Given the upheaval we’ve seen in nearly all areas of life over the past few years, it’s only appropriate that the world of dog ownership would experience some surprising shakeups.
In 2021, the Labrador Retriever sat at the front of the pack in the American Kennel Club’s rankings of most popular dog breeds, a position it held with a firm grasp for an astonishing 31 straight years.
But in 2022? Well, a new king took the canine crown. Reaching the apex of its years-long climb up the leaderboards, the French Bulldog has emerged as America’s most popular dog breed. But the Frenchie’s ascent isn’t the only notable change to the lineup this past year. Find out which pups are all the rage these days with this look at the current 25 most popular dog breeds.
The 25 Most Popular Dog Breeds
1. French Bulldog
The French Bulldog has been steadily building its popularity for the past decade, rising from the 14th rank in 2012 to breaking the top five in 2017 and finally taking the number one spot in 2022. And when you consider its needs, the surge in ownership makes sense.
French Bulldogs are intelligent, playful, and relatively low-maintenance dogs. As a favorite pet to celebrities, the affectionate breed gets along with everyone. Alongside its slight frame, the Frenchie’s limited barking makes it perfect for smaller homes and apartments.
2. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever’s fall from the top of the popularity rankings wasn’t too far, as its adoring, friendly nature maintains its reputation as the quintessential family dog. Thanks to their gundog background, Labs are easy to train and laser-focused on satisfying their owners. They’re a top choice for first-time and experienced dog owners and numerous individuals needing a capable service animal.
3. Golden Retriever
Not much separates Labrador and Golden Retrievers beyond the Golden’s longer, feathery coat. The hunted game was a bit different for the two sporting breeds, allowing for distinct physical differences. But the identical sweet temperament, trainability, and overflowing friendliness make them equally popular for families.
4. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a well-rounded working dog that is athletic, powerful, and highly intelligent. Though its name comes from its sheep-tending prowess, the breed quickly became renowned for police and military work in the early 1900s.
Today, German Shepherds are still some of the most versatile dogs for guarding, service work, military roles, and search and rescue duties. As companion animals, their exceptional trainability, loyalty, and confidence have made them a perennial favorite.
To nobody’s surprise, the backbone of the Doodle designer dog craze is one of the most popular purebred dogs. The curly, hypoallergenic coat’s grooming possibilities position the Poodle as the fanciest of breeds, but there’s more to them than fashionable show looks. Poodles are among the most intelligent of all dogs. They are highly agile and strong and even have a blue-collar pedigree as former water dogs.
As a stocky, squash-faced, and lovable lump of a dog, the Bulldog’s goofiness and affinity for kids have made it an irresistible family pet. Thankfully, their loyalty, trainability, and courage are all that’s left from their bull-baiting days. Although they’re more prone to health issues than many breeds, their mild energy levels and playfulness make them easy to enjoy.
The Rottweiler made a positive jump in 2022, moving from the eighth most popular dog breed in 2021 to the seventh spot this past year. The intimidating yet calm guard dogs garner interest for their immense loyalty, courage, confidence, and trainability. As they filled roles as working dogs since the Roman Empire, those traits are intrinsic to the essence of every Rottweiler.
Curious and happy-go-lucky Beagles are a seamless addition to a family with kids and other pets. Being prone to following their noses, these undersized scenthounds still present numerous challenges. They can be a chore due to their distractibility, energy, shrewdness, and incessant bark. But if you can iron out their habits, you’ll understand why Beagles have been a top-10 breed for over half a century.
When you understand the Dachshund’s badger-hunting history, their bold personalities begin to make a lot of sense. They’re small in stature yet enormous in bravery and liveliness. These characteristics that made the dogs such incredible hunting dogs have translated into some of the most enjoyable companion animal traits.
Dachshunds are playful and adaptable. Though they can be big barkers, they’re also highly receptive and quick to learn from quality training. As one of the first hounds accepted in the AKC registry, Dachshunds have long been among the most popular small breeds.
10. German Shorthaired Pointer
German Shorthaired Pointers are highly agreeable as gundogs and companion animals. They’re adaptable mid-sized dogs with people-pleasing, family-friendly temperaments, and an intelligent working mindset.
Hunters valued these dogs for their versatility. They could point, retrieve, and track across rough land and through the water with minimal direction. If you can satisfy their need for exercise and manage their prey drive with proper training, GSPs can focus that determination on boundless affection for the family.
11. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Sturdy, self-reliant, and spry, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are as hardy as they are adorable. The affectionate foot-tall pups delight with beaming smiles and radar dish-like ears, and they’re always alert and ready to grab attention with a confident bark.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are bright, devoted, and trainable. Between that and their cute character, it’s easy to see why they made such significant gains in popularity over the past decade. Since coming in at number 24 in 2013, the breed is now on the cusp of cracking the top 10.
12. Australian Shepherd
From their unique coats to their entertaining personalities, what’s not to love about an Aussie? As the capable friends of American ranchers, Australian Shepherds are exceptionally intelligent, hard-working, and energetic. They are excellent herders and learn tricks quickly. Their clever minds and need for stimulation can cause trouble for a new owner, but their exuberance will only be a benefit with proper training and socialization.
13. Yorkshire Terrier
As a tiny toy Terrier, the Yorkie boasts plenty of pep in an apartment-friendly package. The sleek floor-sweeping show coat perfectly captures its elegance, but the Yorkshire Terrier brings enough feistiness to match its fanciness.
