Special Report

Most Popular Small (and Big) Dog Breeds in America

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5. Boxers
> Average weight (male): 65-80 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 10

Although it was recognized by the AKC in 1904, the boxer did not really gain popularity in the U.S. until after World War II, when returning soldiers brought the dogs home with them from Europe. Its popularity may also have received a boost when actors Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were given one as a wedding present.

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4. Rottweilers
> Average weight (male): 95-135 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 8

The Rottweiler is one of the oldest working breeds and may have been herding livestock since the days of the Roman Empire. The breed combines intelligence, strength, and endurance. Unfortunately, the Rottweiler has sometimes been portrayed in the media as aggressive, but according to the AKC, it is “a calm, confident, and courageous dog.”

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3. Retrievers (Golden)
> Average weight (male): 65-75 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 3

Golden retrievers aren’t just intelligent, they are hard workers, too. They are often used as guide dogs, in search and rescue, and – as their name suggests – for hunting. Their many other endearing characteristics, including patience and playfulness, make them great pets.

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2. German Shepherd Dogs
> Average weight (male): 65-90 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 2

The German shepherd is the second most popular dog in the U.S., according to the AKC. Originally bred to herd sheep, it has become the first choice for many roles because of its intelligence, trainability, and obedience. German shepherds are used for disability assistance, search and rescue, and as police dogs.

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1. Retrievers (Labrador)
> Average weight (male): 65-80 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 1

The Labrador retriever has topped the AKC’s list of most popular breeds in the U.S. for years. Labs are friendly, outgoing, and eager to please. They are also one of the most sought-after breeds for challenging work, whether as guide dogs or for search and rescue. When lives are in danger, you want a dog that is smart and dependable.