NEW YORK -- For years, the Labrador retriever was recognized as America's most popular dog breed.
But this year, a new top dog was crowned the No. 1 most popular dog in the country by the American Kennel Club and Gina DiNardo, an executive secretary at the AKC, stopped by "Good Morning America" Wednesday to make the big announcement.
1. French bulldog
This year, the French bulldog, like Winston who visited the "GMA" set Wednesday morning, was named top dog, beating out 2021's most popular pick, the Labrador retriever.
"The No. 1 breed in America is the French bulldog," DiNardo said. "Not only is the French bulldog the most popular breed in America but Winston last year was the No. 1 dog in America for all breeds as a show dog at the American Kennel Club events."
"For 31 years, the Labrador retriever was the most popular breed but the Frenchie's been on the rise for a number of years," DiNardo continued. "We've been tracking his popularity and we figured he'd hit No. 1 sooner or later, and this is the year."
DiNardo said French bulldogs are popular especially among apartment dwellers because of their sturdy stature, easy-to-care-for short coats and wonderful temperaments.
2. Labrador retriever
Although it fell to the No. 2 spot this year, the Labrador retriever has long been a quintessential favorite, having been named AKC's top dog for at least three decades. Labs are active and have a friendly and outgoing demeanor and can live up to 11 to 13 years, according to the AKC. They're especially great with young children and have a wonderfully sweet temperament, said DiNardo.
3. Golden retriever
Golden retrievers, as the AKC notes, are known to be friendly, devoted and intelligent dogs, so it's no wonder they're a hit with families and the No. 3 most popular dog. Like the Lab, golden retrievers have a typical life expectancy of a decade, between 10 and 12 years.
DiNardo said goldens are great for those with adventurous lifestyles because they're very trainable and love being outdoors.
4. German shepherd
German shepherds are the fourth most popular dog and are often family dogs and K-9 officers. They're a good fit for homes with a big backyard because they're natural herders and love to run around, said DiNardo. According to the AKC, German shepherds usually have courageous, confident and smart personalities and can live on average between 7 to 10 years.
Not to be overshadowed, the poodle, with its signature curly hair, rounds out the top five most popular dog breeds. Standard poodles, according to the AKC, are active, proud and intelligent dogs that also tend to have a longer average lifespan between 10 and 18 years.
DiNardo said poodles in particular make for great buddies and love to cuddle.
For people and families interested in welcoming a new dog to the fold, DiNardo recommends a few considerations to keep in mind.
"The best thing to do is to evaluate your lifestyle to make sure that you have the time, the energy and the money to devote to the breed that you choose," DiNardo said.
DiNardo added, "So consider grooming needs: Do you want a wash-and-wear kind of dog or are you wiling to take the dog, like a poodle, to be groomed or groom it yourself? How much exercise do these dogs need? These larger sporting breeds and the herding dog -- they need a lot of exercise to be happy, both mental stimulation and physical exercise. So do you have time to do that? Do you have time for training? And then, of course, food -- do you want to spend a lot of money on food? Do you want to buy a $100 bag of dog food or do you want a little $20 bag of dog food?"