Over the years, several breeds have become very popular in the United States. The popularity is visible at dog parks and on sidewalks with plenty of people owning Labs, Golden Retrievers, and Boxers. The American Kennel Club has been recording popularity rankings for breeds through registration statistics and what's amazing is that popularity changes very little from one year to the next. There must be a reason why people love these dogs so much! All of the dogs listed below have been in the top 10 breeds for the past decade, according to AKC rankings.
What most of these dogs have in common is intelligence and willingness to please which make them easy to train. These dogs are also very friendly and love people, allowing for the companionship most people want when they look for a dog. All the popular breeds are historically working dogs (even the Yorkie) who have helped humans catch animals, bring in nets, deliver messages, and find missing people for a long time.
For at least a decade, the Lab (pictured above) has been the most popular breed because they are loyal and relatively easy to train and groom. Always great swimmers and helpful to masters, Labs came from Newfoundland where they helped fisherman pull in nets. Patient and loving, Labs crave human leadership and always look to their pet parent for advice. Their short coats are easy to brush and comb, as long as the undercoat gets cleaned out during grooming.
Dependable and brave, German Shepherds are popular because they are more than police dogs, they are also loving family dogs who are great with children. These dogs love to be active and work to please their pet parents. An incredibly smart but obedient breed, German Shepherds are easy to train and naturally protect their human pack.
Another talented working dog, Goldens have been bred to be great hunting dogs (retrieving fowl, not killing) and helper companion dogs. Their cheerful and playful temperament is also very popular with families. Because they are smart and easy to train, they are a primary choice as search and rescue or assistance dogs. Goldens love to please their pet parents and tend to get along with just about everybody.
This sweet and happy dog is medium-sized, popular for families who don't have the space for a German Shepherd or Lab. Beagles tend to have a mind of their own, wandering off while following their noses, but can still be trained rather easily. Beagles love being with people and their coat is easy to groom, only needing regular brushing and occasional dry shampooing.
The most popular toy breed, Yorkies can become a key member of the family without taking up a lot of space. Great for apartments or people on-the-go, Yorkies are loyal, beautiful, and affectionate, but require firm training so that they know their pet parent is the pack leader. They are easy to train, but some pet parents let them misbehave because they are so small and cute. If they know who the alpha is, Yorkies are obedient and happy with nothing but a daily walk and lots of love.
Another helper dog, Boxers are athletic, instinctive guardians and affectionate pets that are great with children. Their name comes from the tendency to bat at things with their front paws, especially when standing up on their hind legs. Boxers love to play and also to keep the family safe. Their short coat is easy to care for through simple brushing, and some Boxers are even clean enough to groom themselves.
Poodles have recently become fashionable dogs, but they have also have a history as working dogs, primarily as water retrievers. In addition to being helpful, Poodles come in three sizes, standard, miniature, and toy, which makes it more likely for a Poodle to find a home regardless of the space. Poodles are also low-shedding dogs, which can keep homes cleaner, but they often require professional grooming to manage their curly coats.
The 5 Most Popular Dog Breeds Each Year
The placements change a bit from year to year, but you can see there are perennial favorites in the AKC's rankings of the most popular dogs in the US. See the complete lists at the AKC website.
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