Special Report

30 Most Popular Big Dog Breeds in America

Sarah Burns, John Harrington

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30. Bullmastiffs
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 51 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 7-9 years
> Temperament: Affectionate, Loyal, Brave

As the name suggests, the bullmastiff is the result of bulldog and mastiff crosses. It was bred to guard country estates and game preserves from poachers. It is large, tipping the scale at up to 130 pounds, and is powerful and intimidating. The bullmastiff requires careful training.

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29. Portuguese Water Dogs
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 50 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 11-13 years
> Temperament: Affectionate, Adventurous, Athletic

Described as medium sized and robust by the AKC, this breed has an advantage above the other water-loving pups — a waterproof coat. Easily the most well-known of the breed is former “first dog” Bo, who belongs to former President Barack Obama and his family. Malia, the president’s daughter, is allergic to dogs, which led to Bo’s “appointment.”

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28. Bloodhounds
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 49 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years
> Temperament: Friendly, Independent, Inquisitive

The bloodhound is famous for its sense of smell and tracking ability. The breed is used by police forces around the world to find missing people and escaped prisoners. It is instantly recognizable because of its wrinkled face and large drooping ears.

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27. St. Bernards
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 48 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 8-10 years
> Temperament: Playful, Charming, Inquisitive

Named after a monk who aided pilgrims crossing the Alps on their way to Rome, the St. Bernard is famous as a rescue dog. It is very big — males can weigh up to 180 pounds — and very strong, but has a very gentle and winning expression. Unfortunately it has a relatively short life expectancy of 8 to 10 years.

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26. Akitas
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 47 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 10-13 years
> Temperament: Courageous, Dignified, Profoundly Loyal

The Akita is a large, powerful breed that originated in Japan. Two distinguishing features are its trademark curling tail and its alert expression. It is wary of strangers, has little tolerance for other animals, and is protective of its owners.