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3/5/2013 - Large breeds make a comeback

Large breeds are once again becoming more popular across the country.

While smaller dogs may at one time have been all the rage among pet lovers, larger breeds appear to be in vogue nowadays, a new report suggests.

According to the American Kennel Club, of the 10 most popular dogs in the U.S. - which were determined by the number of registrations in individual states - seven classify as large breeds.

For the 22nd straight year, the most-registered dog of them all was the Labrador Retriever. This puts the Lab in a tie with the Poodle for the longest string of years atop the AKC's list.

Other large pooches that finished in the top 10 included the German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Bulldog, Boxer, Poodle and Rottweiler.

Lisa Peterson, spokesperson for the AKC, noted that there's plenty of positive attributes to enjoy about canines that tower over their smaller contemporaries.

"Bigger breeds are making their move," said 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."

Small breeds still worked their way into the hearts of many Americans last year. The fourth-most popular dog in America in 2012 was the Beagle, while the Yorkshire Terrier and Dachshund finished in the sixth and 10th positions, respectively.

No matter what size a dog is, though, they always hold the potential for biting someone should they be scared or provoked. Dog bites were so common in 2011, nearly one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims related to them, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

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