Most popular dog breeds
Most Popular Dog Breeds: Which Breed is Right for You?
In our last post, we discussed the seven categories of dog breeds to give you a general overview of the types of breeds out there. To recap, the categories include Working, Herding, Sporting, Non-Sporting, Toy, Hound, and Terrier Groups.
This week, we will focus on some of the most popular dog breeds. We will discuss the personality traits, trainability, and maintenance of a few of these breeds to help identify why they are so popular and why they could be the perfect dog for you and your family!
What Makes These Breeds So Special?
The breeds we are discussing today are popular for several different reasons, but it’s important to remember that just because these breeds rank high on the popularity charts, it doesn’t mean that all other breeds are not worth looking into.
Dog breeds change in popularity every few years, so the breeds we are looking at today are regarded as the most popular from this past year.
Let’s see why so many people have fallen in love with this furry bunch!
- Labrador Retriever
Labs have held the number one spot on the American Kennel Club popularity chart for over 30 years. They are a part of the Sporting Group and come in three main colors: yellow, black, and chocolate. There are also Labs with varying color combinations and more rare colors such as white, silver, and red.
These dogs are friendly and fun-loving companions that adore being with their families. Their sweet personality makes them a desirable breed as does their outgoing and active nature.
Most Labs have big personalities—they love to love you. Considered one of the friendliest breeds, they generally enjoy meeting new people and other dogs. Labs are extremely sociable, so they want to be with their families as much as possible. They form close bonds with their owners, and they are happiest when they’re at their owner’s side.
While these dogs are happy to lounge around with you, they are highly energetic dogs that love exercise both mentally and physically. These dogs are intelligent, and they love to play, so they are ideal for an owner who loves outdoor activities and has backyard space to let them run.
Labs are extremely devoted, and they want to please their owners. This breed is patient and easy-going, making them great for families with kids, and while not considered a true “guard dog,” they do have protective instincts.
Labradors are smart, but just like any intelligent breed, they require training in order to harness this intelligence. Some people make the mistake of getting an intelligent dog with the assumption that they won’t require training. On the contrary, it is very important that this breed receives training, otherwise, they will not reach their full potential, they can be hard to manage, and an owner won’t bond as closely with their dog without it.
Labs need physical and mental stimulation. Playing a quick game of fetch is good, but to truly engage a Lab’s attention and mental capability, it’s a good idea to teach them plenty of tricks and exercise them in various ways. Water sports, for example, are wonderful for Labs because they love water.
Keep in mind that this breed wants a job to do. While you might see some Labs lay around and enjoy being lazy sometimes, they were bred to be active. This means that training can be very fun for them, and it’s important that they receive it early.
Labs tend to shed a lot, so they will need daily brushing to help minimize their shedding. They don’t require fancy grooming, but since they are so active and are likely to be outside a lot, they will need regular bathing to ensure they are kept clean and healthy.
As a generally healthy breed, Labs live about 10 to 12 years—sometimes longer. They do have a history of hip and elbow dysplasia as well as heart disorders. EIC, or Exercise Induced Collapse, has also been a common health problem for Labs since they are so active. You must be careful not to let these dogs overwork themselves, as is a common trait of many larger, active breeds.
- German Shepherds
German Shepherds have also remained one of the most beloved dog breeds over the years. They belong to the Herding Group, so they are highly active and attentive dogs, ranking number three on the American Kennel Club chart. They are typically a sable color, but there are several variations. Their coats range from black and tan, black and red, bicolor, solid black, and black and silver.
German Shepherds are devoted, loyal dogs that make ideal service dogs as well as companions.
German Shepherds are regarded as one of the most loyal and intelligent breeds. They are athletic and hard-working, making them perfect for active families. This breed is ready to serve—they are often seen in police or military work, as well as working as service dogs and guide dogs.
One of the most endearing qualities about German Shepherds is their attentiveness. These dogs are known for their diligence to their owners. Shepherds seem to have a keen awareness about them that makes them so favorable, and they have a unique connection to their owner. If trained properly, German Shepherds are quick to act and obey their owner, sometimes with the slightest command. They look to their owner for cues about their surroundings, and they are highly sensitive to their owner’s behavior.
Therefore, these dogs are not for the faint of heart. They require a lot of attention and they need plenty of socialization time with their families and other people. If properly socialized and with the right amount of training, you won’t find a more devoted companion. They live to protect their families, and they are quite affectionate with the people they are comfortable around.
German Shepherds are always looking for something to do, and better yet, they want to work for their owners. Because these dogs form such tight bonds with their humans, it’s important that their owners train them well. Shepherds love to learn, and they are very obedient dogs.
Ranking high on the intelligence chart, German Shepherds are considered one of the most intelligent breeds. They will need lots of physical and mental exercise so that they won’t get bored, and it’s important to note that these dogs very seldom get worn out. They are highly athletic and are regarded as high-performance dogs; therefore, they do best with families that are active and love outdoor activities.
