The American Kennel Club lists the most popular pooches in America
#10: Shih Tzu
A compact and solid dog, the shih tzu’s long, flowing double coat is its most distinctive feature. Shih tzu means “lion” and although this dog is sweet and playful, he is not afraid to stand up for himself! Since the sole purpose of the shih tzu is companion and house pet, he should be lively, alert, friendly and trusting toward all. Weighing between 9 and 16 pounds, he requires minimal exercise, but his long, luxurious coat needs daily brushing and maintenance.
The poodle, though often considered high maintenance due to its coat, is actually one of the high achievers of the canine world. The breed is exceptionally smart, hardy and excels in obedience training. The breed originated in Germany as a water retriever, and thus requires daily exercise.
Known for their loose-jointed, shuffling gait and massive, short-faced head, the bulldog is known to be equable, resolute and dignified. A medium-sized dog, they are not your typical lap dog, but would like to be!
Very popular due to their lovable and gentle dispositions and adorable wrinkles, the bulldog may be brindle, white, red, fawn, fallow or piebald. Bulldogs are recognized as excellent family pets because of their tendency to form strong bonds with children. They tend to be gentle and protective. The breed requires minimal grooming and exercise, but their short nose makes them prone to overheating in warm weather.
The dachshund, meaning “badger dog” in German, is a lively breed with a friendly personality and keen sense of smell. Known for their long and low bodies, they are eager hunters that excel in both above- and below-ground work. The breed comes in three different coat varieties (smooth, wirehaired or longhaired) and can be miniature (11 pounds and under) or standard size (16-32 pounds).
Dachshunds are lovable, playful companions, and an ideal pet for many homes. They require moderate exercise, and can adapt to most living environments. Depending on their coat type, dachshunds may need regular grooming.
The well-conditioned middleweight athlete of dogdom, the boxer is a powerful dog with an intelligent and alert expression. While they are instinctive guardians, the boxer loves to be with his people. This personality has allowed them to succeed as couriers during wartime and as seeing-eye dogs for the blind.
One of the breed’s most notable characteristics is its desire for human affection, especially from children. They are patient and spirited with children, but also protective, making them a popular choice for families. Appearing in both fawn and brindle colors, the boxer’s short coat requires minimal maintenance, but he is an active dog that needs daily exercise.
A sturdy hunting dog, the beagle should look like a foxhound in miniature. His easy-to-care-for coat, combined with a merry personality, has made the beagle a favorite of many families over the years.
Today’s beagle comes in two height varieties (13 inch and 15 inch) and any true hound color, including tri-color, red and white and lemon. Beagles are happy-go-lucky and friendly, making them a wonderful family pet. Since they lived in packs for hundreds of years, they naturally enjoy the company of other dogs and humans. Curious and comedic, they often follow their noses – which can lead to some mischief if they are not provided with daily activity.
#4: Golden Retriever
The golden retriever, whose trademark is its light to dark golden-colored coat, possesses great intelligence and an eager-to-please attitude. Originally bred to retrieve game, the working ability that has made the golden retriever such a useful hunting companion also makes him an ideal service and search-and-rescue dog.
This active and energetic Sporting breed can adapt to many different living situations as long as he has plenty of daily exercise. His water-repellent double coat sheds seasonally and needs regular brushing. With his friendly temperament and striking golden color, this breed is both beautiful to look at and a joy to own.
#3: German Shepherd
The German shepherd dog is hailed as the world’s leading police, guard and military dog, however, this dependable breed is more than just a hard worker. It is also a loving family companion, herder and show competitor. The breed is approachable, direct and fearless, with a strong, muscular body, and can be most colors except white. Energetic and fun-loving, this breed is a loyal family pet, a good guard dog and the ideal choice for many families. He requires regular exercise and grooming.
#2: Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire terriers, affectionately known as “Yorkies,” offer big personalities in a small package. Though members of the Toy Group, they are terriers by nature and are brave, determined, investigative and energetic. They have long, luxurious blue-and-tan coats that require regular brushing. This portable pooch is easily adaptable to all surroundings, travels well and makes a suitable pet for many homes. Due to their small size (they weigh only 4 to 7 pounds), they require limited exercise, but need plenty of daily interaction with people.
#1: Labrador Retriever
The gentle, intelligent and family-friendly Labrador retriever is the most popular breed in the United States for the 18th consecutive year, according to American Kennel Club registration statistics. Because of his aptitude to please his master, they excel as guide dogs for the blind, as part of search-and-rescue teams, and in narcotics detection with law enforcement.
This versatile hunting breed comes in three colors – yellow, black and chocolate – and as a double-coated breed that sheds seasonally, regular grooming keeps his coat at its water-resistant best. An ideal sporting and family dog, the Labrador retriever thrives as part of an active family or as a trusted hunting companion.