The Most Popular Dog Breeds In the America (and For Good Reasons!)
Popular Dog Breeds & Their Characteristics
Whether you're contemplating getting your first dog, you're a current dog owner or you're seeking dog breed information just for fun . . . you've come to the right place.
Future Dog Owners! Thinking of adopting a dog or getting a puppy from a breeder? You are smart to seek out just what dog breed is best for you. With the availability of a couple hundred pure- and mixed-breed dogs with varying temperaments and care requirements, it makes sense to carefully consider what type of dog breed you might like. After all, not all dog breeds are compatible to all environments.
Current Dog Owners! Already have a dog and want to get some more information on how to make your life together more rewarding? You are most welcome to peruse the neat info on these top dog breeds. Maybe you'll discover another breed you'd like to add to your household.
So here goes . . . the list of America's most popular breeds . . . [Pssst ... although the order of the dogs changes year to year, these dog breeds consistently make it to the top of the list.]
Labrador Retrievers - The #1 Most Popular Dog Breed in America
- "Consistently the #1 most popular dog breed, Labrador Retrievers are strong and active dogs. They are most often black, but chocolate Labs are also quite popular. You might also choose a yellow Lab.
- Perhaps these are the most popular dogs in America because they are often seen as primarily "family" dogs. They are generally excellent with children and other pets and are fairly easy to train. They are good-natured and often used as working dogs, like police dogs and drug-detecting agents. Labradors are considered to be intelligent and not the least bit aggressive.
- If you are considering a Labrador Retriever, it's good to know that females are often bigger than the males - an adult female will weigh somewhere between 60 and 75 pounds, while a male will weigh between 55 and 70 pounds.
- Labrador Retrievers are friendly, outgoing, eager to please and docile. They are active and must have large yards in which to play. You should consider they will need frequent walks, which both of you will enjoy, particularly if your easy-to-train Labrador walks well on a leash. Because the Lab is active, it's essential that you train your dog and provide him with lots of human contact.
- Labs have a tendency to overeat, so Labrador owners are cautioned to avoid overfeeding; they can easily become obese and lazy.
- Labs are generally healthy, with few problems to consider, but they can have issues with hip dysplasia and epilepsy. Skin allergies are also common. The Lab will usually live about 10 to 14 years."
What Makes Yorkshire Terriers One of America's Popular Dog Breeds . . .
- "The Yorkshire Terrier (also referred to as a "yorkie") is a popular dog for many reasons, one of the critical reasons being they are easy to live with, but very small. They are excellent family pets, but are also good for seniors, those who live in apartments and those who can't exercise a dog regularly.
- The Yorkie is also known as a very sweet and docile dog. They are cheerful, eager to please and have protracted puppy hoods - they are considered adults at 2 years old. They are also considered intelligent and affectionate.
- The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the smallest dogs in the world and most will never weigh more than 7 pounds as adults. Although they are small dogs, they are not considered barky dogs and are actually good with children, so long as the children are older, and they are also good with other pets.
- An adult Yorkshire Terrier will be 3 to 7 pounds. Though they don't need the large yard of the Golden and Labrador retrievers, they do need some exercise, though it can take the form of a romp through the living room or up and down a household staircase.
- The Yorskhire Terriers are prone to eye problems, premature dental disease and patella luxation (a common knee problem). They will generally live to be 12 to 15 years old."
What Makes German Shepherds One of America's Popular Dog Breeds . . .
- "Often thought of as watch dogs, German Shepherds are great family pets.
- They are intelligent, trainable, friendly (though with caveats, which we'll talk about in a minute), and playful.
- German Shepherds are great with their own family, including children, but they are reserved and sometimes suspicious of people they aren't familiar with, particularly children. Once they perceive the new person or child to be friendly, they will generally become friendly themselves. German Shepherds are also unique in that they can literally miss their family if they leave on vacation or for an extended period of time. That famous German Shepherd loyalty can really give the dog pains if you leave them.
- German Shepherds require assertive and competent training. They have a natural instinct to protect their owner and must be given strong cues about when to protect and when to back off.
- If you decide to add a German Shepherd to your home, be sure you have adequate space and time. The Shepherd requires a large, open space in which to roam and long, quality walks on a regular (if not daily, basis).
- The adult German Shepherd dog is about 60 to 140 pounds. This isn't a dog for a docile, petite female, or older people, but people who can handle both the dog's size and activity requirements.
- The Shepherd is a hardy dog, but there are a few health problems to be aware of. These include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, congenital heart disease and skin diseases. Although bloat is a health problem for most dogs, German Shepherds, because of their broad chests, are particularly susceptible. You can expect a German Shepherd to
- live to be 10 to 13 years old."