German Shepherds require thorough obedience training. If they do not have this guidance as puppies, they can become aggressive or anxious. As a German Shepherd owner, you must help them learn what to do with their intelligence and energy so that they don’t become overwhelmed or bored. Shepherds are responsive dogs, and they form close connections with their owners.
German Shepherds are prone to shedding, but routine grooming can help control how much they shed. Also, keep an eye on their teeth because these dogs love to chew. Dental hygiene is essential, so brushing your German Shepherd’s teeth at least once a week is a good idea.
German Shepherds’ life expectancy is anywhere from 10 to 13 years. They are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, and gum problems. If bred with the right standards, they are less likely to suffer from health problems.
For a happy Shepherd, remember they need lots of exercise, and they need time with their families. Every dog needs quality time with their humans, but this breed grows very strong attachments to their “pack” and are likely to get depressed if they’re left out of fun. They need daily socialization with you to create and maintain that lasting bond.
- French Bulldog (aka: The Frenchie)
French Bulldogs have become one of the most popular dog breeds due to their adorable features and playful nature. They currently rank number two on the American Kennel Club chart. Frenchies are stocky, pig-like little dogs that come in a variety of colors ranging in brindle, fawn, and white. As a member of the Non-Sporting Group, they have an array of various personality traits and characteristics, and they are sure to make you laugh.
French Bulldogs are joyful dogs that are very lively and intelligent. They are generally considered lapdogs and don’t require much exercise. In fact, they tire out easily! Frenchies are smart, affection dogs that enjoy spending time with their families. They might be more reserved around strangers, so socialization is key when they are puppies.
Frenchies tend to do much better when they are the only pet in the house, but this doesn’t mean they can’t coexist with other animals. Early socialization can help ensure they are well-equipped to meet other dogs and animals. They don’t tend to bark much, which is a plus if you live in an apartment or have small children.
Generally, Frenchies do well around kids, but it’s important to expose them early. Frenchies are also quite jealous, and they want their owners’ company. Therefore, being left alone for too long can cause them to become anxious or depressed. They love being next to you, and while they are a little lazy, Frenchies are more than happy to accompany you wherever you go.
Frenchies do well with training, but they are a little stubborn. They are food-motivated, so it’s probably a good idea to use their mealtime as training time so that they can get fed with treats while you train them.
French Bulldogs do not require the diligent training that a German Shepherd or other high-strung breed might, but they will need basic training to help them thrive in their environment and be comfortable around strangers. Most importantly, training will ensure that a Frenchie’s bond is strengthened between them and their owner.
They are not high-energy dogs, so this breed might be best suited for families that are not extremely active or who don’t have a lot of space.
Grooming is relatively easy for a French Bulldog because they are small, have a short coat, and they are not heavy shedders. Because Frenchies have such large ears, it’s important they are well-kept, and you keep an eye out for infection or bugs.
They also have short snouts, so they cannot breathe as deeply as many other breeds. Frenchies, therefore, struggle to be active sometimes and they can easily overheat. While taking a Frenchie with you on the road or along for a quick arrand, it’s important to note that they should never be left alone in a car. These dogs have natural breathing problems and their tendency to overheat only accelerates this issue.
Frenchies love to have their owners around, even if they aren’t doing much of anything. In this sense, you don’t have to do much to entertain a Frenchie except be near them, but play is always acceptable!
French Bulldogs usually live around 10 to 12 years. They are prone to skin allergies, hip dysplasia, and Brachycephalic syndrome. They are also prone to obesity, so no matter how much that cute little pup begs, don’t overdo it on the treats! They are hard to say no to, but this will keep their weight under control, and they will live longer.
- Golden Retrievers
This breed has a held a high reputation for years, and for a good reason. This lovable breed is beautiful and friendly, making it one of the most sought-after breeds for companionship, family homes, and therapy work. The Golden Retriever is typically seen with a golden yellow coat, but it’s also possible to see them in copper. The Golden Retriever ranks number 4 on the AKC popularity chart because of its intellect, appearance, and most of all: its personality.
The Golden Retriever is best known for its friendly demeanor and lively spirit. This breed will make you laugh with their silly and some-what child-like behavior, but they will also surprise you with their intelligence. This dynamic contrast is one reason why the Golden Retriever is so lovable—you get the best of both worlds!
Because this breed is in the Sporting Group, they enjoy activities outside and they love to be a part of whatever their humans are doing. Without a doubt, this breed is one of the best family-oriented dogs. They will do anything for their families; they get along well with children, and they’re protective when need be.
These dogs are quite sociable—they generally love meeting new pets and people, which is one reason why they are often used as therapy dogs. Goldens are usually calm and have a sweet demeanor. They need early socialization to ensure that their sweet disposition is nurtured so that they don’t end up too timid or nervous. When Goldens are socialized properly, they truly are a joy to have around, and they are sure to bring a smile to everyone they meet.
