Most Popular Dog Breeds: It’s Not a Competition!

Most Popular Dog Breeds

Most people choose a dog because a characteristic about the breed resonates with their personality or lifestyle. Others simply want to provide a good home to dogs needing rescue; no particular pedigree or distinction is a prerequisite.

The best family dogs bring joy and fulfillment into our lives; whether they win the popularity contest hardly matters; we just love them!

Regal and hardworking Labrador Retrievers aren’t too worried about being knocked off the pedestal by the charismatic French Bulldog. Frenchies will never make great hunting breeds, and Labs know they don’t fit on our laps despite sometimes trying. 

The point is all dogs bring unique traits and personalities into our midst, and we adore them for it. Choosing the right dog breed and understanding their temperament and needs makes for a better relationship.

Here is a comprehensive list of some of the most popular dog breeds.

Most Popular Dog Breeds

Most Popular Dog Breeds

Labrador retrievers ruled the AKC (American Kennel Club) top spot for over three decades. Congrats, that’s quite an achievement. Trends come and go, and this past year, the French Bulldog took the prize. Frenchies are a playful breed suitable for urban residents, and therein lies their charm.

Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Beagles, Dachshunds, and Poodles have remained among popular dog breeds.

French Bulldogs

top dog breeds in USA to own
  • Classification: Non-sporting Group
  • Weight: under 28lbs
  • Temperament: Playful, intelligent, easygoing (OMG–that face!)

Frenchies have characterful faces and require little exercise and grooming, making them rise among popular dog breeds. They can experience health issues, and chronic skin problems plague dog breeds with skin folds.

Check our guide on how much does it costs to own a french bulldog.

Labrador Retriever 

most popular dog
  • Classification: Sporting Group
  • Weight: M 65-80lbs F 55-70lbs
  • Temperament: Energetic, outgoing, friendly, and smart

Labs are notoriously curious and love their peeps. They have webbed feet and stamina, are mostly obedient, and adore humans. Registration statistics place them #1 as the most popular service dog breed.

Golden Retriever

top dog breed in USA
  • Classification: Sporting Group
  • Weight: 55-75lbs
  • Temperament: High intelligence, friendly, loyal, and devoted.

Goldens are fun-loving, affectionate and slow to mature, and keep their puppy antics. Other dog breeds similar to Goldens are Chesapeake Bay Retrievers which have a blended resemblance to a yellow Labrador Retriever and a Golden Retriever mix.

German Shepherds

what is the most popular dog breed
  • Classification: Herding Group
  • Weight: 50-90lbs
  • Temperament: Protective, instinctive, intelligent, valiant

Regal shepherds are service dogs willing to work for their owners and instinctively protect. A highly skilled German Shepherd is a valuable resource for police and military action. Rin Tin Tin, a German Shepherd movie star, has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.


favorite dog breed
  • Classification: Toy and Non-Sporting Group (3 classes) (formerly a hunting dog)
  • Weight: Toy 4-6lbs, Mini 10-15lbs and Standard 40-70lbs
  • Temperament: Confident, super smart, trainable, active, agile, loyal

Despite their pedigree that portrays them as a tad snobbish, poodles have a naughty side. Although of German origin, it’s the national dog of France.


most famous dog breeds
  • Classification: Non-sporting Group
  • Weight: 40-50lbs
  • Temperament: Outgoing, brave, and calm

Bulldogs have a unique take on life and prefer lounging over walking (due to their body design). Many bulldogs need caesarian surgery to deliver pups. The shape of a pup makes it difficult to pass through the birth canal.


  • Classification: Working Group
  • Weight: 80-135lbs
  • Temperament: Protective, loyal, affectionate

Rottweilers trace their lineage back to Roman times and are very hard-working, and are distant relatives to the Doberman Pinschers.


what's the most popular dog
  • Classification: Hound Group
  • Weight: 20-30 pounds
  • Temperament: Inquisitive, happy-go-lucky, and nose focused

Beagles are famous hunting dogs, and their nose sometimes leads them to trouble.


best dog to get
  • Classification: Hound Group
  • Weight: 11-32lbs (Miniature or Standard)
  • Temperament: Friendly, one-person loyal, playful

Wiener dogs keep busy digging holes and chasing rodents and prefer indoor toilets, and they’re stubborn to a fault.

German Shorthaired Pointers

top dog breeds 2023
  • Classification: Sporting Group
  • Weight: 45-70lbs
  • Temperament: Intelligent, eager, outgoing

A German Shorthaired Pointer is an active dog willing to perform, and its hunting instinct is strong. They fit well into active families and like kids.