What Makes Golden Retrievers One of America's Popular Dog Breeds . . .
- "Golden Retrievers are known for their flowing golden mane and friendly and docile natures. They are active, confident and powerful dogs that make great family companions. They are also often used as hunting dogs and guide dogs.
- Because they are so docile, they are excellent with children of all ages, even those children who are more rambunctious and wild. These dogs take it all in stride. They are always very gentle with children.
- Golden Retrievers are great learners, who are eager to please their owners and do so with an affable and gentle personality.
- They love water and activity. They shouldn't be kept in runs, but are better left to roam a large yard in peace. They, too, require lots of attention and walks, but the Golden Retriever will understand if you need your quiet time as well.
- As an adult, the female dog will be about 55 to 65 pounds, while the male will be around 65 to 80 pounds. Because their coat is feathery in parts, the Golden Retriever requires a fair amount of grooming (weekly, with a wire or firm bristle comb or brush).
- It's generally not recommended that seniors or the infirm take a Golden Retriever into their home, as they require regular exercise and solid activity.
- The Golden Retriever is a fairly healthy dog - your only concerns are hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and epilepsy. They will generally live to be 10 to 15 years old."
What Makes Beagles One of America's Popular Dog Breeds . . .
- "The beagle is an active dog that will sometimes test you if you're not careful. The beagle is known as an inquisitive, friendly dog that will follow his scent wherever it leads him.
- Since Beagles are often used as hunting dogs, they have an instinct that leads them to follow their nose, literally. Therefore, owners are cautioned to close and lock gates and always take their beagle out on a leash.
- Beagles are good with children and make excellent companions for most anyone who has a yard to accommodate this active dog. A large yard is ideal, and if you can't walk your beagle often, the yard should be enough for him.
- Beagles will respond to some basic obedience training, but training most beagles beyond that will be difficult as they are not highly trainable dogs. They are, however, good with children and most other pets, though they might chase pets that are much smaller than themselves.
- Thanks to that hunting instinct we talked about earlier, Beagles should generally not be left alone in the house for any period of time. If you must leave your dog for a period of time, try to leave him or her outside, or you might find upon your return that the house has been "inspected" in your absence.
- The adult beagle will weigh between 18 and 30 pounds. Health problems include things like spinal problems, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, skin conditions and congenital heart disease. Beagles can easily become obese, so giving your Beagle regular activity is essential. The Beagle will generally live to be 12 to 15 years old."
What Makes Boxers One of America's Popular Dog Breeds . . .
- "Because they are playful, loyal and easy-going, Boxers are considered excellent family pets. They are "people" dogs in that they love people, make friends easily and they adapt well to new environments.
- Boxers are known particularly for their playful tendencies. They often retain their puppy characteristics well into adulthood, or into old age. Most Boxer owners are thankful, therefore, that they are obedient and take training well.
- They are good with children, but because Boxers are so playful and don't realize how big they are, they can knock children over without intending to. They should therefore be supervised with very young children or with any new children, so both dog and child can get their footing.
- Although Boxers are good with other pets, including other dogs, they can sometimes be aggressive toward male dogs or strange new dogs. Socialization is key. In addition, this is an active breed and the Boxer is not a good choice if you have an apartment or small house without a yard. The boxer is playful and rambunctious at times, so a yard and lots of walks are essential.
- Boxers don't do well in the heat, so a cooler climate is ideal. If it's particularly hot, the Boxer should be allowed indoors.
- The adult female Boxer is 50 to 65 pounds, while the male is 65 to 80 pounds. The Boxer is a hardy breed, but might have problems with hip dysplasia, heart murmurs, tumors or hypothyroidism. The Boxer will generally live to be 8 to 12 years old."
What Makes Dachshunds One of America's Popular Dog Breeds . . .
- "Dachshunds are good family dogs, eager and friendly. Many can make good watch dogs because their bark is surprisingly loud and deep. They are devoted and active, and can get along with children and some pets. There are many caveats, however.
- If you plan to consider adding a Dachshund to the household, consider that they require good, solid training to prevent disobedience. If you have a yard, their natural instinct to hunt will often lead them to "hunt" in the yard and do some damage in the process. Unlike many dogs, however, Dachshunds easily adapt to apartments and small homes without yards.
- There are two Dachshund sizes - standard and miniature. The standard Dachshund is generally good with children, while the miniature does better with older children. Both should be socialized with cats early in life, if you plan to have or you do have cats.
- In all, however, the Dachshund is a loyal and playful bompanion. They are independent, but very loyal to their family and are open to taking part in family activities. They might be weary of strangers at first.
