Who’s our best dog?
America’s dogs are having their day as the coronavirus keeps many people at home more with their pets and spurs so much adoption and fostering that some shelters’ kennels have emptied.
But while much is changing for people and pooches around the country, here’s something holding as steady as a dog with a favorite toy: Labrador retrievers remain the nation’s most popular purebreds for a record-extending 29th year, according to American Kennel Club rankings.
The rest of the Top 10 includes German shepherds, golden retrievers, French bulldogs, bulldogs, poodles, beagles, Rottweilers, German shorthaired pointers — and, for the first time, Pembroke Welsh corgis.
The rankings indicate the relative popularity of different breeds among the 589,868 purebred dogs, mostly puppies, that joined the nation’s oldest dog registry last year. Registration is voluntary.
The list includes the 193 breeds that the AKC recognizes — no Labradoodles, puggles, Yorkipoos or other “designer” hybrids, at least for now. Breeds sometimes get added over time.
The chart also doesn’t reflect the everyday mixed-breed dogs that make up a vast share of the estimated 77 million or more canines in U.S. homes.
That corgi charm
Pembroke Welsh corgis (not to be confused with somewhat larger, longer-tailed Cardigan Welsh corgis) have a long history of herding cattle and sheep in their native Wales.
But Pembrokes have become best known as companions of their most famous fancier, Queen Elizabeth II. Another Pembroke was California’s social-media-friendly “first dog” for a time during former Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration in the 2010s.
The short-legged, long-bodied breed is known for being spunky and sociable.
Bobbe Lord of Boonton, N.J., a longtime owner and breeder, thinks Pembrokes got a boost in recent years from some popular, corgi-focused social media accounts and the Netflix series “The Crown,” which chronicles Queen Elizabeth II’s life.
“They’re really darned cute ... and they’re just fun to be with,” Lord said.