Home » American Kennel Club’s 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds and New Museum Exhibit

American Kennel Club’s 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds and New Museum Exhibit

by Keith langston
popular dog breeds

The American Kennel Club has released their new listing of America's most popular dog breeds.

Images Courtesy of the American Kennel Club

Top Dog exhibit at the Museum of the Dog

The American Kennel Club has long been the premier organization for all things canine. They provide information on breeds, training guides, helpful tips, and the organization is comprised of a community of dog lovers around the nation. They even put on dog shows and have a museum in Midtown, Manhattan. Their Museum of the Dog is launching a new exhibit celebrating and honoring the most popular dog breeds in America.

In conjunction with the exhibit’s launch, the AKC has also released their newest listing of the most sought-after dogs in the country. The number one spot is once again the Labrador retriever (as it has been for decades) but the newest breed to take the #2 position may surprise you. Read on to discover the 10 most popular dog breeds in America.


10.) Dachshund

Dachshund playfully running (Photo: In Green)

Dachshunds (also called Doxen) have a surprising origin – they were bred to hunt badgers. Their small legs and tenacious spirit are purposeful and make the dachshund perfect for crawling underground and invading badger dens. Nowadays, owners find this fiery spirit endearing and those tiny legs adorable. But be aware, their size may be small, but their energy level is big. Dachshund owners would be wise to play with their pups daily in order to give them the exercise that they need.

Fun Fact: In German, Dachshund literally translates to “Badger Dog”


9.) German Shorthaired Pointer

Shorthaired Pointers enjoy the outdoors (Photo: Brian Goodman)

The German shorthaired pointer is the perfect dog for any outdoorsman. Pointers have boundless energy, and according to the AKC, are known for their speed, agility, and endurance. They’re the perfect dog for anyone who loves hiking, swimming, or running. If you’re looking for a workout buddy, this is the dog for you. Better yet, pointers are known for being outgoing and friendly, and they’re always happy to play with newfound friends.

Fun fact: The shorthaired pointer is the product of centuries of selective breeding, and appear to be the descendant of the German Bird Dog


8.) Rottweiler

Rottweiler sitting in the grass (Photo: everydoghasastory)

Rottweilers once held a reputation for being vicious dogs used for dog fights, however, in recent years it’s become clear that the breed was a victim of circumstance. A rottweiler is as kind and loving as their owner. If placed in a good home with a loving family, you’ll have yourself a loyal, friendly pup. According to the AKC, a well-trained “Rottie” is known for being playful, full of joy, and, despite their size, are always looking for a cuddle.

Fun fact: Back in the early 1900’s rottweilers were used as a police dog


7.) Beagle

A Beagle at sunrise (Photo: Alexey Androsov)

Beagles were bred as hound dogs and hunted in packs. This has given the beagle a need for companionship, making them perfect family dogs. They’re happy, friendly, great with kids, and always love company. And with their big floppy ears, they’re simply adorable and make you want to scratch their heads all day long. According to the AKC, beagles don’t respond well to harsh training. Instead, a patient owner who uses positive reinforcement (and a few dog treats) will create the perfect home environment for these jolly pups.

Fun fact: President Lyndon B. Johnson owned three beagles, named Him, Her, and Edgar


6.) Poodle

A groomed poodle (Photo: everydoghasastory)

Poodles have a reputation for being stuffy, prissy, and used only for the pomp and circumstance of the uber-wealthy. In reality, though, poodles are incredibly intelligent dogs and are natural swimmers. In fact, their fur is adapted for swimming and a poodle will always love to jump in the water with their owner. According to the AKC, grooming is essential for this breed. If left unkempt, their coat can cord and collect dirt, pollen, and dust everywhere they go.

Fun fact: Poodles are the national dog of France


5.) Bulldog

An English bulldog (Photo: Lunja)

Bulldogs are known for their scrunched-up faces and waddling gait. They’ve long been seen as a “man’s dog” because of their symbolism for bravery and courage. However, bulldogs actually are lovable goofs who just want to play and relax with their owners. According to the AKC, bulldogs are also chewers and will enjoy chew toys and playing tug-of-war all throughout their lives. For anyone who loves a dog with adorable and hilarious expressions, this is the breed for you.

Fun fact: Yale University was the first American college to use the bulldog as a mascot, who was lovingly named ‘Handsome Dan’.


4.) Golden Retriever

A Golden retriever running through the grass (Photo: Lunja)

The golden retriever is about as American as apple pie…however, just like apple pie, golden retrievers are actually an import from another country. The breed originated in Scotland as a sports dog, but has since become synonymous with being an excellent family dog full of energy, love, and loyalty. But aside from their good-hearted nature, they’re also excellent work dogs, which explains why they’re used in search and rescue teams and as guide dogs for the blind. For a perfect all-rounder, you can’t go wrong with a golden retriever.

Fun fact: Because of how obedient and intelligent golden retrievers are, they’re regularly used in film and TV, such as Air Bud.


3.) German Shepherd

A German shepherd jumps over a log (Photo: Ann Tyurina)

German shepherds are strong and courageous dogs. They’re known to be excellent protectors and are loyal to the death. They’re also extremely intelligent, which is why they’re used by police forces and airport security. However, shepherds also require a lot of training. Without being properly trained from a young age, the breed can have problems interacting with humans and other dogs later in life. It all comes down to the owner and how much work they’re willing to put in.

Fun fact: Among kennel clubs and dog enthusiasts, German shepherds are often referred to by the abbreviation GSD (German Shephard Dog).


2.) French Bulldog

An adorable French bulldog (Photo: Patrick Kosminder)

French bulldogs, often called “Frenchies”, are miniature bulldogs, easily distinguishable by their astute “bat ears” that constantly give the dog an adorable and endearing expression. Frenchies are also perfect city dogs. Their small size and ease around strangers make them perfect for city life, plus they don’t need much exercise, making them a great addition to smaller apartments. The dog was also purposefully bred to be friendly and loving…they’re a far cry from their original English Bulldog ancestors that were used in the now-illegal practice of “bullbaiting”.

Fun fact: Despite the name, French bulldogs actually originated in England.


1.) Labrador Retriever

A black lab playing fetch (Photo: everydoghasastory)

The famous Labrador retriever has been the most popular dog breed in America for decades, and for good reason. The dog is undyingly affectionate and wants nothing more than to be friends with everyone around them. Perfect for almost every type of family, labs will surely add a puppy-like curiosity and eagerness to any household. Labs will also bring a puppy-like amount of energy too. Don’t forget that your lab was born to play and daily walks are required to keep them happy and healthy.

Fun fact: Labrador retrievers don’t actually come from Labrador, but originated in Newfoundland.

The AKC’s “Top Dog” exhibit runs May 5 – August 29, 2021. For more info or tickets, click here

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