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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Looks like TODAY has the same taste as America when it comes to picking its favorite breed of dog.

The Labrador retriever, the breed of TODAY's own puppy Wrangler, is the most popular breed of dog in the United States for the 24th straight year, according to the American Kennel Club's newly-released rankings.

TODAY's puppy Wrangler, a Labrador retriever, is the most popular breed in the United States for the 24th straight year, according to the American Kennel Club.Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Bulldogs are coming on strong, having moved up to their highest ranking ever as the fourth-most-popular breed, according to the Associated Press. The rankings are based on puppies and other newly-registered dogs with the American Kennel Club.

Animal-rights activists have spoken out against dog-breeding by saying it takes attention away from millions of current dogs that need homes and is responsible for puppy mills that put profits ahead of taking proper care of the dogs. Approximately 1.4 million dogs per year are rescued out of the 3.9 million that enter shelters, according to the ASPCA. It's estimated that 70-80 million dogs are owned in the U.S.

According to the AKC, breeding helps owners choose the dog that fits best with them while focusing on the health of the dog.

Bulldogs continue to surge in popularity among top dog breeds in America.WilleeCole Photography / Shutterstock

The German shepherd came in at No. 2 in the rankings, with the golden retriever checking in at No. 3, and the beagle dropping to No. 5 after being passed by the bulldog.

Hailed as the world’s leading police, guard and military dog, German shepherds also serve as guide dogs for the blind, guardians, and search-and-rescue dogs. However, they are best known for serving as devoted family friends and protectors.Bonzami Emmanuelle / featurepics stock
Golden retrievers checked in as the third-most popular breed of dogs in the U.S.EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP - Getty Images file
Beagles round out the top five of the most popular breeds in the U.S. and include "Miss P,'' the winner of this year's 139th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.BRENDAN MCDERMID / Reuters file

In the last 10 years, the French bulldog has zoomed from No. 49 to No. 9, reaching its biggest heights since the 1910s. Check out the rest of the top 10.

The Yorkshire terrier is ranked No. 6 this year.IGOR KOVALENKO / EPA file
Poodles, which remained the most popular dogs for years before the explosion in popularity for Labrador retrievers in the 1970s, were ranked No. 7 this year.GREG WOOD / AFP - Getty Images file
Boxers are among the top 10 this year at No. 8, according to the American Kennel Club.VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO / AFP - Getty Images file
French bulldogs have soared in popularity in the last decade and now are among the top 10 breeds in the U.S. at No. 9.ANDREW GOMBERT / EPA file
Rottweilers round out the top 10 breeds at No. 10.VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO / AFP - Getty Images

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter and Google+.