So, you want to know how many dogs are in the world?

No one can give you a straight answer to that question, but we’ve compiled a range of stats to get a rough estimate.

Let’s learn the most interesting facts about pups and see why more people should think about adoption.

Little Known Facts About the World Dog Population in 2021 

  • There are around 900 million pups worldwide.
  • In 2020, the US had about 89.7 million dogs.
  • Russia had roughly 15 million puppers.
  • France has 17 dogs per 100 people. 
  • The AKC currently recognizes 197 dog breeds.
  • There are over 200 million stray dogs worldwide.
  • Shelters euthanize around three million animals each year.
  • More than 70% of the worldwide pup population is free-ranging.

How Many Dogs Are There in 2021?

We can’t know the numbers since we aren’t even halfway through the year, but the stats for 2020 are out. Here’s what you should know.

1. There Are Around 900 Million Dogs Worldwide.

(Source: Insurance Information Institute)

  • In 2018, the US was home to approximately 89.7 million puppies. Dogs and their population statistics by the state show that Idaho holds the highest number of dog owners — 58.3%.
  • Montana comes next on the list, with approximately 51.9%.
  • West Virginia falls right behind it, with 51.6% of dog ownership.

Now, let’s dive into the most popular dog breeds in America.

2. In 2020, the Most Popular Dog Breed Was the Labrador Retriever.

(Source: American Kennel Club)

  • As a great family-friendly breed with calm nature, Labradors are often used as service animals
  • Dog breed statistics show that the second most popular breed was the French Bulldog. Rising in popularity, it outranked the next two dogs for the first time. 
  • The German Shepherd falls third on the list. It works incredibly well under pressure, so it’s often employed in the police force.

Golden Retrievers ranked fourth in the canine popularity race. But their friendly nature and love of children classify them among the most sought-after breeds.

Worldwide Pet Ownership Statistics

It can be challenging to get an exact global dog population estimation, but here’s what we know.

3. France Has 17 Dogs per 100 People or 7.4 Million Pups.

(Source: WorldAtlas)

  • India has one of the highest dog populations — 10.2 million. Unfortunately, most of them are strays, but we’ll get to that a bit later. 
  • The Philippines has 11.6 million dogs. Sadly, that number is after the government killed many of them due to the high rabies rate in the country.
  • The good news? Looking at the dog population by country, Japan has around 12 million dogs. Many people opt to have pets instead of children, so pups’ lives are usually quite pampered.

But that’s not all. Are you ready for more stats on how many dogs are in the world?

4. In 2020, Russia Had a Pup Population of 15 Million.

(Source: WorldAtlas)

  • Most of them are strays. Still, the pups have adapted well and even found a way to get around on metro trains.
  • China has an exploding dog population of 27.4 million. It’s led to the country having the third-largest pet industry market worldwide.  
  • Brazil has 35.7 million doggos, with over 50% of households owning a pup

Unsurprisingly, facts about family dogs and statistics show the US has the highest pet ownership worldwide with 89.7 million.

Three black Labrador dogs sitting on a wooden dock

How Many Breeds of Dogs Are There in the World?

It depends on who you’re asking. Here’s the breakdown. 

5. The AKC Currently Recognizes 197 Dog Breeds.

(Source: American Kennel Club)

  • For the AKC to recognize a breed, first, its population should be big enough, and second, owners must have an interest in the dog.
  • Some registers worldwide acknowledge over 400 breeds but not the AKC.
  • The UK Kennel Club recognizes 211 dog breeds. Meanwhile, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognizes the most dogs — 344 breeds.

But how many types of dogs are in the world? Well, it’s a question that goes beyond breeds. Let’s have a look.

