Do You Own One Of The Most Popular Dog Breeds In America?
According to a study done by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, 35% of all U.S. households own a pet dog. That adds up to almost 70 MILLION pet pups living in America! With hundreds of different dog breeds in all shapes, colors and sizes, you'd think there would be some debate over which one wins the title of "America's Favorite Breed."
Surprisingly, according to an annual poll done by the American Kennel Club, the Labrador Retriever wins this title by a landslide. Out of all 50 states, a staggering 47 named Labs as the most popular breed in their state! Even more impressive — Labrador Retrievers have been the nation's top dog for 24 consecutive years! Based on the most recent poll results, it looks like the Lab's winning streak will continue.
While we may be obsessed with Labs, there are many other dog breeds that are just as loved, even if they can't reel in the popular vote like the Lab can.
Based on data from the most recent AKC poll, here are the top five most popular dog breeds in America. Naturally, we're starting off with none other than the infamous Labrador. . .
America is obsessed with the Labrador Retriever! This intelligent, family-friendly pup has taken the top spot on the AKC's most popular breeds list for the last 24 consecutive years! According to their most recent poll, Labs are the most popular breed in almost every single state in America. Kentucky, West Virginia, and Florida were the only states that didn't put this all-American pooch in the top spot.
Friendly, active, outgoing
The Labrador Retriever, despite its name, did not actually come from Labrador, but from Newfoundland.
Who should own one? Families and individuals with very active lifestyles who can satisfy the demanding energy needs of this high-spirited pup! Labs get along well with children and other pets, so integrating them into your home shouldn't be a problem. Just make sure they receive lots of exercise and basic training.
Coming in at 2nd place on the AKC's list is this clever, herding breed. German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and work ethic, which is why they are the preferred breed for police and military dogs, and other forms of service work. They also make great guard dogs because they are highly protective and thrive when they have a sense of purpose.
Confident, courageous, smart
While famous for being a serious working breed, German Shepherds also excel in the limelight and have a long Hollywood history. Rin Tin Tin and many other famous canines were played by German Shepherds.
Who should own one?
Experienced dog owners who can give them the structure and excitement they need. These breeds require constant physical and mental stimulation. Their hyper-intelligence and large, muscular build might be too much to handle for an inexperienced dog owner. If not properly socialized, they can become overly protective of their territory and aggressive towards outsiders.
This majestic hunting breed is frequently used in field trials and hunting events because of their ability to retrieve shot game, like ducks and other birds, without damaging the bodies. Because of their gentle temperament, this breed is also frequently used to assist people with disabilities. They can be trained to serve as either seeing eye dogs for the blind or hearing dogs for the deaf.
Intelligent, friendly, devoted
Goldens have a long legacy as show dogs. The breed made its first debut all the way back in 1908 at the Crystal Palace in England.
Who should own one?
This is the perfect family dog. Loving, gentle, and playful Golden Retrievers are a great choice for first time dog owners and families with children. Though they require lots of exercise, they are one of the easiest dog breeds to train, and their relaxed nature makes it easy to bring them along wherever you go!
The Bulldog is loved for being a strange-yet-beautiful mashup of physical characteristics that normally don't exist together on the same body. Unlike their sleek, athletic counterparts on this list, Bulldogs are a short, stocky breed with a body type that is both muscular and heavyset. They have massive heads, which are covered in an impressive display of wrinkles and feature a distinctive, pushed-in nose. But the Bulldog's unusual appearance is not the result of whacky breeders. Sadly, the name "Bulldog" comes from the breed being used in the cruel sport of "bull baiting" where the dogs were pitted against a tethered bull in a fight. The dog that pinned the bull to the ground by the nose was the winner. Many bulldogs were killed during the fight. Over the centuries, the dogs used for bull baiting developed stocky bodies and massive heads and jaws. Being powerful, yet low to the ground, gave the Bulldog the best chance of coming out of a fight alive. Fortunately, bull and bear baiting is now illegal, and the Bulldog breed can enjoy its status as one of America's most beloved pooches.
Calm, courageous, friendly
Two different U.S. presidents owned Bulldogs. Calvin Coolidge owned one named "Boston Beans," and Warren Harding had one named "Oh Boy."
Who should own one?
People in cooler climates with low to medium activity levels who don't have a problem being patient. Bulldogs are notoriously stubborn, and they can be difficult to train past their puppy years. While Bulldogs have minimal exercise needs compared to other breeds, they do require a daily walk since this breed is prone to becoming overweight. Due to the shape of their nasal cavity, Bulldogs have a hard time keeping themselves cool. They are very sensitive to heat, so they'll be more comfortable living in colder weather.
It's no surprise that the beloved Beagle made it into the top five! These happy-go-lucky little guys have an endless amount of energy and will keep you laughing for days. They were originally used as hunting dogs. They were scent hounds used to sniff out rabbits and other small game. Their instinct to track certain smells still exists in the Beagle breed to this day.
Merry, friendly, curious
Beagles are the perfect dog for neat freaks. They don't drool, smell, or shed. Amazing!
Who should own one?
Anyone with an active lifestyle who's willing to invest extra time and energy into training! Aside from needing lots of exercise, Beagles are a healthy breed with a great personality. However, their background as a hunting breed makes them feel compelled to constantly track scents, and they will follow their nose anywhere. Being off leash in wide open spaces could pose a problem. They can also be difficult to train, so make sure you start training early, and be prepared for a (fun) challenge.
Picking The Right Breed For Yourself
Whether you like strong, active breeds, short stocky ones, or medium-sized, hyper pups, America's top five dog breeds offer up a little bit of everything. Of course, you should never select the breed of dog you want based on a popularity contest. It's important to reach the needs and personality traits of any breed you're interested in. You and your four-legged friend must be compatible! Do you agree with the AKC's poll results of most popular dog breeds? Which breeds do you think deserve a top spot? Let us know in comments!