The labrador reigned supreme as America’s favorite breed of pooch, but it’s been dethroned in this year’s AKC annual popularity poll.
For 31 years, American Kennel Club bases its findings on new dog registrations completed during the year, so it only involves purebred dogs included in its database.
The fact is, there are millions of unregistered and mixed-breed dogs who remain unaccounted for, so it’s impossible to tell the coolest dog breeds based on any other measure.
So, working with what we’ve got
The Most Popular Dog Breeds:
1. French Bulldogs
The French Bulldog only became a major player in the AKC’s annual poll in 2012, when it entered the charts at number 14. Since then, it’s risen steadily up the ranks, reaching the top five in 2017 and second place in 2021.
This year, it finally rose above the ever-popular Labrador to reach the top spot. These intelligent, playful, loyal, and low-maintenance dogs are favorites among celebrities and everyday folks alike.
They’re exceptionally friendly and don’t bark much, which makes them the perfect family pet. These are all traits they share with the Labrador, but the French Bulldog has the benefit of a smaller size, making it better suited to life in confined spaces like apartments.
You can find more information about these dogs by reading these French Bulldog Care Guides & Tips.
2. Labrador Retrievers
The Labrador hasn’t released its grip on the top spot too much. It’s still here, in second place, nipping at the heels of its newfound rival.
Epitomizing the ideal family pet, labradors have long reigned as America’s favorite. They’re exceptionally loyal, affectionate, and easily trainable, thanks to their gundog heritage.
They’re an English breed of retriever, bred to pick up fallen birds while out on a shoot. As such, they’re an active, water-loving breed that requires medium levels of exercise.
3. Golden Retrievers
The Golden Retriever is a longer-coated Scottish version of the Labrador Retriever. In most other respects, these two breeds are almost identical.
Golden Retrievers are even-tempered, friendly, intelligent, devoted, and affectionate, making them a great match for families with children. They’re a large breed of dog with a striking, soft golden coat, and they’re also one of the most popular breeds in Europe.
4. German Shepherd Dogs
German Shepherd dogs dominate in the military and law enforcement fields thanks to their athleticism and high intelligence. They’re an excellent choice if you’re looking for a security dog and are highly obedient when trained correctly.
These dogs are exceptionally versatile, loyal, and confident, but they need regular exercise and training if you want to maximize their potential.
5. French Poodles
Despite their extravagant looks, French poodles are a breed of working dog trained to assist waterfowl hunters with retrieving their quarry.
They have a curly, hypoallergenic coat that you can style according to your preferences. Despite their highly manicured appearance in the show ring, poodles require little more than once-a-week brushing to stay neat.
French poodles are among the smartest dog breeds too, making them easy to train. They often shine in dog jumping, agility, and obedience competitions.
Also known as the English bulldog, these goofy, friendly dogs are extremely fond of children and make excellent family pets.
Bred for bull-baiting, the modern bulldog is far removed from its working dog roots, although it’s still among the most courageous, calm, trainable, and loyal of the medium dog breeds.
The bulldog’s short, squashed face makes them irresistibly cute, especially when they’re in a playful mood, but it can lead to health issues.
Rottweilers have an interesting origin. They hail from Germany and have been around since Roman times when their main tasks were herding cattle and pulling carts full of butchered meat to the market.
These intimidating dogs are also widely used in the military, police, and search and rescue operations due to their courage, strength, and trainability.
If you’re looking for a loyal, calm guardian, a Rottweiler will make a good companion for you.
Beagles are scent hounds bred for rooting out hares in the English countryside. They’re curious and happy-go-lucky but easily distracted.
These dogs have a lot going for them when it comes to appeal, but they can become a handful due to their high energy coupled with a tendency for shrewdness. Their persistent barking can become tiring, too.
With a little discipline and training, pet owners can overcome these difficulties and enjoy the many other endearing characteristics of this adorable breed of dog.
Wieners, sausage dogs, or badgers, dogs-whatever you call them, and Dachshunds have long been one of the world’s most popular small breeds.
Despite their unusual ‘design, Daschunds are excellent hunters, bred to take on hares, foxes, and badgers. Their small size belies their brave temperaments and larger-than-life personalities.
These small dogs are active, easily trainable, and keen to take on any challenge. What’s more, they’re available in smooth, wire, or long-haired varieties in an array of attractive colors.
10. German Shorthaired Pointers
These elegant gun dogs are certainly among the coolest-looking dog breeds with their beautiful solid or ticked liver coats. They’re among the most versatile hunting dogs, bred to point, retrieve, and track animals on land and through water.
Although they’re at their best when working out in the field, GSPs make excellent companion animals and are fiercely loyal, with family-friendly temperaments and high intelligence.
German short-haired pointers have a high prey drive, so they require consistent, professional training if you have chickens, cats, or other small family pets. They’re active, determined dogs with a high need for rigorous daily exercise.
Thanks to their trainability and obedient natures, it’s possible to enjoy all the best characteristics of this breed while managing the red flags.
Considering the Coolest Dog Breeds for Your Family
Everyone thinks their dog belongs on the list of coolest dog breeds, and they aren’t wrong. When choosing a pet, always research the traits of that breed to ensure you can offer them what they need to fit in with your lifestyle.
Remember, many of the best family dogs don’t come from a long line of show champions. Often, the best dog for you is the one that catches your eye at your local shelter.
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