The US is thought to be home to between 70 and 90 million pet dogs with 580,900 pups being registered in 2018 alone. The number of dogs seems to be going up and up with the number of the world’s favorite animal increasing every year.
There’s no surprise that the number of our four-legged friends is constantly on the up. Dogs are the perfect companion for families, couples, individuals, and help to make our lives easier and safer through their work as service dogs.
But which one of the huge numbers of breeds is the most popular?
Well, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has just released its latest list of the most popular purebred dog breeds across the US. Will this years’ number one be the always popular lab? The little fighting Chihuahua? Or perhaps the Poodle? You’ll have to keep reading to find out!
Please note – This list exclusively features pure breeds rather than any crosses. If you’re looking for one of the popular crosses like Cockapoos or Labradoodles, unfortunately, you won’t find them on the list.
What is the AKC?
The AKC has been around since 1884 and is one of the oldest and most authoritative organizations for dogs in the world. They provide resources on dog breeds, pet services, and register new puppies in the US.
With the information gathered in puppy registration, the AKC provides an annual report on the number of puppies registered and the popularity of each breed. The current list of purebred dogs is up to a whopping 193 breeds registered with new dogs frequently becoming established.
So, without further delay, let’s jump into the top ten purebred dogs of 2018.
10th – Yorkshire Terriers
In tenth place is the always popular Yorkshire Terrier, known as a Yorkie. Yorkies are an adorable breed of toy dogs who have been popular since the Victorian era. They may look small and cute, but they are terriers at heart, making them feisty, bossy but full of life.
Yorkies usually have long, hair-like coats rather than fur, traditionally in black and tan. They’re thought of as handbag or lapdogs but have a history of being used to capture vermin from small holes in mills.
Yorkies are the only toy dogs to make it into the top-ten purebred dogs. We’ll just have to wait and see where they end up next year.
9th – German Short-haired Pointer
Ninth on the list is the German Shorthaired Pointer, a medium sized gundog which is filled with energy and affection. GSPs have a unique coat, with a solid brown/red colored head and a body covered in distinctive markings of the same color.
The GSP is known as all around hunting dogs due to their high levels of activity, intelligence, and advanced sense of smell. They were initially bred for the purpose of hunting, created from breeding Spanish Pointers and German bird dogs.
The GSP is a highly active dog who needs at least two hours of exercise every day.
8th – Rottweilers
The eighth most popular dog on the 2018 list is Rottweilers. Rottweilers are a larger-breed working dog. They’re loyal and affectionate animals making them the ideal guardians and guard dogs. Although their large and muscular appearance along with their occasional bad press, gives them a bad reputation to some, they’re still a widely popular dog with a loving nature.
Rottweilers were bred in Europe to be working dogs, moving cattle and acting as a guard dogs, protecting the herd and its owner from thieves. From cattle herding, they moved on to be used as police dogs, general guard dogs, family pets, and more.
7th – Poodles
Next up on the list at seventh is the Poodle. Poodles come in toy, mini and standard varieties. They are possibly the most recognizable dog breeds thanks to their curly coat, often styled in a pom-pom look. Although you may think this is a modern-day style, it was actually thought up hundreds of years ago to provide the poodle with excellent maneuverability but protection from the cold.
Poodles are considered one of the most intelligent breeds of dog. They were bred by duck hunters as water retrievers and are excellent swimmers. They’re an easy dog to train, helping with their popularity.
6th – Beagles
Beagles are at number six on the list of most popular dogs in the US. They have maintained a position in the top ten dog breeds since records began in the 1880s, making them a consistent favorite. They’re hunting hounds, know for their curious and friendly natures, especially with children.
Beagles are pack dogs who love the company of both dogs and humans. They’re affectionate family dogs as well as service hounds who will follow their nose wherever they want to go.
5th – Bulldogs
At fifth on the list is the bulldog, a muscular but short dog bred for bull baiting. Bulldogs are considered an iconic British dog breed, thanks to the resemblance to Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister during World War II.
