23 Most Popular Dog Breeds In The United States

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With so many different dog breeds to choose from, it can be difficult for those looking to get a dog to decide which one to go for. You have to take a huge number of factors into consideration, such as your household, what size dog you want, and how high maintenance a particular breed is.

If you’re looking for a helping hand to make your decision, it might be worth casting your eyes over some of the most popular dog breeds in the United States.

These are ranked based on statistics from the American Kennel Club, as announced at the start of 2013.

1. Labrador Retriever

These dogs are great for families because they’re gentle and friendly. They’re also easy to train and very intelligent as well as being solid, sturdy animals.

What’s so important about them being sturdy? It’s what makes them great with kids. Not only do they have a lot of understanding towards young children, even when the kids are aggressive, but they can also take some of the punishment that small children can dish out.

They are incredibly loyal dogs, which means that they can help to keep your family safe, even if they are not really considered to be watch dogs. If you have a big home and a sensible sized yard and you are looking for the perfect family dog to grow old with your kids, a Labrador retriever is a great idea.

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2. German Shepherd

Popular as police and guard dogs, the typical German Shepherd is loyal, dependable, and hardworking. They can also make very loving companions. Some people think that since these dogs help out the police and that they are good at sniffing out drugs that they are not gentle and kind as well.

But that really could not be farther from the truth. German Shepherds are very loving dogs with very even tempers. They are great as family dogs and excel with children. Of course, German Shepherds are also the perfect dog if you are looking for a stern and assertive dog to guard your home.

They have been popular breeds for many decades now and there is no sign that their popularity is going to decrease any time soon. And with good reason – there isn’t much that can go wrong when choosing a German Shepherd.

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3. Golden Retriever

These dogs have become popular thanks to their pleasant disposition and high level of intelligence. They’re also very hardworking creatures, and are used for search and rescue and as guides.

When you think about a golden retriever, the first thing that comes to mind is a good-natured and happy dog that rarely has bad moods. Some people think that golden retrievers are a bit goofy, just because of the fact that they seem content all of the time.

But that is not the case at all. They are very smart creatures and very attentive to your emotional needs. If you are looking for a family dog that works well with children, golden retrievers are second to none.

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4. Beagle

Sturdy, jolly, and eager are just a few of the words that can describe this breed. These are not only great hunters but also very entertaining companions. If you are looking for a medium sized dog that is perfect for the family, then the beagle is definitely a good choice.

Some people say that beagles don’t obey and that they can cause a lot of trouble, but that is usually not the case. It is definitely a strong-headed dog that is assertive, but most beagles will listen to you and follow your orders if you have taught them to do so.

They are also some of the sturdiest medium sized dogs around. So if you want a dog that the kids can roughhouse with a bit, but you are not looking to get a particularly big dog, the once again, the beagle is a fantastic choice.

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5. Bulldog

This is a breed that’s become known for its lovable and sweet nature as well as its distinctive appearance. They are ideal for those who want a less active pet in the household. A lot of people get the wrong first impression when it comes to bulldogs.

Their somewhat rugged appearance might make it seem as if they are a bit aggressive, but that really could not be any farther from the truth. Bulldogs look interesting, so they tends to be used by a lot of sports teams as mascots, and that’s another reason why a lot of people think that they are aggressive, because they are always seeing snarling bulldogs on logos.

But they couldn’t be kinder. And if you need a dog that is easy to keep up with, bulldogs are perfect as they are slow and love to sleep.

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6. Yorkshire Terrier

They may be small but these little pooches have a huge personality and inbuilt curiosity. They have lots of energy and are both brave and determined. When it comes to toy dogs, these guys are definitely the most popular.

A lot of people like them because they remind them of Toto from The Wizard of Oz, but it’s not the same breed. These dogs are great when compared to other small dogs because they are very low maintenance. If you are sick of cleaning up hair all the time, then the Yorkshire is for you.

It’s a fun dog that can be kept in a house or apartment of any size. And of course, it’s incredibly cute. Yorkshires are also one of the most loyal and trusting small dogs out there.

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7. Boxer

Boxers are athletic, powerful, and very people oriented. They have plenty of personality and are very intelligent as well as loyal to their families. They are yet another breed of dog that often gets a bad reputation, even though it completely does not deserve it.

Boxers are great if you want a high energy dog that you are going to be able to play with a lot. If you are someone who loves taking walks, or even likes jogging with dogs, a boxer is a good option. They are great with kids and really fun.

