America’s Favorite: Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds


We all love dogs in our nation. We’re always curious about which dogs are the most loved. From the loyal Collie to the stylish Poodle, our love for dogs changes over time. Have you ever wondered about the Most Popular Dog Breeds through the years? We will explore the Top Dog Breeds in the USA, decade by decade. We’ll discover America’s Favorite Dogs and how Popular Pups in US homes have changed. We’ll look at the Best Dogs in America and the ones that make the Top 10 Dogs USA list. Let’s dive into how cultural shifts and famous dogs have shaped our dog preferences over the years.

Key Takeaways

  • The Collie Club of America was established due to the breed’s massive popularity in the early 1900s.
  • Sergeant Stubby, a Boston Terrier, was a decorated war hero and a testament to America’s admiration for the breed in the 1910s.
  • Rin Tin Tin, a German Shepherd, became a silver screen sensation in the 1920s, swaying public favor.
  • Poodles maintained their rank as America’s top breed in the 1960s for two decades, indicative of the cultural influence on breed popularity.
  • Breed popularity can last approximately 25 years before new trends emerge, as seen with the Labrador Retriever’s 25-year streak since 1991.
  • Cultural drift and celebrity canines, like Lassie the Collie, have been pivotal in shaping America’s dog breed preferences.
  • The Cocker Spaniel’s reign and subsequent shift in ranking demonstrate the dynamic nature of dog breed popularity in the U.S.
RankDog BreedOriginAverage Lifespan (Years)Average Weight (Pounds)TemperamentKey Characteristics
1French BulldogFrance10-1216-28Adaptable, PlayfulSmall, muscular with a smooth coat, bat-like ears
2Labrador RetrieverCanada10-1255-80Friendly, ActiveFriendly and outgoing, Labs play well with families
3Golden RetrieverScotland10-1255-75Intelligent, DevotedEnergetic, loving, reliable, and highly trainable
4German ShepherdGermany9-1350-90Courageous, SmartConfident, courageous, and smart; excels in training
5PoodleGermany/France10-1840-70 (Standard)Active, ProudIntelligent, active, and hypoallergenic with unique fur coats
6BulldogEngland8-1040-50Docile, WillfulLoose, wrinkly skin, distinctive pushed-nose
7RottweilerGermany9-1080-135Loyal, LovingRobust, powerful, and loyal, with a loving family nature
8BeagleEngland10-1520-30Curious, MerrySmall to medium size, great sense of smell, floppy ears
9DachshundGermany12-1616-32Playful, CuriousLong-backed, short-legged, known for their stubborn nature
10German Shorthaired Pointer
Germany10-1245-70Boisterous, IntelligentAthletic, eager, and affectionate; known for their versatility in hunting and loyalty
Source: The American Kennel Club

Please note that the weights provided for the Poodle refer to the Standard Poodle, as Poodles come in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The weight can vary significantly depending on the type.

1. French Bulldog – America’s New Top Dog

Happy French Bulldog puppy lying down.
french bulldog dog breeds white polka dot black marble

French Bulldogs have now become America’s favorite dog breed. They have moved from 14th to first place in the AKC rankings.

The Rise to Stardom

Since joining the AKC over a hundred years ago, French Bulldogs have become the best American dog breeds. Their registrations have increased by 1,000% since 2012, making them beloved in American households. In 2022, around one in seven new dogs in the US were French Bulldogs, totaling about 108,000 new registrations. This was more than Labrador Retrievers by over 21,000.

Why French Bulldogs Have Won Our Hearts

French Bulldogs are perfect for many homes because of their size and adaptability. Stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Reese Witherspoon love them, raising their popularity. They are easy to care for and don’t need much exercise, ideal for living in apartments.

The popularity of French Bulldogs is soaring, but they face health issues due to their short faces. These problems have led to warnings from vets and breeding bans in some places. Still, French Bulldogs are in high demand, raising their price and making them theft targets, like Lady Gaga’s dogs.

YearFrench Bulldogs RegistrationsLabrador Retrievers RegistrationsRanking Change
2012Data N/AData N/A14th to 2nd
2021Data N/AData N/A2nd
2022Approx. 108,000Approx. 87,0001st

The French Bulldog’s rise reflects changes in American lifestyles and preferences. Despite health concerns and the need for ethical breeding, they remain a symbol of joy in many homes.

2. Labrador Retriever – The Former Reigning Champion

Yellow Labrador retriever lying on grass outdoors.
labrador retriever lies grass summer garden

Labrador Retrievers have been the Leading Dog Breeds America favorites for over thirty years. These dogs are loved for their friendly nature and loyalty. Though they recently lost the top spot, Labrador Retrievers still rank high among the Top US Dog Breeds.

