Special Report

The 50 Most Popular Dog Breeds in America

Pet ownership is climbing in the United States, with families that own dogs leading the way, according to the National Pet Owners Survey, conducted by the American Pet Products Association. The 2019-2020 edition found that 67% of American households, or 85 million households, had at least one pet — the highest level ever reported. Of the households that had a pet, 63.4 million had a dog.

Families own many different dogs, from mixed-breeds to purebreds, but which are the most popular?. Purebred dog registry American Kennel Club has listed about 280 breeds on its website, and nearly 200 have made it into the organization’s popularity ranking. 

To identify the 50 most popular breeds in the United States, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from the American Kennel Club released on March 16, 2021, based on 2020 AKC registration statistics.

Some breeds have been consistently popular over the years, with golden and Labrador retrievers and German shepherds regularly dominating popularity rankings. 

In fact, the Labrador retriever reigns No. 1 and has been the most popular since 1991. Golden and Labrador retrievers are especially popular among families, and for good reason. These are the best family-friendly dogs.

Some of the most popular breeds are of fairly recent origin, while others, like some hunting and herding breeds, would have been recognizable to Roman soldiers or Vikings.

The lifespan of the most popular dogs in the U.S. varies from as few as seven years to as many as 18, though the life expectancy of most breeds on this list is in the 10-15 range. These are the longest living dog breeds

Click here to see the 50 most popular dog breeds in America

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