Bulldogs also became hugely popular in America. They’ve been used as mascots for various teams and companies, notable Handsome Dan, the Yale mascot. Additionally, presidents Calvin Coolidge and Warren Harding, both owned bulldogs whilst in office, making them a political symbol in both the two countries.
4th – French Bulldogs
Fourth on the list is the French Bulldog. Although the breed has “French” in the name, they actually originated in the UK from bulldogs, however, were moved to France by lacemakers during the Industrial Revolution.
Frenchies are an increasingly popular breed, particularly in cities. This is due to their relatively low exercise needs. They’re thought to have a big, friendly personality and extremely alert nature.
Frenchies have a very unique look, with large heads, flat faces, and big bat ears. This makes them different from other bulldog breeds, increasing their growing popularity.
3rd – Golden Retrievers
At number three on the list is the Golden Retriever, an intelligent and loyal gun dog. Golden Retrievers are popular family dogs due to their affectionate nature and classic ‘dog’ look. They’re also often used as service dogs, particularly sniffer and therapy dogs.
Golden Retrievers were deliberately bred by Lord Tweedmouth during the Victorian era in the Scottish Highlands. He aimed to breed a highly-effective gundog who was well-suited to the rainy Inverness climate. His initial dogs were referred to as Yellow Retrievers, eventually adopting the “Golden.”
2nd – German Shepherd
Second on the list of most popular dog breeds is the German Shepard, frequently used as a service animal. German Shepards, known as Alsatians in the UK; is an extremely large breed who have a gentle nature, making them well suited to the role of a family pet around children. They’re remarkably loyal to their owners but still have a unique and goofy personality.
In the 1800s, German Shepards were bred to be herding dogs, giving them their name. The qualities cultivated into the breed are those who make the German Shepard an ideal police and military dog as well as a guide dog for the blind. They can be trained to complete many advanced tasks making them extremely versatile creatures.
German Sheppards need a lot of exercises to keep them happy. Over two hours a day is recommended for the breed. However, German Shepards are still third on the list of dogs that are easy to care for, with walking and exercise being their only main demand.
1st – Labrador (Retriever)
And for the 28th year in a row, labs take the lead as the most popular purebred dogs. The popularity of Labradors isn’t just limited to the US. They’re thought to be the most popular dog in the world, topping the lists of registered dogs in the UK, Canada, Australia and many more.
Labs are known and loved for their temperament. They’re friendly, outgoing and affectionate animals. They make amazing family pets as well as service dogs, acting as dogs for the blind and police dogs.
Labradors come from Newfoundland, the easternmost point of Canada. They were used by fishermen to retrieve lost lines and nets along with moving carts. Breeding with English hunting dogs created the Labradors we all love today. These dogs were taken back to England and became popular with the upper classes.
Labs are another breed who need a lot of exercise to keep them happy and obedient. Over two hours is recommended every day to prevent misbehaving.
With the changing demands in dogs, it’ll be interesting to see how long Labradors can maintain the title on the world’s most popular dog. French Bulldogs, Havanese, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have all seen a jump over recent years so who knows who will top 2019’s list.
Although these dogs are the most currently the most popular, there are hundreds of other purebred dogs available and thousands of crosses. Try to choose a dog breed that suits your lifestyle and needs to make sure you get the right pup.
Once you pick out your ideal dog breed, you’re going to get to do the exciting stuff like choosing the perfect name for your new pooch.
Just make sure you take your time when thinking about getting a dog to ensure it’s the right decision for you. A dog’s for life and will become one of your family as soon as you pick them up.
David Atkinson is a content creator for Silver Groves, a retailer of premium silver gifts.
He lives in the UK with his wife and two adorable pups, Kingsley and Rhonda, a Shih Tzu/Pomeranian and a ¾ Maltese/¼ mystery.