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5 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Illinois (Updated in 2023)

Jordyn Alger

By Jordyn Alger

Golden retriever beautiful lovely pair

Although the American states differ in every conceivable way, there is at least one thing that they can agree on: dogs are awesome. In Illinois, nearly half of the households own a pet, with 32.4% owning a dog.

If you live in Illinois (and are possibly a part of that 32.4%), you may be wondering what the most popular breeds in the state are. In this article, we’ll discuss the five most popular dog breeds in Illinois, so keep reading to see if your favorite pup makes the cut.

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The 5 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Illinois

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever dog standing on the lawn
Image Credit: Radomir Rezny, Shutterstock
Height 22.5–24.5 inches
Weight 65–80 pounds
Life Expectancy 11–13 years

For over three decades, the Labrador Retriever was considered America’s top dog. However, as of 2022, the breed lost its number-one spot to the French Bulldog. Still, being in the top two in the nation isn’t a bad place to be, and in many places, the Labrador Retriever is still number one.

That’s the case in Illinois, where the state seems to rally around this beloved breed. It’s understandable why the Labrador Retriever has gathered so much attention. The Lab is friendly and outgoing, with an endless amount of love for their family. They are considered excellent pets for families with young children or families with other pets due to their amiable dispositions, and they are energetic, playful, and eager to please.

2. German Shepherd

German Shepherd on a walk on a sunny winter day with Frisbee
Image Credit: J. Romanova, Shutterstock
Height 24–26 inches
Weight 65–90 pounds
Life Expectancy 7–10 years

Many people consider the German Shepherd the greatest all-purpose worker among dogs and for a good reason. This powerful, intelligent dog is steadfast and hardworking with unparalleled courage and confidence. Although they are vigilant and somewhat reserved around strangers, they are affectionate and playful with their loved ones.

The German Shepherd is also loved for their grace and beauty, and the muscular, smooth angles of their body give them a striking appearance. This, coupled with their noble bearing, often gives off the impression of royalty.

3. Goldendoodle

english goldendoodle dog sitting on wooden floor
Image Credit: David Calvert, Shutterstock
Height 20–24 inches
Weight 50–90 pounds
Life Expectancy 10–15 years

The Goldendoodle is not an officially recognized breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but many people in Illinois consider the hybrid breed one of their favorites.

It is easy to understand their appeal since the Goldendoodle is a fun-loving, friendly companion.

Goldendoodles are crossbreeds between the Golden Retriever and the Poodle and are considered affectionate and enjoyable companions for families. As a result, the Goldendoodle is a great dog for all sorts of family dynamics.

4. Golden Retriever

golden retriever dog lying on couch with tv remote
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock
Height 23–24 inches
Weight 65–75 pounds
Life Expectancy 10–12 years

With the Goldendoodle on this list, it is only natural that one of their parent breeds would also be popular in Illinois. The Golden Retriever ranks just behind the Goldendoodle and is adored for their friendly and exuberant demeanor. The dog is intelligent, highly adaptable, and a delight to train.

Golden Retrievers are also excellent with young children and other dogs. Some dog owners describe their Golden Retriever’s eyes as empathetic and understanding, making it evident why so many people love the breed.

5. American Pit Bull Terrier

red nose American pitbull terrier
Image Credit: KruBeer Photo, Shutterstock
Height 18–21 inches
Weight 35–70 pounds
Life Expectancy 12–16 years

American Pit Bull Terriers, also known as Pit Bulls, rank fifth in Illinois’s hearts. Due to the breed’s rough history, some people have problematic misconceptions about the dog’s temperament.

However, as almost any American Pit Bull Terrier owner will tell you, with proper upbringing and care, this dog is one of the sweetest companions a person can have. The American Pit Bull Terrier is loyal, friendly, and biddable, but they require sufficient socialization and training to be a well-behaved canine.


The 5 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Chicago, Illinois

Now that you know what the most popular dog breeds in Illinois are, you may wonder how that ranking compares to one of the most densely populated cities in the state. We have listed the five most popular dog breeds in Chicago, Illinois, to satisfy your curiosity.

1. Cockapoo

Apricot Cockapoo
Image Credit: mountaintreks, Shutterstock
Height 7–18 inches
Weight 15–22 pounds
Life Expectancy Up to 15 years

The Cockapoo is a hybrid breed, and it is also Chicago’s favorite dog. Cockapoos are a mix between the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle, which were popular breeds in the 20th century. Their popularity resulted in their crossbreeding, which produced the Cockapoo in the 1960s.

Today, the Cockapoo is beloved by many dog enthusiasts. The hybrid is known for their keen mind, sweet temperament, and adorable appearance. Even better, they hardly shed at all!

2. American Pit Bull Terrier

Image Credit: Anna Krivitskaya, Shutterstock
Height 18–21 inches
Weight 35–70 pounds
Life Expectancy 12–16 years

Once again, the American Pit Bull Terrier makes the top five. The American Pit Bull Terrier’s protective nature and steadfast loyalty make them a companion you can depend on. At the same time, their sweet disposition makes them a perfect family pet. Their size, while not small, is compact enough to suit apartments, which may be why they’re so prevalent in Chicago.

3. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

pembroke welsh corgi dog sitting on the ground
Image Credit: Natalia Fedosova, Shutterstock
Height 10–12 inches
Weight Up to 30 pounds
Life Expectancy 12–13 years

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a highly beloved canine, ranking in the nation’s top 15 as of 2022. If you’ve looked at funny dog videos online, you’ve almost certainly seen a handful of viral videos of Pembroke Welsh Corgis doing playful and hilarious things. Clearly, the energetic pup has won the hearts of many.

In terms of city living, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi can be a great companion due to their compact size; however, they’re full of energy. Therefore, it is not enough for your Pembroke Welsh Corgi to play occasionally indoors; they need plenty of space to run as fast as their little legs will take them.

4. Bulldog

english bulldog standing on the road
Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock
Height 14–15 inches
Weight 50 pounds
Life Expectancy 8–10 years

The Bulldog is a kind, courageous, and dignified breed. This muscular, heavy-set canine is short and stout but undeniably muscular. Although they may look grumpy with their furrowed brow appearance, they’re affectionate with their loved ones and often eager to play.

They are biddable and open to meeting strangers since their docile nature makes them cooperative. Due to their size, they’re excellent pets for apartment dwellers.

5. French Bulldog

black french bulldog standing on the grass
Image Credit: Tanya Consaul Photography, Shutterstock
Height 11–13 inches
Weight Under 28 pounds
Life Expectancy 10–12 years

The French Bulldog is America’s favorite breed, so it makes sense that they would show up on at least one of these lists. They are ideal for apartment living since they have a compact body and moderate exercise needs.

The French Bulldog does not bark often, so your dog won’t likely bother neighbors who live nearby. French Bulldogs are highly affectionate animals with plenty of patience for young children and other dogs.

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Illinois’s most popular dog breeds are Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Goldendoodles, Golden Retrievers, and American Pit Bull Terriers. Interestingly, the most popular dogs in Chicago, Illinois, are entirely different from the state’s ranking (except the American Pit Bull terrier).

While each of these canines has unique features, their friendly temperaments make them so popular. If your favorite breed is not on this list, don’t despair; opinions vary from location to location, and your favorite dog is undoubtedly the star of the show in other locations.

Featured Image Credit: Rala3030, Shutterstock

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