Most Popular Dog Breed in America 

Most Popular Dog Breed in America 

Culture can influence the type of dogs we’re drawn to as a society. It’s a reflection of our lives and lifestyle. However, it doesn’t always make sense. Dog statistics suggest 900 million dogs worldwide, and 85% are unowned.

Most popular breeds, like the beloved Great Dane, the alert Golden Retrievers, and the courageous Beagle, have earned their top dog spot in many hearts.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis

most popular small dog breeds 2023
  • Classification: Herding Group
  • Weight: 28-30lbs
  • Temperament: Bright, loving, and engaged

Pembroke Welsh Corgi are royalty and favorites of the Royal Family. Pembroke Welsh Corgis take their herding instinct seriously and are vocal about it and bark. The queen’s dogs continue to live at Windsor.

Australian Shepherds

which is the most popular breed of dog in america
  • Classification: Herding Group
  • Weight: 40-65lbs
  • Temperament: Smart, hard-working, eager to please, and devoted

The Australian Shepherd is also known as the Blue Heelersor Pastor Dog. This breed is famous for its two-colored eyes.

Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers
  • Classification: Toy Group
  • Weight: 7lbs
  • Temperament: Cuddly, feisty, and demanding

Yorkies are a mighty breed despite their size, and this retired hunting dog prefers grown-ups. According to an independent survey, Yorkies don’t care what breed is the most registered breed or who is the new top dog. Ruff!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

most popular dog in us
  • Classification: Toy Group
  • Weight: 13-18lbs
  • Temperament: Sweet and loving, elegant, social

Cavalier King Charles retains traits of their hunting past and doesn’t like being alone. They’re a playful breed among popular dog breeds in the UK and USA.

Doberman Pinschers

best dogs to breed
  • Classification: Working Group
  • Weight: 60-100lbs
  • Temperament: Loyal, protective, intuitive, brave, and loving

Dobbies are in-your-face dogs, and where you go, they follow (no bias;). They are among the most popular dog breeds and still appear regularly on television as the most iconic fierce guard dog. Many Doberman Pinschers work as police or army service dogs.


boxer dog
  • Classification: Working Group
  • Weight: 65-80lbs
  • Temperament: Energetic, smart, playful, and affectionate

The Boxer dog is another ancient breed whose soulful/poker faces are depicted in art worldwide and get along with other breeds. Boxers are #16 on the AKC’s most popular dog breeds list. Not bad out of 200 popular dog breeds.

Miniature Schnauzers

the most popular dog breeds in the world
  • Classification: Terrier Group
  • Weight: 11-20lbs
  • Temperament: Outgoing, intelligent, eager to please, versatile

Schnauzers are formidable hunters and excellent family watchdogs. They’re popular dog breeds with terrier fans.

Cane Corso

dog breeds usa
  • Classification: Working Group
  • Weight: 90-110lbs
  • Temperament: Intelligent, loving, powerful

Also known as the Italian Mastiff, this breed dates back to Roman times, when it served as a war dog. First-time dog owners might try a smaller pooch. Cane Corso is now #18 on the most popular dog breeds ranking.

Great Danes

most common dog breeds in us
  • Classification: Working Group
  • Weight: M 140-175lbs F 110-140lbs
  • Temperament: Outgoing, gentle, and reliable couch potato

Despite their formidable size, this breed is patient with children and family-orientated. Marmaduke is one of the most famous Great Danes and a loveable comic character who enjoys Scooby snacks. The AKC ranks Danes at #19 according to registration statistics.

Shih Tzu

top dog breed in america
  • Classification: Toy Group
  • Weight: 9-16lbs
  • Temperament: Friendly, cuddly and loving, fun, and great with children.

Shih Tzu makes great family additions and loves everyone, including cats. For those reasons, they remain among the most popular dog breeds.

Top Dog Breeds

top dog breeds

Deciding on the type of dog breed, for example, working, sporting, or toy category, can help narrow down choices and compatibility. Wonder how many dogs are in the UStoday? It’s close to 90 million.

The AKC suggests only 5% of those are purebred dogs, but the Humane Society pegs the number at 25%. The end of the pandemic has seen a surging increase in drop-offs that also affect popular dog breeds.

Siberian Huskies

siberian husky
  • Classification: Working Group
  • Weight: 35-60lbs
  • Temperament: Friendly, sneaky, loyal, and hard-working

Famous for their feats in the Iditarod, Huskies are dependable and opportunists. A Husky is often mistaken for Alaskan Malamutes.

