NEW YORK - In America's backyards and living rooms, Labrador retrievers reign as top dogs. But the breed that has been the nation's most popular for a record 23 years has never won its most elite dog show.

It's a curiosity to Lab lovers. They've watched the Westminster Kennel Club's prized best in show trophy go at times to breeds many Americans might never have seen.

Some say their happy-go-lucky dogs just aren't seen as flashy enough, or the qualities that make them easy to live with also get them taken for granted.

But if Lab lovers might be wistful, they aren't exactly worried if the breed gets bypassed at Westminster.

After all, the American Kennel Club says Labs last year surpassed poodles' 22-year stretch as the most prevalent U.S. purebred dogs.