Special Report

America's Most Popular Dogs

Ksenia Raykova / iStock via Getty Images

Pet ownership continued to climb in the United States even during the pandemic, according to the National Pet Owners Survey, conducted by the American Pet Products Association. The 2021-2022 edition found that 70% of American households had at least one pet — the highest level ever reported and up from 67% in 2020. About half of the people who got a new pet during the pandemic got a dog. 

Families own many different dogs, from mixed-breeds to purebreds, but which are the most popular? Purebred dog registry American Kennel Club lists 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 15, 2021, based on 2021 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 years range. These are the dogs with the shortest lifespan.

Click here to see America’s most popular dogs this year

50. Bloodhound
> Personality: Friendly, Independent, Inquisitive
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years
> Weight: 90-110 pounds (male), 80-100 pounds (female)
> Height: 25-27 inches (male), 23-25 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 49 out of 197

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49. Dalmatian
> Personality: Dignified, Smart, Outgoing
> Life expectancy: 11-13 years
> Weight: 45-70 pounds
> Height: 19-24 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 56 out of 197

48. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
> Personality: Affectionate, Bright, Sensitive
> Life expectancy: 10-13 years
> Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)
> Height: 23-26 inches (male), 21-24 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 45 out of 197

47. Bichon Frise
> Personality: Playful, Curious, Peppy
> Life expectancy: 14-15 years
> Weight: 12-18 pounds
> Height: 10-12 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 46 out of 197

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46. West Highland White Terrier
> Personality: Loyal, Happy, Entertaining
> Life expectancy: 13-15 years
> Weight: 15-20 pounds
> Height: 11 inches (male), 10 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 42 out of 197

45. Newfoundland
> Personality: Sweet, Patient, Devoted
> Life expectancy: 9-10 years
> Weight: 130-150 pounds (male), 100-120 pounds (female)
> Height: 28 inches (male), 26 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 40 out of 197

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44. Portuguese Water Dog
> Personality: Affectionate, Adventurous, Athletic
> Life expectancy: 11-13 years
> Weight: 42-60 pounds (male), 35-50 pounds (female)
> Height: 20-23 inches (male), 17-21 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 50 out of 197

43. English Cocker Spaniel
> Personality: Energetic, Merry, Responsive
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years
> Weight: 28-34 pounds (male), 26-32 pounds (female)
> Height: 16-17 inches (male), 15-16 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 52 out of 197

42. Shiba Inu
> Personality: Alert, Active, Attentive
> Life expectancy: 13-16 years
> Weight: 23 pounds (male), 17 pounds (female)
> Height: 15-17 inches (male), 14-16 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 44 out of 197

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41. Rhodesian Ridgeback
> Personality: Affectionate, Dignified, Even-Tempered
> Life expectancy: 10 years
> Weight: 85 pounds (male), 70 pounds (female)
> Height: 25-27 inches (male), 24-26 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 41 out of 197

40. Weimaraner
> Personality: Friendly, Fearless, Obedient
> Life expectancy: 10-13 years
> Weight: 70-90 pounds (male), 55-75 pounds (female)
> Height: 25-27 inches (male), 23-25 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 36 out of 197

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39. Maltese
> Personality: Gentle, Playful, Charming
> Life expectancy: 12-15 years
> Weight: 7 pounds
> Height: 7-9 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 37 out of 197

38. Collie
> Personality: Devoted, Graceful, Proud
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years
> Weight: 60-75 pounds (male), 50-65 pounds (female)
> Height: 24-26 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 38 out of 197

37. Chihuahua
> Personality: Charming, Graceful, Sassy
> Life expectancy: 14-16 years
> Weight: 14-16 pounds
> Height: 5-8 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 33 out of 197

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36. Belgian Malinois
> Personality: Confident, Smart, Hardworking
> Life expectancy: 14-16 years
> Weight: 60-80 pounds (male), 40-60 pounds (female)
> Height: 24-26 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 43 out of 197

