Special Report

30 Most Popular Big Dog Breeds in America

Sarah Burns, John Harrington

Source: alberto clemares expósito / Getty Images

5. Rottweilers
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 8 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 9-10 years
> Temperament: Loyal, Loving, Confident Guardian

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.”

4. Poodles
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 7 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 10-18 years
> Temperament: Active, Proud, Very Smart

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.

Source: jonathandavidsteele / Getty Images

3. Golden Retrievers
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 3 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years
> Temperament: Friendly, Intelligent, Devoted

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
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 2 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 7-10 years
> Temperament: Confident, Courageous, Smart

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.

1. Labrador Retrievers
> Overall AKC rank in 2018: 1 out of 195
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years
> Temperament: Friendly, Active, Outgoing

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.