One dog breed stands above the rest every year. In the case of the best dog breed of 2023, it’s not its first time in the spotlight. We reveal which comes out on top in this article. And we share what makes the dog so special.
Let’s jump in!
What Is the Best Dog Breed of 2023?
The prize for the best dog breed of 2022 went to the French Bulldog. However, the breed that came in 2nd place was the Labrador Retriever. With magnificent traits and characteristics, the lab has been the most popular dog breed since 1991, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The AKC uses registration data to compile its lists. While their 2023 list hasn’t been released yet at the time of this article, the Labrador Retriever is the best breed as far as we’re concerned. Labs and lab mixes typically have a good temperament and adaptability, making them a popular choice for individuals and families.
Keep in mind: The stats the AKC uses are purebred registration numbers. If we used shelter numbers, the most popular breed would be an American Pit Bull Terrier mix.
How Many Years in a Row Has the Labrador Retriever Been the Best Dog Breed?
The Labrador Retriever has been crowned the best dog breed for over 30 years by the AKC. That’s three decades! The beloved breed is a common family dog that does well indoors and outdoors. A lab is a perfect companion, making it stand out for many years.
You’ll often find a lab playing fetch or walking happily alongside its human parent. This obedient and trainable dog is a class act. Let’s look closely at the traits and characteristics of labs to see why they’re so beloved.
What Are the Traits and Characteristics of a Labrador Retriever?
The Labrador Retriever is known as a friendly and active breed. This dog loves to run and play. And if you have a ball to throw, all the more fun for a loveable lab.
Labs are normally trustworthy and excellent with children, strangers, and other dogs. They can be high-spirited at times, but they’re typically highly trainable. The breed can also be very adaptable to changes.
Owning a lab means ensuring it gets a lot of exercise, otherwise, obesity can cause arthritis and other problems down the road. The physically fit breed needs mental stimulation, and regular walks and playtime throughout the day to help reign in some of their energy, especially when they are puppies.
Labrador Retrievers get to be between 21.5 inches and 24.5 inches tall at the shoulder. And they can weigh between 55 pounds and 80 pounds. Labradors typically live between 8 and 12 years old.
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Why Is the Labrador Retriever Considered the Best Dog Breed?
Labs are considered the best dog breed for several reasons. In short, they’re the whole package. But let’s take a closer look at seven of their most endearing traits.
Good House Dog
The Labrador Retriever is typically a well-behaved house dog. They’re known to be affectionate and adaptable. And they rarely experience separation anxiety.
Labs love almost anyone, including children and guests who may come to your house. However, don’t think a lab won’t protect its humans. Their big stature and loud bark can warn off unwanted trespassers.
Labs have a loud bark you would expect from a dog their size, but most are minimal barkers overall. They tend to be content, happy, and quiet dogs. This is one of the reasons they’re great for families or if you have a baby in the house.
Easy to Train
Labradors are known for being easy to train. The breed is normally intelligent and motivated. If you’re unfamiliar with training methods, we recommend taking your lab to obedience school. Just don’t be surprised if it gets all A’s!
You’ll also have an easier time training a lab puppy than some other breeds. Even at a young age, they tend to catch on quickly and aim to please their pet parents.
Make Good Therapy or Service Dogs
Labs can make good therapy or service dogs due to their likelihood of being affectionate, easy-going, and highly trainable. They’re generally good listeners who are smart. Also, Labradors have the ability to complete tasks without hesitation, and most would do anything to help or save their human.
Family and Child-Friendly
As we’ve said, Labrador Retrievers normally love people, young and old. They’re trustworthy and can be taught what not to touch or lick. As with any dog, you’ll want to observe and set boundaries, especially with new dogs or when bringing a baby home. But, overall, a lab can be respectful and loving.
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Get Along with Other Pets
Labradors tend to like other animals and can make friends easily. While lab puppies can be overly excited and require patience, you can teach them how to get along with your pets that may be older or timider. Overall, the breed is a wonderful companion for pets and humans alike.
The Labrador loves the outdoors. Often referred to as water dogs, most labs will take a leap in a lake for a swim any chance it gets. They love to run and play with sticks and feel the wind blow back their floppy ears. If you have a lab, taking it to a large, open outdoor space for exercise is the perfect treat.
Do Labrador Retrievers Have Any Disadvantages?
All dog breeds have their pros and cons. Well, unless you ask us about our dogs, we’re biased, and you probably are about your dogs too!
Labrador retrievers may be known as the best dog breed, but they come with a lot of energy. They usually love to run, jump, catch things in the air, and roll on the ground. Once you start playing fetch or tug-o-war with a lab, you’ll have to stop it when you’re ready because the dog could go forever.
Need Space to Run
Most labs need to run and move. Unfortunately, the breed doesn’t usually thrive in an apartment or small space unless it can be outdoors in a larger space for most of the day.
The bottom line is a lab will likely need a lot of daily exercise. This breed requires time and a commitment to regular walks or runs outside. And indoors, you’ll want to provide adequate toys and puzzles for a lab to play with for stimulation.
Did you know? Some dog breeds need more outdoor time and exercise than others. If you have a long-haired Weimaraner, you’ll definitely need to give them lots!
Labs are major shedders. You’ll find their fur on everything, including your clothes. There’s no getting around this characteristic of a Labrador.
The good news is that with regular brushing, you can minimize the fur that sticks to everything in your house. You may also want to set rules about your dog being on furniture to minimize where the fur congregates in your living space.
Labrador Retrievers can weigh up to 80 pounds. So, as you can imagine, they’re big eaters, which translates into a large expense. Dog food isn’t cheap.
We recommend running the numbers to determine how much dog food will add to your budget before getting a lab. It’s better to ensure you can afford a dog before taking one home.
What Color Labrador Retrievers Are There?
Labrador Retrievers have a dense, double coat with a thick tail. There are yellow, black, and chocolate-colored labs. Black labs are the most common. And chocolate labs are the rarest of the three colors, but not so rare that they’re hard to find.
Statistically speaking, approximately 44.6 percent of labs are black, 27.8 percent are yellow, and 23.8 percent are chocolate.
Black is the dominant gene in the breed. Therefore, a litter of puppies will typically all have black fur if one parent is black. There’s also a diluted black gene that can produce a more charcoal-colored coat.
Where Can You Adopt A Labrador Retriever?
There are multiple adoption websites where you can find Labradors needing a forever home. Because of their popularity, finding a Lab or Lab mix dog or puppy at a shelter near you isn’t too hard to do. Many organizations also have foster programs where you can help Labrador Retrievers await their new forever home in the comfort of a house rather than a kennel.
Adopting or fostering is a good way to help free up space in shelters and provide dogs with a better life. Check out our guide to pet adoption websites.
The Best Dog Breed Makes One of the Best Companions
The Labrador Retriever is an excellent companion, contributing to its crown as the best dog breed. A lab will stick by your side through everything. And their cute faces are likely to put a smile on your face every day.
Is a Labrador Retriever in your future? Let us know in the comments below.
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