35. Mastiff
> Personality: Courageous, Dignified, Good-Natured
> Life expectancy: 6-10 years
> Weight: 160-230 pounds (male), 120-170 pounds (female)
> Height: 30 inches (male), 28 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 29 out of 197

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34. Basset Hound
> Personality: Charming, Patient, Low-Key
> Life expectancy: 12-13 years
> Weight: 40-65 pounds
> Height: 15 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 39 out of 197

33. Pug
> Personality: Charming, Mischievous, Loving
> Life expectancy: 13-15 years
> Weight: 14-18 pounds
> Height: 10-13 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 28 out of 197

32. Vizsla
> Personality: Affectionate, Gentle, Energetic
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years
> Weight: 55-60 pounds (male), 44-55 pounds (female)
> Height: 22-24 inches (male), 21-23 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 31 out of 197

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31. Border Collies
> Personality:
> Life expectancy: years
> Weight: pounds
> Height: inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: out of 197

30. Miniature American Shepherd
> Personality: Good-Natured, Intelligent, Devoted
> Life expectancy: 12-13 years
> Weight: 20-40 pounds
> Height: 14-18 inches (male), 13-17 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 34 out of 197

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29. Cocker Spaniel
> Personality: Gentle, Smart, Happy
> Life expectancy: 10-14 years
> Weight: 25-30 pounds (male), 20-25 pounds (female)
> Height: 15-17 inches (male), 14-15 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 30 out of 197

28. Shetland Sheepdog
> Personality: Playful, Energetic, Bright
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years
> Weight: 15-25 pounds
> Height: 13-16 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 25 out of 197

27. Brittany
> Personality: Bright, Fun-Loving, Upbeat
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years
> Weight: 30-40 pounds
> Height: 18-21 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 26 out of 197

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26. English Springer Spaniel
> Personality: Friendly, Playful, Obedient
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years
> Weight: 50 pounds (male), 40 pounds (female)
> Height: 20 inches (male), 19 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 27 out of 197

25. Havanese
> Personality: Intelligent, Outgoing, Funny
> Life expectancy: 14-16 years
> Weight: 7-13 pounds
> Height: 9-12 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 24 out of 197

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24. Pomeranian
> Personality: Inquisitive, Bold, Lively
> Life expectancy: 12-16 years
> Weight: 3-7 pounds
> Height: 6-7 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 23 out of 197

23. Boston Terrier
> Personality: Friendly, Bright, Amusing
> Life expectancy: 11-13 years
> Weight: 12-25 pounds
> Height: 15-17 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 21 out of 197

22. Shih Tzu
> Personality: Affectionate, Playful, Outgoing
> Life expectancy: 10-18 years
> Weight: 9-16 pounds
> Height: 9-11 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 20 out of 197

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21. Cane Corso
> Personality: Affectionate, Intelligent, Majestic
> Life expectancy: 9-12 years
> Weight: Proportionate to height pounds (male)
> Height: 25-28 inches (male), 24-26 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 32 out of 197

20. Bernese Mountain Dog
> Personality: Good-Natured, Calm, Strong
> Life expectancy: 7-10 years
> Weight: 80-115 pounds (male), 70-95 pounds (female)
> Height: 25-28 inches (male), 23-26 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 22 out of 197

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19. Siberian Husky
> Personality: Loyal, Mischievous, Outgoing
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years
> Weight: 45-60 pounds (male), 35-50 pounds (female)
> Height: 21-24 inches (male), 20-22 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 14 out of 197

18. Miniature Schnauzer
> Personality: Friendly, Smart, Obedient
> Life expectancy: 12-15 years
> Weight: 11-20 pounds
> Height: 12-14 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 19 out of 197

17. Great Dane
> Personality: Friendly, Patient, Dependable
> Life expectancy: 7-10 years
> Weight: 140-175 pounds (male), 110-140 pounds (female)
> Height: 30-32 inches (male), 28-30 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 16 out of 197

