Having a dog at home is a delight. You get all in one — a companion, protector, and friend. But have you ever stopped to wonder if your pet is among the most popular dog breeds in the US?
Here’s a brief look at the statistics. 84.9 million homeowners in the US have pets, and 63.4 million of them have dogs. For some, one puppy is enough, while others keep two or three. If you want to learn more, read our selection of fascinating dog facts.
How Many Dog Breeds Are There?
Truthfully, your dog’s appearance depends on where it comes from and what adaptations it has. Some are tall and slender, others plump and short, or in-between. Coat types and even colors can be incredibly different. You’ll notice the great variety of the most popular dogs. In the end, all furry pals need love and care.
The number of dog breeds is not constant, so experts revisit the list frequently and do a recount. In just a year, there might be two or three newly recognized canines. At the same time, some breeds might disappear from the list. Overall, the current number remains between 350 and 400 dog breeds worldwide, including pure and crossbreeds. If we consider the pure ones only, we have approximately 197 different types.
The 25 Most Popular Dog Breeds in the US in 2021
Here’s a list of the four-legged pals that captured the hearts of US citizens.
1. Labrador Retriever
The number one most popular dog in the US is the beloved Labrador retriever. It’s short in height, with a medium-sized, strong body. These puppies are also quite athletic, making them ideal for hunting or other physical activities outdoors.
Many love the labrador retrievers because they adapt pretty well. They’re an excellent family dog breed and quickly build long-lasting relationships with all members.
2. German Shepherd
Also known as the Alsatian, this breed is regularly among the most popular dog breeds in the US. It’s a kid-friendly dog that makes an ideal pet for home keeping.
They’re easy to nurture, have a manageable lifestyle, and are pretty easy to coach. What’s more, German shepherds are energetic and very playful, so you’ll never have a dull moment around them. They can grow to about two feet and live up to 14 years.
3. Golden Retriever
This medium-sized sporting dog has a very muscular build and grows to a height of 23 inches. Golden retrievers have a dense and furry coat, short ears, an even muzzle, and gentle keen eyes.
Their good nature wins them a place among the most popular dog breeds in the US by population. The Golden Retriever is a loving and tender dog. For the most part, you’ll find it running up and down, always anticipating play with its owners. They enjoy the outdoors and activities like swimming, hunting, and playing fetch.
4. French Bulldog
Unlike the previous top dog breeds, the French Bulldog is a more laid-back pup with a calm demeanor. It’s a non-sporting canine that is short and plump, with erect bat-like ears. They have wrinkles that roll over their square-shaped faces and a spectacularly smooth, velvety coat.
The French Bulldog is incredibly affectionate and serene. These puppies love to stay near their owners and adore being carried around. Since they’re not sporty dogs, these puppies require little outdoor activities, and that’s why they classify among the famous dog breeds to have in your apartment complex.
Next on the list of the most popular dog breeds in the US is the bulldog. They resemble their French cousins in stature — short and plump, with a life expectancy up to 10 years.
The droopy skin gives these dogs a sad look, but they’re happy canines. The distinct difference between the two breeds is their name and ears. The French bulldog’s ears are erect and bat-like, while the other ones are smaller. Both enjoy easy walks and love to cuddle up with their owners, making them the ideal dog breeds for companionship.
These petite canines are also one of the favorite dog breeds in the US. The poodle is an energetic, proud, and very bright house companion that enjoys pouncing around its owners.
Contrary to popular belief, these dogs are bold and can stand up to any antagonistic force. They’re easy to train and enjoy spending quality time with their owners.
Beagles are short pugs with a solid body build. They fall in the hound category and can grow to up to 15 inches. Beagles usually have interestingly patterned coats in brown, red, white, or a mix of all.
They’re lovable canines and one of the top-rated adaptable and peaceful dog breeds. These qualities make them perfect for families, and they can live up to 15 years, as long as they’re well cared for.
If you’re looking for the number 1 dog breed that can serve as a guide or nurturer, and it’s incredibly faithful, then the Rottweiler fits the bill. They stand tall — up to 27 inches above ground with a glistening short black coat.
These dogs are in the working canine group. They’re composed, confident, and courageous. For these reasons, they’re among the recommended guard dog breeds. But that’s not all. Rottweilers are incredibly playful, meaning they’re a delight to have around the house. When you train your Rottweiler from a young age, they become very-well behaved companions as the years go by.
These dogs are also called German Shorthaired pointers, and they’re part of the sporting group. As one of the top-rated dog breeds, the Pointer grows to about 25 inches and 70 pounds.
Their coat is very striking, with the head usually in one solid color and a dotted body. Pointers have friendly black eyes and enjoy outdoor activities. They’re incredibly fast but still have a welcoming vibe. So, they’re among the most popular dog breeds to have around your family and friends.
10. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a herding dog with an agreeable attitude. They can weigh up to 30 pounds and only grow to 12 inches. Their fur can be a combination of black, tan, red, and white.
These canines may appear slow, but they’re pretty quick and expeditious. They love spending time outdoors and act as the perfect herder, making them one of the most popular dog breeds for farmers and livestock owners.
Dachshunds are part of the most popular dog breeds in the US for the hound group. These dogs have a short, sturdy body with long legs and an erect neck. They’re curious, pleasant, and spunky, with velvety smooth, wire, or long hair.
These little beauties are great at resilient activities like long-distance running. Dachshunds are the kind of dog you can confidently take for a swim across the lake without fearing it’ll drown. They’re also independent and incredible hunters.
12. Yorkshire Terrier
According to the AKC breed popularity, Yorkshire Terriers rank at number 12 out of 197. They’re affectionate dogs with a very long and soft silk coat that can be striking steel blue or golden tan.
