The Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds

The popularity of dog breeds changes from year to year, but the Labrador retriever has become a long-time #1 favoriteReasons for choosing one breed of dog over another can vary widely, but generally, when people seek out a purebred dog over a shelter dog, it is usually related to concerns about health and behavior. At PetSoothe, we’re major proponents of adopting from a shelter, but we also recognize that some people want a companion with specific characteristics they might only get through a specific breed. For nearly 30 years, the most popular dog breed has been the Labrador retriever.

Originally bred as a bird dog, specifically to retrieve ducks and geese, Labs are known for their friendly personalities and enthusiasm. The American Kennel Club (AKC) rates Labs as “lovey-dovey” when it comes to being affectionate with the family, but also rates them with the highest possible scores for being good with young children and with other dogs. It’s no surprise the breed has reigned supreme for 30 years, but there are other breed types that have caught the eye of dog owners.

The Next 9 on the AKC’s Most Popular List

It’s estimated that more than half of dogs in American households today are essentially mutts. This is great news, as it means more and more people are turning to local shelters (where it’s estimated that a mere 5 percent of dogs are purebred) to find their canine companions. However, the purebred preference is still strong among some, and these are the other most popular dogs, according to the AKC’s 2020 numbers.

French Bulldog

Compact and muscular, these small dogs with their “bat ears” and irresistible cuteness have captivated dog fanciers in recent years. They were only the 51st most popular breed 10 years ago, but their compact size and low energy level make them perfect for apartment living, which is where more and more Americans reside today.

German Shepherd

Rin Tin Tin, a canine movie star in silent film work dating back to the 1920s, catapulted his breed into the spotlight and the German Shepherd has been popular since. While they don’t get the highest rankings for being good with other dogs, they are fantastic family companions and are easy to train.

Golden Retriever

Sharing many characteristics with the Lab, goldens are comparatively more relaxed, which makes them more popular with human companions that don’t have the time/energy to devote to tons of outside play. Goldens are eager to please, which makes them easy to train and they aren’t known to be big barkers.


Calm and courageous, yet friendly – the bulldog’s “sour mug” facial features and its distinctive muscular build have made this breed popular for almost a century. They’re great for apartment living and get along well with other humans, though can be protective of their friends.

Standard Poodle

One of the more well-known breeds, this aristocratic creature is the tallest of the three variations (miniature and toy are the other two), standing more than 15 inches at the shoulder. Photogenic and extremely intelligent, this breed is also hypoallergenic, which only adds to their desirability.


Bred to hunt in packs, this floppy-eared breed is a popular housedog today. Curious and energetic, these hounds need exercise, which makes them perfect for people who like frequent walks, hikes and can devote time for plenty of play.


Popular since ancient Rome, this large breed has a fierce look and is known for its territorial instinct. But with early training and socialization, they are playful and act more like a lap dog than a guard dog. “Rotties” are highly trainable and not known for their barking.

German Shorthair Pointers

A powerhouse of energy, GSPs are a medium-sized gundog with a captivating gaze, long snouts, floppy ears, smarts, and a need for exercise. They thrive in hunting families but are also great companions for runners, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone else who enjoys an active lifestyle. At PetSoothe, we are enamored with every possible breed and every variety of mutt, all of whom bring joy to the lives of their companions. That’s why we have developed CBD treats made with all-natural and organic ingredients that can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Check out our chicken and sweet potato treat called Joint Support for supporting healthy mobility, comfort, and activity levels; our peanut butter crunch-flavored treat called Calm for promoting a calm and relaxed mood. We’re also developing a new salmon and oatmeal treat called Senior Support for supporting healthy mobility, digestion, and brain health for dogs who need it most.

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