According to the American Kennel Club, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed in the United States.
Next on the list are German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Rottweilers, and Yorkshire Terriers. Each of these breeds has its own merits that can make them perfect for certain families or individuals.
Can you guess which among these 195 recognized breeds made it into our list of 49 famous dog breeds in the USA? Check out this list of dog breeds starting with least to most popular.
49. Labrador Retriever
There are many reasons why Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog in the USA.
One reason is that they are great family dogs. They are gentle, loving, and loyal, and they get along well with kids. They are also intelligent and easy to train. Another reason is that they make excellent hunting and working dogs.
They have a strong work ethic and are very versatile, which makes them perfect for a variety of jobs.
Lastly, they are just plain fun to be around! Labs have an infectious personality that is sure to put a smile on your face.
48. German Shepherd
There are a number of reasons why German Shepherds are popular dogs in the United States. One reason is that they are highly trainable and intelligent, making them ideal candidates for law enforcement and other working roles.
They are also loyal and protective, which makes them great family pets.
German Shepherds are also relatively healthy dogs, with a life expectancy of around 13 years.
John F. Kennedy had a pet German Shepherd named Clipper, while Joseph R. Biden has two, Champ and Major. Now, that’s a testament to this dog breed’s popularity!
The Akita is the oldest dog breed in Japan. In fact, it is so old that its exact origin date is undetermined. However, archaeologists have unearthed evidence that Akitas descended from the Matagi-Inu breed that roamed the Earth in 8,000 B.C.
These spitz-type canines are burly with a broadhead. Its well-known characteristics include the glistening eyes and erect ears, which lend an air of alertness and loyalty.
One of the most famous Akitas in history was Hachiko, who patiently waited for his owner’s return at the train station each afternoon. This story of a loyal dog to its owner spread worldwide and was turned into a film.
46. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, fondly known as Chessies, are robust gundogs with a thick, wavy coat that feels rather waxy to the touch. Their coats come in a variety of colors including sedge or chocolate brown.
As they are trained to be watchdogs, these canines are highly protective of their owners and wary of strangers. They are tenacious and emotionally complex canines. This dog breed is quite popular in the USA and former American president Theodore Roosevelt was a proud owner of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
45. Shiba Inu
Another ancient Japanese dog breed, the Shiba Inu may seem rather smaller than your usual hunting dog. However, its spirited nature and well-muscled body make this breed a beloved companion by humans.
This dog breed thrives in the countryside. Shiba Inus were trained to hunt by scent and sight in Japan’s dense undergrowth in mountainous regions. Even after a long day of hunting and romping around, their coats stay clean due to the naturally dirt-repelling characteristic. And it also helps that this breed grooms their coat and licks their paws… Like felines!
Shiba Inu, being the national dog of Japan, is highly revered by the Japanese and is the most popular dog in Japan.
44. West Highland White Terrier
A genuine family dog, West Highland White Terriers love to entertain. This small, yet resilient earth dog is one of the most famous among other small terriers. They have a compact physique and dark, curious eyes. Their coats are thick and not as fluffy or soft as they appear to be.
Westies may look cute and cuddly – and they can be, without a doubt – but they are plucky and tough with their prey. After all, these canines are bred to catch rodents! They are highly independent pups that make training sessions a bit of a challenge to owners.
43. Bichon Frise
Sporting that famous Afro-esque hairstyle, Bichon Frises stands out when it comes to its unique appearance. These small dogs barely reach one foot tall, yet they have more to offer in terms of love and affection to their owners. To these pups, there is no such thing as strangers – everyone is a friend.
Bichon Frises have velvety and plush coats, which are hypoallergenic by nature. Their dark, wide lips are always eager to greet everyone with huge smiles. With their mild demeanor and small size, these canines are a popular choice among many American city dwellers.
42. Rhodesian Ridgeback
Quick and zippy, the Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very powerful dogs that can weigh over 85 lbs. Their coats are wheat-colored, which can range anywhere from pale to golden yellow as a maturing wheat crop.
These affectionate canines are strong-willed and somewhat domineering. They require a patient and firm trainer who can shape them into well-behaved dogs. Because of their spunky temperament, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are popular dogs of choice by experienced dog owners but not quite for those who are looking to welcome their first pup into their home.
41. Belgian Malinois
The hallmark features of the Belgian Malinois include a well-muscled body with a strong gait. Although muscular, this canine breed leans more toward an elegant appearance. The shape of the head exudes a regal and rather proud look, which complements the squarely built physique.
