Top 10 most popular dog breeds
As a dog owner your preference for a particular breed is very much a personal thing. All breeds have their plus and minus traits and we should make our initial selection based on factors other than just appearance. Your personal circumstances will dictate how large a dog you can manage, and how lively an animal you can comfortably live with. How much exercise an animal will require is also of course very relevant. I have listed below the ten most popular dog breeds to assist you in making that all-important selection. Get the choice right and it will lead to a happy and fruitful relationship for both you and your pet.
1. Labrador Retriever
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed of dog in the United States. With a warm, affectionate personality, this dog is very family-friendly. Sociable and eminently trainable, Labradors are of medium size and are often chosen as guide dogs, watchdogs and members of search and rescue teams.
2. German Shepherd
Widely used by the police and military in a guard dog capacity, the German Shepherd has a reputation as a strong and fearless animal. A proven pedigree can make a big difference in terms of how this breed gets along with families, as poor lineage or training can have adverse effects on its standing as a companion pet.
Beagles have been growing in popularity during the last decade and are gaining a reputation as small, loving dogs that are easy to care for. They can be difficult to train and are sometimes aggressive, plus having significant health problems, so a Beagle must always be sourced from a reputable breeder to ensure that this is not the case with the animal that you purchase.
4. Golden Retriever
With an attractive coat that comes in a range of caramel shades, this slightly smaller cousin of the Labrador Retriever is intelligent and loves to please. Another working dog, the Golden Retriever has an affectionate, gentle nature and is great with children. This breed needs plenty of exercise and a good diet as it can be prone to obesity if not properly cared for.
5. Yorkshire Terrier
A miniature variety of terrier, the Yorkie is an attractive dog with a luxuriously long coat that looks superb with regular and attentive grooming. Energetic creatures, Yorkies are also courageous and nosey and they love to be involved in whatever is going on. Sometimes poorly bred dogs can be bad-tempered and less than friendly around children.
Bulldogs are of medium size and can be playful and fun, however they are prone to health issues and need to be particularly well cared for. They are affectionate and gentle, although being strong and active animals they can also become aggressive and will get out of hand if not properly trained.
Boxers are consistently popular in the US; with their shiny coats and bouncy nature they are among the best of the larger dogs, and they have a great sense of fun. Training is important to ensure obedience and good behavior. As with all larger dogs, sometimes health concerns come with increasing age.
Amongst the smaller dogs that are most popular, the Poodle comes in three sizes – standard, miniature and toy. Unusually, this dog does not shed hair so regular grooming is needed. Crossing the Poodle’s considerable intelligence and the Labrador’s affectionate nature results in one of the most popular celebrity designer dog breeds – the Labradoodle.
Dachshunds make lovable companions and are great watchdogs as they inevitably bark at strangers or when someone knocks on the door. With their unusual shape, care must be taken to keep them off furniture or away from too many stairs, which can damage their delicate backs. Very cute and slightly comical to look at, they are great fun as pets.
Rottweilers are very determined and brave dogs that are at their best when given a task to perform. Medium-sized with a glossy coat, they are intelligent and often used for police work and in protective roles. These are powerful animals and great care should be taken when selecting a breeder. Particularly if you have children always visit the breeder and see other dogs from the same breeding line to assess their suitability as a pet. This is vital with all the larger breeds as small children and large powerful dogs do not always mix well.