6. The AKC Recognizes Seven Dog Categories. 

(Source: American Kennel Club)

  • Sporting: Examples include the German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever. 
  • Hound: You might recognize the Bloodhound, Dachshund, and Greyhound.
  • Working: These pups were traditionally used as working animals, like the Boxer, Rottweiler, and Great Dane.
  • Terrier: Short-leg dogs, initially bred for catching mice and rats, are now officially a part of our fur family. Breeds include the Scottish and Bull terrier.
  • Toy: These pint-sized adorable breeds can bring a smile to any face. Even though dog population statistics show the Labrador Retriever as the most popular in the US, the Pug and Shih Tzu remain on the top in countries like China.
  • Non-Sporting: What do these breeds have in common? A wet nose! Examples include the Bulldog, Poodle, and Dalmatian.
  • Herding: Here, you’ll find the German Shepherd and Border Collie.

Stray Dogs Statistics

Sadly, strays remain a large part of the dog population. Let’s explore the numbers.

7. There Are Over 200 Million Stray Dogs Worldwide.

(Source: National Public Radio)

  • 3.3 million dogs enter US shelters every year.
  • Thanks to microchipping and a dog GPS tracker, 710,000 of them return to their owners. 
  • In Houston alone, there are approximately one million stray dogs.

These numbers beg the question — how many dogs are euthanized each year?

8. Shelters Euthanize Around Three Million Animals Annually.

(Source: Humane Society)

  • They’re too underfunded and can’t afford to look after all the animals. Cat population statistics show that out of the euthanized animals, 70% are cats.
  • Still, US citizens adopt around four million pups and kitties each year.
  • The good news? Delaware became the first no-kill state in the US, and many are following.

It’s not just stray and shelter dogs that make up the pup population. Data on Free-ranging dogs and statistics are also on the rise. 

9. More Than 70% of the Worldwide Pup Population Is Free-ranging.

(Source: Springer Nature Limited)

  • Sadly, free-roaming animals spread disease, and these pups are responsible for 60,000 human deaths each year. 
  • India has one of the highest rates of free-roaming dogs, which leads to approximately 20 million dog bites every year.
  • Since 2001, India has tried the animal birth control program.It’s worked to a certain degree, with an estimated 85% coverage in urban areas.

But aside from free-ranging, how many wild dogs are there in the world?

10. There Are 35 Wild Dog Species Worldwide.

(Source: Active Wild)

  • You’ll find wild dogs on every continent except Antarctica. The problem with them isn’t so much the dogs but us. As we destroy their habitats and force them further into human-populated areas, we’re driving the wild dogs into the list of endangered species.
  • One of the breeds at the highest risk of extinction is the African wild dog. While some don’t see their beauty, they’re close to my heart, and once upon a time, they were free-roaming in the thousands. Now, there are approximately 1,500 left. 
  • Did you know that a wild dog from Chile helped Darwin with his theory of evolution? It’s called Darwin’s Fox. Unfortunately, with only around 1,000 left, it’s also an endangered species. 

Now, we can’t adopt wild animals, but what about the others?

Sad looking dog behind a wire website

How Many Dogs Are Adopted Each Year?

Taking care of a dog is no walk in the park. It requires a lot of time, money, and effort, but the reward of having a furry pal far outweighs the drawbacks. 

11. 48% Of Pups That Enter Shelters Get Adopted.

(Source: ASPCA)

  • Kitties have around a 50% adoption rate.
  • If you’re hesitant about adopting because you want a purebred dog, you shouldn’t be. About 25% of dogs that enter shelters are purebred.
  • Around 28% of puppies are bought from one of the over 10,000 US puppy mills.

How many pet dogs are in the world? Let’s take a look at the pups that already have a home. 

Pet Dog Statistics

With 63 million US homes owning a dog between 2019–2020, no one can argue that this country loves these furry pals. 

12. Dogs Are the Most Popular Pet. 

(Source: American Pet Products Association)

  • So, how many domesticated dogs are there? Since 2018, pet pups have reached over 470 million worldwide
  • The entire pet industry was worth over $103 billion in 2020. Pup owners spent the most on food and treats — over $42 billion. 
  • In 2020, vet care and products cost us $32.3 billion, a hefty sum for medical care. Do your research, but in our book, pet insurance is a must

We spend a lot on our pets, but their happiness is our happiness. What’s more, some of our four-legged friends are essential for people with disabilities. 

