Americans love dogs, and for the 27th year straight, their favorite dog is the Labrador retriever.

The annual ranking from the American Kennel Club has found Labs to be the most popular dog in the United States since 1991, when the breed ousted the cocker spaniel for the top spot.

Labradors are widely considered friendly, intelligent and versatile. They are energetic, gentle, cute and outgoing, making them good family dogs. The AKC says Labs are also very athletic and are excellent for providing search-and-rescue or therapy services.

“The Labrador retriever has its paws firmly planted in Americans’ hearts,” said AKC executive secretary Gina DiNardo, in a statement. “It’s such a versatile and family-friendly breed.”

German shepherds are the second most popular dog in the U.S. (Wikimedia Commons)

Which breed might be the next top dog? The AKC said French bulldogs and German shorthaired pointers are fast becoming very popular among dog lovers.

Here are the rest of the 10 most popular dogs in the U.S.:

 

2. German shepherd

3. Golden retriever

4. French bulldog

5. Bulldog

6. Beagle

7. Poodle

8. Rottweiler

9. Yorkshire terrier

10. German shorthaired pointer

Golden retrievers are the third most popular dog in the U.S. (Wikimedia Commons)

According to the American Veterinary Medicine Association, 36.5 percent of U.S. households had dogs in 2012 — about 43.4 million homes. The average dog owner had 1.6 dogs per household, making the pet dog population at around 70 million.