The 18 Most Popular Dog Breeds and Why They’re Loved

Ever wondered which of the many dog breeds out there is the most popular among humans? In this article, we’ll share the most-favored 18 breeds and why people love them so much—from Golden Retrievers to Poodles and beyond.

Labrador Retriever

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Labrador Retrievers are known for their friendly and outgoing nature. This sweet-faced, lovable breed makes excellent family pets due to their gentle disposition. They are highly trainable, which also makes them great for various roles, including service and therapy work. The American Kennel Club calls them “one of America’s most popular dog breeds, year after year.”

French Bulldog

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French Bulldogs are absolutely adorable, with distinctive bat-like ears. They’re great companions for urban dwellers due to their small size and moderate energy levels, and they’re known for their playful and affectionate personalities. French Bulldogs were originally bred to be companions, so they love their humans!

German Shepherd

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Extremely smart and versatile, German Shepherds excel in work like police and military roles. However, they also make excellent and loving family pets with their loyal and protective personalities. As shared by the PDSA, these dogs are “intelligent and love to be kept active, so [they] can be easy to train.”

Golden Retriever

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Golden Retrievers are very friendly and have tolerant attitudes, meaning they are perfect for families. These gorgeous dogs are also intelligent and eager to please, which makes them easily trainable and a popular choice. They can be recognized by their beautiful, lustrous golden coats.


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You can spot a Bulldog because it will have recognizable loose, wrinkly skin and a distinctive pushed-in nose. Despite the breed’s gruff appearance, these dogs are actually very gentle and affectionate, making them suitable for all kinds of households, including those with kids. Bulldogs are loved for their kind and courageous personalities!


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VOA News reported, “Poodles reigned as top dog from 1960 to 1982 before falling off somewhat in popularity. But in the new statistics, they reclaimed the fifth spot.” Why are they so popular again? Because not only are they beautiful, but they’re also highly intelligent and trainable, excelling in obedience training. They have hypoallergenic coats, which are great for allergy sufferers, and are available in standard, miniature, and toy sizes.


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Known for their incredible sense of smell and tracking abilities, this breed is both friendly and curious, which makes them great companions. Their compact size also makes them suitable for various living situations. Aside from their iconic floppy ears, this breed is loved for its joyful, outgoing nature.


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Rottweilers are adored for their loyalty and confidence. They make excellent guard dogs due to their protective nature, though they do require firm, consistent training and socialization from an early age. These gentle playmates can be both docile and energetic.

Yorkshire Terrier

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Small in size but big in personality, Yorkshire Terriers are known (and loved) for their boldness. These dogs also have hypoallergenic coats—a plus for people with allergies. As Rover says, “Nothing compares to the unbridled, enthusiastic love of a fun and fuzzy Yorkshire Terrier. They’re packed with personality and zest for life.”


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Known for their playful and energetic nature, Boxers are loyal and affectionate with family members, making them much-loved pets. They do require regular exercise to manage their energy levels, but their active personalities make for a fun time!


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As shared by Alpha Paw, “From their adorable appearance to their curious nature to their strong personalities, these lovable (and loud) Wiener dogs are in high demand.” These dogs have a unique appearance with a long body and short legs, making them as cute as anything. They’re also bold and playful—you can’t help but love them.

Siberian Husky

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Not only are these dogs popular for their striking appearance, thick coats, and distinct colors and markings, but they’re also friendly, outgoing, and great with children. As shared by the PDSA, “Huskies have really big personalities which is why they’re loved as pets. They adore people and are a real joy to be around.”

Great Dane

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Known for their enormous size and gentle nature, Great Danes are the picture of elegance. Despite their size, they’re gentle and affectionate with their families—often referred to as gentle giants. Although they were originally bred to hunt, they now prefer to spend their time running around and playing.

Doberman Pinscher

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This breed of dog has a sleek and powerful appearance. Doberman Pinschers are known for their agility and speed, and are also loyal and protective, making them excellent guard dogs. They require regular exercise and mental challenges to stay happy, but when they’re happy, so are their owners.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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These little dogs have an adorable and expressive appearance with a silky coat. They also have a friendly and affectionate nature, which is great for companionship, especially in smaller living spaces. Their adaptable nature suits various lifestyles, though they thrive on companionship. Regular grooming is essential for their luxurious coat, adding to their appeal.

Australian Shepherd

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Australian Shepherds are the epitome of intelligence and energy. Renowned for their agility, they excel in dog sports and are perfect for active families. Their loyalty and eagerness to please make them great companions. However, they require consistent mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy and thrive in environments that offer ample activity.

Shih Tzu

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The Shih Tzu breed is known for its beautiful, flowing coat and sweet nature. They make great lap dogs and are very affectionate with their owners. According to Hill’s, “Shih Tzus are renowned for their perky, happy temperaments. They are lively and friendly [and] tend to get along well with people of all ages and with other dogs.”

Border Collie

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Known for their exceptional intelligence and trainability, Border Collies are often considered the smartest dog breed out there. These pups are energetic and playful, ideal for active lifestyles. They’re also eager to please their owners, making them a popular choice for a family pet.

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