These independent pugs have a very bossy attitude but are still very gentle. They’re often featured in the most popular dog breeds in the US as they can adapt to any environment. While Yorkies are incredibly pleasant, they still make fine watchdogs to your home.
13. Australian Shepherd
Households with cattle and livestock in the US would relish the Australian shepherds because they’re exceptional herding animals. It’s a very keen breed with sharp eyesight. Their coat covering is either mottled or a subtle, clearly boarded color of blue or red.
The Aussie is an intelligent herder for all kinds of animals, big or small. That said, they’re very defensive against people they don’t know and can get nasty if approached. Still, they’re incredible partners for working out, herding, and even playing with the kids.
This is one of the popular dog breeds that also belongs to the working canines group because of their impressive eyesight. They are muscular dogs that grow up to 25 inches. The boxer’s majestic and smooth coat can be fawn or brindle with distinct white layers.
These alert dogs react to even the subtlest movements. So, they take up the role of a home protector without fail. Boxers are athletic, enjoy outdoor activities with their owners, and are incredibly calm around babies and toddlers. That’s how they became one of the most common dog breeds in the US. They’re playful, always ready to engage with the family, and have no issues with a crowd of people.
15. Siberian Huskie
These graceful and working creatures with a nimble reaction have a 14-year life expectancy. Siberian Huskies have an effortless stride with a friendly and playful expression. Plus, you’ll fall in love with their almond-shaped eyes.
They’re naturally bred as pack dogs; so, companionship is one of their strongest suits. Siberian Huskies make the best watchdogs and home pets.
16. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Judging by the name, we have one proud canine on our list of most popular dog breeds in the US. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a devoted, gentle, and graceful canine with a 15-year life expectancy.
These charming furballs fall within the toy group of dogs. They’re jaunty and keep digging their toys. Cavaliers boast a mellow coat with a silky rich tone that can be one of four distinct types. They’re the perfect dogs to have at home because of their gentle attitude towards kids and toddlers.
17. The Great Dane
These majestic dogs stand tall at the height of 32 inches. The Dane is among the working canines that can be perfect guide dogs and also sympathetic partners. They’re peaceful, very dependable, and with a gracious attitude.
This gigantic dog is very patient with kids. What’s more, the Great Danes are people pleasers and remain calm even in crowds. If you love big dogs, then this is one of the most popular dog breeds to have around.
18. Miniature Schnauzer
This breed is a warm and very obedient companion, falling under the terrier group of canines. Its fleece is bushy, taking up colors like black, gray, and an ombre hue fading to its feet. Curiously, many perceive their facial hair to be a dog beard.
You can easily train a Miniature Schnauzer to perfection and have them follow every command. They love interacting with their owners through games like fetch.
19. Doberman Pinscher
This working canine is brave, loyal, and always alert. As one of the top dogs in America, the Doberman can reach up to 28 inches.
Their coat is thin and gleaming, with a rich hue of black, fawn, red, or blue. This breed is a noble pick for an excellent patrol dog.
20. Shih Tzu
Another excellent example of the canine toy group is Shih Tzu — sassy, affectionate, and cute. This little beauty only grows to 11 inches and weighs up to 16 pounds. They come with a silky coat that mixes colors like black, white, tan, and even fawn. Its long fur requires you to tie a bow over its head to help it see clearly. So, we can confidently say that this popular breed of dog comes with a fashion sense.
Children find this canine charming, and this furry cutie reciprocates the love.
21. Boston Terrier
Dogs of this breed are friendly, delightful, and adorable. They can grow up to 17 inches. Their magnificent fur in black and white colors looks like the dogs are wearing a coat and a shirt.
Their name reflects the place where they thrive — in the city. Boston Terriers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world that love busy life. You can carry them around on errands, and they’ll stay tranquil the whole time.
This outgoing ball of fun grows to about 12 inches. They are also proud members of the toy dog group.
The Havanese has an amazingly silky coat that can be pure white, tan or a mixture of other colors. To give this breed a tidy appearance, you must style its fur every once in a while. The Havanese is also a great companion in a busy city. Once you train them, they become the most respectful canines.
23. Bernese Mountain Dog
This furry pal is one of the famous dog breeds known for their good-natured and gentle demeanor. They have warm eyes, casting an intelligent yet eager stare at the world around them.
The Bernese Mountain Dogs are resilient animals with excellent tolerance to freezing climates. Because of their peaceful nature, they live cordially in homes with kids.
Pomeranians are adorable little balls of fur that are very curious, upbeat, and lively. If you have one of them, expect nothing but constant running and bouncing in your household.
With a fur coat resembling a pom ball, they’re always alert and are easy to train. And just like pom balls, they’re a delight to have around the house.
25. Shetland Sheepdog
The Sheltie also wins a spot among our dog breed rankings. This canine is a medium-sized dog that can grow to about 16 inches and weighs up to 25 pounds.
The Shetland Sheepdogs are agile creatures that are part of the herding group. They have a long straight coat in black, white, or blue marble. These trainable canines grow to be affectionate, energetic, and obedient house dogs.
Each dog breed we looked at is home-friendly, even if some may be best fitted to live in the countryside instead of the city and vice versa. For instance, the Australian shepherd and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi would be ideal for farmers. In contrast, the French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, or Shih Tzu can be the perfect binge-watching companion in a busy city. If you’re looking for a more laid-back dog, find out more about the calmest dog breeds.
This list of the most popular dog breeds in the US taught us one fundamental thing. If a dog is well-trained and put in a suitable environment, that pet will become a happy and loyal companion and protector. So, what’s your pick?