As for personality, Mals are quite smart and persistent dogs, which makes them popular among dog lovers. They are easy to train and possess a great deal of discipline and obedience in them. When given ample exercise, this pup is definitely a happy camper with its owner.
A fully grown adult Newfoundland tips the scale at 150 lbs, making this breed one of the largest in the world. The outer coat is coarse, thick, flat and often in a combination of many colors including black and white, brown, gray, and brown.
Another noble giant just like a St. Bernard, a Newf has a fondness for children. As a result, these dogs are quite popular among households with kids. They possess a sweet temperament, and they do well with owners who treat them gently. Considering their massive size, they require a larger living space and a cooler climate.
Poise and balance are distinct characteristics of this dog breed. The Weimaraners have a solid-colored coat, sometimes with a white spot (though rather small) on their chests. They have long ears and piercing blue-gray or amber eyes.
Popular as family pets, Weimaraners are loving and affectionate. They are easy to groom due to the nature of their coats. These pups require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to overcome restlessness and maintain a well-mannered personality.
Collies are famous for their long and flowy coats that are smooth to the touch. They come in a variety of colors such as white, blue merle, or sable and white. Their heads are wedge-shaped, which is unique to this breed.
These canines are excellent herders with swift movements. No wonder they thrive on daily exercise and playtime with their owners. They respond best to gentle and patient trainers, which enable them to learn quickly.
37. Basset Hound
This dog breed has its signature mournful appearance – doleful eyes, wrinkled brow, and a domed head turning downwards. As for the physique, Basset Hounds have a heavy-boned body, short yet powerful legs, and large paws. They have a very keen sense of smell, which makes them popular options for hunting dogs.
When at home, Bassets are mild-mannered and gentle. But when outdoors, especially on the trail, these pups are rather stubborn. They have a very loud bark that is enough to scare away intruders.
These toy dogs may seem high-maintenance because of their aristocratic features but they are actually hardy pets. A Maltese has a straight, silky, and long coat that requires regular grooming to maintain its regal appearance. They have big, round eyes that match perfectly their delicate noses.
Maltese are a popular choice among individuals in search of a low-shedding dog. They are faithful to their owners and ready to protect members of their household. As they are strong-willed dogs, Maltese blossom when trained well. Bonus tip: The secret to training this breed successfully is by giving rewards instead of punishments.
They may appear delicate but these dogs are actually adaptable… Just as long as they are kept warm during frigid weather and not left alone with rough, rowdy young kids. Chihuahuas are small, yet they possess a “large dog attitude”. They do not hesitate to let their presence be known.
The signature features of a Chihuahua include a rounded or apple-shaped head. They have shining round eyes and erect ears. Their coats may be short or long, and they come in different patterns and colors. These dogs are famous as city pets and many celebrities including Paris Hilton had a pet Chihuahua named Tinkerbell.
Vizslas have a rust-colored coat that is soft and smooth to the touch. Their ears are long and silky, and these dogs have a great sense of smell. Thus, they are a popular hunter’s companion – nimble, light-footed, and resilient.
This canine breed does well when given plenty of opportunities to play and exercise. They can join you for hours in any physical activity such as biking, jogging, or hiking. When not outdoors, this pup prefers to snuggle up with its owners.
33. Border Collie
Not to be confused with Collies, a Border Collie is a medium-sized herding dog known for its watchful eye. They always give an intense and lingering gaze, which reveals their excellence in obedience or herding tasks. It is not surprising that they are popular on farms!
Borders are agile creatures. They can thrive in any type of environment, as long as it involves plenty of opportunities to move and play. These canines are amiable and gentle when with friends but aloof with strangers.
It is understandable why a Mastiff is intimidating to a novice dog owner. They are massive and muscular, which makes them an embodiment of power and strength. Their heads are broad and large and their rectangular body shape is thickly muscled, covered by apricot- or fawn-colored stripes.
As a family dog, Mastiffs are eternally loyal. However, they are wary of strangers. These pups are well-known for their aggression with intruders. This is why they require socialization and training at an early age. They make wonderful pets for those who are prepared to take care of a huge dog.
Small and stocky, Pugs are well-known for their human-like facial expressions. They have large, sparkling eyes and wrinkled foreheads on their large head. These dogs have short coats that come in all black or fawn-colored with black mask-like features on the face.
Whether in the countryside or the city, Pugs are perfectly happy with their owners. But be warned – they prefer to be the only pet in the house or with other dogs of the same kind.
30. Cane Corso
Weighing over 100 lbs, the Cane Corso possesses an imposing appearance. No wonder intruders find this dog breed intimidating at first glance. Thus, these canines are a popular choice as companions because of their bodyguard demeanor.