They are also excellent with other dogs. One of the biggest problems with Boxers is that they do drool a lot. So if you are not a big fan of drool and need to keep your house really clean, then you might want to consider another breed.

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8. Poodle

Regal in stature and distinctive in appearance, poodles are both more active and smarter than many people realize. They’re adept at learning and make gentle companions. Many people underestimate just how smart poodles actually are.

They might look a little goofy and funny, especially when their owners get them ridiculous haircuts, but they really are some of the smartest dogs around. If you want a dog that you can teach a lot of tricks to and disciple very well so that you never have any obedience concerns, a poodle might be the right dog for you.

Poodles are also very loving and loyal. They are perfect companions if you want an energetic medium-sized dog that is incredibly smart and trusting.

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9. Rottweiler

This breed is very robust and solid, becoming popular as both a companion and a protector. They’re intelligent and hardworking as well as being dedicated and self-confident. Rotts are incredible dogs. They might look a bit hostile, but they truly are not.

It’s actually the size that tends to scare away people. Granted, if you live in a small apartment, you might want to consider another dog breed. Rotts take up a lot of space, and even the smaller female dogs are pretty big.

But if you have a larger home and want a dog that will not only love your family but also protect it. They are quite imposing beasts and people who might want to break into your home or illegally step on your property will think twice when seeing this dog in your yard.

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10. Dachshund

This is a dog that’s lively and friendly with a striking appearance. Excellent hunters with a very good sense of smell, this is a lovable breed but does require a lot of maintenance when it comes to grooming.

Most of the popular breeds in the top ten are larger dogs, many of which are very loyal, intelligent and make excellent family pets, but the dachshund is one of the more popular smaller to medium sized dogs.

And if there’s one thing that attracts people to them, it’s the way they look. They have a very specific body type that makes them quite funny to look at. Some people call them hot dogs, because of their long, outstretched bodies and their tiny legs.

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11. English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel is a lively, pleasant, sporting dog that is a close relative to the American Cocker Spaniel. With their high intelligence, compassion and determination, they are a great choice for a family pet.

Cocker Spaniels in general are very popular, but the English variety is without a doubt the most popular breed. It is a very loving dog that doesn’t need much maintenance. If you need an independent dog, they are great. There are a lot of people who have pets but are not home all day.

If you want a dog that will be able to stay at home all day by itself and not need anyone to function normally, this is an excellent breed.

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12. West Highland White Terrier

This cute little dog is a Scottish breed with a characteristic white coat and extremely friendly temperament. Believe it or not, they’re self-confident and can actually make very good watchdogs. They’re probably the jolliest breed of all Scottish terriers.

They are definitely high energy, so if you want a dog that is going to want to sleep on the couch all day, this is not the breed. They love taking walks and also love playing around the house as well with balls and toys. It’s a great dog for kids, because they have so much energy, that they might even be able to tire your children out when playing with them.

And you’ll also notice how much they care about keeping you safe. The mail man will never get to the door without your terrier hearing him and noticing his presence.

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13. Border Terrier

Even though Border Terriers can prove to be stubborn, they’re friendly and calm dogs that are intelligent and willing to please. They are also incredibly cute. And their stubborn demeanor does not mean that they are impossible to train.

It might take a little more effort to show them how to be disciplined than it would take you to train a poodle, but it definitely is not impossible. They are dogs that are full of energy and are generally very friendly. They do take time with getting to know people.

There are some dogs that will immediately start licking new people, but the border terrier is not one of them. It takes a little time for them to warm up to new people.

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14. Shih Tzu

Remember that joke from Dumb and Dumber about mixing a Pit Bull and a Shih Tzu, so they get…? Okay, never mind. Shih Tzu’s are known for their sociable nature with other dogs, as well as with children and adults. More importantly, they’re simply adorable.

They are probably the most popular show dogs and small dogs. They simply look incredibly regal, especially when they are done up for dog shows. This is because they were royal dogs in Japan and the official pets of most royalty in the country.

If you are looking for a lovable dog that everyone likes, this breed might be the one. People tend to say that they look like Ewoks; so naturally, there are many Star Wars fans who own Shih Tzu’s as well.

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15. Miniature Schnauzer

This little furry fella has his origins in Germany, and was used as a ratting dog. Nowadays, it’s a pretty rare occasion to see a dog catching rats, but back then, he was the best for the job. A Schnauzer is described as watchful and energetic dog, but is very obedient and kind.

