Special Report

America's Most Popular Dog Breeds

Source: Thinkstock

10. German Shorthaired Pointers
> 2016 rank: 11
> 2007 rank: 18

The German shorthaired pointer is a great gundog and a great pet, although it likes a lot of exercise. It is a natural retriever on land and water, and is one of the finest swimming dogs, aided by webbed feet.

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9. Yorkshire Terriers
> 2016 rank: 9
> 2007 rank: 2

The Yorkshire terrier’s confidence and courage make it a good pet to keep in bustling cities, and those qualities have earned the dog the nickname “the tomboy toy.” It is also known for its beautiful silky coat, which has a texture similar to human hair. The Yorkshire terrier requires a lot of care and attention.

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8. Rottweilers
> 2016 rank: 8
> 2007 rank: 15

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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7. Poodles
> 2016 rank: 7
> 2007 rank: 8

Poodles come in three sizes — standard, miniature, and toy — and a variety of solid colors. They are smart and eager to please. They are also energetic and are good runners and swimmers. They require regular clipping and grooming of their hypoallergenic coat.

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6. Beagles
> 2016 rank: 5
> 2007 rank: 5

Bred to live and work in packs, beagles are sociable dogs and like the company of their human families, as well as other dogs. They are scent dogs, which can sometimes get them into trouble and means they should not be left off-leash unless in a secured area.

Source: Thinkstock

5. Bulldogs
> 2016 rank: 4
> 2007 rank: 10

The bulldog has long been associated with British culture (note the resemblance to Winston Churchill!), but it’s also one of the most popular breeds in America. Its name belies a friendly personality and gentle disposition.

Source: Thinkstock

4. French Bulldogs
> 2016 rank: 6
> 2007 rank: 34

Contrary to its name, the French bulldog actually comes from Nottingham, England — not France.These sturdy little dogs with their bat-like ears are playful, good with small children, and intelligent. They don’t need much exercise or grooming but shouldn’t be left alone for long as they can suffer from separation anxiety. Like other “flat-faced” breeds, French bulldogs are prone to snoring, which can add to their charm — or not.

Source: Thinkstock

3. Golden Retrievers
> 2016 rank: 3
> 2007 rank: 4

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.

Source: Legolin / iStock

2. German Shepherd Dogs
> 2016 rank: 2
> 2007 rank: 3

The German shepherd is the second most popular dog in the U.S., but is 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.

Source: Thinkstock

1. Labrador Retrievers
> 2016 rank: 1
> 2007 rank: 1

The Labrador retriever has topped the AKC’s list of most popular breeds in the U.S. since 1991. 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.

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