Community Life

Local Lab Owners Love America's Top Dogs

Axl the Chocolate Lab is smart, patient, and good with kids. Credits: Nicole Kaplan
Lacey the Silky Terrier has a big bark that can scare away intruders. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
Mack the Labradoodle is a hypoallergenic dog. Credits: Catherine Glastal
Labs are America's top dogs for the 24th year in a row. Credits:
Miss P, a Beagle, was Best in Show at Westminster earlier this month, which result in an increase in the popularity of the breed, which currently ranks No. 5. Credits:
Bulldogs have leapt to No. 4 in popularity, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) annual rankings released on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Credits:
The poularity of the bat-eared French Bulldog is on the rise. Credits:
SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- The American Kennel Club (AKC®) today announced that the intelligent, family friendly Labrador Retriever holds tight to the number one spot on the most popular list for the 24th consecutive year, continuing the longest reign as the nation’s top dog in AKC history.
"Labs are fun, energetic, and loving. They are goofy which makes them a puppy for life, but they are not a good fit for people who can't keep up with their energy and antics," said Nicole Kaplan, who got her dog, Axl, when he was seven weeks old. "At age 10, he has not slowed down much."
"They are patient and great with kids. My daughters dress him up with tiaras and necklaces, and he just sits and wags his tail," Kaplan added. "He is gentle and loves attention; Axl just wants to be where we are at all times."
While the Lab holds strong, the Bulldog has quietly climbed the list, landing this year at No. 4 for the first time – its highest ranking ever. The breed makes an excellent family companion with a natural tendency to form strong bonds with kids. The Bulldog has an easy-to-care-for coat and needs minimal exercise. Its cousin, the pointy eared French Bulldog has broken into the top 10 for the first time in nearly 100 years.

1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd
3. Golden Retriever
4. Bulldogs
5. Beagles
6. Yorkshire Terrier
7. Poodle
8. Boxer
9. French Bulldogs
10. Rottweiler
Following the selection of Miss P as "Best in Show" at the Westminster Dog Show earlier this month, the Beagle may rise in next year's rankings, but is unlikely to unseat the Lab.
"The Lab truly is America's dog," said AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo. (Click here, to view the AKC's full 2015 rankings.
Among non-AKC breeds, the Labradoodle -- a Lab-Poodle mix -- is skyrocketing in popularity. The hybrid dog is intelligent, family friendly, has very little "doggie odor," and does not shed, which makes it a good choice for people who have allergies or asthma.
"Hypoallergenic is the number one reason we picked Mack," said Fanwood resident Catherine Glastal. "There is a cuteness factor, he's very smart, and loves everybody."
"Border collies are one of the most intelligent breeds. Shadow definitely seems to understand a lot for a do ," said Maggie Savoca. "She was quite easy to train as a pup and plays a lot of seek and find games really well. We researched a bunch of breeds and just really liked the look of the border collie. She has fit into our family seamlessly. Even now at 13 she still plays - just a bit slower.  Inside she is a great companion - she loves to be petted and just hanging out with the family."
Not every dog owner wants to have the most popular breed, however.
"I've always owned show dogs, and Silky Terriers are the best. I would never own another type of dog. They're small but not wimpy, they're really smart, and they don't shed. Most people are not allergic to them," said Scotch Plains resident Jackie Lieberman. "They have a deep bark, so intruders would think you have a big dog. They make great guard dogs."
"Silky Terriers aren't that popular, and we like it that way. They are not over-bred," added Lieberman, who grew up with show dogs. "Be sure to get your dog from a responsible breeder or a shelter."

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