America’s 50 most beloved dog breeds


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It’s easy to think you’ve got the best doggo in the world while you’re both cuddled up together under a blanket. When your pooch lets you put that dorky sweater on him without pouting, it’s hard not to award Fido with some belly rubs, his favorite treats and claims that he’s the best boy in the world. While everyone thinks their dog is tops, every year, the American Kennel Club ranks America’s most beloved dog breeds. The rankings are based on the previous year’s AKC registration statistics. 

The most beloved dog breeds

While it’s no surprise that labs and German Shepherds rank high, some lesser-known breeds are climbing into the Top 50 list as well. No matter if your dog’s breed appears on the list or not, that won’t make them any less of a good doggo. 

How popular is your dog among American households? Keep reading to find out. 

English Cocker Spaniel
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50. English Cocker Spaniel

Unsurprisingly, the upbeat, merry and playful English Cocker Spaniel is on our list. The breed moved up from No. 52 last year as they stole the hearts and laps of even more Americans.

Portuguese Water Dog
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49. Portuguese Water Dog

The adventurous Portuguese water dog moved up a spot from last year. With low-shedding fur and an athletic build, this dog will eagerly learn any trick you throw at its cute, curly face.

Saint Bernard
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48. Saint Bernard

Saint Bernards held steady at No. 48. They are excellent watchdogs yet are still known to be friendly and playful with kids of any age. As such, be prepared to play lots of fetch with your big and bulky Bernard.

Akita puppies
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47. Akita

Akitas are loyal, dignified doggos who will show their silly side with beloved family. While they’ll give your their love and affection, they’ll also give you tons of hair and drool to clean up, too.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever
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46. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Chesapeake Bay retrievers are bright dogs that are a staple for many hunters, but they’ve wormed their way into many non-hunting households, too. The smart and emotionally complex dog will keep you busy as a puppy, but they will serve as a life-long pal to any human willing to put in the work.

Shiba Inu
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45. Shiba Inu

The curly-tailed Shiba Inu has been climbing the rankings since gaining popularity in the West. Originally from Japan, Shibas are confident even as puppies and can adapt to almost any environment.

West Highland White Terriers
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44. West Highland White Terriers

West highlands are the most popular of any of the terriers— that’s not surprising, given their playful yet piercing eyes. West Highland Terriers may be less patient with kids, but they’ll keep you as busy as kids would if you’re willing to train them, be it for a show or fun.

Bichons Frises
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43. Bichons Frises

While Bichon Frises were once used as sailing dogs, they now will feel most at home on your lap. The small, furry white dogs will get into mischief if you let them, but they’ll be just as content getting as many pats and cuddles as you’re willing to give them. 

Rhodesian Ridgebacks
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42. Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Although Ridgebacks once killed lions in Africa, they’re now eating your couches and tearing up your lawns. These dogs will need a lot of training to help them live the domestic life, but if you put in the time and effort, they’ll show you relentless affection for their entire lives.Skip Ad

Belgian Malinois
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41. Belgian Malinois

Don’t be fooled — this isn’t a German shepherd! While just as smart and loyal, the Belgian Malinois is a bit smaller and leaner. Nonetheless, it will need a big yard and an active human friend to keep it occupied and in shape.

Newfoundland puppy
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40. Newfoundlands

If you’re looking for a nanny dog, look no further than the even-tempered Newfoundland. Don’t let its stocky build fool you: This is one of the sweetest, gentlest dog breeds you’ll find. 

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39. Weimaraners

Weimaraners are determined, steadfast dogs that’ll think they’re part of your pack the second you let one into your home. These dogs like a mental and physical challenge, so be ready to start training early and keep it up as they age.

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38. Collies

Collies have been popular family pets for years. They’ve developed a reputation for being patient with even the trickiest toddler. While they’ll need exercise, they’ll feel even more at home if you show them the same attention and devotion that they give you.

 Basset Hounds dog
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37. Basset Hounds

Basset hounds are instantly recognizable for their long ears and faces, which keep them ranking well on the AKC’s popularity list. These dogs aren’t nearly as hyper as other larger breeds, but they make up for it with the barks and stubbornness. 

Maltese dog
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36. Maltese

Malteses are one of the most recognizable toy dogs. It’s graceful and patient enough to be groomed and put in cute hair ties and clothes, while still being active enough to score high on agility courses.