Labrador Retrievers embody the spirit of companionship and service. These qualities have made them the most cherished breed for 31 straight years.

Let’s look at the traits and rankings highlighting the Labrador Retriever’s impact:

YearAKC RankingNotable Statistic
2000 – 20201stMost popular breed for 26 years
20212ndDethroned by French bulldogs
20161stLeads the top 10 dog breeds list
Entire HistoryNever won Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

The American Kennel Club’s new registrations jumped 45% in the past decade. Labrador Retrievers have consistently been a top choice. This shows their deep popularity. While some breeds gain or lose popularity, Labradors have stayed at the top in the U.S.

3. Golden Retrievers – America’s Treasured Companions

Six golden retriever puppies sitting on grass.
group golden retriever puppies sit field

Golden Retrievers hold a special spot as one of the Top Family Dogs America. They showcase the finest qualities desired by pet enthusiasts. This secures their rank among the Most Loved Dogs USA. From their origins in Great Britain in the 1800s to becoming cherished members of American families, they’ve shown great adaptability. These dogs excel as family pets and in roles of service and therapy. This follows standards by the American Kennel Club and the Golden Retriever Club of America.

Family-Friendly and Versatile

Golden Retrievers are known as Top 10 American Dogs for their unmatched versatility and kind nature. They are perfect for families with kids and other pets. They bring happiness and peace to any home. Their smart and loving nature makes them great at training. This upholds their status as a breed that meets emotional and physical needs.

Golden Retrievers in Service and Therapy

Golden Retrievers are not only smart but also excel in obedience, agility, and hunting events. Besides their achievements, they are reliable in service and therapy roles. They help people with disabilities and provide comfort in hospitals and schools. For potential owners, it’s vital to focus on responsible breeding and the dog’s health and happiness.

Golden Retrievers are naturally active and love being engaged, whether playing in water or using their retrieving skills. This energy should be guided through training and socializing. Owners must commit to their care, including regular grooming and fulfilling exercise needs. Discussing a dog’s background and goals with breeders is key. This ensures the dog fits well with one’s family and lifestyle.

Average Lifespan~12 years
Weight RangeFemales: 55-70 lbs, Males: 65-75 lbs
Exercise RequirementsMedium amounts, loves playing and water activities
Training SuitabilityHighly trainable, excels in crate training
Grooming NeedsRegular grooming necessary due to shedding
Service and Therapy WorkAdaptable to various tasks, known for emotional intelligence and providing assistance

Exploring why Golden Retrievers are so loved shows why they’re the third favorite dog type in the American Kennel Club. They perfectly balance being joyful companions and hard workers, earning them a spot as Top Family Dogs America and a place in our hearts forever.

4. German Shepherd Dogs – Loyal and Versatile

German Shepherd lying on grass outdoors.
german shepherd dog portrait meadow

German Shepherd Dogs (GSD) are highly regarded in the U.S. They symbolize true loyalty and versatility. They have a strong background and are known as a top choice among America’s Choice Dogs. Their reputation has grown among pets and working dogs for over a century. They are celebrated for their smartness and confidence, making them invaluable family members and helpers.

Protectors by Nature

German Shepherds are born protectors, making them excellent guard dogs. Their size is impressive, with males standing up to 26 inches tall and females up to 24 inches. They are strong, weighing between 50 and 90 pounds, and can live for over 10 years. This means owning a GSD offers a long-term commitment to safety and companionship.

German Shepherds in Workforce

These dogs excel in various service roles because of their bravery and commitment to work. Their history includes serving in World Wars and modern tasks like detecting bombs and drugs. They also work as K-9 partners and therapy dogs. Their versatile skills have made them indispensable workers and a beloved breed in the U.S.

German Shepherds are not just about physical skills but also emotionally intelligent. They serve as medical assistants and guide dogs, fulfilling these roles with a natural dedication. They require at least 90 minutes of exercise daily. There’s even a long-haired variety recognized since 2010, showing the breed adapts and thrives over time.

However, potential owners should consider that German Shepherds need space and are not ideal for apartment living. They tend to bark when they’re anxious or sense danger. They fit best with an active lifestyle in a spacious home. Their remarkable traits and history make German Shepherds a constant favorite among America’s Choice Dogs.

