Breed of the Month–Most Popular Dog Breeds

1September 2014

For this month’s Breed of the Month, I would like to do a blog on the most popular breeds in the United States, and a few other places around the world.

Most Popular Dog Breeds

Oddly enough, the Top 5 most popular dog breeds in the United States were the same for both 2012 and 2013.  Below is the list of the Top Five.

Top 5 Dog Breeds in the US

#5  Bulldog

The Bulldog makes an excellent watchdog and although he does have strong protective instincts, he is one of the most gentle breeds.  Today’s Bulldog is extremely affectionate and happy to be around other people and pets when properly socialized.  The Bulldog can be very stubborn and requires a firm, but patient owner.


#4  Beagle
The Beagle’s small size and charming personality has made the breed very popular.  A great size for apartment living, many city-dwelling pet owners love the breed.  Properly training and socializing your Beagle from day one is important.  Beagles do not generally like being left alone and can make some very loud objections to your absence; something to keep in mind if you are considering this breed.


#3  Golden Retriever
Smart, sociable, and always wanting to please their human, Golden Retrievers are a great breed.  Easy-going and lovable, the Golden gets along well with other dogs, other animals, and children of all ages.  Golden’s are easily trainable using positive reinforcement, making them well sought after by service dog organizations all over the United States.


#2  German Shepherd
The German Shepherd dog is one of my most favorite breeds.  The German Shepherd is adaptable, intelligent, and trainable.  It is one of the most recognized breeds in the world and is aptly used for police work, army work, search and rescue, scent discrimination, and as guide and assistance dogs.  German Shepherds are extremely loyal, intelligent, and brave.  Shepherds bond very closely with their family and have an instinct to protect them.  German Shepherds are quick learners, but require an owner using consistent positive reinforcement training.


#1  Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is intelligent, affectionate, and willing to please.  Labs seem to understand that children need to be treated with an extra gentle touch.  Labs are generally high-energy and need lots of regular exercise, but just about any activity will do.  Labs are great with other dogs, other animals, and children of all ages.  Labs love to please and enjoy working for their owners.  Their excellent temperament and training ability not only makes them the most popular dog breed for owners, but also makes them highly popular in the use of police and service dogs.  Labs enjoy most any activity including:  fetch, swimming, hunting, agility, tracking, and obedience.  Many mixed-breed dogs have Lab in them.


Top Breeds Around the World

Along with the United States, several other countries rank the Labrador Retriever as the number one dog breed.  They include:
Great Britain

Ranked #2 in the United States, the German Shepherd takes the top spot for most popular dog in both Germany and France.


Ranked #5 on the U.S. list, the Bulldog ranks the number one spot for South Africa.

Not gracing the Top 5 for the U.S. most popular breed, the American Staffordshire Terrier is rated most popular for Russia.  The AmStaff has an affectionate nature and loyalty for his family.  The AmStaff is adept at guarding, hunting, herding, and weight pulling.  It is vitally important to socialize and train this breed from day one, as they can become aggressive towards other dogs is not done so.  This is a very powerful breed that requires an owner willing to put in the time and training required.  I do not recommend this breed for a first-time dog owner.  This breed (along with other Pitbull-type breeds) are steadily gaining popularity in the United States.


Also missing the Top 5 list for the United States, the Doberman Pinscher is rated the number 2 dog in Israel.  The Doberman Pinscher excels in many activities including:  police work, therapy, search and rescue, and protection.  The breed is very intelligent and graceful, yet powerful and intimidating.  This breed is often used for home protection.  As with any powerful breed, the Doberman Pinscher is not necessarily a breed I would recommend for a first-time dog owner.

Remember, just because a breed is considered the most popular, does not mean its the right breed for you.  If you are truly considering adding a new dog to your family, please do your research.  If you have a breed in mind, look them up on-line and see if the aspects of the breed actually match your lifestyle.  Please do NOT get a dog breed based on looks alone.  Each breed has characteristic about it that are unique.  Properly choosing an appropriate dog breed for your lifestyle, family, and energy level, will ensure a happy life for your entire family.