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15 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Virginia: 2023 Update

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

group of dogs in the table

Virginians love their dogs, but the truth is that some dog breeds are more popular in the state than others. So, we’ve highlighted 15 of the most popular dog breeds in the state for you below. Whether you’re looking to find out which breeds you can expect to find in the state or want to find the perfect dog breed for yourself, you’ve come to the right place!


Top 15 Popular Dog Breeds in Virginia

1. Cane Corso

dog cane Corso walking
Image Credit: GALINA TARASENKO, Shutterstock
Height 23 to 28 inches
Weight 100 to 110 pounds
Lifespan 10 to 12 years

There are tons of popular dogs in Virginia, but by far the most popular throughout the entire state is the Cane Corso. It’s an extremely large dog breed that’s loving and eager to please, but we still only recommend it for more experienced dog owners.

Not only is it a large dog breed, but they also need a bit more socialization with kids and pets; otherwise, they might not behave the most appropriately.

2. Labrador Retriever

labrador retriever standing in the grass
Image Credit: Alexander Rim, Shutterstock
Height 22 to 24 inches
Weight 55 to 80 pounds
Lifespan 10 to 12 years

The Labrador Retriever is a well-loved dog breed everywhere, so it’s no surprise to see it near the top of the list for Virginia. Labrador Retrievers are not only an extremely loving and eager-to-please dog breed, but they usually get along excellent with kids and other pets.

They’re great dogs for both beginner and experienced pet owners. They are larger dogs with higher energy levels though, so it’s best to have a little extra space if you’re thinking about bringing one home.

3. Golden Retriever

Golden retriever beautiful lovely pair
Image Credit: Rala3030, Shutterstock
Height 20 to 24 inches
Weight 55 to 75 pounds
Lifespan 10 to 12 years

The Golden Retriever is similar to the Labrador Retriever in quite a few ways, including how loving, loyal, and great with families and other pets they are. Golden Retrievers are popular all over the country and Virginia is no exception. If you have enough space for one, they’re a great addition to any family and a great first-time dog!

4. Poodle

standard poodle standing on grass
Image Credit: Anna K Majer, Shutterstock
Height 8 to 24 inches
Weight 6 to 70 pounds
Lifespan 10 to 18 years

Poodles come in all shapes and sizes, which is why you can find them as little as 6 pounds and as big as 70! But no matter their sizes, all Poodles have a few things in common that make them such an outstanding choice.

They’re brilliant, considered more hypoallergenic than other dogs (although no truly hypoallergenic dog exists), and they get along great with kids and other dogs. Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or an experienced handler, a Poodle is a great companion.

5. French Bulldog

black french bulldog standing on the grass
Image Credit: Tanya Consaul Photography, Shutterstock
Height 11 to 13 inches
Weight 16 to 28 pounds
Lifespan 10 to 12 years

The French Bulldog is a small to mid-sized dog breed that gets along great with kids, is super loving, and is eager to please. They also tend to get along great with other dog breeds, you just need to be careful with smaller French Bulldogs because they often forget just how small they are.

6. Goldendoodle

a female F2B goldendoodle lying on the grass
Image Credit: cine-nomadic, Shutterstock
Height 13 to 24 inches
Weight 15 to 90 pounds
Lifespan 10 to 15 years

The Goldendoodle is a mix between a Poodle and a Golden Retriever. And since both parent breeds are extremely popular in Virginia, it’s no surprise that the Goldendoodle is such a popular breed in Virginia. The size of a Goldendoodle varies quite a bit depending on the size of the Poodle parent. And unlike the Poodle, the Goldendoodle isn’t always hypoallergenic.

7. Shiba Inu

shiba inu dog in the grass
Image Credit: Spencer-Xu-Shutterstock
Height 14 to 17 inches
Weight 15 to 24 pounds
Lifespan 12 to 15 years

The Shiba Inu is an extremely cute and loving dog breed, but we don’t recommend them for inexperienced handlers. That’s because they’re not always the best around other dogs or children, especially if you don’t take the time to socialize them properly.

Not only that but the Shiba Inu is notoriously stubborn, so persistence and consistent training is key in training them, and it’s likely to be a bit of a struggle.