They are the perfect dogs for people who don’t have the time or patients when it comes to training their dogs. They are very quick learners and will be very easy to train. They simply listen to you and look at you as a person of authority.

Small schnauzers are incredibly cute and make fantastic dogs for kids as well. They have huge amounts of energy and love to play.

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16. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas can have a pretty nasty temperament as they’re easily provoked; therefore, they are not perhaps as suitable family dogs as some of the other breeds on our list. Nonetheless, they are extremely loyal to their owners, but can become a little overprotective.

If you are going to get a Chihuahua, it is probably better that you are someone who lives along. They need a lot of attention, and they don’t want to share your affection with anyone else. These dogs are great for people who don’t have families and live alone.

They will be very loyal, but watch out – if someone new enters your life, they can get extremely jealous. They demand a lot of attention and don’t like being alone. Thankfully, they can fit in your purse.

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17. Pug

Pugs have a lot of fans due to their bulging eyes and crumpled mugs that many find simply adorable. Despite their small size, they have a remarkable personality because they are rarely aggressive, and are highly recommended for families with children.

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18. Pomeranian

It’s said that in 1888, Queen Victoria fell in love with one Pomeranian while vacationing in Italy. That’s not surprising because they are very approachable, playful and lively breeds that originated in the 18th century.

Dog breeding has always been a big thing, and at this time in history, people were trying to breed dogs in order to make the perfect pet. And they might have come pretty close when making this breed. One of the biggest problems with the Pomeranian is that they are pretty high maintenance.

They definitely shed a lot and need to be combed on a regular basis. So if you don’t want to be cleaning your clothes and furniture a lot, you might want to avoid them.

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19. Rough Collie

Rough Collie is a relative of the original Scottish Collie, and is one of the most intelligent dogs out there. Collies are very vigorous and agile, and most types have a very strong shepherding instinct.

These dogs love being outside and running around. So if you live in a city and are not near a park, you might want to steer away from them. They are the perfect dogs for anyone that has a big yard, or better yet, a farm.

The love to go hunting and can protect any property. They are great with other animals and livestock as well, which is why so many farmers love them. But if you live in a small apartment and you don’t have anywhere to set him free on a regular basis, get another dog.

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20. Maltese

Most of the time, a Maltese’s main desire is to be loved, and very much so. They’re simply lovable companion dogs, and thrive on friendship and attention. You just can’t resist them.

And because they can become so attached to people, you should consider getting one if you are not at home for most of the day. These dogs crave attention and if you are leaving them alone in the home for a majority of the work day, they can become depressed or even a bit resentful.

But they are the perfect dogs if you are someone who always has a full house and there’s always someone around who will pay attention to the dog and play with him.

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21. Doberman

Dobermans are one of the most stereotyped dogs for being fierce and aggressive. But it’s not completely true; they can be easily trained to protect and respect their owners and families, and make for loving companions. Moreover, they are also one of the best guard dogs you will find.

The stereotype comes from the fact that they are great guard dogs. So when you see a Doberman chasing intruders in a Hollywood movie, you immediately think that they are vicious dogs who love to attack people.

That actually could not be farther from the truth. They are very friendly and easily trained. But if you need them to take care of your property, they will do that as well.

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22. French Bulldogs

These little guys require patience and socialization from a young age. They are a little stubborn, but also loyal, playful and make perfect companion dogs. Keep in mind though; training them might be a challenge.

They also aren’t really that active. They get tired quickly and they can’t really go out and big active in a park or in the backyard for an extended period of time. And because of their noses, they sometimes have trouble breathing. So if you don’t want a dog that snores, stay away.

French bulldogs are also known to drool quite considerable, so that is something else to take into consideration. But generally, they get a free pass from most because they are just so adorable.

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23. Siberian Huskies

Siberian Huskies are extremely efficient and perseverant dogs since they are able to withstand hard work, and survive for a long period of time on a limited amount of food and water. That’s probably due to their origins – North-eastern Siberia, where conditions are awfully cold and harsh. But once you welcome one into your home, you will never look back.

If you need a dog that’s going to be able to stay outside, no matter what the weather is like, then the huskie might be perfect. They are big and imposing looking dogs, but they are truly sweet once they get comfortable with you – which is almost immediately.

However, they do shed a lot, especially when they are getting rid of their winter layers.

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