America’s 10 most popular dog breeds — and what you need to know about them


America’s love of Labs runs deep.

For the 28th consecutive year, the Labrador retriever has been named the most popular dog breed in the U.S. by the American Kennel Club. With registrations for this breed expanding in 2018 for the sixth consecutive year, clearly these barking beauties continue to win fans.

Did your favorite make the AKC’s annual list of most popular dogs? It’s possible your beloved breed pops up somewhere on the lengthy annual list, which includes 192 dog breeds total and is based on the number of AKC registrations.

Read on to see who made the top 10, and learn why people are charmed by each of them.

1. Labrador retriever

Famous standouts:

You’ve seen them in films like “Marley & Me,” but the breed’s real-life heroics could be seen in a search and rescue dog named Jake, who looked for survivors following the 9/11 attacks and later in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He died in 2007.

What people love about them:

Twenty-eight years in a row? That’s some serious staying power.

“The Labrador retriever shows no signs of giving up the top spot anytime soon,” AKC executive secretary Gina DiNardo said in a statement when the list was made public. “Labs make wonderful companions for a wide variety of people, and for good reason. The breed is very intelligent, friendly and great with children.”

These beautiful dogs are the traditional waterdog of Newfoundland, the large Canadian island, but the British refined the breed in the 19th century, the AKC says. Described as “outgoing,” “high-spirited” and “famously friendly,” it’s no wonder that so many households have chosen them as their trusted companions since 1991.

2. German shepherd

 because of their intelligence and second their commitment and dedication to their families.

“They’re so intelligent. They are notoriously a family dog,” he says. “All dogs, all breeds have a negative side. If there is one to a German shepherd that I can attest to, it’s their shedding twice a year.”  

GSDs are very easily trained, he says, and love to have a job.

“They don’t need a lot of exercise like your sporting dogs do, but because they are a larger dog, they need to have some activity. But more importantly a German shepherd has to have a purpose,” he says. ”German shepherds are not couch potatoes, that’s not what they’re bred to do.”

Famous standouts:

Goldens have the “Air Bud” movies to thank for bringing them into so many living rooms. Presidents Ford and Reagan also had them in the White House.

What people love about them:

Maybe the easier question is: What’s not to love about these beauties? Not a whole lot.

“From the eager expression to the wagging tail, a golden is happiness in a canine unit,” says Alison Webb, the eastern director for the Golden Retriever Club of America. “This is an active, people-oriented breed that wants to be involved in your daily activities. Hiking, swimming and sleeping on my feet are my dogs’ favorite activities. I love that these dogs are so smart, adaptable and trainable.”

They hail from the Scottish Highlands, where they were bred to retrieve — and they still take this job very seriously.

“Goldens were developed to be gundogs, and their natural retrieving instincts are intact,” Webb says. “They’ll bring you a baby bird fallen from its nest but also take your socks and underwear out to the lawn if given the chance. One of my dogs helps out by picking up all the dog bowls after a meal, while another I’ve taught to help me pull invasive weeds. Goldens do need quite a bit of exercise, or they will find something to do, which may not be on your approved list of activities.”

4. French bulldog

Famous standouts:

Goldens have the “Air Bud” movies to thank for bringing them into so many living rooms. Presidents Ford and Reagan also had them in the White House.

What people love about them:

Maybe the easier question is: What’s not to love about these beauties? Not a whole lot.

“From the eager expression to the wagging tail, a golden is happiness in a canine unit,” says Alison Webb, the eastern director for the Golden Retriever Club of America. “This is an active, people-oriented breed that wants to be involved in your daily activities. Hiking, swimming and sleeping on my feet are my dogs’ favorite activities. I love that these dogs are so smart, adaptable and trainable.”

They hail from the Scottish Highlands, where they were bred to retrieve — and they still take this job very seriously.

“Goldens were developed to be gundogs, and their natural retrieving instincts are intact,” Webb says. “They’ll bring you a baby bird fallen from its nest but also take your socks and underwear out to the lawn if given the chance. One of my dogs helps out by picking up all the dog bowls after a meal, while another I’ve taught to help me pull invasive weeds. Goldens do need quite a bit of exercise, or they will find something to do, which may not be on your approved list of activities.”

4. French bulldog

Famous standouts:

A show dog named Ch. Bouquet Nouvelle Ami (a.k.a. Jo-Jo) won Best of Breed at Westminster a whopping eight years in a row in the 1950s.

What people love about them:

Their large “bat” ears are their signature feature, but there are a lot of traits that make this breed unique.

“French bulldogs are loving companions that will keep you laughing,” says Becky Smith, president of the French Bull Dog Club of America. “It has been said that Frenchies are clowns in the cloak of a Philosopher. They do well in smaller environments which makes them great house or apartment companions.”

That’s why you’ll often see these cuties prancing down sidewalks in cities — if you’re considering bringing one home, definitely do your research.

“Most importantly, if you are purchasing a French bulldog, buy from a reputable breeder,” she says. “With popularity comes unscrupulous breeder’s out to simply make money without concern for protecting our breed. Members of the French Bull Dog Club of America sign a Code of Ethics. Our common goal [is] to ‘Protect, Promote, and Preserve’ our precious breed.”

5. Bulldog

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My Dog

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