Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds of All Times

an Asian woman with a beautiful dog

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Choosing the right dog from popular dog breeds is a decision that involves multiple factors. Some dog enthusiasts take copious amounts of time to compare dogs’ compatibility, size, grooming needs, or activity levels. Other dog enthusiasts research which pedigrees are most popular and select their life-long friends from general rankings and brief pedigree descriptions.

an Asian woman with a beautiful dog

Reviewing popular dog breed publications such as Moderndog and Bark to stay informed about popular dog breeds may require registering for an unwanted membership. The following top ten list of popular dog breeds around the world is a comprehensive look at which dogs are the most prized and why.

Top 10 Popular Dog Breeds Around the World

#1. Labrador Retrievers

a cute Labrador retriever

Rounding out the number one spot worldwide is the Labrador Retriever. This dog is consistently hailed by the World Pet Association (WPA) as the best dog breed for families. Originally bred in Newfoundland and Labrador Canada in the 1700’s, this pedigree is friendly and highly intelligent. Labradors are good for a variety of activities from hunting to working as therapy aids because they are energetic and gentle.

Dubbed “Labs” for short, this breed is also celebrated for its ability to retrieve any object on land and water that can fit in its mouth. Breed standards emphasize that pure Labs are solid black, yellowish to fox-red, or chocolate brown. Other distinctive traits are webbed toes that are great for swimming and interwoven hairs that create a virtually waterproof coat.

#2. German Shepherds

a large German Shepherd

Almost as popular as the Labrador Retriever is the German Shepherd. Commonly used in military or police operations around the world, this canine is known for its strength, courage, and intelligence. German Shepherds are also great guide dogs because they demonstrate patience and a high learning curve.

Described as calm and obedient, German Shepherds exude confidence but can be fierce if challenged. A large-breed dog with long hair, the German Shepherd, averages 75 pounds and 24 inches.

#3. Beagles

a cute Beagle puppy

Historically used to hunt rabbits and small game in Elizabethan England, Beagles, landed a spot among the popular dog breeds because of their superb tracking abilities and sense of smell. As members of the hound family, they have a tendency to bark or howl. Considered a small to a mid-sized dog, Beagles are a popular dog breed that rarely drool and are highly intelligent.

Also, this breed is a great companion for little children because of its playful nature and high energy level. Beagles owe their notoriety to being the most depicted dog in popular programming and cartoon publications. Three very famous Beagles are Snoopy, Odie from the Garfield comic strip, and Mr. Peabody, the genius dog from the 2014 movie Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

#4. Bulldogs

a medium-sized English Bulldog

According to, the English Bulldog has emerged as one of the most popular dog breeds in the world for its temperament. Other breeds in this class include the American and the French Bulldogs. Lovable and friendly, the Bulldog is characterized by a wide head, stocky shoulders, short coat, flat snout, and pronounced jaw with an underbite.

With its short, muscular body and thick folds of skin around the face and neck, Bulldogs are fondly considered unattractive. Sometimes stubborn and lazy, Bulldogs still make for great companions because they are silly, loyal, and intuitive.

#5. Golden Retrievers

an adult Golden Retriever

First bred in Scotland, Golden Retrievers are large sized dogs with long hair coats that love roaming and swimming. Known for their pleasant demeanor and obedience, Golden Retrievers originally accompanied their owners on duck and fowl hunts.

There are three types of Golden Retrievers: British, American, and Canadian. Each of these breeds has slight variations in coat color and body type. This popular pedigree is great with children and as seeing eye dogs because they are loyal to their owners. Golden Retrievers are the celebrity dogs of Hollywood.

#6. Boxers

a smiling boxer dog

Originally bred in Germany to hunt wild animals, Boxers are muscular dogs that have become valued domestic companions. This breed’s name derives from its tendency to stand on hind legs and box with its front paws. Boxers are extremely agile and strong. Specialists classify them as medium-sized dogs, with the male and female averaging 55-71 pounds.

Their short-haired coat is typically fawn or brindled with white markings. However, all-white Boxers are common. The facial features of Boxers are distinct because of their small heads, deep set eyes, square muzzles, and underbites. Boxers are not normally aggressive, but they are headstrong, very protective of children, and known to pal around with smaller dogs as companions.

#7. Rottweilers

three beautiful Rottweiler dogs

Rottweilers are renown for their size and strength. Playfully referred to as “Rotties” or “Rotts,” these dogs can weigh up to 132 pounds and get as tall as 27 inches. Rottweilers make great guard dogs and rival German Shepherds’ search and rescue abilities.

Rotties are so strong that at one time they were used by German butchers, instead of horses, to pull carts of freshly butchered meat to the markets. This breed is characterized by its black and tan or black and mahogany color. The coat hair is short and thick. Other distinctive features are their broad nose, black lips and gums, and thick muscular neck.

#8. Pugs

two cute little pugs

Pugs are cute and tenacious dogs that hail from China. Originally, this popular dog breed was only owned by Chinese Emperors and Buddhist Monks. Like most miniature-sized dogs, Pugs are playful. However, they nap a lot and become quite fussy when agitated.

Pugs demand a lot of attention from their owners and follow them around everywhere. The facial features of Pugs resemble those of Bulldogs, without the pronounce underbite. Other distinguishable traits are their curled tails and square, compact bodies with fine, short hair.

#9. Yorkshire Terriers

a small cute Yorkshire terrier

Yorkshire Terriers are small, long-haired dogs that were originally bred in Yorkshire, England to catch rodents in mills. Today, they are pampered lap dogs that are referred to as “Yorkies.” This breed’s hair is considered one of its most valued traits, and owners often ornament their dogs’ hair with bows.

Yorkies are also noted for their overprotective temperaments and sense of importance. This breed is spunky and often challenges larger dogs to barking matches. Although small and petite, the Yorkie is lively and clever. They make great guard dogs because they always announce strangers.

#10. Poodles

a rather large white poodle

Poodles are smart dogs that have been traditionally bred in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. This breed is one of the few that are characterized by height, not weight. Miniature Poodles are the most popular of the breed with an average height of 15 inches. The most distinctive trait of Poodles is their curly hair. Owners often cut and style the hair to give their Poodles an elegant, royal appearance.

The breed is highly sociable with adults and prefers not to play roughly with children and other dogs. Poodles are quick learners with patient dispositions, and they require a great deal of exercise. Naturally calm dogs who may act startled at loud noises or unexpected touches, Poodles prefer peace and quiet.

Bottom Line

True dog enthusiasts around the world are always on the lookout for intelligent, loyal canine companions. The dogs listed have the honor of being the most popular dog breeds in the world because they exhibit these traits and other attractive features that most breeds do not have. The next time you are in the market to purchase or adopt a dog with specific characteristics, try one of the breeds above. You will be pleased to know you are getting the quality and characteristics you paid for.

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