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The Most Popular Dog Breeds in the U.S.

Mar 26th, 2024

The American Kennel Association tracks the number of pure breed registrations each year and ranks the most popular dog breeds. Registration is voluntary and it only measures the club’s recognized breeds. They do not include doodles or mixed-breed dogs although those can be registered as “all-American dogs” for sports such as agility and obedience.

What is America’s Favorite Dog Breed?

In 2023, the highest number of registrations were for French Bulldogs, making them America’s favorite dog breed! In 2022, they were also America’s number one purebred for the first time, upending the Labrador Retrievers 31-year streak as number one. Dog preferences shift over time for reasons ranging from media exposure to changing lifestyles. Ten years ago, Yorkshire terriers and boxers were at the top of the list. Fifty years ago, Irish setters were ranked 3rd and are now 76th.

Forbes reported on dog breed popularity by state and surveyed 10,000 dog owners across the country to find out which breeds ranked the highest. Options included the top 25 most popular breeds nationwide according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). Interestingly, they found out that the largest percentage of respondents reported that “no breed in particular” is their favorite and that roughly 60% of dog owners report that they have a mixed breed dog. Generally, people agree that when selecting a dog, whether it is a mixed-breed or a purebred, they are looking for personality traits such as friendliness, good social interaction, cuddliness and loyalty.

Here are just a few of the most popular dog breed types and their personality traits.


It’s easy to see why the French Bulldog is at the top of America’s list for “pup-ularity” two years running! These compact dogs are famous for being friendly and companionable. Although Frenchies are typically considered a small dog, they aren’t known for yapping. These sturdy, muscular dogs can weigh up to 28 pounds and measure 11” to 13” tall. These easy going, fun-loving dogs who love to play are great for those who like to hang out at home with their family, cuddle and nap.

Labrador Retriever

Obviously, these dogs are one of the most popular breeds in the United States. Labrador Retrievers were bred to be friendly with humans and other dogs. There are two kinds of Labs. There's the American Lab, which is a large working dog, with more energy and a higher strung personality. And then there's the English Lab, a shorter, stockier version that is more geared toward being a family pet. Either one will require plenty of exercise and outdoor play. They are easy-going, affectionate and intelligent companions.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are sturdy, beautiful dogs. Excellent hunters and field work dogs, they tend to take their work as seriously as their play. Goldens are outgoing, trustworthy and eager-to-please family dogs. They are relatively easy to train and maintain a puppyish behavior into adulthood. They love to play and will enjoy tagging along in any outdoor activity that you may choose. These dogs can make good first dogs for new dog owners and can be great for an active family.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are very intelligent and brave. Bred as working dogs, they can herd sheep or work as police dogs, guard dogs, search-and-rescue dogs and even companion animal dogs. Naturally protective, they are generally great family members and get along well with kids and other animals. They may look serious, but they have a playful side as well. They are energetic and will require more exercise than just a walk around the block. Give them plenty of room to run and explore.


Poodles are fun, energetic, and easy to train. This makes them good family dogs. They generally prefer to be with people and are known for their intelligence. Poodles come in three sizes; the standard; 45 – 70 lbs., the miniature; 12-20 lbs., and the toy; 5-7 lbs. Smaller poodles can be aggressive to people outside their families and in general can be protective of their families and homes. They need plenty of socialization and plenty of exercise as they are basically fancy hunting dogs.


Mixed breed dogs have all sorts of nicknames. They can range from a "mutt," which typically refers to a dog with unknown or varied lineage; to a "mixed-breed," which hails from known but varied parent breeds; and ‘designer-dog,’ a dog bred from two specific purebred dogs. Of course, the Labradoodle has become very popular, combining a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. These mixed breed dogs are well known for their active, friendly and loving nature. But, of course, there are many other mixed breeds, such as Chugs, Cockapoos, Puggles and many more. Mixed breeds can have a variety of personality traits and appearances. When choosing a mixed breed, do your research about health concerns and what kind of care will be needed. Talk to others who own similar mixes or reach out to local shelters or veterinarians for more information.

Dog lovers

No matter what your favorite breed, or if you have no favorite at all, dog lovers can agree that owning a dog can be a very rewarding experience. They provide companionship, joy, and a sense of wellbeing in our lives. Big or small, energetic or lap dogs, they all have qualities that make us laugh, reduce our stress and contribute to our happiness.  

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Photo courtesy Pixabay/vlaaitje

Author of Article

Barbara Bauer is a Georgia-based blogger obsessed with inspiring others in the pursuit of self-development. She enjoys exploring the outdoors, drinking way too much coffee, and speaking with a British accent whenever possible.

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