Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

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NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: (L-R) Commander, a German Shepherd, Shayna, a Labrador Retriever, Major, a Golden Retriever, Max, a Beagle and Munch, a Bulldog pose for pictures as the American Kennel Club Announces Most Popular Dogs in the U.S. on January 30, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for the American Kennel Club)

The past year-and-a-half have been rough for my family. In November of 2019, our 14-year-old Boykin Spaniel mix, Cocoa, passed away while we were traveling for Thanksgiving. Then, earlier this month, my wife and I had to make the difficult decision to have our 15-year-old Australian Shepherd, Cali, euthanized. In both cases, the dogs had been suffering with health problems.

As hard as it was to say goodbye to Cocoa and Cali, it won’t be long before we begin looking for another dog, or two, to join our family. Sara and I are also close to becoming empty-nesters. Our youngest son will be graduating from high school next year. We’ll need some more paws in the house sooner rather than later.

Discussions have already begun about what type of dog we should get next. We are mindful of the fact that we’re not as young as we used to be, so maybe we wouldn’t be the best owners for a highly active breed. On the other hand, we tend to like medium to large dogs. What does the American Kennel Club have to say?

The AKC has just released the list of most popular dog breeds for 2020. The ranking is determined by the AKC’s registration stats. The top spot goes to the Labrador Retriever making it the 30th year in a row as top dog.┬áComing in second is the French Bulldog, third place goes to the German Shepherd, fourth is the Golden Retriever, and in fifth place is the Bulldog.

Studies show that the popularity of dog breeds can vary based on what’s trending in pop culture. When Lady Gaga’s French Bulldogs were kidnapped and later recovered, many of the news reports mentioned the current popularity of the breed. Also, if a popular movie features a specific breed, chances are that breed will increase in popularity.

Sara and I will keep mulling it over until we find the right dog for us. In the meantime, you can see the American Kennel Club’s complete 2020 most popular dog breed ranking HERE. The top ten are below:

  1. Retriever (Labrador)
  2. French Bulldog
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Retriever (Golden)
  5. Bulldog
  6. Poodle
  7. Beagle
  8. Rottweiler
  9. Pointer (German Shorthaired)
  10. Dachshund

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 28: Deli, a black Labrador Retriever puppy (L) and Ziva, a German Shepherd puppy attend as American Kennel Club announces Most Popular Dogs in the U.S. at American Kennel Club Offices on February 28, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for AKC)