The Labrador retriever is beloved by many Mesa County dog owners, its popularity landing it in the top spot for most popular dog breed here as well as across the nation in the American Kennel Club’s 2020 ranking released last week.

“Everybody loves Labradors and almost everyone has one. They’re kind of like pennies,” said Noelle Blair, president of the Grand Valley Kennel Club and owner of Pawsitive Directions K9 Academy.

Following Labradors, French bulldogs, golden retrievers and German Shepherd dogs were listed as the top four most popular breeds in Mesa County, according to information provided by Jessica Rice D’Amato, senior public relations manager for the American Kennel Club.

After that, though, Mesa County diverged from the national list showing favoritism for a few breeds not ranked in the top 20 or even the top 30 nationally.

Miniature American Shepherds were ranked the fifth most popular dog breed in Mesa County. Nationally, it came in at 31.

The Mesa County high ranking is likely because there are several breeders in the area making it easier to find that particular breed, Blair said.

This holds true for other breeds in Mesa County’s ranking, such as Russell terriers, which were ranked sixth in Mesa County, but 72 on the U.S. list.

Seventh in Mesa County were Great Danes. The breed came in 15th nationally.

Poodles were more closely in line with its national ranking — eighth in Mesa County, sixth in the United States.

In the last two spots for Mesa County were Doberman pinschers (No. 18 nationally) and Bernese mountain dogs (22nd nationally).

Bernese mountain dogs are the “sweetest, most gentle giants that you could possible meet,” Blair said. “They’re great big goofs.”