5/29/2014 - Labrador Retriever maintains dominance in breed popularity
While dog lovers may agree that there's something to be said for small breeds, including their ease to maintain because they don't shed as much and take up less space in a home or apartment, registration numbers suggest that when it comes right down to it, bigger is preferred.
According to the American Kennel Club, for the 23rd year in a row, the Labrador Retriever was the most popular breed of dog among canine owners in 2013. A full-size Lab typically grows to be between 60 and 75 pounds among males, while females usually max out at 70 pounds. The two other big breeds that landed among the top three were the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever.
Lisa Petersen, spokesperson for the AKC, noted that because large breeds tend to cost more to maintain, this may suggest that consumers are doing well financially.
"Owning bigger breeds - an economic indicator of sorts - have been on the rise during the past five years," said Petersen. "As the economy has improved, people are turning back to the big dogs they love, which cost more to feed and care for than the smaller breeds that saw a rise in popularity in 2007 and 2008."
The more than two decade streak of the Lab being the most popular breed is the longest reign for any one variety of dog in AKC's history, the organization indicated.
Other dogs that could be frequently found in homes and apartments this past year, based on registration data, included the Beagle, Bulldog, Yorkshire Terrier, Boxer, Poodle, Rottweiler and Dachshund.
Though the vast majority of dogs are gentle and want nothing more than to please their owners, there are those instances where dog bites occur. In fact, May is National Dog Bite Prevention Month. Fortunately, homeowners insurance helps with liability. Between 2003 and 2012, there was a 1.6% decrease in the number of claims filed, while the average cost per claim rose more than 55%, according to the Insurance Information Institute.