Bernese Mountain Dogs

top dog breed
  • Classification: Working Group
  • Weight: M 80-115lbs  F 70-95lbs
  • Temperament: Docile, even-tempered, powerful endurance

Bernese makes a great family addition. Super fun and gentle; bring a brush.


best dog breed to own
  • Classification: Toy Group
  • Weight: 3-7lbs
  • Temperament: Curious, fearless, active, and feisty

Poms descend from sleddogs but are vulnerable to attacks from hawks and owls.

Boston Terriers

Boston Terriers
  • Classification: Non-sporting Group
  • Weight: 12-25lbs
  • Temperament: Outgoing, entertaining (hence the tux), and smart

Boston Terriers are very cuddly despite their fighting history. They’re the official dog of Massachusetts and one of the most popular dog breeds. Sergeant Stubby, of Boston heritage, is the most decorated war dog.


newest dog breeds
  • Classification: Toy Group
  • Weight: 7-13lbs
  • Temperament: Intelligent, fearless, and friendly, natural entertainers

These Cubans were on the brink of extinction but thankfully made a resurgence. 

English Springer Spaniels

whats the best dog
  • Classification: Sporting Group
  • Weight: 40-50lbs
  • Temperament: Playful, outgoing, and easy to train

This Spaniel loves to swim and brings its owner gifts. One of the best dogs to train but need running rooming.

Shetland Sheepdogs

best dog breed to own
  • Classification: Herding Group
  • Weight: 15-25lbs
  • Temperament: Active, fun, smart, and eager

Shetlands possess a keen intelligence and a need for mental activity. Grooming is not negotiable.


whats the best dog breed
  • Classification: Sporting Group
  • Weight: 30-40lbs
  • Temperament: Quick-witted, fun and playful, eager to please

Brittanys are energetic and don’t require stern reprimands. Keen scent dogs, they want you to be around 24/7.

Cocker Spaniels

  • Classification: Sporting Group
  • Weight: 20-30lbs
  • Temperament: Smart, gentle, and content

Cockers understand how Labs must feel after being displaced by the Frenchie. They held the same title for 16 years.

Border Collies

Border Collies
  • Classification: Herding Group
  • Weight: 30-55lbs
  • Temperament: Hard working, affectionate, super intelligent, and trainable

Border Collie dog breed works hard, and your wish is their command. Their feats are legendary.

Most Owned Dog Breeds

Most Owned Dog Breeds

The most popular dog breed rankings are both good and bad. It’s good because great dog breeds and breeders deserve recognition. Sadly, popularity increases costs, dog theft, and overbreeding in unscrupulous puppy mills and can increase health concerns. 

Miniature American Shepherds

Most Owned Dog Breeds
  • Classification: Herding Group
  • Weight: 20-40lbs
  • Temperament: Active, versatile, very smart, and sturdy

These mini shepherds have big personalities and demonstrate their loyalty. Beautiful color patterns.

Belgian Malinois

best dog breed to own
  • Classification: Herding Group
  • Weight: 61-100lbs
  • Temperament: Highly active, brave, smart, and loyal

Mals are working dogs that need mental and physical stimulation and are second to none in work ethic. Belgian Malinois often wear a police or Navy SEALs uniform.


best dog breed to own
  • Classification: Sporting Group
  • Weight: M 55-60lbs F 45-55lbs
  • Temperament: Athletic, eager, loving, and dedicated

These Hungarian hunting gun dogs are gentle dogs that reach up to 40mph and can maintain that speed. Perfect for people who love to run.


  • Classification: Toy Group
  • Weight: 6lbs
  • Temperament: Big on personality, capricious, imposing

Chihuahuas are all about attitude and have it in spades, from charming to fierce. They’re North America’s oldest breed.


best selling dog breeds
  • Classification: Toy Group
  • Weight: 14-18lbs
  • Temperament: Loving, cuddly, adaptable

The dogs of emperors, Pugs, are flexible family pets and adapt well. They’re not pugnaciousous. People sometimes confuse Pugs and Boston Bulldogs with French Bulldogs.

Basset Hounds

basset hounds
  • Classification: Hound Group
  • Weight: 40-80lbs
  • Temperament: loyal but independent, sturdy

Bassets have a wicked nose and the endurance to match. They’re calm until there’s work to be done. 


the best dog breed
  • Classification: Working Group
  • Weight: M 160-230lbs F 120-170lbs (not a typo)
  • Temperament: Gentle, protective, lovable, weary of strangers

Mastiffs helped domesticate humanity and are our first animal BFFs. There are several prominent Mastiff breeds.


most common dog
  • Classification: Toy Group
  • Weight: 7lbs
  • Temperament: Fearless, affectionate, regal, and charismatic

Maltese are another old breed who caught the attention of medieval crusaders. They may look dainty but are brave.