They have long and strong legs that match their bulky bodies perfectly well. Their coats are short and stiff, which is a breeze to groom. Corsis have a versatile personality, yet they can be assertive, as well. This is why responsible training is essential when owning this pup.
29. Miniature American Shepherd
The Miniature American Shepherd is a smaller version of the Australian Shepherd. They have striking coats in different colors including red merle, blue merle, black, and red. Merle coats are usually in varied designs such as blotches or flecks.
They may be little dogs, yet they are highly energetic. These herding pups are rugged and bright – always ready to do their job. Minis are popular with active individuals as these dogs thrive on movement.
28. Spaniel (Cocker)
More than their huge eyes and gentle demeanor, it is their long and silky ears that make them popular among many canine enthusiasts. With their strong and sturdy bodies, as well as their effortless gait, Cocker Spaniels are remarkable gundogs.
One thing to note about Cockers – they demand extra grooming sessions to maintain the flawless look of their full coat. These sporting dogs prefer hours of walks and exercise. They do well with families, too. These are adorable dogs that are popular among royalties. In fact, Prince William and Kate Middleton have an English Cocker Spaniel for a pet.
27. English Springer Spaniel
Tough and hardy, English Springer Spaniels are alert and eager hunters. They may be small, yet they are always ready to please their owners. They have thick coats in a variety of patterns. Just like the Cocker Spaniel, Springers have lush, droopy ears that are their cherished feature.
Some of the favorite pastime activities of these pups are swimming, chasing smaller creatures, and a game of fetch. Among the famous personalities who owned this dog breed was George W. Bush, who had an English Springer Spaniel pet named Spot.
These dogs are somewhere between a stocky Spaniel and a leggy Setter. Brittanys are rugged canines with quick and smooth gait. Their ears are high-set, which depicts an air of eagerness and curiosity.
Hunting enthusiasts will love having this dog around. They thrive on a highly active lifestyle full of fun and excitement such as agility training, dock diving, and flyball, to name a few. Definitely popular among hunters and outdoors enthusiasts alike.
25. Shetland Sheepdog
Small and agile, the Shetland Sheepdog is a popular family dog. They have a wedge-shaped, long, and big heads. Their coats often come in multiple colors such as blue merle, black, and some white markings.
Shelties are a bit like a Collie, but a miniature version of this herding dog breed. They are sensitive and affectionate with family members but reserved when it comes to strangers. Thus, they make amazing watchdogs.
Big things come in small packages… And this holds true with Pomeranians. They may be tiny but they have a big heart. These adorable canines are very loving to their owners and always eager to please. They have a commanding personality, as well, or the so-called “Big-Dog” trait.
Poms have a fluffy coat that comes in different colors such as orange, white, orange, tan, and brown. These perky canines love short walks and games. As they are small and don’t require much space, they do well in apartments. This dog breed is so popular among small dog lovers including celebrities. For instance, Kim Kardashian is among the few celebrities who have a pet Pomeranian.
23. Bernese Mountain Dog
True to its name, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a hardy canine that loves the cold weather. In fact, Berners are bred to help their owners with a variety of tasks on the Swiss pastures. They are large dogs with a body built to perform jobs such as pulling carts and herding cattle, to name a few. This is why they are a popular option for herding dogs in temperate regions.
This canine is both brain and brawn. It has a long and thick coat in three colors – rust, white, and black. When with its family, Berners are affectionate and playful. But it can be imposing on strangers.
Havanese are famous for their rich, silky coat and short tails that are curled over. These canines have small, compact, yet sturdy bodies. Their coat may be clipped short for shorter grooming times or corded for a unique style.
As for their demeanor, Havanese are social dogs. They love to be with people and other dogs, so it should not be an issue if you have other canines in the house. If you need a responsible watchdog that does not bark all the time, this breed is a fantastic choice.
21. Boston Terrier
What makes this dog breed famous is its tuxedo-like coat, which comes in a combination of white and other colors such as black or brindle. Boston Terriers have a short muzzle and round, sparkling eyes that glimmer with curiosity and sometimes, mischief.
As they come with a compact physique, Bostons are suitable in urban areas. They love short walks and require daily exercises to keep them in excellent health.
20. Shih Tzu
A born charmer, the Shih Tzu is a small dog that is popular in many family homes. They have coats in different colors. While they adore their human companions, these dogs particularly enjoy being with children.
Since this breed is not a very active one, you can expect it to just sit still most of the time. These pups enjoy sitting next to you or on your lap. They love to snuggle up and be cute, which are things they do best.
