The Most Popular Dog Breeds Favorite Dogs in the US

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The Most Popular Dog Breeds

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Knowing which are the most popular dog breeds may help you choose which type of canine you want for your home. Read about the most popular canine breeds at PetCareRx.

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, with different varieties of fur, colors, temperaments, personalities, and needs. Although all dogs are great, certain breeds have managed to become more in-demand than others. So which are the most popular dog breeds? And what earns them the top spots?

The Most Popular Breeds

According to the American Kennel Club, in 2010 the most popular breed was the Labrador Retriever, followed in a close second by the German Shepherd. The trend can be attributed to both breeds' intelligence as well as many other positive attributes. Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds alike have long been celebrated for their trainable and obedient natures, which have led to their popularity as service dogs as well as family pets; Labs are often used as helper dogs for the physically disabled, and German Shepherds contribute to police forces. Rounding out the top 10 list of the AKC's most popular dogs for 2010 are the Yorkshire Terrier, Beagle, Golden Retriever, Bulldog, Boxer, Dachshund, Poodle, and Shih Tzu.

Common Characteristics among Popular Breeds

What do these breeds have in common, besides being so lovable? To be honest, not much. The dogs differ in size, group, history, appearance, and trainability. The AKC has organized each dog breed into one of seven different groups: herding, hounds, sporting, non-sporting, terrier, toy, and working. The dog's size, purpose, and main characteristics are some of the qualifying factors for the group in which they can be found. Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers alike fall within the sporting group because they have high energy and love to be active, and have a sweet disposition and friendly, gentle nature. Given these characteristics, their high popularity isn't surprising.

German Shepherds belong to the herding group, and are known--aside from their high intelligence--for their tough work ethic, instinct to herd, and aggressive-sounding bark. While their protective nature makes them excellent watchdogs, it is important to allow them a good amount of exercise. With the correct training, the very devoted German Shepherd can be a great addition to any family.

Yorkshire Terriers (from the terrier group, of course) are feisty, fiery, and work well for apartment living due to their small size. However, because they are delicate and can tend to nip, Yorkies are better off in homes without small children.

Residing in the hound group are the Beagle and Dachshund, whose keen noses and loving temperaments make them stand out as both good hunters and good family pets. Hounds, however, can also be stubborn and somewhat difficult to train.

You can find Bulldogs and Poodles in the non-sporting group due to their lack of criteria for any of the other six groups. The active poodle is perhaps one of the most trainable dogs, while the Bulldog is sturdy and enjoys a more sedentary lifestyle. Poodles are also often chosen as pets for families who may have allergies.

Often mistaken for Pitbulls, the Boxer is a working dog. These beautiful, powerful dogs can become hard to handle without the right training, but are as loyal and loving as they come.

Last but not least, the adorable Shih Tzu is categorized in the toy group because of their small stature. Providing great companionship and often quick to learn tricks, these little guys were originally bred in China as adored lapdogs. With long silky fur, regular brushing and grooming is a must.

Drawbacks of Popular Breeds 

While popular breeds are very enticing to potential dog owners because of their myriad of potential attributes, it is important to note that popularity has in many cases unfortunately led to over-breeding and sometimes even inbreeding. This has led to genetic defects such as hip dysplasia in larger breeds such as the German Shepherd as well as different cancers, respiratory issues, and so forth. It is important to only buy dogs from responsible breeders. When selecting a dog, checking out the breeder, the parent dogs, and the overall condition of the environment is crucial. A routine check-up by a vet can ensure that your new best friend is in good health!

The Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Yorkshire Terrier, Beagle, Golden Retriever, Bulldog, Boxer, Dachshund, Poodle, and Shih Tzu all enjoy the prestigious position of being in the top 10 most popular dog breeds for 2010. While these individual breeds don't have much in common with each other, one thing is for certain: they're all totally lovable!

Which Dog Breed Is Best for You? 

Choosing a dog for your family can be an exciting experience. All those loving eyes looking your way, just waiting to be chosen for their forever home. But choosing the dog breed that is best for you and your family can be tricky, and few things are most important in pet parenting.

Dogs breeds vary greatly in size, temperament, and needs (such as dogs that don't shed), and you'll want to share your life with a dog who will thrive in your environment and with your family. Set yourselves up for success by learning more about the dogs you're interested in.

Remember that every dog is different, and so your greatest resource will be the shelter or breeder you're buying from. Ask lots of questions!

Consider adopting an older dog since their behaviors and needs will be much easier to discern than those of a new puppy.

Take a look at some of the best dog breeds for different lifestyles.

The Most Active Dog Breeds

If you're looking for a hiking buddy, hunting partner, or camping mate, take a look at these dogs that love the outdoors. They may even help to keep you in shape!

What Are the Best Dogs to Travel With?

If you're a globe-trotter, consider getting a dog that will love traveling with you. These breeds are great adapters to new situations and will be well-heeled in no time.

The Best Dog Breeds for Fancy Grooming

Some dogs love nothing more than being brushed and groomed, and luckily for them, some dog owners are ready with clip and comb to pamper and primp. If that's you, take a look at these breeds that have great coats for fancy grooming styles, and who'll love the attention.

The Best City Dogs

Even the most devoted city slicker can tire of the noise and crowds, and dogs are no different. You'll want a breed that doesn't mind the hustle and bustle, and one that will quickly learn to stay by your side when the traffic is whizzing by.

The Best Dogs for Older People

Retirees and older folk are ready for a different pace of life, so a choice in dogs should reflect that. You'll want to consider your activity level and the ability for frequent grooming or play. Here are some breeds that will be just right.

The Best Dogs for Children

Almost any dog can be taught to be gentle around children, but some breeds are more naturally disposed to the constant attention and prodding children might give a dog. You'll want a dog that's patient and loves attention, and if you want a play buddy for your children, an active breed should be considered as well.

More on Choosing a Dog

The Best Dog Breeds for Older People
The Best Dog Breeds for Children
The Best City Dog Breeds

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Beagle Boxer Bulldog Dachshund German Shepherd Golden Retriever Labrador Retriever Poodle Shih Tzu Yorkshire Terrier
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