This article is contributed by guest writer, Shawn (content writer at FeedFond)
A Basic Guide For The 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds
If you’re someone who would like to adopt a dog, you’ve come to the right place.
Before bringing a pooch home, you need to know about its personality, basic needs and what type of food is best suitable for them. And we’re here to help you with that.
Here’s a list of the 10 most popular dog breeds in the American household, based on the rankings of AKC.
So, help yourself out and keep reading for a brief overview of each breed!
1. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever has a furry coat that comes in tones of yellow, black, and chocolate. They also have a round, otter tail, which they love to wag whenever they’re excited.
- Height: 21-24 inches
- Weight: 55-80 pounds
- Life Span: 10-12 years
- Health Problems: Patellar luxation, Hip dysplasia, Osteochondritis dissecans
- Jobs: Search and Rescue, Assistance dogs, Hunting Retrievers
This dog breed is exceptionally friendly and eager to please, making it the perfect pet. They’re intelligent and trainable, with a very patient personality. They are known to be good companions for kids and people with disabilities.
Labrador Retrievers are also super energetic and well-suited for outdoor activities like swimming and hiking. In fact, they actually require quite a lot of exercise to stay healthy.
These short, dense-haired dogs have a double coat that sheds quite a bit. However, basic grooming and regular brushing are all they need.
Labradors were originally bred as water dogs who retrieved fish in Newfoundland. They were known for their good sense of smell and great speed.
Labrador Retrievers have webbed feet, a water-resistant coat, and some amazing diving skills. This makes them one of the most naturally gifted canine swimmers.
2. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are well-known for their several movie appearances. Their coats come in a variety of color combinations and patterns. They also have distinct pointy ears that symbolize their alert nature.
- Height: 22-24 inches
- Weight: 50-90 pounds
- Life Span: 7-10 years
- Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia, Degenerative Myelopathy, Heart Problems, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
- Jobs: Police, Military, Herding
These dogs may have a double or single coat, with short or long hair. Double coated dogs shed more frequently. They need regular brushing, and basic grooming that all other dogs require.
German Shepherds are energetic dogs that need intense physical activity. If they cannot burn through this energy, they tend to dig in the trash, bark, or misbehave.
These dogs may also suffer from food allergies. To prevent this and keep up with their high energy lifestyle, the German Shepherd’s food must be high quality, with balanced nutrients.
German Shepherds have an aura of confidence and are very courageous. They are easy to train and a little protective, but they’re also the most loyal companions.
These dogs originated from Germany and were initially herding dogs. After World War I, when farming became less common, they were more suited as K-9 workers.
An American soldier actually rescued a German Shepherd puppy from the battlefields of World War I. Known worldwide as Rin Tin Tin, the dog was trained to act in silent films and went on to do 27 movies.
3. Golden Retrievers
Golden Retrievers have beautiful coats and a feathery tail that comes in various shades of gold. Their kind eyes and goofy smiles are enough to melt the coldest of hearts.
- Height: 21.5-24 inches
- Weight: 55-75 pounds
- Life Span: 10-12 years
- Health Problems: Hip dysplasia, Cancer
- Jobs: Hunting, Field Work, Search and Rescue, Guide Dog for the blind
Golden Retrievers are an outgoing bunch, with a playful personality. They are very trustworthy and adapt to all conditions. It’s also normal for these dogs show their love and excitement by jumping on strangers.
Golden Retrievers are quite hyperactive. To control these high energy levels, they need a physically active life, which involves regular walks, running, hiking, and swimming. They also really enjoy playing fetch and mental exercises.
These dogs shed throughout the year, but shed the most during the two shedding seasons. They need the usual canine grooming, with a bit more attention to brushing and hair care.
The roots of the Golden Retriever lie in Scotland. Their jobs were to be gun dogs, who retrieved ducks or birds that were shot down. This ancestry gives the Golden Retriever its powerful body and talent of gently carrying and retrieving objects in its mouth.
An Australian Golden Retriever named Charlie made it to the Guinness Book of World Records in 2012. He holds the record for the loudest bark, at 113.1 decibels.
4. French Bulldogs
The French Bulldog is a small breed with bat-like ears and a short nose. It has a wrinkly body and a cute face that makes it irresistible to pet.
- Height: 11-13 inches
- Weight: less than 28 pounds
- Life Span: 10 12 years
- Health Problems: Brachycephalic Syndrome, Cherry Eye, Cataracts
- Jobs: Show dogs, Watch dogs
The French Bulldog is the ideal pet for city dwellers. They’re easy to carry and can live comfortably in a small space like an apartment or a condo.
