Every year, people wait for the American Kennel Club to publish their “Most Popular Dog Breeds in the US” list. It’s always fun to try and see what breeds make the list. The list also helps potential owners find a breed they love. While we wait for the AKC to publish their 2019 list, let’s review what ranking the breeds had in 2018. Did your dog make the list? Read on to find out!

Most popular dog breeds in the us

Labrador Retriever

Labs are the most popular dog breed in both the US and the UK.
Image by Daniel Albany from Pixabay

The #1 most popular dog breeds in the us is the Labrador Retriever. Labrador Retrievers have been the most popular owned dog breed in the US since 1991, and their popularity shows no sign of stopping. Originally bred to be waterfowl hunters, labs work a variety of jobs nowadays, like being therapy dogs. Most just prefer to play around with their families or take lots of naps. Their sweet and gentle disposition makes them ideal for any kind of family, and they love being around people. They are one of the more intelligent dog breeds, which makes training a breeze. Beware, though – because Labs are extremely social, they also can be needy and they can develop severe separation anxiety, so these goofballs need a lot of attention and love. If not properly trained, they can become destructive.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds rank second in breed popularity.
Image by Mistery08 from Pixabay

Here is a personal favorite – the German Shepherd. Formerly known as the Alsatian in Western countries (due to anti-German sentiments during World Wars I and II), the German Shepherd has proven itself to be one of the most popular guard dogs around. These lovable giants are extremely trainable and smart, which makes them ideal for a host of jobs. They are regularly voted as one of the most popular K9 breeds in the US. German Shepherds are extremely loyal to their owners and families but can appear distant and aloof with strangers. They are extremely active and energetic dogs but can be calm when necessary. With all this going for them, it’s a no brainer why they’re one of the most popular dog breeds in the US.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers tend to have a longer coat than their cousin, the Labrador.
Image by mcgrout from Pixabay

The Golden Retriever follows their cousins as one of the most popular dog breeds, and with good reason! Golden Retrievers are known for being exceptionally calm and level-headed while bringing a sense of energy and fun to their owners. Like the Labrador Retriever, these long-haired dogs are extremely intelligent and social and love being a part of families. They are devoted to their owners and extremely cooperative with others. There aren’t many negative traits of the Golden Retriever; they are known for being gentle and cheerful dogs who love everyone they meet. Golden Retrievers are extremely popular as therapy dogs because of their temperament.

French Bulldog

most popular dog breeds in the us
Image by makunin from Pixabay

Known for their high energy and squishy faces, the French Bulldog takes fourth place as one of the most popular dog breeds in the US. Frenchies, as they are affectionately known, started off as hunters but now enjoy living the good life as a lap dog. Don’t let their demeanor fool you, though; this breed is still considered very active and needs a lot of playtime to keep busy. Frenchies are social dogs, and love being around both adults and children. They are extremely loyal to their owners and won’t typically leave their sides unless necessary. Unfortunately, the French Bulldog is also very known for the myriad of health problems they can face due to bad breeding over the years. Don’t let that discourage you from appreciating the balls of fun they are!

(English) Bulldog

Most popular dog breeds in the us

most popular dog breeds in the us
Image by Mylene2401 from Pixabay

Like their cousins, the English Bulldog, or just Bulldog as they’re known to most, were bred to be hunters. However, that purpose has faded out over time. Bulldogs are mild-mannered and affectionate, making them another ideal family dog. They also have a tendency to be curious about many things and can get themselves in trouble. They are social animals but can be extremely stubborn and are known for being one of the dimmer dog breeds. Bulldogs, like a few other breeds on the list, can be extremely vocal and can bark all the time if not trained properly.


most popular dog breeds in the us
Image by Adina Voicu from Pixabay

Another personal favorite that happens to be on this list is the Beagle. Beagles were originally bred to be hunter dogs, and this energy has not left this sprightly breed.
These dogs are used to working in packs and still have this mentality today, preferring to be with families and working with others. Beagles are extremely social and friendly dogs who like to be around everyone. They are extremely hard workers who can’t always break their hunter-prey mentality, so a household with smaller pets might not be best. If you love being serenaded, this breed may be perfect for you! Beagles are howlers, so you’ll have to train them when they’re young to not constantly react by howling.


most popular dog breeds in the us
Image by Julia Heath from Pixabay

Poodles can have a bad reputation for being fancy canines, but this is not necessarily true. Poodles are playful and energetic dogs who are extremely loyal to their families and can be indifferent and reserved with others. They also rank second in intelligence! Be mindful when training these dogs; Poodles are known to be sensitive and need constant positive reinforcement to be trained properly. Poodles would be perfect in a household of singers – they are loud barkers who love to hear the sound of their voices.


most popular dog breeds in the us
Image by Karin Laurila from Pixabay

Rottweilers are gentle giants who are seen as hostile and aggressive dogs. They are also one of the most popular dog breeds in the us. However, their attitude is a product of their training. If you train them to be gentle and peaceful, chances are your canine will be a big softie with you and your family. Rottweilers are tough and confident dogs whose detached attitude with strangers make them perfect guard dogs. Like Labs, they can get anxious if you leave them at home alone for too long. Make sure you spend as much time with your Rottweiler as possible. 

German Shorthaired Pointer

Most popular dog breeds in the us

most popular dog breeds in the us
Image by Robert1709 from Pixabay

Known for their trainability and their desire to please their owners, German Shorthaired Pointers make a fine addition to any family. Like other hunting dogs, Pointers have a ton of energy. They can become destructive if they don’t get enough exercise and have too much energy to spare. Pointers are faithful dogs who love their owners, whether it be one person or a whole family. Pointers are loud barkers but can be trained out of this. A GSP is a fun canine addition to

Yorkshire Terrier

most popular dog breeds in the us
Image by junpoonipipoo from Pixabay

Most popular dog breeds in the us

The only small breed on this list, Yorkshire Terriers have been a top 10 dog with the AKC since 2013. Yorkies are bold and confident dogs with a stubborn streak that can make training them a little tougher than necessary. Yorkies tend not to do well with other pets because of their size. Some have even been considered little Napoleons. It’s recommended that when you buy or adopt a Yorkie to do it in pairs. They can be trained to be social when they’re young and having a playmate can curb any destructive tendencies they may have if they’re alone. Yorkies love being with others and are considered a social dog around other people.

The top ten dog breeds are varied, but there’s a little something for everyone. Maybe you love the goofiness of either of the retrievers. Or, maybe you love the strength and stability that comes with getting a GSD or a Rottweiler. Any way you look at it, all of these dog breeds are loved by the US. Did your favorite breed make the list? Let us know in the comments below!