Most Popular Dog Breeds in the U.S.

Most Popular Dog Breeds in the U.S.


Maybe you are about to purchase or adopt a new dog, and you want to have an idea which is the best and most available dog breeds out there. Or maybe you just want to know what type of dog Americans love.

Whatever your reason is, the American people have some favoritism when it comes to dog breeds. Some prefer a particular dog breed because they are easy to train, while others prefer the aesthetic qualities it has.

For people to have an easy reference when it comes to the most popular dog breeds in the US, the American Kennel Club, a highly recognized pedigree registry, conducts an annual survey related to it. Last March 2017, they released the rankings of the most popular dog breeds in 2016, and the Labrador retriever continues to dominate the charts by getting the top spot for 26 years in a row, followed by German shepherds (2nd) and Golden retrievers (3rd).

Below are the top twelve most popular dog breeds in the US, including some reasons why Americans can’t stop loving them (To see the full list, click here).

Siberian Husky

Retaining its 12th spot from the previous year, Siberian Huskies are used as a working dog by Northeast Asians in early 1900’s. Because they are bred to withstand even the harshest conditions, they have the innate ability to endure and the initiative to work for their masters.

German Shorthaired

Another consistent 11th topper, German Shorthaired, or Pointers, are originally bred as hunter companions. Their ancestry prompted them to adopt an active lifestyle, which makes them great fitness buddies for humans who want to add physical activities to their busy schedules.


A consistent 10th placer since last year, Boxers are as robust and graceful as the athletes where their name is adopted. Because of their muscular and scary physique, they are one of the top breeds considered as police companions. These same characteristics make them an excellent house guard as well.

Yorkshire Terrier

Sliding to 7th from the 9th position last year, Yorkies (shortened version of their name) remain a crowd favorite thanks to its luxurious and silky coat that humans love to play around with colorful ties and ribbons. If you are not fond of hair styling, you can still enjoy their companionship, especially during long walks.


This dog breed rose from the 9th to the 8th spot this 2016. Some attribute the popularity to its functionality—they are highly considered as service dogs, whether in the police force or healthcare. Others think it is because of their protective nature; there are a lot of documentations about them protecting humans as young as three months. Either way, this dog breed’s loyalty to its human companion is undeniable.


From the 8th spot last 2015, this dog breed went up to the 7th this year. Despite having three sizes to choose from (standard, miniature, toy), humans are assured that they still have the full package poodles can offer. And calling them “beauty with no brains” is heretic—poodles are one intelligent bunch. In fact, theyare one of the easiest breeds to train.

French Bulldog

Maintaining the same spot since 2015, French bulldogs, or Frenchies for short, are perfect companions for people who do not  prefer high maintenance breeds but still want a furry friend. Frenchies require minimal exercise and grooming (although both are still important for their overall health).


Dominating the 5th spot since 2014, Beagles are a popular addition to families who already have a pet. Because they are trained to work in groups, beagles learned to be friendly to humans, other dogs and animals alike. Their highly extrovert and energetic nature makes them perfect and fun companions during exercise sessions.


Despite being a 3rd runner-up in the popularity contest, everybody, dog lovers or not, can distinguish a bulldog from afar thanks to its distinct wrinkly features and overly broad snout, making them look like scary bloodhounds that eat small kids alive. This first impression melts away, however, as they slowly reveal their calm and friendly nature to even the most reluctant human.

Golden Retriever

This dog breed has no intention of relinquishing the 3rd spot just yet. Golden retrievers are a perfect balance of good work ethic and ultimate devotion to their masters. Their unparalleled loyalty would push them to become anything their masters need. They, however, would require the same amount of love in return from the members of their family.

German Shepherd

Claiming the salutatory spot for as long as history remembers, the German shepherd continues to tail behind the first. They are a personal and professional favorite for K-9 units and search-and-rescue missions because of their agility, strength, and speed. And animal rights activists need not worry about overwork issues for German shepherds; they are born and bred to work for long hours at a time, a trait much coveted at the law enforcement.

Labrador Retriever

As mentioned earlier, Labrador retrievers, or Labs, have been dominating the chart for 25 years now (with 2016 as the 26th). This breed is known for their versatility and adaptability. They can survive and thrive whether they are in the workforce or at a loving home. In whatever environment, Labs can deliver whatever is asked of them because they love to please their masters.

Despite the results of this list, you are still free to choose any dog breed that you deem suitable for your taste. Do not let yourself be limited to the most popular ones just because everybody has them. After all, despite their breed, dogs have different personalities and characteristics, and with a substantial amount of love and TLC, any dog can give undying devotion to those they consider as friends.

Marie Kron
Marie was born into a family which included a few dogs and by a few, we mean 10-15 at a time. Since growing up in a foster home for dogs in Minnesota, Marie has become a clinical psychologist, but her passion for our furry friends is still at an all-time high.

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