This dog is very clever and has a charming personality. It’s also super alert and curious, making it a good lookout for your home. However, it can be a little stubborn sometimes, and difficult to housetrain.
French Bulldogs don’t bark as much as other small breed dogs. They also need minimum exercise and have a very chilled-out, couch potato vibe.
These dogs shed very little, so weekly brushing is sufficient. Only their folded skin needs a little extra care when cleaning.
Unfortunately, these dogs are very bad at swimming. So, they must be kept away from water bodies. They also can’t stand excessive heat and need climate-controlled environments.
The French Bulldog originated from Nottingham England. The toy-sized Bulldog was a common companion for the lacemakers of that era, and were useful at keeping workroom rats at bay. When these lacemakers emigrated to France, their tiny bulldogs moved with them.
The French Bulldog can be quite entertaining. It tends to snort, snore and grunt a lot. So, if you have this breed at home, you can expect to hear a lot of startling yet funny noises!
Bulldogs are a tough-looking dog breed with a short, heavy body, and droopy jaws. But they’re the sweetest, most self-sufficient creatures with a very calm temperament.
- Height: 14-15 inches
- Weight: 40-50 pounds
- Life Span: 8-10 years
- Health Problems: Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, Bladder Stones, Gastric Torsion, Conceiving problems
- Jobs: Companion dogs, Show dogs
The Bulldog is an easy-going dog breed with a friendly personality. This makes it a good fit for households with children and other pets.
These dogs are also great for senior citizens. They have a very mellow lifestyle with moderate energy levels. They love to nap and only need fifteen minutes of daily walking to keep them healthy.
Bulldogs love playing tug of war and chewing on things. So, they need some training on that from early on. Although they can be a little stubborn, they also love approval and are eager to please their owners.
This breed is easy to take care of. Its short coat looks the best when brushed three times a week. It also has wrinkles, especially on its face, that need to be clean and dry.
These dogs, like the previous ones, can’t swim either. They’re also intolerant to extreme heat.
Bulldogs were from England and their original jobs were to bait bulls in fighting rings. But when bullfighting got banned, these dogs were under threat of becoming extinct. People then bred these dogs to change them into companion and show dogs with calm temperaments.
Bulldogs are popular mascots for all sorts of institutions. Ivy League Universities like Yale, and even the US Marine Corps, use their tough but adorable faces for world wide representation.
Beagles have a long but small body with characteristic floppy ears. Their coats come in combinations of black, white, or tan, and they are popularly known as a “nose with four legs”.
- Height: below 13 inches, 13-15 inches
- Weight: under 20 pounds, 20-30 pounds
- Life Span: 10-15 years
- Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Heart conditions, Seizure Disorders
- Jobs: Scent detection dogs, Hunting, Show dogs
The Beagle is a happy and curious dog, with an incredible sense of smell. If they smell something interesting, they’re sure to follow it to the ends of the earth.
They’re also very intelligent and good at problem solving. If you plan on placing obstacles to keep them away from food, it might fail. However, their love for food comes in handy during training.
Beagles are moderate shedders with a dense double coat that needs to be brushed 2 to 3 times a week. As with all other double-coated dogs, they too shed more during spring and fall.
This breed is energetic and needs hour-long daily walks. They are pack animals that thrive in the company of humans and other dogs. They also need mental stimulation and sniffing activities, or they get bored and misbehave.
The Beagle comes from England and was originally a hunting dog for deer and hare. After years of breeding, the Beagle is now a popular pet with a friendly personality. But its hunting and sniffing senses still remain strong.
Beagles have a particular odor that is light and musky, and different from all other dogs. It is believed that since they used to hunt in packs, this smell helped them locate other members in forests.
Poodles are the most fabulous and fancy dogs of the list, commonly seen in the fashion world. But along with their graceful poofiness, they are also very talented and smart.
- Height: 10-15 inches, over 15 inches
- Weight: 10-15 pounds, 40-70 pounds
- Life Span: 10-18 years
- Health Problems: Sebaceous Adenitis, Legg-Calve-Perthes, Luxating Patellas, Addison’s Disease, Cushing’s Syndrome
- Jobs: Therapy dogs, Surveillance, Rescue, Waterdogs
Poodles are all about the hair, so they need daily brushing to prevent matts and tangles and look their best. They also need regular baths and trims every 2 to 6 weeks.
These dogs are a bit high maintenance in terms of grooming, but their coats do not shed. Because of this, poodles are a good option for people with allergies.
