Most popular dog breeds

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Yorkies - one of the most popular dog breeds - love to be the center of attention and bravely defend their owners despite their small size
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Did your favorite dog make the list?

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the following dog breeds are the most popular in the country. While this list may vary from year to year, the breeds listed below are consistently among the favorites.

Miniature Schnauzer

Although miniature schnauzers are small, they are known for their bravery and make excellent watchdogs. The breed is also good with children and recognizes that gentle play is required. Intelligent and easy to train, miniature schnauzers require a lot of attention to avoid becoming depressed; the dogs do well in a home with an owner who has plenty of time to devote to their pet. Friendly and energetic, this breed rightfully earns its spot amongst the most popular dog breeds.

Shih Tzu

This dog has a beautiful double coat and a cute upturned nose. The Shih Tzu is intelligent, friendly, energetic and lively a good pet for homes with older children as well as for people who are looking for a lap dog and a faithful companion. Shih Tzus do not like to be alone and may become mischievous if left to their own devices.


This companion dog is well-known for its hypoallergenic fur and dignified disposition. The poodle is also known for its intelligence, which makes it easy to train. Poodles come in toy, miniature and standard sizes. Poodles love to please their owners, making them one of the most popular dog breeds.


Goofy and affectionate, the boxer is a great family pet. Sensitive to weather, the boxer is an indoor dog who enjoys being around people. Despite its size and physical heartiness, boxers do not do well outdoors. They have a thin coat, which provides little protection against the elements. Athletic, strong and muscular, this breed may look intimidating but is actually very gentle and is known for being good with children. Boxers come in fawn a light, reddish brown color and brindle, which is fawn with dark brown stripes. Boxers can have white markings, which is referred to as flash. Highly energetic, these beauties need to be in a home with a yard and a dedicated owner willing to exercise the dog regularly.


Also known as a weiner dog, the dachshund is a great companion. These dogs are quite brave despite their small size. Bold and proud, this little dog often walks as though it is proud of itself and is looking for praise. Very clever, these dogs need assertive owners to ensure that the dog not the owner becomes trained. A family with small children should consider another type of pet because dachshunds can be easily perturbed and are known for snapping. These small compulsive diggers like to bark and would do best as the only animal in a home due to their proneness to jealousy.


The little dog with plenty of might, the beagle is a hearty dog often used for hunting. Compact and sturdy, these dogs can make good family pets; however, due to their energetic disposition, they need to be in a home with a yard and some lively owners to play with them. They are considered sociable, brave and loving, and will enjoy being around people rather than being left alone.

Retriever (Golden)

This beautifully-coated dog is loyal and affectionate. Although a larger dog, the golden retriever makes a great family dog because it is charming, patient and gets along well with children. These dogs love to please and are easy to train. Note that this dog is best for families with lots of time to devote to loving their pet, because when left alone, this breed can become easily bored and mischievous.

German Shepherd

German shepherds aren't the right pet for everyone; although they require plenty of exercise and are strong-willed, these beautiful dogs can be very loyal. Often used as service dogs for the police, German shepherds are highly intelligent and easy to train, as well as fearless and alert. German shepherds love being around people and do not enjoy lengthy periods alone. To be successful as pets, these dogs need strict training and a strong owner who is firm but loving.

Yorkshire Terrier

A lap dog if ever there has been one, the Yorkshire terrier loves to be with people and is best suited for apartments and houses. This is not an outdoor dog and despite its size can be quite vocal. Also called Yorkies, this breed seems to be oblivious of its size, bravely defending its owners and belongings. These dogs do well in homes with no children or other pets because the breed tends to be loyal and affectionate with its master, but wary of others. In addition, Yorkies like to be the center of attention and can experience jealousy when they have to share.

Retriever (Labrador)

Perhaps the most popular family pet of the most popular dog breeds, the Lab (as its commonly known) is a highly loyal, friendly and energetic dog. The breed comes in yellow, brown (chocolate) and black. For the owner who prefers a larger dog, Labs fit the bill. These dogs love to play and will enjoy a game of Frisbee or a romp in the lake whenever the chance is given; however, the breed needs an owner that is firm but gentle because the dog has a tendency to get out-of-control when not handled well.

While there are arguments about which breeds should make the list of the most popular dog breeds, the dogs above are consistently among the favorites. Before getting a pet, do your research to make sure you get the breed that's right for you.

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