Yorkies are confident and brave. Everybody can be their friend, and they adapt well to change. Yorkshire Terriers are playful, vigilant, and outgoing, and they are a delight in any setting.
14. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Relatively new to the AKC’s ranks is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Appearing in the registry in 1995, this adorable long-eared dog didn’t take long to gain a following.
With a background as royal lap dogs, Cavaliers are understandably a Velcro breed that won’t want to spend a minute away from their owners. They developed a calm, gentle temperament and affectionate approach to people and pets. Still, the Spaniel side shines bright in their athleticism and keen trainability.
15. Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman Pinscher’s efficient, muscular frame is as impressive as its bold and ever-vigilant personality. The breed appeared in the late 1800s as the product of a taxman’s efforts to protect himself from thieves with a well-bred guard dog. Dobermans marry desirable traits of several breeds, including:
- German Shepherds
- German Pinschers
Loyalty, alertness, and courage also make for an excellent family companion. Doberman Pinschers are highly trainable and adaptable. They like to be helpful, whether in the home or as a service or working dog.
Powerful, intelligent, and industrious are terms that accurately describe the Boxer. They’re exceptional guard dogs, with perked-up ears always on the alert. Having a ceaseless desire for love from their family, Boxers are always active, upbeat, and ready for play. Their trainability and low grooming demands make them versatile companions for anyone who can provide well-earned attention and affection for these loyal dogs.
17. Miniature Schnauzer
As a do-it-all worker in its native Germany, the Miniature Schnauzer has evolved into a highly adaptable companion. They travel well and fit in with the apartment lifestyle but can be vocal.
Fortunately, training is a breeze with these intelligent, affectionate pups. The working heritage can lead to chasing, but you can channel it into sporting activities like agility trials and lure coursing.
18. Cane Corso
The Cane Corso’s popularity has exploded in the last ten years. In 2013, the working breed barely made the top 50 in the AKC’s ranking, yet only 9 years later, it holds a comfy position in the number 18 spot.
The Cane Corso descends from Mastiff dogs serving working and military roles in ancient Rome. They are large, muscular, and so powerful that they could even protect their owners against lions and wolves. The affectionate Cane Corso is an excellent companion for a strong-willed owner able to provide proper training and socialization.
19. Great Dane
Great Danes are a giant working dog breed, often growing to nearly 3 feet at the shoulder and weighing over 170 pounds. While their stature may be imposing, their affectionate, patient, and majestic character will put you at ease.
Originally a boar hound, the Great Dane is a powerful protector and energetic companion. The breed originated in Germany roughly 400–500 years ago, though its lineage dates to ancient times. While they typically live less than 10 years, this charming breed makes every day count through a sweet disposition and yen for activity.
20. Shih Tzu
A well-groomed Shih Tzu is elegance incarnate. Like the Yorkie, the toy Shih Tzu in show form presents a luxurious floor-length coat. With a long history as a favored companion to Chinese royalty, their aristocratic stature shows in their beautiful coats, if not their energetic personalities. Shih Tzus are delightful around people and animals, though their size puts them at risk around small children.
21. Siberian Husky
Astute Siberian Huskies have a way of testing unprepared owners, but their loyalty and charm make them hard to deny. The ever-smiling and wolf-like northern dog, bred centuries ago as a sled-pulling runner, demands ample daily activity to stave off boredom and unwanted behavior.
Huskies need strong-willed owners and training to avoid mischief. Otherwise, they’re naturally social and friendly to everyone, including strangers and other animals.
22. Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs hail from chillier climates in Switzerland, where their powerful builds positioned them as flexible helpers around the farm. Owners prize the gorgeous and hard-working breed for its pleasing nature. Berners are energetic yet restrained. They are intelligent, devoted, and dependable but willing to let their playful side show with a trusted owner and loving family.
Pomeranians derived from Spitz-type breeds in the land between Poland and Germany, but their ancestor’s working dog traits didn’t transfer to these undersized royal dogs. The spritely toy breed has long been popular in Hollywood and throughout history, with notable owners including Marie Antoinette and Queen Victoria. The plush-coated dogs make excellent watchdogs and are adept at learning fun tricks and games.
24. Boston Terrier
Unlike most terriers, the Boston Terrier is part of the non-working group. The compact and docile dog is more comfortable hanging with its people in the home than hunting vermin outside.
Well-bred Boston Terriers are top-tier house dogs. They’re mellower than other Terriers but also often more entertaining. Grooming needs for their short, low-shedding coat are minimal, and they rarely bark for no reason. Though they can sometimes be stubborn, Boston Terriers put their smarts and ability to learn quickly to good use.
Sharp, extroverted, and endearing, the Havanese has been a steady presence among the most popular dog breeds for several years. As the only dog breed native to Cuba, the Havanese made an effortless transition from a royal lap dog to a family pet. The toy Velcro dog only desires time around people, offering limitless joy, energy, and fun to their family and others.
Did your pup make this year’s top 25 most popular dog breeds? If not, no worries! One of the many joys of dog ownership is that there are no wrong choices for a devoted owner. Every breed is unique. While this list may include some of the most recognizable and adaptable pups, all dogs can benefit the household when we offer the love and care our canine companions deserve.
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