The 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds

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There are 360 recognised dog breeds out there. Some of these breeds are much more popular than others. But just what are the most popular choices? This post delves into 10 of the nation’s favorite dog breeds – and why they are so popular.

French Bulldog

Yes, Frenchies are the most popular breed right now in the US. Many of us are drawn to their cute squat faces and satellite dish ears. However, they’re also very friendly dogs that don’t bark a lot and don’t need a lot of exercise. This makes them popular family dogs. Their small size also makes them suitable for apartments. The downside of a French bulldog? Due to their flat face, French bulldogs can struggle with breathing issues and are also more prone to heatstroke than many other breeds. They can also cost a lot of money to adopt due to their demand and small litters.

Labrador Retriever

Labradors are known for being some of the most friendly, playful and intelligent dogs. They are very easy to train and typically get on well with kids and other pets. It’s for this reason that they’re the second most popular breed in the US. While most people choose black labs, you’ll find that yellow labs and chocolate labs are very popular too. Are there any cons to adopting a labrador? These dogs do need a lot of exercise – which is great for active owners but not good for those with mobility issues. Labs can also be prone to hip and joint issues as they get older. 

Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers are sometimes mistaken as a type of labrador, but they are actually a different breed that originates from a completely different part of the world. They are fluffier than labs and have a slightly different temperament – often preferring routine over adventure. One thing they share with labs is their gentleness, friendliness and smartness. This makes them similarly very popular family pets. Unfortunately, like labs, they are prone to hip dysplasia and joint problems, which can mean high vet bills. 

German Shepherd

The fourth most popular dog breed in the US is German shepherds. These large fluffy dogs are prized for their obedience and intelligence. They are known for being great family dogs, while also being great guard dogs. Unfortunately, they can be some of the most high maintenance dogs – they require multiple walks per day, eat lots of food and constantly shed fur wherever they go. Some people may also find them a little too territorial (they may regularly bark at strangers such as the mailman), however this aspect of their temperament can vary a lot between dogs. 


When it comes to brains, poodles are the smartest breed on this list. They are also known for being very affectionate dogs that are easy to train. They don’t shed a lot of hair and so are also sometimes seen as hypoallergenic dogs. If someone in your household has a dog allergy, this could be something to consider. While poodles are known for their distinctive curly fur, these dogs come in a variety of sizes and colors – making it possible for two poodles to look completely different to one another. Poodles can be a little barkier than breeds like labradors, but are also less highly-strung. They can be quite prone to health problems like hip dysplasia, which is something to consider.  


The sixth most popular breed is the traditional American bulldog (very different to a French bulldog). These dogs grow to a bigger size than Frenchies and have floppy ears. They are known to be quite laid back and friendly dogs. While they still need daily exercise, they often don’t need as much playtime and are happier to just spend most of the day lying near you. Unfortunately, all bulldogs are susceptible to breathing issues. Their skin folds can also make them prone to skin infections. 


Rottweilers are the seventh most popular breed in the US. They have a distinctive stocky appearance with a black and brown coat. Although notorious for being guard dogs, rotties are actually very calm and friendly to those they know well. In fact, they can make great dogs for families with young kids, because they are generally not as jumpy and hyperactive, and are naturally protective of kids. First time dog owners may find training a rottie from a pup to be a challenge as they can be stubborn. They also need a lot of exercise and food.


One of the most popular small dog breeds is the beagle. They are a bit like mini labs in their temperament and floppy eared appearance. A big difference is that beagles require less exercise and don’t suffer from as many health problems due to their size. A downside of beagles is that they can be quite barky and jumpy dogs. Fortunately, they are friendly to almost everyone they meet, however their excitable nature may not suit everyone. 


Also known as ‘sausage dogs’, dachshunds have a distinctive long body and small legs. They are loving and playful dogs that do not need a lot of exercise. These traits make them the ninth most popular breed. Something that a lot of people don’t realize about dachshunds is that they can be quite mischievous and training can therefore be harder. Dachshunds do also suffer from certain health problems more commonly than other breeds – most notably spinal issues and joint issues due to their shape. 

German Shorthaired Pointer

Finally, German shorthaired pointers (GSPs) are the tenth most popular dog breed. They have a labrador-like appearance but even more pronounced ears and a distinctive red-brown coat with white spots. These dogs are popular for their lively and affectionate temperament. They can be a little boisterous and stubborn, but are generally not too difficult to train. As with other breeds listed here, they are very prone to hip problems. GSPs are also not recommended for owners that aren’t into long walks – these dogs typically require 2 hours of exercise per day.