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What We Know About America’s Most Popular Dog Breeds
Find out which dogs are currently the most popular in America and learn fun facts about the breeds that rank in the top ten!
In your home, your dog is probably the most popular and celebrated breed, whether he is a purebred or a super mutt with the best traits from several breeds! But which dog breeds truly reign supreme in America? The American Kennel Club (AKC) has the answer to that.
The AKC is generally considered to be the leading authority on dog breeds and currently recognizes 197 different breeds. Each year, the AKC ranks all the different breeds from most to least popular using registration data. In March, the AKC released the list for 2021. It’s always fun to explore the list and see which breeds have gained or lost popularity, as well as where our own dogs rank on this master list! For now, we are taking a deep dive into the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the United States!
1. Labrador Retrievers
Is anyone really surprised to see labrador retrievers topping the list of the most popular dog breeds for the 31st year in a row? Labradors are excellent family dogs and are known for their sweetness and ready-for-anything attitudes. Whether you are vegging out on the couch with some old movies, wrestling with the kids, or going for a long, scenic hike, labs are up for it all! Thanks to their intelligence and natural intuitiveness, labs also make great working dogs, and have helped many people as service dogs, search and rescue dogs, drug detection dogs, and more!
2. French Bulldogs
French Bulldogs are extremely recognizable dogs thanks to their trademark bat-like ears! French Bulldogs are a flat-faced breed, which many pet owners would just say makes them extra irresistible and kissable! Personality-wise, french bulldogs are known for being the ultimate companions! This small breed thrives on human contact and is extremely loyal to its pet parents, sometimes to the point of becoming overprotective. While these dogs do occasionally get bursts of energy and enjoy some quality playtime, French Bulldogs are typically easygoing and fun-loving pups!
3. Golden Retrievers
Golden retrievers essentially set the golden standard for good dogs. These happy-go-lucky dogs are kind to a fault, making them a great choice for families with kids. Goldens are frequently described as devoted, loyal, intelligent, friendly, and merry.
But what you might not know about these lovable dogs is that they were originally bred to be hunting dogs that could easily traverse both land and water. The breed was officially created in Scotland in 1868 when a man named Dudley Coutts Majoribanks bred a yellow wavy-coated retriever named Nous with a now extinct, tweed water-spaniel named Belle. Thus, the golden retriever breed we know and love today was born!
4. German Shepherds
The American Kennel Club describes the German Shepherd as “ a large, agile, muscular dog of noble character and high intelligence.” German Shepherds can make great family pets and loyal companions, but they are most known as working dogs and protective guard dogs. For example, their intelligent and hardworking nature makes them excellent K9 police officers. In fact, German Shepherds have been working for mankind as far back as World War I and World War II, when these versatile dogs served as Red Cross dogs, rescuers, guard dogs, messengers, and sentries on both sides of the wars.
For the first time since 1997, poodles have ranked in the top five dog breeds! Poodles come in a variety of colors and sizes, including standard, miniature, and toy. Poodles are one of the most recognizable dog breeds. But did you know that the coat that gives poodles their famous style is also hypoallergenic? This makes poodles a great choice for pet owners with asthma or allergies. Poodles are also known for being incredibly intelligent, athletic, and easily trainable dogs.
The Bulldog is a courageous, friendly, and calm dog whose unique face has become a universal symbol of courage, tenacity, and resilience. These thick, muscular dogs usually have what’s known as a “sour mug face” that often features an underbite. This face, and the dog as a whole, has become a branding tool for various institutions over the years. Just to name a few, bulldogs have served as high school mascots, the mascot for Mini Coopers, and as a symbol of British culture.
Although bulldogs tend to make loving, dependable, and predictable family pets, they still are associated with fearlessness from when the breed was first created for the violent sport of bull-baiting many centuries ago. Bull-baiting is an illegal blood sport where dogs were forced to attack tethered bulls, which was a popular form of entertainment in medieval Europe. Bulldogs were considered to be good fighters, known for their courage and resiliency. But despite being bred to fight bulls, these dogs would much rather cuddle than pick a fight!
Say “howl-o” to beagles! Known for their recognizable howls and merry attitudes, these floppy-eared hounds make great hunters and housepets! Originally bred to hunt in packs, these easygoing, happy-go-lucky dogs enjoy company and make great companions. Although a beagle can live happily without going on a single hunt his entire lifetime, this energetic breed does have a lot of energy and requires quite a bit of playtime and exercise.
Rottweilers are wonderful dogs, but we have to say we were surprised to see this breed in the top 10 most popular dog breeds. Many people fear these dogs because of their immense size. As descendants of the mastiffs of the Roman legions, rottweilers are huge dogs with females weighing up to 110 pounds and males weighing up to 130 pounds. But rest assured that rottweilers are gentle giants! Although they make confident guardians, Rotties are loyal, loving, and affectionate toward their families.
9. German Shorthaired Pointers
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a medium to large-sized breed of pointing dog. Also known as gun dogs or bird dogs, this breed was bred in Germany for all types of hunting. These powerful dogs were seen as versatile hunters because they could easily travel on land and were strong swimmers with powerful legs. When given enough exercise (and we mean vigorous exercise) these dogs make friendly, happy, and loving pets. The key is to give them an outlet for their seemingly endless energy and to prioritize positive reinforcement training.
We can’t say we’re surprised to see these lovable little dogs ranked as one of the top ten most popular breeds in America! Dachshunds are recognized by their long, low-to-the-ground bodies that earned them the nickname of wiener dogs! Despite their small size, dachshunds have larger-than-life personalities that have made the world fall in love with them time and time again. This loveable dog breed has even made appearances in several popular movies, including “The Secret Life of Pets” and the “Toy Story” series.