Most Popular Dog Breeds

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5. Beagles
> Rank in 2006: 5
> Rank in 1996: 5
> Typical life span: 10 to 15 years
> Average puppy price: $850

President Lyndon Johnson owned two Beagles during his presidency that he cleverly named Him and Her. Photographs have been taken of him walking and playing with his pups in the White House. Bred for many generations to follow their noses, the small hunting hounds were once popular for fox hunting.

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4. Bulldogs
> Rank in 2006: 12
> Rank in 1996: 27
> Typical life span: 8 to 10 years
> Average puppy price: $3,000

The fourth most popular breed, this breed is known for its wrinkled face and pushed-in nose. The Bulldog’s short nose causes respiratory problems and at higher altitudes makes it harder for the dog to breathe. Bulldogs have also endured issues with heat regulation, to boot. Many airlines, including American, Continental, and United, have enforced restrictions on when these dogs can fly, while Delta and others have gone so far as to ban them from flying in cargo loads.

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3. Golden Retrievers
> Rank in 2006: 4
> Rank in 1996: 4
> Typical life span: 10 to 12 years
> Average puppy price: $2,000

Clocking in at lucky number three, Golden Retrievers, or Goldies, are a newer breed having originated in Scotland in the 19th century. Goldies are not only devoted companions, they’re also incredibly obedient and make excellent guide dogs for the blind.

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2. German Shepherd Dogs
> Rank in 2006: 3
> Rank in 1996: 3
> Typical life span: 7 to 10 years
> Average puppy price: $2,000

This very popular and capable working breed is often utilized by police and the military. Police use German Shepherds for tracking, locating narcotics, and patrol among many other uses, while the military uses them to sniff explosives. The dogs also help in search and rescue operations, famously at the site of the collapsed World Trade Center after the 9/11 terror attacks. They are also well suited as guide dogs for the visually impaired. Notice the word “dog” in the title? German Shepherd is one of the few breeds with “dog” in its official title — perhaps in its case needed to distinguish between this intelligent shepherd dog from the shepherd human.

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1. Labrador Retrievers
> Rank in 2006: 1
> Rank in 1996: 1
> Typical life span: 10 to 12 years
> Average puppy price: $1,500

The most popular dog breed of 2016 is none other than the Labrador Retriever. But this isn’t its first year claiming the title, and it’s certainly not its second, or even 10th time. The breed has taken the top spot for 26 consecutive years, which is the longest reign of any breed in AKC history. Perhaps even more than the German Shepherd Dog, Labradors are frequently used by the U.S. military and police. Jake, a black Labrador, served as a search and rescue dog following the September 11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina.