puppies. The AKC doesn't release exact numbers but estimates its registry has included more than 40 million purebred dogs over its history.
The top 10 remains a testament to the variety of purebreds, from the pert, portable Yorkie to the muscular, purposeful Rottweiler. But overall, the AKC has logged some leaning toward larger dogs in the past decade.
Shih tzus and Chihuahuas have dropped out of the top 10, while Rottweilers and bulldogs have marched in. Such big breeds as the Doberman pinscher, the Bernese mountain dog and even the great Dane have made double-digit gains on the popularity ladder.
But no breed has rocketed up the rankings quite like the French bulldog, now the nation's 11th most popular purebred after its numbers more than quadrupled in the last 10 years. The Frenchie was 14th last year — and 58th in 2002.
With foreshortened faces, large pointed ears and an attitude that's been described as "a clown in the cloak of a philosopher," French bulldogs were in vogue in the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century. Then their popularity waned until recent years, when they've gotten exposure in such venues as Martha Stewart's chic-domesticity empire, TV's "Modern Family" and a 2012 Skechers Super Bowl commercial.
Some people flock to Frenchies because they're compact and don't need a lot of exercise or elaborate coat care.
After 15 years of breeding cocker spaniels, Gale Golden had tendinitis in her elbow from brushing them, so she decided to try the short-coated Frenchie. Now she has eight.
"They have so many funny and endearing qualities," including being people-oriented, said Golden, of Marlborough, Mass. "A Frenchie is everyone's friend."
Still, popularity causes some consternation for aficionados, who fear demand can drive irresponsible breeding.
To be sure, dog breeding in general has critics who feel it's more focused on human tastes than canine health and draws dog lovers away from mixed-breed pets that need homes. Purebred fans counter that conscientious breeding aims to create healthy dogs with somewhat predictable traits, helping people and dogs make lasting pairings.
Reach Jennifer Peltz on Twitter @jennpeltz.