19. Doberman Pinscher
Dobermans are athletic canines that are very protective of their owners. They are always ready to deter intruders, which makes them excellent companion dogs. They have a sleek and muscular body, often covered with black, fawn, or blue coat with some golden rust markings.
These pooches move swiftly and deliberately. Their gait is smooth and having long legs help to pick up their pace, as well. They are popular companion dogs because of their loyalty to their owners. One of the many celebrities who own a Doberman Pinscher is Kendall Jenner.
18. Miniature Schnauzer
They look just like the Standard Schnauzers, except smaller. These robust pups have thick eyebrows and beard-looking hair that give them their famous human-like facial expression. Minis have a wiry coat in different color combinations such as solid black, black and white, or black and silver.
As a pet, Minis are family-oriented. They also get along with children and other animals. These are popular hardworking dogs always on their feet to patrol vast farmlands or to engage in active playtime.
17. Great Dane
Great Danes are leggy canines that can sometimes be taller than some humans. They move with so much grace and ease. Although quite intimidating-looking because of their size, these are sweet giants to their owners. But the same cannot be said when it comes to intruders as these dogs are outstanding watchdogs.
Scooby-Doo fans will recognize this dog breed immediately as this protagonist of the animated show is a Great Dane. That’s proof of this breed’s popularity! The canine has a coat in various patterns but the most common one is the “harlequin” design.
16. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The canine kingdom hails this breed as a true nobleman (noble dog?). The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a toy breed that barely stands at 14 inches. They have large and brilliant round eyes and a sweet expression on their faces. As for the coat, it is rich and silky to the touch.
These dogs are versatile creatures. They can adapt to homebodies or active owners, and they mix well with other pets and young children. Thus, these pooches are popular among city dwellers or those living in the countryside.
15. Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies are famous for their icy stare and rather mischievous facial expressions. They may have blue or brown eyes, and there are Siberians with one of each color! Their coats are thick, allowing them to thrive in cold climates.
These canines are fantastic companions. They love to chase smaller animals and play with other dogs. However, they are not great as watchdogs because of their friendliness; you cannot expect them to ward off intruders.
These muscular canines feature a wrinkled forehead and focused eyes, giving them an alert expression. They have brindle or fawn-colored coats with some white markings scattered around.
The name “Boxer” is indeed fitting for this dog breed. These pooches are swift, nimble, and quite upbeat. They are fearless creatures ready to defend their family members. Thus, they are famous in many households that want a reliable watchdog. They also move gracefully with calculated steps… Just like a boxer!
13. Australian Shepherd
Originally bred as a herding dogs, Australian Shepherds are hardworking animals. They have a medium build and with a keen gaze. This gives them a curious appearance and makes them trustworthy as a herd for birds, children, and other dogs.
Their coats vary in patterns but the most typical look is the merle with shades of red or blue. Keep in mind that Aussies are brainy canines. They are a popular companion dog for those in search of an active and intelligent pet as this breed does not disappoint.
12. Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier, fondly called a Yorkie, is a toy-size breed under 7 lbs of weight. They are famous for their long and silky hair in blue or golden tan. They are great for humans with allergies as they are low-allergen dogs.
While a Yorkshire Terrier may appear dainty, they are actually more than what meets the eye. These pooches are feisty with a big dog attitude – always ready to defend their owners. This is why they are popular among folks who want a protective pooch. When trained well, these dogs are disciplined, well-mannered, and affectionate.
Dachshunds come in two types – the miniature version that is under 11 lbs and the standard at around 16 lbs or so. No matter what type, they are still the same long-bodied dogs with short legs. Thus, they are often called “wiener dogs.”
Due to their body build, these dogs are not made for leaping and running. But true to their hounding nature, they love to look for their prey using their uncanny sense of smell. They are independent hunters that are vigilant, fearless, and always ready for anything. A popular hunting companion, without a doubt.
10. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Another short-legged dog, the Pembroke Welsh Corgis are nimble and agile creature. They have strong legs and a deep chest. Their coats can be black, tan, fawn, sable, or red with white markings or none at all.
Do not let the long and low physique fool you – these dogs actually move swiftly. These dogs are originally used to herd cattle and serve as a watchdog. A famous royalty who has a pet Corgi is the former Queen Elizabeth.
9. Pointer (German Shorthaired)
Standing at 25 inches and weighing up to 70 lbs, Pointers are average-sized dogs. Their stance combined with their graceful gait presents an aristocratic appeal. These trainable dogs love being with their family or out by themselves in the field.