Chihuahuas dogs
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35. Chihuahuas

These little critters have developed a bad rep for being tiny dogs that just bark and bite. Nonetheless, this purse dog is very adaptable and trainable. Their small size and big personalities make chihuahuas popular among apartment dwellers up for a challenge. 

Vizslas dog
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34. Vizslas

While the name Vizsla isn’t instantly recognizable, a quick image search will bring to mind the typical hunter dog you see in movies and TV shows. That’s because the breed has been a popular hunting dog for years in Hungary and other countries. It’s slowly gaining popularity in the U.S. as well, especially in households that hunt.

Border collie playing rope
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33. Border Collies

Collies are another popular household pup. These are affectionate, intelligent mid-sized dogs who prefer to spend half their day running and the other half cuddling. 

Mastiff playing with ball
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32. Mastiffs

Despite their massive size, mastiffs are docile and loving at heart. A full-sized male may weigh as much as an adult human; however, they can be some of the most loyal and protective dogs in the world.

Pugs in bow ties
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31. Pugs

Pugs may be small, but they have huge hearts. If you have a lot of love to give, pugs will be the perfect breed for you. Nonetheless, this is a deceptively muscular breed that isn’t for those who aren’t willing to keep up with the special health needs, such as special diets and coats for colder climates.

Cane Corso with puppies
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30. Cane Corso

Cane Corsos are boxy, bulky dogs that have the mindset and body of a security guard. You’ll need to start socializing this dog young to make sure it’s as warm and affectionate to non-household members as it is to members of your pack.

American shepards
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29. Miniature American Shepherds

The mini American shepherd is a small herding dog that’s self-motivated and agile. While they’re similar to the Australian shepherd in terms of personality, they tend to be a bit smaller but just as active and trainable. 

Cocker Spaniel swimming
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28. Cocker Spaniels

Cocker Spaniels are yet another hunting breed that’s morphed into a household favorite. Perhaps most recognizable for this floppy, furry ears, the Cocker Spaniel is a medium-sized dog with a variety of colors and patterns. No matter what your Spaniel looks like, chances are it’ll still have the breed’s signature sporty sweetness. 

English Springer Spaniel
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27. English Springer Spaniels

The English Springer Spaniel is a well-known bird hunter that’ll also leave you hunting for your heart. This breed has stolen the affection of millions of Americans with its kind and trusting demeanor. 

Brittany puppy
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26. Brittanys

Brittanys are yet another hunting breed that’s cracked the Top 50  list. Brittanys love exercising with their human both in the home and the field. It’s a little taller than the average hunting dog and has pointy ears that show off its signature eagerness. 

Shetland Sheepdog playing
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25. Shetland Sheepdogs

Shetlands definitely fall under the “small but mighty” category, as anyone who’s owned one can attest to. This breed is the smaller cousin of the Collie, but are just as in-tune to their pack’s needs.

Pomeranian puppy
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24. Pomeranians

Perhaps one of the most recognizable purse dogs, the Pomeranian’s signature fluff comes in various colors. While an easy-to-train dog, the Pomeranian is often happiest when given its human’s full and undivided attention at all times.

Bernese mountain dogs
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23. Bernese Mountain Dogs

The Bernese mountain dog may be big, but it’s an even bigger cuddler. This gentle giant gets attached to its humans and definitely prefers sleeping over running.

Havanese puppy

22. Havanese

The Havanese breed tends to be tiny but packs a punch with its personality. This is a sociable, scrappy dog that’s most commonly seen in America’s cities because of its size and happy-go-lucky demeanor. 

Boston terriors
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21. Boston Terriers

Boston terriers are easily recognizable for their black-and-white suit and agreeable personalities. Nicknamed the “American gentleman,” these dapper little doggos are a common choice for city dwellers.

Shih Tzu
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20. Shih Tzu

This breed has signature long hair that’s easily groomed and styled. They’re excellent playmates for the young and old alike, although they’re known for being especially good companions for those with young kids.

Doberman running
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19. Doberman Pinschers

These watchdogs’ hearts are as big as their muscles. Dobermans are fearless companions that are sleek, intelligent and easily trainable. While Dobermans look intimidating, they’re great family dogs since they’re highly protective of their humans. 

Miniature Schnauzers
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18. Miniature Schnauzers

Despite their signature beards, Schnauzers are low-shedding dogs, making them a great companion for allergy sufferers and for those who don’t want to deal with dog fur. Mini Schnauzers are friendly dogs with many of the same attributes as a standard one, just in a smaller package.