5. Poodles – Intelligent and Elegant

Fluffy brown poodle standing by blue doors.
dog breed small poodle peach color

Poodles stand out among Most Popular Dog Breeds because of their smart, elegant, and versatile nature. Originating in Germany, they excelled at hunting birds like ducks. Now, they serve as beloved pets and dedicated service dogs.

People with allergies find Poodles appealing due to their non-shedding hair, which differs from fur. This hair grows all the time, allowing for various fancy cuts. Their unique hair, smart look, and eager stance make them a model of dog sophistication.

Poodles have made a mark over time, being part of American icons’ homes like Elvis Presley. They’ve even been in the White House with Richard Nixon and Jacqueline Kennedy. Their wide appeal showcases their desirable qualities as pets. According to Stanley Coren, they’re incredibly smart, second only to Border Collies. This intelligence helps them excel as therapy and guide dogs and even as truffle hunters.

  • Poodles love staying active, excelling in dog sports like swimming and fetching to stay healthy.
  • They live 10 to 18 years, proving to be loyal companions.
  • Regular vet checkups and good food can help prevent health issues like hip dysplasia and epilepsy, which are common in the breed.
SizeHeightWeightLife Expectancy
Toy PoodleUnder 10 inches4-6 pounds10-18 years
Miniature Poodle10-15 inches15-18 pounds10-18 years
Standard PoodleOver 15 inches45-70 pounds10-18 years

In the United States, Poodles are more than just pets—they are smart, active, and favored participants in various roles. They shine as service animals and win hearts in show rings with their hairdos. Poodles embody what many see as the perfect companion — smart, elegant, and in sync with their human friends.

6. Bulldogs – The Charming Gentle Giants

Smiling bulldog sitting on grass outdoors.
brindle coat American bulldog dog portrait outside

In the US, Bulldogs hold a special place in many hearts. They’ve moved from being fierce bull-baiters to friendly pets. With over 65 million dog-owning households in the United States, Bulldogs are a top choice. They offer a great mix of a noble look and a friendly nature.

Their Regal History

Looking back, Bulldogs were first bred for bull-baiting. But now, they’re loved for being gentle giants. This change from fierce to friendly has made them even more popular. They’re ranked sixth by the American Kennel Club.

Bulldogs America's Dog Preferences

Bulldogs as Family Pets

Bulldogs are wonderful family pets. Their quiet and friendly nature appeals to both kids and adults. They don’t need as much exercise as Labradors or Golden Retrievers, making them perfect for family life.

They bring calm and love to a home, proving they’re more than just pets. They’re loyal family members.

Breed CharacteristicExercise NeedsTypical Health Concerns
BulldogsModerateProne to breathing issues and hip dysplasia
Labrador RetrieversHighProne to obesity, hip and elbow dysplasia
Golden RetrieversHighProne to shedding, hip dysplasia, and certain cancers

Bulldogs stand out because of their loyal and strong nature. They blend the grandeur of their ancestors with the warmth of a companion, keeping them a top choice among US pet lovers. Bulldogs continue to be a prestigious and loved choice.

7. Rottweilers – Strength and Loyalty

Rottweiler and Yorkshire Terrier dogs on beach.
rottweiler yorkshire terrier

Rottweilers hold a respected spot among the Best American Dog Breeds. They show both strength and loyalty, which dog fans love. Known as “Rotties,” they blend power with a soft heart.

Rottweilers have a strong build; males weigh 95-135 pounds and females, 80-100 pounds. Their black and rust-colored coats need little grooming. Just regular brushing keeps their fur shiny.

These dogs might look tough, but they’re calm and confident. They’re great for families, offering fun and safety. Yet, they need space to play and stay fit.

  • Rottweilers come from Rottweil, Germany, where they were used to herd and guard.
  • They live about 8 to 10 years but can have health issues like dysplasia and bloat.
  • They show deep affection and protectiveness towards their families.
  • Positive reinforcement training works best for them, helping them become well-behaved.

Movies like “The Omen” and “John Wick” showcase Rottweilers’ broad roles, from guard dogs to loving companions. This image fits their well-earned status as strong, loyal dogs. They’re a top choice in the U.S., loved for their courage and companionship.

It’s clear why Rottweilers are so valued in America, ranking among the top breeds. Their spot on the “America’s Favorite: Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds” list reflects their widespread popularity. The Rottweiler stands as a symbol of love and respect—a fitting tribute to one of the USA’s favorite breeds and a trusted family guardian.

8. Beagles – Friendly and Curious

Five beagle puppies posing together on gray background.
Beagle tricolor puppies are posing

The Beagle shines as a top dog in America thanks to its charm and lively nature. Originating from England, these dogs are among the Top Dog Breeds USA. They are medium-sized, with a height of 13 to 15 inches and a weight of 20 to 30 pounds. Known for being friendly, gentle, and playful, they truly stand out.