Pointers, or GSPs, often have a reddish-brown coat or some white patterns. Their dark eyes exude an air of excitement. And true enough, they enjoy engaging in activities such as swimming, running, and the like. These are outdoorsy pooches that prefer quality time with their owners. That’s why they are popular among people who like a pooch that can keep up with their active lifestyle.
A Rottweiler has a stocky body with shiny black coat mixed in with rust markings. Their hindquarters are robust and muscular, allowing these dogs to trot effortlessly and with a well-balanced movement.
To their family, Rotties are playful and endearing. They also enjoy plopping down on your lap like a toy breed, although these dogs are much larger in size. Rotties are famous for their sweet nature in spite of their intimidating builds.
What can be more adorable than the perfectly-balanced facial features of a Beagle? They have big hazel or dark brown eyes, a broad head, and long smooth ears. Their bodies are sturdy and strong, covered in tricolor, or a combination of white, red, and lemon colors.
Beagles are lovable and merry dogs with a mild temperament. When on the trail, they are energetic and curious. They can easily spot their prey, which makes them popular companion dogs by hunters.
Often with an elaborate “Continental Clip” style, Poodles feature a touch of class and elegance. They have smoothly-muscled and delicate bodies. They come in different coat colors such as black, gray, silver, red, and brown, to name a few.
These dogs are often stereotyped as weak, fearful, and otherwise sissy pooches. However, the opposite is true with these canines. In fact, they are smart, athletic, and versatile dogs. A popular choice among folks who like an elegant dog with a spunky personality. They are easy to train as they are obedient to their owners.
Everything about a Bulldog comes with an intimidating factor – the muscular square build, wrinkled brow, and big jaws with chops sticking out of the corners of their mouth. These all add up to make this dog appear smug and fearless. Although not very big canines, they are strong and powerful.
They have short coats with glossy pattern. While they may appear lazy, these pooches are in reality, active creatures. They thrive in a cool (not cold) climate as the humid weather makes breathing quite difficult for these dogs. Many celebrities are known to be fur parents of a Bulldog such as Michael Phelps.
4. French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are a bit like a Bulldog in appearance but with bat-like ears. They are well-known for their furrowed brows and square head. Their coats are also short, smooth, and shiny like a typical Bulldog.
Frenchies are city dogs. They like humans and other dogs equally. These canines do not need too many outdoor activities. In fact, they can be content with snuggling up with their owners or being sedentary.
3. Golden Retriever
Commonly seen in dog food commercials, dog accessory posters, and even in movies, Golden Retrievers are definitely a popular dog breed in America and in many countries. Goldens are agreeable, mild-mannered canines. They have broad heads, feathery tails, and friendly eyes. Their gorgeous gold coats are this breed’s trademark feature.
Training this dog is easy and enjoyable. They love to please their owners and are quite obedient. As they are a bundle of energy, they thrive on outdoor play including fetching, retrieving, and swimming. Kate Middleton is a proud owner of a Golden Retriever.
2. St. Bernard
The mighty St. Bernard may not rank high in the AKC list of popular dog breeds but it’s undeniably a constant favorite in many American homes. This gentle giant originally hails from the Swiss Alps, making it tolerant of cold and freezing winters.
Remember the famous St. Bernard named Nana from the classic Disney animated movie, “Peter Pan”? She’s a loving pooch that looked after the Darling children, Wendy, John, and Michael. This is an appropriate representation of this breed as it is a watchful and patient canine who adores young children.
1. Portuguese Water Dog
A Portuguese Water Dog is a vision of strength, power, and agility. These canines may either have wavy or curly coats, often quite thick. Their bodies are well-proportioned and powerful, which makes them rugged and athletic dogs.
They are lovable and loyal pets with a fancy for pleasing their owners. Thus, it is quite easy to train this breed. President Barack Obama has 2 Portuguese water dogs named Sunny and Bo. That’s quite an endorsement as the most popular dog in the world.
What Is The Least Popular Dog?
According to the AKC, some of the least popular dog breeds include the Redbone Coonhound, Ibizan Hound, and the English Fox Hound – the latter being the most unpopular dog on the list.
What Is The Most Famous Dog In History?
From Wizard of Oz’s Toto to Scooby-Doo and Lassie, so many dogs have graced the Silver Screen with their charms and wits. But the most famous dog in history is “Old Yeller”, a Labrador Retriever featured in both the book and the movies that raked a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
What Is The Most Expensive Dog?
The most expensive dog in the world is the Tibetan Mastiff, priced at $2 million per puppy. This breed is an ancient canine breed in China.