They are also quite active and love swimming, long walks, and jogging. Playing fetch is a good way to keep this dog mentally and physically stimulated.
As for their temperament, Poodles are social and obedient creatures that can be trained to learn any trick in the book. They’re lovable and bond well with people and other animals.
The Poodle’s origins lie in Germany, where they served as retrievers. The extravagant and strange coats we see today had a very practical reason back then.
Initially, their coats were shaved to let them move freely in the water. But the hair on their chest, hips and leg joints were also kept so that they could stay warm.
In a book that ranked 133 dog breeds by their intelligence in 1994, the Poodle bagged second place.
The Rottweiler is a hardworking dog with serious eyes and an adorable face. It stands as the number 8 most popular dog breed to be adopted.
- Height: 22-27 inches
- Weight: 80-135 pounds
- Life Span: 9-10 years
- Health Problems: Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Cardiomyopathy
- Jobs: Search and Rescue, Police dogs, Military
The Rottweiler is very athletic and loves all sorts of outdoor activities. They need daily exercise to stay stimulated. Their obedient nature makes them very easy to train.
They have medium length, coarse-textured hair and a double coat that sheds moderately. Weekly brushes and nail trimmings, with more frequent hair care in the shedding season are good enough for its grooming needs.
These dogs tend to be aloof and reserved with strangers. But they are also pretty silly and playful with their human families.
The ancestors of this dog breed were Roman dogs that herded animals in Europe. These dogs bred with local dogs in Rottweil and became stronger cattle herders, cart pullers, and protectors.
As motorized cars came about, Rottweilers lost their job and turned into the beloved household pets that they are today.
Rottweilers have very strong jaws. Their bite is said to be half the strength of a shark’s bite, with a bite force of 328 pounds!
9. German Shorthaired Pointers
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a regal-looking, handsome dog. Despite its sombre appearance, it has a very fun personality and makes a great family pet.
- Height: 21-25 inches
- Weight: 45-70 pounds
- Life Span: 10-12 years
- Health Problems: Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Cone Degeneration
- Jobs: Watchdog, Gun dog
This canine breed is a jack of all trades. Their love for people and playful nature makes them one of the greatest pets. They’re also very alert, intelligent, and protective of their families.
The German Shorthaired Pointer needs an active lifestyle because it is very energetic. Being an athletic dog, it is exceptionally good at running, swimming, and practically any dog sport.
These dogs are easy to groom, and only need brushing every few days. However, they do shed profusely, especially in spring and autumn.
As its name suggests, this dog came from Germany. It was bred to be a multipurpose hunting dog. It is most likely a mix of the German Bird dog and other breeds of the German Scenthound.
The German shorthaired pointer got its name from its unique poise. When they spot prey, their stance changes to a “pointy” position. This almost looks like an arrow directing the hunter to the game.
10. Yorkshire Terriers
The Yorkshire Terrier is a toy version of the Terrier breed that’s recognized by its outrageously long and silky hair. They have glossy button eyes and a spunky personality that appeals to a wide range of dog lovers.
- Height: 7-8 inches
- Weight: 7 pounds
- Life Span: 11-15 years
- Health Problems: Patellar luxation, Hypothyroidism, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Hypoglycemia, Pharyngeal Gag Reflex
- Jobs: Watchdog, Therapy dogs
These dogs may look tiny and dainty, but they’ve got a personality that is way bigger than their bodies. They have an inquisitive nature and love to bark.
They’re good dogs for city dwellers, but not ideal for households with small children. In fact, their small size makes them susceptible to getting hurt.
Yorkshire Terriers need a lot of hair care, which involves daily brushing and regular trimming, especially to keep the hair out of their eyes. Unlike other dogs on the list, they need baths every other week.
Yorkies need moderate physical exercise to stay healthy and burn their energy. They also need mentally challenging activities to keep them stimulated.
Yorkshire Terriers descended from the Yorkshire and Lancashire counties of England. They originated from the Scottish Terriers, who were bred to catch rodents for weavers and coal mines. After migrating to England, they were popularly used as lap dogs in the Victorian Era.
Yorkie puppies are a different color than adults. They are born with a black and tan coat, which starts changing color when it hits the six month age mark. The black shades turn lighter, or a blue or silver color. The tan turns into a shade of gold.
Now that you know about the most popular dog breeds to adopt, you can compare them to your lifestyle and make a decision.
So go through the list, do your research, and hopefully you’ll meet your perfect canine buddy!