Their Hunting Heritage

Beagles have a rich history tied to hunting. They come in two sizes in the U.S.: under 13 inches and 13 to 15 inches. Known for their distinct sounds, Beagles can bark, bay, and howl uniquely.

Your Energetic Companion

Beagles are lively and make great family friends. They are social and loyal, making them great pets. While training them might be challenging due to their love for food, patience and positivity work wonders.

Size Category (U.S.)Under 13 inches / 13-15 inches
VocalsBark, Bay, Howl
Notable BeagleElvis – Polar Bear Pregnancy Detection
Famous OwnersPresident Lyndon B. Johnson (Him, Her, Edgar)
Life Expectancy10-15 years
Health ConcernsHip Dysplasia, Eye problems, Allergies
Living EnvironmentNot ideal for apartments due to vocal nature

Beagles keep warming hearts across America. Remember, they need lots of exercise, patient training, and understanding of their vocalizations. Whether it’s the iconic Snoopy or their endless energy, Beagles remain beloved in the Popular American Dog Breeds group.

9. Dachshunds – The Iconic Longdogs

Dachshund dog on grass outdoors.
young dachshund dog close up green field

Dachshunds are special for more than their look. They’re not just cute but are also brave. This wins the love of many, with their big personalities in a small body. Their spirited nature is why people across the U.S. love them.

Dachshunds are a big part of American pet culture. They are loyal friends with lively spirits and hardworking attitudes. This has made them a favorite among Most Loved Dogs USA. They do well in cities and the countryside, making them good for many homes.

Let’s look at why these Popular Pups in US are so loved:

  • Their hunting instincts are strong, despite the urbanization of many Dachshund owners’ lifestyles.
  • They are known for their tenacious spirit when it comes to play and protection of their family.
  • Dachshunds offer a unique mix of enthusiasm and companionship that caters to a wide range of dog lovers.
QualityCharacteristicImpact on Popularity
SizeSmall but sturdyIdeal for various living environments
PersonalityPlayful and SpunkyProvides entertainment and joy to families
AppearanceDistinctive SilhouetteInstant recognition; a favorite for dog shows and pet-themed events

Dachshunds combine stubbornness with sweetness, showing the fun side of owning dogs. Life with them is full of fun. They show us that even the smallest dogs can bring big adventures. Dachshunds keep winning hearts in the U.S., staying among the Most Loved Dogs USA.

10. German Shorthaired Pointers – Athletic and Adaptable

German Shorthaired Pointer playing with ball outdoors.
german shorthaired pointe dog stands lawn grass with ball his teeth

German Shorthaired Pointers are known for their high energy and versatility. The American Kennel Club ranks them among the Top 10 Dogs USA. These dogs are famous for their athleticism and ability to adapt, making them great for various lifestyles, especially those that include outdoor adventures.

All-Purpose Gun Dogs

German Shorthaired Pointers are excellent in the field, known as all-purpose gun dogs. They are prized for their hunting skills. Their intelligence and physical abilities are perfect for tasks on land and water. Thanks to their cooperative nature, they are also easy to train and work with.

Perfect for Active Families

If your family loves adventure, German Shorthaired Pointers could be your ideal pets. They are friendly and fit well into family life, making everyone happy. According to the Top 10 Dogs USA, these dogs don’t just fit into active families; they bring energy and happiness.

We provide important information about exercise, grooming, personality, and health for these breeds. This helps future owners make well-informed choices. Our guide covers the essentials of America’s Dog Breed Favorites.


The American Kennel Club (AKC) provides valuable insights into dog ownership trends in the US. Each year, nearly 1 million purebred dogs find homes with Americans. The Labrador Retriever, a favorite for its friendly nature, tops the charts as one of America’s Best Dogs.

The trend shows us leaning towards bigger breeds. The Labrador has been the top dog for 25 years. But, big dogs like the Golden Retriever and Rottweiler are getting popular too. This shows Americans prefer large, friendly, and protective pets. Yet, smaller dogs like the Yorkshire Terrier increase in popularity. The Beagle’s friendly nature keeps it a favorite among American families.

Pop culture and changes in our living situations drive our choice of dogs. This makes us pick breeds that suit our lives better. Despite this, the Labrador’s popularity in America, the UK, and Australia remains strong. Dogs are a big part of American homes regardless of breed, size, or background. The AKC’s rankings give us a glimpse into America’s love for pets.



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