- The standard dachshund is 16 to 32 pounds, while the miniature will be less than 11 pounds as an adult. The dachshund is often referred to as a "wiener dog" and that's due to their long body and short legs. Because of the body build, owners must be careful not to overfeed them and let them get obese. This can cause serious back problems. The dachshund is prone to disc problems - in addition to keeping the weight in check; it's advisable that they not jump from any height as that can aggravate the back as well. Other possible health problems include epilepsy, genetic eye diseases, skin problems, and hypothyroidism. The Dachshund will generally live to be 12 to 14 years old."
What Makes Poodles One of America's Popular Dog Breeds . . .
- "The Poodle is an intelligent, active companion who gets along well with children and other pets. They thrive on performing - if you want a dog who will learn tricks, the Poodle just might be your pick.
- Known for his elegant appearance and desire to carry himself with pride, the Poodle is a happy and even-tempered dog who is popular among people with asthma, thanks to his wooly coat.
- Poodles take to training very well and require a good deal of exercise. He is a great jogging partner and, if you so desire, a swimming partner as well.
- They are good with children, but a Poodle puppy might be a little overwhelming for a small child, so if you have small children, you might want to think about a different breed or a slightly older than puppy Poodle.
- The Poodle will weigh 45 to 70 pounds at adulthood, and will only run the risk of two health problems - hip dysplasia and stifle problems. The Poodle will live to be about 10 to 13 years old."
What Makes Shih Tzus One of America's Popular Dog Breeds . . .
- "Shih Tzu dogs are very popular in the U.S., perhaps due to a confluence of characteristics - they enjoy people, are good with children, make great pets for those who live in apartments and are friendly and well mannered.
- The name "Shih Tzu" actually means lion dog in Chinese and that's likely because of the long, flowing coat the Shih Tzu displays. That coat, however, requires some care. They should be bathed once a month and the matting on their feet should regularly be cut off.
- The Shih Tzu might be a bit arrogant, but that belies a friendly, gentle and playful personality. They love to play and will learn tricks easily. A Shih Tzu puppy should be given obedience training.
- Although a Shih Tzu does not require a yard in which to exercise, you should still find an outlet for energy, whether that is a short walk, or a daily play session in your home.
- The adult Shih Tzu will be 8 to 15 pounds. Aside from the potential for developing a kidney disorder, the Shih Tzu is free of major health problems. The lifespan for a Shih Tzu is 10 to 14 years."
What Makes Bulldogs One of America's Popular Dog Breeds . . .
- "The Bulldog is known for his docile, sweet-natured and happy disposition. He is a good family pet, because he loves children and will happily keep watch over them.
- Because he is undemanding in his physical needs, he is also a good pet for the elderly or infirm.
- Adding to their mellow charm is the element of humor. Bulldogs are known for often having chronic flatulence, and often sneeze, snort, drool and snore. They have a disdain for physical activity, though they need a bit of it anyhow. They should not exercise in warm or hot weather, as heat does not favor them at all.
- Bulldogs generally get along with other pets, but can sometimes be cranky with other dogs, particularly those they don't know. If you have other dogs, it's best that the other dogs are also docile and easygoing. The Bulldog might get aggressive with any dog that provokes a fight or steals its food.
- Bulldogs can live happily in apartments or small houses with no yard or small yards.
- But they also enjoy a large family home with a large yard. Bulldogs should be kept away from pools and other water sources, as they cannot swim.
- The adult female Bulldog is 40 to 50 pounds, while the male Bulldog is 50 to 55 pounds.
- Health problems range from overheating to allergies, to breathing difficulties. Bulldogs also suffer from itchy skin, eye problems, reproductive problems and heart troubles. They might suffer hip dysplasia. They have a wide chest but narrow hips, which means many Bulldog puppies must be born via Caesarean section. The Bulldog will live between 8 and 12 years."
What Makes Miniature Schnauzers One of America's Popular Dog Breeds . . .
- "The Miniature Schnauzer is an alert, energetic and active dog who can get along in a one-person home or an active family home. He is spirited and eager to please. Be careful - they have a mind of their own, but in the end, they will work hard to make you happy and will work to integrate themselves into the home.
- These dogs aren't prone to wandering as other popular breeds are, but rather they are devoted to their homes and families. However, it's best that they be the only pet in the house, or that other pets are the same size or larger. They have a tendency to see smaller pets as prey and will pursue them.
- Miniature Schnauzers are excellent with children and enjoy their company and will happily watch over them.