8. Boxer

boxer dog
Image Credit: Lenkadan, Shutterstock
Height 21 to 25 inches
Weight 55 to 70 pounds
Lifespan 10 to 12 years

Boxers might look a little more intimidating than some other dog breeds, but they’re big softies at heart. All they want is a lot of love and they’ll remain loyal to you forever, and they really do try their best to listen.

Boxers also tend to do great as family dogs, but they can get a bit jealous and territorial, so you’ll need to socialize them early and often if you want to keep them around other dogs.

9. Australian Shepherd

two australian shepherd dog in the grass
Image Credit: Photography, Shutterstock
Height 18 to 23 inches
Weight 30 to 65 pounds
Lifespan 12 to 15 years

The Australian Shepherd is an extremely intelligent dog breed that’s always looking to learn more and has a bit of a mental challenge. They’re great with kids too, but you’ll need to spend a little more time socializing them if you want to keep them with other dogs.

Just as important is that the Australian Shepherd is a high-energy dog, so ensure you have plenty of space for them to get out and run around before bringing one home.

10. Chihuahua

chihuahua lying on grass
Image Credit: HG-Fotografie, Pixabay
Height 6 to 9 inches
Weight 3.5 to 6.5 pounds
Lifespan 12 to 14 years

The Chihuahua is the smallest pup on our list, and it’s also the most challenging to own. They tend to think they’re a bit larger than they are, which can get them into trouble with both kids and other dogs.

They’re also notoriously stubborn and tend to be very vocal, which can get you into trouble if you live in close quarters with other people. Still, the Chihuahua has a very loving demeanor and can make the perfect pocket-sized companion for many people!

11. Rottweiler

rottweiler dog sitting on grass
Image Credit: Kevin Seibel, Pixabay
Height 22 to 27 inches
Weight 75 to 130 pounds
Lifespan 8 to 10 years

The Rottweiler has a bit of an unearned negative reputation in many circles, but that hasn’t kept the people in Virginia from rightfully falling in love with the breed. They’re incredibly loyal pups that want tons of attention, although they require more socialization around children and other dog breeds.

12. Shetland Sheepdog

tricolor shetland sheepdog
Image Credit: Lisjatina, Shutterstock
Height 13 to 16 inches
Weight 14 to 27 pounds
Lifespan 12 to 14 years

With their long flowing coats, few dogs are quite as adorable as the Shetland Sheepdog. But while these dogs simply look adorable, that’s far from the only thing that makes them so popular. They’re also great with other dogs and children, and they’re loving and always eager to please their owners.

Shetland Sheepdogs do have a lot of energy though, and they tend to be a bit more vocal than many other breeds.

13. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog outdoors
Image Credit: Courtney Mihaka, Unsplash
Height 12 to 13 inches
Weight 13 to 18 pounds
Lifespan 9 to 14 years

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a smaller dog breed that is extremely popular in Virginia because of quite a few of its signature traits. They’re incredibly loving and eager to please, great with kids, and they get along phenomenally well with other dogs. They also don’t have quite as much energy as many other dog breeds, and compared to most smaller dogs, they’re not quite as vocal.

14. Beagle

beagle dog lying on the ground
Image Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock
Height 13 to 16 inches
Weight 20 to 24 pounds
Lifespan 12 to 15 years

The Beagle is a hunting dog by nature, and they do well in packs, so if you’re looking to bring home more than one dog, Beagles are a great choice. Not only are they outstanding hunting companions, but they’re also great family dogs. Just keep in mind that they tend to follow their nose quite a bit, so if you’re not careful, they can wander off tracking down a scent!

15. German Shepherd

alert german shepherd dog wearign harness lying on the grass
Image Credit: JenniMack, Shutterstock
Height 22 to 26 inches
Weight 50 to 90 pounds
Lifespan 9 to 13 years

The German Shepherd is the last dog breed on our list, but they’re still extremely popular in Virginia. They’re extremely loving and loyal and get along great with kids, although you need to be a bit more careful with them around other dogs.

Also, keep in mind that the German Shepherd has a lot of energy, so if you don’t have plenty of space for them to run around and burn some energy, they can turn into a handful quickly.



Now that you know a little more about some of the most popular dog breeds in Virginia, all that’s left is for you to pick your favorite! Of course, if you head to Virginia, you’re likely to find far more breeds than the 15 we’ve highlighted for you, but it’s also likely that you’ll see more of these pups than any other!

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