Special Report

30 Most Popular Big Dog Breeds in America

Sarah Burns, John Harrington

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25. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 45 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 10-13 years
> Temperament: Affectionate, Bright, Sensitive

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is the official State Dog of Maryland, its home state. This family-oriented dog has a waterproof coat that’s oily to the touch. It’s protective of its owners and determined, making it a great watchdog.

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24. Belgian Malinois
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 43 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 14-16 years
> Temperament: Confident, Smart, Hardworking

This dog was bred to herd livestock around the Belgian city of Malines. It is versatile and hard working and is also used as a military and police dog. It makes for a great pet but needs more exercise than most dogs. Belgian Malinois bears a resemblance to a German shepherd dog.

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23. Rhodesian Ridgebacks
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 41 out of 195
> Life expectancy: ~10 years
> Temperament: Affectionate, Dignified, Even-Tempered

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is named for its land of origin, now Zimbabwe and Zambia, and for the distinctive ridge that runs along its back, which is formed by hair growing in the opposite direction from the rest of its coat. Bred to hunt lions, but not kill them, it’s an imposing looking dog. They are devoted to family and affectionate toward children.

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22. Newfoundlands
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 40 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 9-10 years
> Temperament: Sweet, Patient, Devoted

Newfoundlands were originally bred as working dogs for fishermen in the Canadian province after which they are named. Newfoundlands are big, strong, loyal, and excellent swimmers, with lifesaving instincts in the water. The breed is easy to train and eager to please. It is an excellent companion and is even referred to as “the nanny dog.” Novelist J.M. Barrie specified that the beloved “Nana” in “Peter Pan” was a Newfoundland.

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21. Collies
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 38 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years
> Temperament: Devoted, Graceful, Proud

Collies have tremendous herding abilities and protective instincts, as generations who have seen Lassie in films and on television know. They are strong, loyal, affectionate, and elegant dogs and respond well to training. Collies are a good fit for families with an active lifestyle, and they can thrive in the city as well as in the country.