Special Report

30 Most Popular Big Dog Breeds in America

Sarah Burns, John Harrington

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10. Great Danes
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 16 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 7-10 years
> Temperament: Friendly, Patient, Dependable

The great Dane was developed in England and Germany as a boar hound, its long ears often left shredded by the sharp tusks of the wild boar. Today’s great Danes lead much less hazardous lives and can make for great pets. They are dependable, patient, and friendly. But as their name implies, they are huge. Standing on its hind legs, a great Dane can be taller than its owner and weigh up to 200 pounds.

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9. Australian Shepherds
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 15 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 12-15 years
> Temperament: Smart, Work-Oriented, Exuberant

The Australian Shepherd is a very cosmopolitan dog. It started out in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain, was brought to Australia to herd sheep, and then became popular with U.S. ranchers, who thought it originated down under — hence the name. It is an intelligent breed with a strong herding instinct and work ethic. The Australian Shepherd is closely associated with the cowboy lifestyle.

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8. Siberian Huskies
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 14 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years
> Temperament: Loyal, Mischievous, Outgoing

Bred as a sled dog, the Siberian husky is known for its endurance. Huskies have a great work ethic and love to run, preferring that to walking. In fact, the husky is so energetic that it has to be kept leashed or it will run away. In 1925, a relay team of huskies and other sled dogs saved Nome, Alaska, from a diptheria epidemic by running for five days to bring medicine to the town.

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7. Boxers
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 11 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years
> Temperament: Bright, Fun-Loving, Active

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.

6. German Shorthaired Pointers
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 9 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years
> Temperament: Friendly, Smart, Willing to Please

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.