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10 Most Popular Dog Breeds by State

Jessica Kim

By Jessica Kim

an adorable beagle lying on grass outdoor

In the United States, about 69 million households have at least one dog. Over the years, some dog breeds have become more popular than others, and the most favorite dog breeds in the US are often Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers.

However, trends do shift every now and then, so there are some new dog breeds that rise up the list. We’ve taken a look at the American Kennel Club’s latest report on the most popular dogs. Here are the top 10 most popular dog breeds that made frequent appearances on many individual states’ lists of favorite dogs.

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The 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds by State:

1.  Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers
Image Credit: fotorince, Shutterstock
Height: 21-24 inches
Weight: 55-80 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Temperament: Eager to please, intelligent, loyal, people-oriented

By far, the Labrador Retriever reigns supreme as the most popular dog in the United States. This dog breed has been the most popular dog since 1991, and with good reason! Labrador Retrievers have wonderful personalities. They are highly intelligent and eager to please, making them great dogs for first-time dog owners.

Many Labrador Retrievers have temperaments that make them become working dogs and service dogs. They naturally love to help people and are relatively easy to train. This dog breed was within the top three most popular dogs for every state except for Alaska, Florida, Kentucky, and Louisiana.

2.  French Bulldog

french bulldog with collar
Image Credit: speckfechta, Unsplash
Height: 11-12 inches
Weight: 15-28 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Temperament: Easygoing, friendly, playful

The French Bulldog rose to popularity within recent years and finally rose above the German Shepherd in popularity. This dog is particularly popular in California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, and New York. 

French Bulldogs have an odd, yet charming appearance that makes them magnetic and causes them to attract a lot of attention. This breed was bred as a companion dog and fills in its role very well. French Bulldogs love attention and have a playful, easygoing attitude towards life. They can have active streaks, and they’re also content to lay around and be a lap dog.

3. German Shepherd

silver sable german shepherd
Image Credit: J. Romanova, Shutterstock
Height: 22-24 inches
Weight: 75-95 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-14 years
Temperament: Brave, intelligent, loyal

Other than five states (Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Vermont), this regal dog is consistently listed as one of the most popular dog breeds in individual state rankings. Although their respect can be hard-earned, once they develop a strong bond with their owner, it’s difficult to find another dog breed that can outmatch their bravery and loyalty.

German Shepherds are incredibly intelligent, but they’re not the best dog for inexperienced or busy dog owners. They thrive in environments where they can exercise their high levels of energy. They require a firm yet fun handler who can train them to channel their energy to good use.

4. Golden Retriever

three golden retrievers
Image By: pixshots, Shutterstock
Height: 21-24 inches
Weight: 55-75 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Temperament: Easygoing, friendly, people-oriented

The Golden Retriever has been an American favorite for many years. These dogs have very friendly and tolerant attitudes towards people, making them wonderful family dogs. Although they’re not as popular as the Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd, they’re still amongst the top three most favorite dog breeds in about half of the states in the US.

Golden Retrievers tend to get along with everyone and every pet. They’re rather welcoming of strangers and can play with other dogs and types of pets with early socialization. However, they have a protective streak and are extremely loyal to their family.

5. Bulldog

American Bulldog
Image Credit: atsme, Pixabay
Height: 14-15 inches
Weight: 40-50 pounds
Life Expectancy: 8-10 years
Temperament: Docile, laidback, loyal

Bulldogs are recognizable everywhere, but they’re exceptionally popular in California and Georgia. They may have a tough-looking exterior, but they often have very docile and friendly personalities.

This dog breed has a rather bloody history as they were bred for a violent sport called bull baiting. However, they’re now sweet and lovable family dogs that would rather relax and enjoy life.

Bulldogs are very sensitive to extreme weather and must be very careful in heat and humidity. They overheat easily, so it’s crucial to let them take it easy when going on a walk during the summer.

6. Poodle

two standard poodles standing on grass
Image Credit: NandaArt, Pixabay
Height: 11-12 inches
Weight: 15-28 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Temperament: Intelligent, graceful, stubborn

Despite their regal appearance, Poodles are a playful breed. They enjoy being the center of attention and love learning new tricks that garner a lot of praise.

This dog breed is energetic and extremely intelligent, so it’s important to fill their day with plenty of exercise and fun activities to keep them mentally stimulated. Along with their friendly personalities, Poodles shed minimally. They also come in three sizes—standard, miniature, and toy.

Overall, Poodles have wonderful characteristics that make them great family dogs and companions for first-time dog owners. They’re especially popular in New Jersey.

7. Beagle

beagle in the forest
Image Credit: Daniel Albany, Pixabay
Height: 13-15 inches
Weight: 18-30 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-15 years
Temperament: Active, intelligent, willful

Although they’re small in stature, Beagles are extremely active, hardy, and playful. They bring a lot of fun and excitement to any family, but they can also have a stubborn streak. So, they do best with owners who can provide consistent and creative training with a good amount of patience.

The Beagle tends to be more popular in the Southern, including states like Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and South Carolina. This dog breed was originally bred as a scenthound and enjoys tracking small game and exploring the great outdoors.

8. Rottweiler

Rottweiler dog in park
Image Credit: BidaOleksandr, Shutterstock
Height: 22-27 inches
Weight: 85-130 pounds
Life Expectancy: 8-11 years
Temperament: Brave, determined, protective

Rottweilers have a long history of working alongside humans. They originally drove cattle and pulled carts and eventually became popular police dogs and military dogs.

Although this dog breed isn’t completely unfriendly towards strangers, they aren’t afraid to defend and protect their families. They can be very sweet with children, but it’s important to allow opportunities for early socialization so that they learn how to play and act safely around small children.

Rottweilers tend to have a strong prey drive and don’t really get along with other dogs. So, it’s best if they’re the only pet in the family.

This dog breed is particularly popular in Hawaii, Illinois, and New Jersey.

9. German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer pointing
Image credit: Burry van den Brink, Shutterstock
Height: 23-26 inches
Weight: 45-75 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Temperament: Active, family-oriented, intelligent

Pointers are an old dog breed that’s been around for centuries. As their name states, this dog breed was originally bred for pointing hunters in the right direction when they hunted for small game. Today, German Shorthaired Pointers are one of the most popular pointer dog breeds.

These dogs have a lot of energy and love to be active, so they’re not the best match for apartment dwellers. They’ll love being in families that are active and can take them on a lot of hikes, runs, and walks. They are typically found throughout the Midwest where land is more plentiful.

10. Dachshund

dachshund nesting
Image Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock
Height: 8-9 inches
Weight: 16-32 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Temperament: Clever, energetic, lively

Dachshunds have a unique body shape, but it’s no accident. They were bred to hunt animals that dug tunnels and underground burrows, and their narrow bodies helped them to chase rabbits and foxes.

The Dachshund comes in standard and miniature sizes. Miniature Dachshunds tend to be more well-suited for apartment life. However, both types of Dachshunds still require an adequate amount of exercise. They have fun and vivacious personalities that make them perfect family dogs.

This dog breed has consistently been one of the most popular dogs in the US ever since the 1950s. It’s one of the most favored dogs in Alabama.

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Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers consistently appear as favorite dog breeds in the US. However, other contenders, such as the French Bulldog and Dachshund continue to rise up the list. With several dog breeds changing up the rankings, it will be interesting to track how different the list will look in years to come.


Featured Image Credit: laureettaawilliams, Pixabay

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