- Miniature Schnauzers don't require large yards, but they are active dogs who benefit from long, daily walks and will enjoy occasional time off the leash to play. If you don't have a yard, therefore, consider taking your Schnauzer to the dog park.
- The adult Miniature Schnauzer will be 13 to 18 pounds in size. Major health problems include the possibility of allergies, diabetes, bladder stones, liver diseases, cysts and skin disorders and various eye problems. Miniature Schnauzers normally have a lifespan of 12 to 14 years."
What Makes Chihuahuas One of America's Popular Dog Breeds . . .
- "The small size of the Chihuahua is one of the features that seem to make him so appealing to so many people. Add in the fact that the Chihuahua is very loyal to family and a good friend to his owner, and you have a combination of features that's appealing to many dog owners.
- The Chihuahua is unpredictable in terms of personality. Some are bold and outgoing, while others are shy and retiring. In either event, this is a favorite breed of older people because there's no need for daily exercise or a yard. They are good with children , but do best if socialized from a young age to be around children.
- Because they are so loyal, they are often reserved when meeting new people, but will loosen up and be friendly if you encourage it.
- Chihuahuas are delicate creatures and can get hurt easily. Many people recommend you not adopt a Chihuahua puppy until it is at least 4 months old in order to reduce the chances the puppy will get hurt.
- The adult Chihuahua will weigh between 1 and 6 pounds.
- The Chihuahua is a fragile dog and his bones can break easily. That's a major health concern. Other health issues include heart problems, knee problems, eye problems, hypoglycemia and collapsing trachea. The Chihuahua lives to be from 12 to 14 years old."
What Makes Rottweilers One of America's Popular Dog Breeds . . .
- "The Rottweiler is one of the more popular dogs in America, but these dogs are not for the inexperienced or first-time dog owner.
- These dogs are powerful, strong and robust. They have a strong and stocky build and they are generally best at guarding and herding. They love to have a job to do. If you are looking for a guard dog, or a dog to do search and rescue, this is a good dog to consider. If not, consider giving him the daily task of retrieving your newspaper. It will make him happy.
- Like German Shepherds, Rottweilers are extremely loyal and will happily and loyally defend you and your home to the end. Unlike German Shepherds, Rottweilers aren't generally very social, so much socialization and early training as to your expectations is essential.
- Rottweilers do fine with older children, that is, children who are school age or older. They are sometimes fine with other pets, but they should be introduced to the other pets early in life, rather than the secondary pet being introduced later.
- The Rottweiler is a dominant personality, so training should be assertive, but gentle. The females are gentler and more docile than the males. As for activity, the Rottweiler enjoys a yard with a fence. This is not a dog you can keep in an apartment or a home without a large yard. He should not be left alone for long periods of time.
- The adult Rottweiler will weigh between 90 and 110 pounds.
- Fairly hardy in nature, the Rottweiler doesn't have too many health problems or concerns, save for eye problems and elbow and hip dysplasia. The Rottweiler has the lowest life expectancy of any dogs on our top list, and will live to be 8 to 9 years old."
What Makes Pomeranians One of America's Popular Dog Breeds . . .
- "The Pomeranian is a small toy dog that looks a little like a tiny fox. They are playful and active and very faithful and affectionate. They make good companions for a variety of households, from the elderly and infirm to those with children. Around young children, however, they should be supervised.
- Training should begin at a young age and should be consistent and firm. Pomeranians aren't as obedient as many other breeds, so consistent and firm training is essential. Although they can give their owner a run for their money, with their active and curious nature that makes training difficult, most are able to overlook the difficulties because they make such good pets.
- Although they can live with children and other pets, they are often seen as "one dog only" type of dogs and enjoy the pampering and special treatment they often get from their owners.
- The adult Pomeranian will weigh between 3 and 7 pounds.
- Health concerns for the Pomeranian include teeth problems if not cared for, diabetes, eye problems and knee problems. You can expect a Pomeranian to live for 12 to 15 years."
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
What Makes Cavalier King Charles Spaniels One of America's Popular Dog Breeds . . .
- "The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the largest of the toy breeds, and he carries with him an air of royalty. They might appear royal; however, they are quite friendly and cheerful. They enjoy people, including children, and even other pets.
- These dogs are loyal and obedient and although they prefer a yard with a fence and a good leash on which to take a walk now and then, they are unusually flexible in their needs and will live as well with a single or elderly person in an apartment as they will live in a large family home with big yard.
- The adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will weigh 10 to 18 pounds.
- Health concerns include knee problems, hip dysplasia, eye conditions, ear infections, heart murmurs, and other heart problems. You can expect a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to live for 9 to 14 years."
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Several excerpts included on this page are from some of my other works. ~ Dee