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
Golden Retriever, Bulldog, Boxer,
Poodle, and Shih
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
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
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
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
The Best Dog Breeds for
The Best City Dog