The American Kennel Club released its 2017 list of the most popular dogs in America. So what are the most popular dog breeds? Click through to see which ones made the cut!
The trusty and loyal Labrador retriever has been the most popular dog breed in the United States for 26 years. Originally from Newfoundland, Labs were once used by fisherman to help round up stray fish and pull in nets. Later, breeders bred them to help hunters retrieve game. The Lab's gentle, people-pleasing personality makes it excellent for therapy, search-and-rescue and families.
This sturdy breed is familiar for its use in law enforcement and the military, but they also make loyal family dogs. German shepherds were first bred in Karlsruhe, Germany, in 1899, and the AKC recognized the breed in 1908. When a German shepherd named Rin-Tin-Tin became a Hollywood star of more than 20 films, the breed catapulted to fame.
The golden retriever was first bred in Scotland for hunting. In the 1800s, Lord Tweedmouth crossed a yellow retriever with the now-extinct Tweed Water Spaniel. He later added Irish setter and bloodhound to get the friendly, golden-hued breed we know today. The golden retriever has since evolved into an excellent pet for families with children.
Cute and curious, dog lovers know this tenacious little hunting dog for its trumpet-like bay instead of a bark. Like most hounds, beagles come in three color varieties: tricolor, red-and-white and lemon. Beginning in the 1500s, English hunters used packs of beagles to hunt smaller game like foxes and rabbits. Snoopy, Charlie Brown's dog in the "Peanuts" comics, is perhaps the most famous beagle in pop culture.
Known for its stocky build and wide, wrinkly face, the bulldog is one of the most recognizable dog breeds. Its name refers to the breed's original use in bull baiting, which England banned by 1835. Families appreciate bulldogs for their relaxed temperament and minimal need for grooming and exercise. The breed's heavy build and short snout makes them prone to overheating in hot weather.
Today, the Yorkshire terrier is the quintessential purse dog, but its lap-dog status wasn't always so. In 19th-century England, Yorkies had important working-class jobs hunting rats in clothing mills. Later, they became status symbols for English high society. They rarely weigh more than 7 pounds, and they're known for their long and silky blue-and-tan coats.
Athletic and alert, the boxer is a prized companion dog that loves to please. In the 19th century, the breed was used for hunting large game and dog fighting. During wartime, they worked as messengers, but have since become popular family pets. Though gentle with their human companions, they can be adept guard dogs when needed.
This sporting breed originated in Germany, where hunters used the dogs as water retrievers. The trademark "poodle clip" fur style has become a symbol of wealth and status, but its original intent was to protect the dogs' joints from cold water during hunts. The breed comes in three sizes. They also have several color variations, but individual poodles are always one solid color.
The Rottweiler is happiest when working. That could mean guarding a family home, assisting law enforcement or serving on search-and-rescue teams. Despite their muscular bodies and aggressive appearance, rottweilers make great companion animals. They're even gentle with children. Still, their instinct is to protect their territory and the people who inhabit it. This makes proper introductions crucial.
Developed in Germany in the 1600s, dachshunds were bred to root out badgers from their underground dens. The dogs' short, long and sturdy bodies and confident demeanor make them perfect badger hunters. Today, their small size and minimal exercise requirements make them great household companions. The breed comes in standard and miniature sizes, and can have long, short or wiry fur.
French bulldogs are very low maintenance, requiring little from their owners except for love. They're very loyal dogs and like lots of affection. French bulldogs do well in homes with children, as they are very patient during playtime. They need some extra time during training due to their stubborn nature, but they are intelligent enough to understand and follow basic commands.
What a noble breed! German short-haired pointers are working dogs. They are at their best in nature, exploring the woods or swimming in a lake. They're powerful dogs, known for their speed, agility and endurance. They do very well on hunts, being given the chance to stretch their legs and run for all they're worth. They need exercise every day, and lots of it!
Bred in northeast Asia as a sled dog, Siberian huskies have stayed true to their roots. While they have gained popularity with Americans as a family pet, they are still working dogs at heart. They have incredible endurance and an agreeable temperament, making them perfect for sled racing. They are very loyal and willing to work hard to please their owners. They're a high-energy breed, needing lots of exercise every day.
Great Danes live up to their name! These massive dogs are truly gentle giants. While their size may be intimidating to some, owners of this breed know that Great Danes are lovers. They are friendly, patient and dependable dogs. They are surprisingly mobile for their size and have a smooth, easy gait when they run.
Doberman pinschers can look scary to some, but these trusted dogs are often used as police and war dogs. When properly trained, this breed acts as a guardian to their owners. They are intelligent dogs, able to absorb enhanced training, making them perfect for field work on a police force. Doberman pinschers are also known to be alert and fearless, which adds to their appeal as guard dogs.
Smart, smart, smart! That's the best way to describe this breed. Australian shepherds are working dogs at their core and need lots of activity in their life. They are at their best on a farm, herding livestock and standing guard. They have excellent stamina, perfect for working in fields all day or staying up late to keep an eye on the farm and all its inhabitants.
These are friendly, smart and obedient dogs. Miniature Schnauzers were originally bred to be farm dogs and ratters. They look very similar to their cousins, the standard Schnauzers, just a miniature version—hence the name! They're fearless for a dog of their size. They like playtime and brisk long walks to stay active.
This is a small but sturdy breed. Corgis are known for their stout legs and nubby tails. However, they are active dogs and do well when they have a job to do. They're smart and alert, ready for any activity that you throw at them. Corgis are also highly affectionate, loving cuddle time with their owners.
Originally popular with French royalty, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel is the ultimate lap dog. This breed is friendly and cuddly. They've never met someone they didn't like, and they just want to give their owners lots of hugs and kisses. They're eager to please and gentle, making them great additions to any households with children.
The Shih Tzu is a small but mighty breed. They are ancient dogs, surprisingly! Documents and paintings dating back to AD 624 show records of them in people's lives. They are true companions, mainly defined by their outgoing, playful and affectionate personalities. They are happiest when in the company of others and love to make new friends.
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