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The Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in the U.S.

The Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in the U.S.
Every year, the American Kennel Club ranks the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Whether you have been on the fence about adopting or buying a dog or you are just curious which breeds are the most popular, here are the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the U.S. this year according to AKC’s rankings.

#1 – Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is one of four types of retriever, and they’re also a medium-sized dog breed with a well-balanced build and a lovely golden/black coat (which needs consistent brushing). Labradors are loyal dogs that are very good at bonding with their family; they also love spending time outdoors and swimming. The average weight for a Labrador Retriever is anywhere from 60 to 75 pounds, and their height ranges from 20 to 24 inches at their shoulders. Even though Labradors were originally bred as gun dogs (they’re still great hunting partners today), they now excel as companions due to their gentle nature—as long as you don’t leave them alone for too long!

#2 – German Shepherd

When you think about a guard dog, chances are that a German Shepherd comes to mind. These loyal dogs were first bred to herd sheep and help farmers with everyday tasks like gathering livestock or driving cattle from one place to another. It’s no surprise then that they now make great guard dogs, as they are very protective of their owners and properties and will bark loudly if they sense something is amiss. Their acute hearing can also allow them to hear someone trying to break into your home even if you can’t. If these qualities appeal to you, then adopting a German Shepherd is definitely a good idea.

#3 – Golden Retriever

Originally bred as hunting dogs, these companions are renowned for their intelligence and gentle temperaments, making them excellent family pets. They have thick coats of fur that requires frequent brushing to prevent mats from forming, and they tend to shed heavily twice a year. This breed is prone to a wide variety of health problems, including joint dysplasia, epilepsy and cancer, but generally lives an average of 10-12 years when cared for properly.

#4 – Beagle

This breed was popularized by Snoopy, but don’t let that deter you from owning one—Beagles are a loving and affectionate breed. Even though they love to play, they’re calm indoors and make excellent family pets. They’re also an ideal dog for people who live in cities since they get along well with other dogs and cats as well as children of all ages. If you want to own a dog that has tons of personality without all of the high maintenance requirements, consider getting a Beagle (their lack of exercise needs is perfect for apartment dwellers). With their shaggy coats and slightly arched backs, Beagles are cute enough to be named America’s favorite breed over 20 years ago!

#5 – Bulldog

In America, it’s estimated that nearly 1 million Bulldogs live among us—and they keep multiplying! Originating from England, Bulldogs are easily recognizable by their large snouts and compact bodies; they were originally bred to help butchers handle livestock. It wasn’t until later that Bulldogs became popular as household pets and family companions (but not work animals). Today, they’re one of the most loved dog breeds in America! Since their massive jowls make them prone to drooling, if you’re a first-time owner of a Bulldog, be prepared for some cleanup duty!

#6 – Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier originated in England and, over time, was bred to be a companion dog and hunter of vermin. Today’s Yorkies are a favorite pet choice of celebrities and politicians who want a smaller dog but don’t want to sacrifice style. The breed ranks #6 on our list of most popular dog breeds because they’re highly independent, spunky, energetic and smart (this terrier can open doors!). Yorkies aren’t very good guard dogs because they have an affinity for people rather than for property – so if you need protection from humans or animals alike, another breed may be better suited for you.

#7 – Boxer

American boxers are a small to medium-sized dog that grows up to 27 inches and 60 pounds. This is an athletic, powerful breed with an independent and self-assured temperament. They’re great with families, but they need lots of physical activity and playtime to keep them happy—and you might have to put up a fence if you live in an apartment. Although they’re sweet dogs, they can be dominant so it’s best for them to go home with someone who knows how to handle strong personalities or spend lots of time training him from puppyhood on your own before he joins your family.

#8 – Dachshund

According to American Kennel Club (AKC) data, these dogs have had a surge in popularity since 2000. They’re very playful and enjoy games of fetch with their human owners, but are also independent and not likely to spend all day hanging out by your side. If you want a canine companion who is full of personality, is smart, and will keep you on your toes, dachshunds are an excellent choice! Also worth noting is that they are smart but stubborn. It’s best to start training early on so they don’t take advantage of you when they get older!

#9 – Shih Tzu


Also called the little lion dog, these lapdogs are just as protective of their human family as they are loving towards them. With long, silky hair and a flowing tail and mane, a Shih Tzu looks like it could come right out of a fairy tale... if it wasn’t so devoted to its family. These dogs can be aggressive with other pets, particularly cats, but they get along fine with other dogs if they were raised together from puppyhood. They do have high energy levels and will need an outlet for it or else they’ll start chewing on furniture to let off steam!

#10 – Poodle


Named after a German town called Pudel, which means splash or puddle and refers to their water-repellent coats. Poodles are often kept as circus performers due to their high intelligence, and they make excellent guide dogs for blind people because of their exceptional sense of hearing. Because they were bred to be companions, they can get along well with other animals and humans alike! They are also considered one of America’s most popular dog breeds because they can live indoors as well as outdoors—making them easy-going pets that will adjust easily to any environment you choose to place them in.


Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but which ones are America’s favorites? Overall, popular dogs share a few common traits: They are loyal and friendly, with good dispositions and plenty of playfulness. Although different breeds fall into various categories—such as herding dogs or hunting dogs—these top dogs have something else to share: they love humans. When considering a new pet, consider how each breed will fit into your lifestyle by carefully looking at size, energy level and personality types that may match up well with yours. If you want a snuggler who will follow you around all day long, choose one of these breeds; if you want someone who can entertain themselves while you go to work all day, there is a perfect dog for that job too!

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