The Top Five Dog Breeds (By Popularity in the United States)
The time has come to add a new dog to your life! Although you probably have many questions, one of the most important is what type of dog you'll get.
So, we've compiled the top five dog breeds in the United States and analyzed them to help you find the perfect match!
1. Labrador Retriever
Let's dive in!
Height: 21.5” – 23.5”
Weight: 55 – 80 lbs.
Life Expectancy: 10 – 12 years
Originating in Newfoundland during the 1500s, the Labrador Retriever rose to popularity in the United States during the early 1900s. This was mostly due to being a great hunting dog as well as family-friendly.
This breed is known for being a particularly great family dog. In combination with being eager to please and generally outgoing, they are excellent for novice dog owners. They bond with the entire family and are good with neighbor dogs.
Recommended Nutrition: Labs do well with quality dog food and a healthy diet plan ensures that they maintain a proper weight. As with all breeds, clean water should always be available.
Exercise: In order to stay healthy and prevent destructive behavior, Labs require exercise daily. They are a very energetic breed and a lack of exercise might result in behavioral problems or illness later in life.
- No special grooming associated with this breed
- Give occasional baths
- Brush teeth and trim nails regularly
2. German Shepherd
Height: 22” – 26”
Weight: 75 – 95 lbs.
Life Expectancy: 10-14 years
Often used as police dogs, this reserved breed is very intelligent in all aspects. As loyal as they come, but particularly stubborn when faced with changes at home. German Shepherds became popular in the United States in the early 1900s, largely in part because of movies such as Rin-Tin-Tin.
Although they can make good family dogs, they must be exposed to children at an early age. This also holds true for other pets in that it may be hard to introduce a new animal when the German Shepherd has matured. Not a good fit if you travel often or are away from home for extended periods.
Recommended Nutrition: High-quality large dog food is a must. Always consult your veterinarian with any questions regarding your pet’s diet. Clean water is always necessary.
Exercise: Again, German Shepherds require attention and lots of exercise to maintain happiness. In addition, if these needs are not met, they may resort to destructive behaviors.
- Usually clean and odorless, but does shed
- Must check ears for dirt and trim nails at least once a month
- Requires bathing regularly, but not too often to avoid removing skin oils
- Brush teeth every 3 weeks
Read Next: Why Having A Dog Is Great For Children
3. Golden Retriever
Height: 21.5” - 24”
Weight: 55 – 75 lbs.
Life Expectancy: 10 – 12 years
The Golden Retriever became popular in the United States during the 1970’s due in large part to Gerald Ford’s golden, Liberty. Named after their beautiful golden coat, this breed is very outgoing and eager to please.
In addition to being energetic dogs, Golden Retrievers make excellent family dogs for many. Overall, they’re usually very friendly and trainable, making them an excellent choice for new dog owners. According to the American Kennel Club, “They take a joyous and playful approach to life and maintain this puppyish behavior into adulthood”.
Recommended Nutrition: As with all dogs, it’s important to maintain a healthy, veterinarian-recommended diet. Golden Retrievers don’t require any special diet, but it’s also important to not over-feed to avoid obesity. A constant supply of clean water is a must.
Exercise: They are very active and require lots of exercise in order to stay healthy. Failure to do so may result in unwanted behavior. Well suited for owners that regularly run or bike for long distances. Before taking them on strenuous workouts, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.
- No special requirements for the breed
- Brushing every 1 – 2 weeks is recommended to maintain a healthy coat.
- Bathing every three weeks is ideal
- Brush teeth and check ears regularly
- Shedding is seasonal usually twice a year
Height: 13” – 15”
Weight: 20 – 30 lbs.
Life Expectancy: 10 – 15 years
Described as a happy breed with lovable features, Beagles rose in popularity in the U.S. during the 1900s due to reputation as rabbit hunters. They aren’t the easiest to train, but with attention and persistence, it can be done.
They make excellent family dogs and generally live long healthy lives. The breed doesn’t have many unique health issues. However, they do require lots of attention and are known for being able to escape many enclosures.
Recommended Nutrition: Healthy dog food aided by occasional treats. In order to stay healthy, it’s important to make sure they receive attention both emotionally and physically. Overfeeding or giving too many treats is ill-advised as it can lead to more health issues later in life.
Exercise: If a Beagle doesn’t receive enough attention, they will prone to more destructive behavior. Again, they are known for being able to escape and don’t do well in kennels for long periods. That said, if you travel often or can’t interact with your dog much, this breed isn’t for you.
- They shed the most in the spring but will do so mildly year-round.
- Regular brushing once a week
- Bathing should be done monthly or as needed
- Keep nails trimmed
5. French Bulldog
Height: 11” – 13”
Weight: Up to 29 lbs.
Life Expectancy: 10 -15 years
The French Bulldog is well-known for its flat nose, bat ears, and large/square head. This breed has been one of America’s most popular since the early 1900s. Ideal for owners who enjoy moderate exercise such as walks or visits to the park.
Although a well-tempered breed, they can be somewhat stubborn during training. The French Bull Dog is also known for having breathing problems that can be prevented by a healthy diet and avoiding strenuous exercise, especially in the heat.
Recommended Nutrition: Since French Bulldogs are prone to certain health issues, it is important to maintain a healthy diet that is recommended by your vet. Again, this breed can be somewhat challenging to train, so treats go a long way. However, it is important to not provide too many treats for the risk of weight gain.
Exercise: The benefits of this breed include the fact they don’t need a large amount of exercise to stay healthy. Walks are ideal, making French Bulldogs a great fit for older couples. If you’re looking for a breed to join you on your daily 5k run, this isn’t the dog for you.
- French Bulldogs are prone to skin disease, especially within the wrinkles of their face
- For this reason, it is important to keep their wrinkles clean and dry
- Frequently shed through all seasons
- Bathing every month or so
- Brush every 3 weeks and keep nails trimmed
There you have it! The five most popular dog breeds in the United States. If you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter and like us across all social media platforms!
What do you think of our list? What's your favorite dog breed? Tell us in the comments below!