Let’s take a look at these dog heroes. 

Three dogs walking down wooden outdoor stairs

How Many Service Dogs Are in the World?

Service animals are highly trained to help people with physical and mental disabilities. 

13. The US Has Around 500,000 Service Dogs.

(Source: Share America) 

  • Over 7,000 UK citizens rely on service animals to complete daily tasks. 
  • Emotional support dogs statistics show there are around 200,000 of these animals in the US. 
  • But make no mistake, training a service dog is no easy task. It takes about two years and over $25,000. Many trainers also use training collars for dogs, clickers, and treats to ease the process. Training collars are a way to stop unwanted behaviors quickly, particularly for puppies who join the service dog squad. 

Wrap Up

Let’s get down to business. How many dogs are there in 2021?

The best we can give is an estimated guess as many countries don’t keep up-to-date records. But we know that in 2018 there were around 89 million dogs in the US, and there are about 900 million pups worldwide.

The AKC recognizes 197 dog breeds, and the list grows more and more each year.

While there are roughly 200 million strays worldwide, 48% of pups in US shelters get adopted. 

Knowing how many dogs are in the world puts things into perspective and might nudge you to adopt rather than buy an animal. 

FAQ

How many dogs are born each year?

70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day, and many of them come from animal mills. Around two million puppies start their lives there every year. With their growing numbers, there will never be enough homes for these poor animals. 

How many homeless dogs are there in the world?

The World Health Organization estimates roughly 200 million stray dogs worldwide. While some are free-roaming and manage to survive, about three million pups end up in US shelters every year. Please ensure your pets are neutered and spayed to avoid any issues. While you may be able to care for a litter of pups now, you don’t know what the future holds. 

How many cats are in the world?

The estimation is between 220–600 million and it might be even more. Many cats are feral and not counted in population statistics. Plus, the average cat births three kittens per litter. With only 2% of community cats being neutered/spayed, it’s easy to quickly see how the numbers can go up. 

Are there more cats or dogs in the world?

There are more dogs than cats worldwide. Dogs are roughly 900 million, while the cat population is between 220–600 million. It can be challenging to get the exact numbers. There are about 70 million stray animals in the US alone, which are impossible to count.

How many kinds of dogs are there in the world?

The AKC recognizes 197 breeds. Meanwhile, the UK Kennel Club acknowledges 211 dog breeds, and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale reports 344 breeds worldwide. These are just the recognized breeds. Many more haven’t been recognized as a mix or for other reasons, so don’t let the small number fool you. 

How many dogs die a day?

Estimates suggest around 80,000 animals in the US are euthanized every week, or about 11,000 a day. Still, with a much stronger backing for no-kill shelters, the numbers are decreasing. Again, to prevent unwanted animal deaths, we all need to be responsible pet parents, which means spay/neuter, regular vet checks, and giving all the love our pups deserve. 

So, how many dogs are in the world? The numbers vary greatly, but roughly 900 million pups.

  1. Insurance Information Institute
  2. American Kennel Club
  3. WorldAtlas
  4. American Kennel Club
  5. American Kennel Club
  6. National Public Radio
  7. Humane Society
  8. Springer Nature Limited
  9. Active Wild
  10. ASPCA
  11. American Pet Products Association
  12. Share America
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Emma is a lover of all animals. Her cat Pumpkin enjoys stretching out in the office while mom researches the best information on how to care for their fellow furry friends. Emma’s passion for animals started at a young age. Back then, she dedicated her time to shelters and vet clinics in South Africa. Her enthusiasm for writing and research is behind the most reliable information for pet lovers. She believes in treating animals with the devotion and respect they deserve.