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10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Washington State (2024 Update)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Red Merle Australian Shepherd

Canines are the top pets in the United States, and around 88 million dogs reside in the country, according to the American Medical Veterinary Association1. The American Kennel Club has crowned the French Bulldog the most popular dog breed in the US. But what about popular breeds based on individual states, in particular, Washington State? We constructed a list of the most popular dogs in Washington and included another section with the top five dogs in Seattle.divider 10

The 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Washington State

1. Chihuahua

chihuahua dog lying on bed in hotel room
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 14–16 years
Coat colors: Black, black & tan, blue & tan, chocolate, chocolate & tan, cream, fawn, fawn & white, black & white, red

Tiny but mighty—and quite popular! According to a recent survey conducted by U.S. News and World Report, the Chihuahua has become the most popular dog in Washington State. These little dogs are perfect for apartment living, but they will always appreciate a trip to the park for some fresh air. This breed is also known for its lifespan, so if you get a Chihuahua, make sure you are ready to have a friend for the next 15 years!

2. Golden Retriever

English Golden Retriever
Photo Credit: Rob Wee, Pixabay
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Coat colors: Golden, dark golden, light golden

The Golden Retriever was initially used as a hunting dog in Scotland in the 19th century, and today’s Retrievers still possess their love of playing in the water and fetching games or toys. Golden Retrievers excel at outdoor games, but they also enjoy relaxing indoors. Unlike other breeds with stubborn streaks, Retrievers enjoy training and learning new tricks. They’re incredibly loyal to their families and behave better when they’re able to spend most of the day with their loved ones. As a duck hunting companion, the Retriever is a champ, but it’s become more famous for its loving personality.

3. German Shepherd

german shepherd hackels up at training
Photo Credit: muroPhotographer, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 7 – 10 years
Coat colors: Black, white, bi-color, blue, gray, liver, sable, black and cream, black and red, black and tan

German Shepherds have placed in the top ten on AKC’s lists for decades, and they’ve held the second-place spot for 10 years. They’re one of the world’s smartest breeds and consistently place first in obedience contests. Shepherds are often associated with guard dog duties, narcotics detection, and rescue operations, but they also make exceptional family dogs. They establish close bonds with their human family and are particularly fond of children. Although they’re friendly, they’re timid around strangers because of their protective nature and require socialization at an early age. If the dog is left on its own for long periods, it can be destructive. Daily exercise and fun games will keep the German Shepherd from becoming uncontrollable.

4. French Bulldog

french bulldog looking back
Image Credit: icsilviu, Pixabay
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Coat colors: Cream, fawn, white, brindle, brindle and white, fawn and white, fawn brindle and white, white and brindle, white and fawn

With its bat-like ears, short legs, and expressive face, the French Bulldog has become one of the most cherished dogs in the United States. Toy-size Bulldogs were popular in England in the 19th century, but English lacemakers eventually bred the dogs when they migrated to northern France. French Bulldogs are perfect companions for city dwellers. They do not require much exercise, and the dogs adapt well to apartment living. If you travel frequently, be sure to take your French Bulldog with you. They can struggle with separation anxiety if they’re left alone.

5. Goldendoodle

goldendoodle puppy dog chewing on a stick outdoors
Image Credit: Tara Lynn and Co, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Coat colors: Cream, red, black, gold, apricot, brown, white or a combination

This designer breed has grown in popularity over the years, so it is no surprise that they have risen to the ranks as a popular breed to own. A combination of a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, these dogs can be incredibly friendly and intelligent. Another reason why this breed is gaining popularity is due to the fact that they produce less dander than other breeds. People who are allergic to most breeds may find the Goldendoodle less taxing on them.

6. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Image credit: ElfinFox, Pixabay
Lifespan: 12 – 13 years
Coat colors: Red, sable, fawn, black, and tan

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi acts like a large canine in a small dog’s body. They were initially raised to herd cattle, and their fearless nature and loud bark also make them excellent guard dogs. Corgis are playful and loyal to their owners, but they enjoy time alone and do not suffer from separation anxiety like other small dogs. They require moderate exercise, but their stubby legs prevent them from following a bike rider or fast jogger. Although they have an independent streak, Corgis respond well to training due to their high intelligence.

7. Labrador Retriever

labrador retriever standing on green meadow
Photo Credit: fsHH, Pixabay
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Coat colors: Black, chocolate, yellow

Although its name suggests that the dog originated in Labrador, the Labrador Retriever is descended from a Newfoundland canine. Labs are classified as working dogs, but their friendly and playful nature makes them excellent family pets. They get along with pets and children, and the dogs love to play in the water and fetch. Labs are best known as family dogs, but they’re also skilled guard dogs, hunting companions, and service animals. Labs are active animals that need daily exercise to keep themselves from becoming overweight.

8. Havanese

cream havanese dog in the forest
Image Credit: Dorottya Mathe, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 14–16 years
Coat colors: White, black, white & black, chocolate, cream, fawn, black brindle

Originating from Cuba, the Havanese are social dogs with big personalities underneath that silky coat. These friendly dogs are suitable for apartments and city dwellings due to their size—as long as you give them the attention they crave. If you work from home or are a stay-at-home parent, this breed will be content to have you around all the time. Keep in mind that the Havanese will need regular grooming.

9. Shih Tzu

shih tzu with cone paws
Image Credit: Ihar Halavach, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10–18 years
Coat colors: Black, black & white, brindle, brindle & white, gold, gold & white, red, red & white, silver & white, blue, blue & white

Another small dog makes the list of popular dog breeds in Washington State. The Shih Tzu is a Chinese breed that has become a beloved companion worldwide. This long-haired breed will be perfectly happy being a lapdog, watching your favorite shows with you. But don’t forget to give them some exercise. Smaller dogs are prone to obesity without exercise and a proper diet. Have fun choosing a haircut for your Shih Tzu because you can get quite creative with the choices!

10. Australian Shepherd

Blue Merle Australian Shepherd
Image Credit: Vera Reva, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12­ – 15 years
Coat colors: Red, blue merle, red merle, black

The Australian Shepherd was developed by Australian breeders living in California, but the dog’s heritage comes from Europe. In the west, Australian Shepherds are used for herding cattle and performing in rodeos. They behave well around children, but they must be supervised around toddlers to prevent them from trying to herd the youngsters. They’re smart but require significant training to keep their endless energy from getting out of control. Dog lovers who enjoy relaxing indoors most of the time will not get along with an Australian Shepherd. The breed is accustomed to spending most of the day outside, and owners with ranches or farms are the ideal pet parents.

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Most Popular Dog Breeds in Seattle

AKC does not publish lists for every city in the United States, but it recently posted a list of the most popular canines in 14 U.S. cities. The results in Seattle were similar to ones for the entire state, but Seattle residents seemed to prefer to crown the Golden Retriever as their top choice:

  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • French Bulldog
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  • Australian Shepherd

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Dog lovers in Washington state like many of the same breeds as those on U.S. News and World Report’s list of the most popular dog breeds in the US, with a few exceptions. While some of the constants remained on the list, let’s give a big welcome to the state’s most popular breed: the Chihuahua!

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