Great Dane playing
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17. Great Danes

Perhaps the biggest and tallest on the list, Great Danes are easygoing dogs who have great senses of humor. Danes are the ultimate people-pleasers, meaning they’ll be patient with even the most energetic kids.

 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
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16. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

King Charles Spaniels are graceful, gentle dogs who are both the perfect toy dog and hunting dog. As such, they can easily adapt to an active or more domestic lifestyle.

Siberian Huskies
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15. Siberian Huskies

Siberian Huskies are pack-oriented dogs who will go out of their way to protect any human and dog member of your household. Nonetheless, Huskies are perhaps too sociable to be effective watchdogs. 

Boxer puppies kissing
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14. Boxers

Boxers have been a favorite among Americans for years because of their attentiveness and loyalty. Like actual boxers, Boxers move nimbly and tend to be athletic. 

Australian Shepherd playing
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13. Australian Shepherds

These dogs’ herding roots make them task-oriented, intelligent and trainable. Australian shepherds aren’t for those looking for a lap dog, though, as they’ll want tons of exercise as well as mental and physical challenges to keep them occupied. 

Yorkshire Terrier in a sweater
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12. Yorkshire Terriers

These long-haired beauties are bossy and feisty. Yorkshire terriers are popular among city dwellers looking for a big personality in a tiny package. As added bonuses, they are low-allergen and have a life expectancy of up to 15 years.

Dachshund on vacation
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11. Dachshunds

Dachshunds are expressive and alert dogs with lively personalities. Their many colors and hair lengths mean there’s a Dachshund for any human’s tastes. They also have mini or standard sizes, making them good for those in cities as well as those with more space.

Corgi birthday party
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10. Pembroke Welsh Corgis

Corgis are perhaps best known for their big, pointy ears and adorable round butts. Their cute, stout demeanor is matched with a big, sensitive personality. 

Pointers (German Shorthaired)
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9. German Shorthaired Pointer

The German shorthaired pointer is a medium-sized gundog that’s gained popularity in many American households. These dogs love the fields and water, and they are great companions for fans of the great outdoors.

Rottweiler in glasses
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8. Rottweilers

Rottweilers are muscular dogs with aloof and gentle personalities. That’s why they’ve been a common breed for those with families looking for a guard dog that can also double as a playmate for younger kids.

Beagles playing
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7. Beagles

These compact companions are equal parts cuddlers and hunters. Beagles are expressive, easygoing dogs that will need an owner with plenty of time to devote to playing or hunting. 

Poodle posing
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6. Poodles

The proud poodle comes in three sizes (toy, mini and standard), although each one will be packed full of energy, intelligence and grace. The low-allergen breed gets a bad rep for being snooty. However, in reality, this is a sporty dog that’ll thrive during training sessions.

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5. Bulldogs

Despite their snarly expressions and intimidating name, Bulldogs are natural-born cuddlers and enthusiastic couch potatoes. While they’ll gladly walk with their faithful owners, don’t expect to train them to do party tricks.

French bulldog doing yoga
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4. French Bulldogs

Frenchies have been a long-time favorite of city folk. They’re playful and pretty, but also even-tempered and adaptable. Their signature bat ears and rolls of wrinkles add to their charming personalities, which keep them ranking high year after year.

Golden Retriever swimming
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3. Golden Retrievers

These devoted, densely built dogs are friendly, happy and outgoing. Retrievers are eager to please and playful, making them a staple in American households for years. 

German Shepherd puppy with leaf
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2. German Shepherds

Almost no dog is as recognizable and easily found across America as the German Shepherd. Despite their large size and many muscles, Shepherds are rather agile and trainable. Few breeds are as loyal and devoted.

Labs running in the snow
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1. Labrador Retriever

Think back to the last movie or show you watched with a dog in it. There’s a good chance that dog was a lab— and for good reason. Labs thrive when they’re offered as much love as they give, and they certainly have tons of that to go around. This friendly puppy will show affection to any animal or human lucky enough to meet it.

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Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn is MediaFeed’s senior editor. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, specializing in social justice and investigative reporting. She has worked at various radio stations and newsrooms, covering higher-education, local politics, natural disasters and investigative and watchdog stories related to Title IX and transparency issues.