Goldens were bred to work with people since they were originally bred for retrieving game while hunting; therefore, they enjoy the training process, and they form tight bonds with their master. Just like any dog, it’s important that training is a fun experience for them, otherwise, they will get bored.
This breed loves to please. A Golden Retriever’s joy is their owner’s joy—when you’re happy, so are they! They enjoy physical as well as mental stimulation, and they will need both regularly.
Goldens need a good amount of exercise and probably won’t be the happiest if they are inside all day. On the contrary, Golden Retrievers might not be the best outside dogs due to their need for companionship. They want to be close to their families and involved in all family activities. This breed can also become very needy if they don’t have the daily attention that they long for.
Golden Retrievers have long coats that are vibrant and need to be brushed regularly. A trim every few months will help maintain the shedding and can help keep their coats looking healthy. This breed has a lot of fur to care for—they have an upper and an under coat as well as feathered hair on their legs. They are bound to get twigs and grass caught in all that lusciousness, so thorough brushing is recommended.
This breed is prone to several health issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, and cancer. Goldens also love to eat, so they are prone to obesity. Daily walks, runs, and regular exercise can help them burn off calories, but it’s also important to monitor closely how much food they get throughout the day.
Golden Retrievers usually live between 10 to 12 years. These dogs are unique and have much to offer their owners. They are perfect for families who want a devoted and lovable dog who is equally as smart as they are kind.
A breed that keeps climbing the popularity chart is the Dachshund. This breed is a little ball of personality and fun. Also known as the Doxie, Weiner dog, and the sausage dog, this lovable breed is stout and energetic. The Dachshund belongs to the Hound group and was originally bred to burrow down into dens in search of prey. The Dachshund currently ranks number 10 on the AKC popularity chart.
This breed can have a variety of coat patterns including black and tan, red, cream, dappled, sable, and brindle. You might see a Dachshund with a coat combination of any of these shades. They also come with either short or long-haired coats.
The Dachshund, while short and lean, has a bold personality and they’re tougher than you think. Since these dogs were bred for hunting, they have a feistiness to them, and you’ll find that there’s not much they’re afraid of. This breed is quite endearing with their goofiness and spunk, which is why so many people have fallen in love with the breed.
Dachshunds are always alert, so they are surprisingly great watch-dogs—from inside the house, of course. They are quick to let their owners know if something is out of the ordinary, and they have a powerful bark that just might scare away a predator.
Dachshunds are generally very sociable, playful, and loving. They require a good amount of attention every day, and this is important because if they don’t get attention from their owner, they will entertain themselves any way they can. Dachshunds are known to be a little stubborn, but if properly trained and socialized, they are sweet, joyful pups that will warm your heart.
Training is important for this breed since they can be a bit sassy. They sometimes like to challenge their owners and do things their own way, but as long as an owner has patience, Dachshunds are trainable dogs. They are witty and mischievous, but these are also lovable qualities so long as they are maintained and the pup has a good grasp on the rules of the house.
Dachshunds love to play. They can be lazy, but it’s rare for a Dachshund to turn down a game. When training this breed, sometimes it’s best to use playtime to your advantage and use it as a reward for tricks and commands.
Dachshunds can do well around children, but if they get agitated, they might snip. This breed can be happy in homes with kids, but it’s important that the kids are taught to be cautious and respectful of a Dachshund’s space.
Dachshunds are considered low-maintenance dogs, and they usually live about 12 to 16 years. They require a bath every few weeks if they are short-haired, and a trim every few weeks if they have longer hair. It’s also important to remember that Dachshunds are not cold-weather dogs, and they might require extra layers if they go out in the cold, especially if they have short hair.
This breed does well in a variety of homes, but homes with stairs could pose a problem for them due to their short legs. Dachshunds might also require certain accommodations for jumping on the couch such as step stool or a ramp.
Dachshunds are prone to obesity and this can really take a tole on their elongated backs and stubby legs. It’s important that their weight is kept under control so that they can maneuver around as needed. Most of this breed’s health issues is brought on by obesity. This can lead to slipped discs and arthritis. It’s also important to properly care for their ears since they are so floppy and are prone to infection.
Dachshunds are a funny, energetic breed that are fun to have around, and they make wonderful companions.
Choosing Your Ideal Pup
It can be a challenging thing to choose a breed that best suits your lifestyle, but it should also be a fun experience! We hope that this guide gives you a better understanding of some wonderful breeds, but don’t forget—there are numerous dog breeds out there!
When choosing a pup for your home, do your research, take your time, and most of all, have fun with it! Dogs bring so much love and happiness to a home, so we hope that you find the perfect one for you!
- Kirsten Starling