  • Classification: Herding Group
  • Weight: M 60-75lbs F 50-65lbs
  • Temperament: Devoted, athletic, smart, protective

A pop culture icon, Collies dominated the most popular dog breed category for generations. 

English Cocker Spaniels

most popular dog breeds
  • Classification: Sporting Group
  • Weight: 26-34lbs
  • Temperament: Curious, willful, eager to please, charisma

The English Cocker Spaniel dog breed is notorious for its ability to retrieve and personality.

Least Owned Dog Breeds

Least Owned Dog Breeds

There’s an ongoing war between the most popular dog breeds and rare ones, yet they still attract curious owners. These are just some of those unique breeds, and dozens more exist.

English Foxhounds

Least Owned Dog Breeds
  • Classification: Hound Group
  • Weight: 60-75lbs
  • Temperament: Dedicated, gentle, calm, obstinate

English Foxhounds are postcard-hunting dogs depicted in art throughout history. This breed is seldom a pet but a dedicated pack member that performs their task. Though a registered breed, they don’t rank on the most popular dog breeds list. They come in at #199, so Labs have nothing to worry about.

Norwegian Lundehunds

least popular dog breeds
  • Classification: Sporting Group
  • Weight: M15-18lbs F 12-15lbs
  • Temperament: Friendly and outgoing, athletic

Lundehunds are unique dogs with six toes and pads, extremely flexible necks, and folding ears. They resemble the Spitz breed.


what is the least popular dog breeds
  • Classification: Hound Group
  • Weight: 35-50lbs
  • Temperament: Loving with owners, reserved with strangers, keen, intelligent

Sloughis are a rare but ancient breed and a classic sighthound from Northern Africa.

American Foxhounds

American Foxhound
  • Classification: Hound Group
  • Weight: M 65-70lbs F 60-65lbs
  • Temperament: Good-natured, dedicated to tasks, athletic, prone to depression

American Foxhounds are keen hunters built for endurance and speed. They can become destructive if their physical and mental stimulation needs aren’t met.

Belgian Laekenois

least popular dog breeds in US
  • Classification: Herding Group
  • Weight: 55-65lbs
  • Temperament: Intelligent, protective, and loving with family, keen to please

Belgian Laekenois is one of four native breeds in Belgium. They resemble a Sheperd but have a wiry-curly coat that needs grooming.


Most commonly asked questions about the most popular dog breeds.

What Is the Most Popular Dog Breed?

The French Bulldog unseated the resounding top-seated champion, the genuine Labrador Retriever, America’s All-Time Favorite Dog Breed, in 2023. The AKC tracks 200 of the most popular dog breeds in the purebred category. It doesn’t track mixed or designer breeds.

What Are the Most Common Types of Dogs?

In the USA, Frenchies, Labs, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Poodles, Rottweilers, Dachshunds, Bulldogs, Beagles, and German Shorthaired Pointers are in the top spot of most popular dog breeds.

What Is the Most Commonly Owned Dog Breed?

According to the AKC, the French Bulldog is the most popular breed in the country, and the Labrador Retriever moved into second place. However, the AKC only ranks purebred and registered dog breeds.

This list excludes popular designer groups like the Mini Labradoodle and other mixed breeds. Don’t forget many Americans don’t care about the breed and adopt Heinz57 breeds.

Final Thought

An astonishing 25% of dogs in shelters are purebreds–just saying. Always be leery of buying from a pet store, as many dogs come from puppy mills and have horrible breeding and care conditions they must endure before the scrubbed and polished, and sold. We’ve barely scratched the surface; there are 155 more purebreds that didn’t make this list.

Many other popular dog breeds, like the American bully dog breeds, are on America’s most wanted list for other reasons.

Pet owners face many considerations before committing to a purebred or mixed-breed dog. The number one thing that should matter about the most popular dog breeds is that they are loved and cared for.

Monika Martyn
Monika Martyn is a nomadic minimalist and published author. Her pet portfolio includes experience with over forty cats and dogs, and she becomes their surrogate and a valued pack member. One of her proudest accomplishments is typing while petting a fur baby on her lap. She also excels at dog-speak and cat-talk and is working on mastering fish lingo. Aside from her animal advocacy, she is passionate about the environment, plastic pollution, and living with less (not including chocolate and coffee). She practices yoga and meditation faithfully. She’s experienced living abroad and believes that together people can evoke change for the better. Or at least be kind to one another despite our differences. She has an uncanny knack for remembering people’s names. She’s proud of her two Pushcart Nominations, her debut novel, and her marriage. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. Monika believes that education is the biggest gift to humanity at any age.

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