Best Dog Breeds for Your Age and Stage in Life

Popular Dog Breeds

Story at-a-glance -

  • The most popular dog breeds in different countries have been revealed, based on how many photos of each were posted online
  • Top dogs include the Pug in Korea, the Akita in Japan, the Poodle in France, and the Boxer in the UK
  • Other favorites include the Yorkshire Terrier in Chile, the Shih Tzu in Brazil, the Corgi in the Philippines, and the German Shepherd in India
  • Mutts, or mixed breed dogs, can be incredibly smart, loyal, and companionable too, with unique personalities that match with a wide variety of dog owners

By Dr. Becker

There are hundreds of different dog breeds, but only a (large) handful that are popular enough to be called "favorites." If you're a dog lover and you live in the US, you could probably rattle off at least five of the 10 most popular dog breeds in America, because they're the ones most commonly seen in neighborhoods, dog parks, and even featured on television.

Need some help? According to American Kennel Club dog registration statistics for 2013, the most popular dog breeds in the US are:1

  1. Labrador Retrievers
  2. German Shepherd Dogs
  3. Golden Retrievers
  4. Beagles
  5. Bulldogs
  6. Yorkshire Terriers
  7. Boxers
  8. Poodles
  9. Rottweilers
  10. Dachshunds

But what about in other countries? Have you ever wondered what the most popular dog breeds are in France or Argentina?

Favorite Dog Breeds By Country …

Klooff is an app that lets pet owners share photos of their pets. It recently revealed the most popular dog breeds in each country based on how many photos were posted online, along with some interesting social media pet trends.2 To be fair, cats actually "won" in the social media posting wars, with photos that got 2.3 more shares, on average, than dog photos.

Still, dogs prompted plenty of photo sharing too. Out of more than 50,500 posts analyzed, Klooff revealed the following top trending dog breeds by country. Check out the infographic that follows for even more fun facts.3

Canada: Golden Retriever US: French Bulldog Mexico: Shih Tzu
Chile: Yorkshire Terrier Argentina: English Bulldog Brazil: Shih Tzu
Spain: Alaskan Husky Ireland: Jack Russell Terrier UK: Boxer
Sweden: Schnauzer France: Poodle Italy: Brussels Griffon
Israel: Maltese South Africa: German Shepherd Thailand: Pomeranian
India: German Shepherd China: Chow Chow Russia: Yorkshire Terrier
Korea: Pug Japan: Akita Philippines: Corgi
Australia: Labrador    

pet internet trends

Best Dog Breeds for Kids, Active Owners, First-Time Owners and More

You might fall in love with a certain breed of dog based on looks alone, but it's a good idea to look into the personality traits and unique needs of the breed before deciding on a dog for your family.

Certain dogs are high energy and need a lot of exercise while others are more suited for apartment life. Others do well with kids or cats while some breeds do not. Meanwhile, some dogs require meticulous grooming while others only need an occasional bath.

Below I've compiled some of the top dogs depending on different lifestyles and needs. Even within a breed, each dog will have its own unique personality, of course, but the following guide will give you an idea of which breeds may be more suited for you.

Top Dogs for Families with Kids

Bulldog Beagle
Bull TerrierCollie
Irish SetterPoodle
Labrador RetrieverGolden Retriever

Top Dogs for First-Time Owners

Golden RetrieverPoodle
Labrador RetrieverCavalier King Charles Spaniel
Bichon FriseBoston Terrier
Shetland SheepdogPomeranian

Top Dogs for Active Owners

Rhodesian RidgebackSaluki
WeimaranerNova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Bernese Mountain DogAlaskan Malamute

Top Dogs for People with Allergies

Bedlington TerrierBichon Frise
Chinese CrestedKerry Blue Terrier
Portuguese Water DogSchnauzer
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier 

Top Dogs for Seniors

French BulldogPoodle
Pembroke Welsh Corgi 

Top Dogs for People Living in Apartments

Yorkshire TerrierMaltese
Boston TerrierFrench Bulldog
Cavalier King Charles SpanielEnglish Bulldog
Basset HoundAmerican Staffordshire Terrier
GreyhoundGreat Dane

The Benefits of Choosing a "Mutt"

It's not only purebred dogs that deserve top mentions. Mutts, or mixed breed dogs, can be incredibly smart, loyal, and companionable too. They have unique personalities and tend to be very easygoing, often scoring better than many purebreds in traits such as stability, friendliness, shyness, aggression, and protectiveness.

Mixed breed dogs may come from just two breeds or they many be a product of several. Still, mixed breed dogs actually fall into a few distinct groups, including:

  • Dogs with attributes of two or more breeds. There might be a purebred in the lineage, or the dog might come from several generations of mutts. These dogs are usually identified by the breed or breeds they most closely resemble, for example a "Husky mix" or a "Dachshund-Terrier."
  • Wild or feral dogs. These dogs are products of non-selective breeding over several generations. An example of a dog in this category is the pariah dog. Pariah dogs are generally yellow to light brown in color, with medium size height and weight.
  • Functional breeds. These dogs are bred for a specific purpose based on their ability to perform certain tasks. Examples include the Alaskan Husky and the Greyster, a Greyhound/Pointer mix popular in Europe.
  • Crossbreeds. These dogs are a mix of two established breeds – generally their parents are two different purebreds. Examples: the Puggle (Pug and Beagle cross) and any number of purebred dogs crossed with the Poodle, such as the Labradoodle.

While it's recently been found that mixed breeds don't necessarily have a health advantage when it comes to genetic disorders, they do tend to be a hearty group. One study found 10 conditions that occurred more frequently among purebred dogs, including dilated cardiomyopathy, elbow dysplasia, cataracts, and hypothyroidism, while only one disorder was more common in mixed breeds (cranial cruciate ligament ruptures).4

Be aware that well over half the dogs at any animal shelter have behavior problems that caused their previous owners to give them up. This isn't the fault of the dogs. However, be prepared that adopting a mutt may require some extra attention, training, and TLC on your end. Ultimately, virtually any dog has the potential to be the next favorite or social-media sensation; being a top dog has nothing to do with breed (purebred or otherwise) and everything to do with the mark he makes on your heart.