All dogs are considered man's best friend, but certain breeds are more sought after than others. Some are continually popular, while others have made their way on and off the popular list. Top breeds range in looks, personality and needs, and each has its own set of lovable traits.
The Labrador retriever is the top sought after dog, according to American Kennel Club registration records. This intelligent, gentle but energetic breed from Canada is not only a popular home companion, but also commonly employed in search and rescue efforts, law enforcement or as service dogs. Labs come in black, chocolate or yellow, and average 55 to 75 pounds when grown. They love the water, sports and live up to their retriever name. Therefore, they make great exercise companions or hunting dogs.
Bigger is Better?
The next two most popular dogs are also big breeds. German shepherds and golden retrievers hold the AKC's second and third most popular spots. This actually marks a trend in dog breed choices. AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson said, "These predictable, durable, steady breeds, like labs and goldens, are great with kids and offer the whole family more dog to love." German shepherds are known for intelligence and loyalty, and are often used in police and military work. Golden retrievers are gentle, kind, happy and confident.
Beagles and Bulldogs
The next most sought after dogs are beagles and bulldogs, both mid-size. Talented hunting dogs, beagles are obedient, friendly and ideal family companions. Beagles may have gotten their name from the French "be'geule," referring to their trademark howl. Bulldogs, next on the list, come in white, brindle, red, fawn, fallow or piebald varieties. Originally bred to fight bulls, they possessed power and assertiveness. However, beginning in the 1800s, those traits gradually were bred out, resulting in a kinder and gentler bulldog.
Other Sought After Dog Breeds
The next most popular breed is the Yorkshire terrier. Weighing around 7 pounds, they're always ready to defend. Boxers are also popular; these statuesque dogs weigh 50 to 65 pounds and coloring ranges from tan to red. Poodles are next, found in toy, miniature and standard sizes, and several colors. Then come rottweilers, robust defenders who love having a job to do. Rounding out the top 10 list are dachshunds, talented hunters found in smooth, wire-haired or long-haired varieties and miniature or standard sizes.
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.