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16. Doberman Pinscher
> Personality: Loyal, Fearless, Alert
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years
> Weight: 75-100 pounds (male), 60-90 pounds (female)
> Height: 26-28 inches (male), 24-26 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 17 out of 197

15. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
> Personality: Affectionate, Gentle, Graceful
> Life expectancy: 12-15 years
> Weight: 13-18 pounds
> Height: 12-13 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 18 out of 197

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14. Boxer
> Personality: Bright, Fun-Loving, Active
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years
> Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), 50-65 pounds (female)
> Height: 23-25 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 11 out of 197

13. Yorkshire Terrier
> Personality: Affectionate, Sprightly, Tomboyish
> Life expectancy: 11-15 years
> Weight: 7 pounds
> Height: 7-8 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 10 out of 197

12. Australian Shepherd
> Personality: Smart, Work-Oriented, Exuberant
> Life expectancy: 12-15 years
> Weight: 50-65 pounds (male), 40-55 pounds (female)
> Height: 20-23 inches (male), 18-21 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 17 out of 197

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11. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
> Personality: Affectionate, Smart, Alert
> Life expectancy: 12-13 years
> Weight: 30 pounds (male), 28 pounds (female)
> Height: 10-12 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 13 out of 197

10. Dachshund
> Personality: Friendly, Curious, Spunky
> Life expectancy: 12-16 years
> Weight: 16-32 pounds (male), 11 pounds (female)
> Height: 8-9 inches (male), 5-6 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 12 out of 197

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9. German Shorthaired Pointer
> Personality: Friendly, Smart, Willing to Please
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years
> Weight: 55-70 pounds (male), 45-60 pounds (female)
> Height: 23-25 inches (male), 21-23 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 9 out of 197

8. Rottweiler
> Personality: Loyal, Loving, Confident Guardian
> Life expectancy: 9-10 years
> Weight: 95-135 pounds (male), 80-100 pounds (female)
> Height: 24-27 inches (male), 22-25 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 8 out of 197

7. Beagle
> Personality: Friendly, Curious, Merry
> Life expectancy: 10-15 years
> Weight: 20-30 pounds
> Height: 13-15 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 6 out of 197

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6. Bulldog
> Personality: Friendly, Courageous, Calm
> Life expectancy: 8-10 years
> Weight: 50 pounds (male), 40 pounds (female)
> Height: 14-15 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 5 out of 197

5. Poodle (Toy)
> Personality: Agile, Intelligent, Self-Confident
> Life expectancy: 10-18 years
> Weight: 4-6 pounds
> Height: 10 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 7 out of 197

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5. Poodle (Miniature)
> Personality: Active, Proud, Very Smart
> Life expectancy: 10-18 years
> Weight: 10-15 pounds
> Height: 10-15 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 7 out of 197

5. Poodle (Standard)
> Personality: Active, Proud, Very Smart
> Life expectancy: 10-18 years
> Weight: 60-70 pounds (male), 40-50 pounds (female)
> Height: 15 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 7 out of 197

4. German Shepherd Dog
> Personality: Confident, Courageous, Smart
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years
> Weight: 65-90 pounds (male), 50-70 pounds (female)
> Height: 24-26 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 2 out of 197

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3. Golden Retriever
> Personality: Friendly, Intelligent, Devoted
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years
> Weight: 65-75 pounds (male), 55-65 pounds (female)
> Height: 23-24 inches (male), 22-23 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 3 out of 197

2. French Bulldog
> Personality: Adaptable, Playful, Smart
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years
> Weight: 28 pounds
> Height: 10-12 inches
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 4 out of 197

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1. Labrador Retriever
> Personality: Friendly, Active, Outgoing
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years
> Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)
> Height: 23-25 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female)
> Popularity ranking in 2020: 1 out of 197

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