Top Dog Breeds Reflect a Tough Year in D.C.


The American Kennel Club has released its list of the most popular dog breeds in D.C. in 2020. Not surprisingly, the Labrador retriever nosed out the golden retriever for the coveted number-one spot. The first- and second-place honors seem to make sense, given both breeds’ happy-go-lucky attitude — they were the perfect anecdotes to a stressful year.

Also, Labs and golden retrievers require lots of exercise to burn off their energy. Many who were looking to get outside during quarantine may have found their new companions to be welcome distractions.

French bulldogs snorted their way to number three. Known as the clowns of the dog world, perhaps their goofy, snoring ways are what we Washingtonians needed in lockdown while battling the coronavirus.

Rounding out the top five: the distinguished poodle and the strong and majestic German shepherd. Our guess is that the popularity of German shepherds will rise, since the breed is now represented in the White House by “first dogs” Champ and Major.

“It’ll be interesting to see where the breed lands in the 2021 rankings after Champ and Major Biden have been in the White House for a little while,” said Brandi Hunter, AKC vice president of public relations and communications.

Animals were rescued in record numbers last year, mostly due to the pandemic. According to Time magazine, which named rescue animals the 2020 Pet of the Year, the demand for animal adoption is skyrocketing. Animal welfare organizations saw a spike across the country last spring when lockdowns began.

The Bidens adopted Major from a Delaware animal shelter in 2018. His brother, Champ, was adopted 10 years earlier.

“We did see an uptick in the demand for dogs during the pandemic. We urge people looking to add a dog to their home to do research and make sure they get a dog that fits into their lifestyle,” Hunter said.

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