Most Popular Dog Breeds in America

Thinking about adopting a new fur baby into the family? Today at PAWZ, we’re going over some of the most popular dog breeds in America. This guide will give you a better understanding of some of the top breeds to help you find your next furrever friend. 

We’re covering the ideal weight and height and height for each breed, their typical temperament, and their favorite activities. Obviously, the list of breeds is longer than our attention spans, so we want to highlight the most common ones you’ll see on your search for the pawfect pup. 

Why Is It Important to Know Your Breed?

It’s important to know your dog’s breed for a variety of reasons. Not only can it help you care for them, but it can also help you know what to expect as you begin your life together.

Height, weight, and temperament vary depending on breed. Different types of dogs need different levels of activity and exercise, even if they’re a mix of many adorable breeds. The important takeaway here? Purebreds and rescue dogs alike are a reflection of their nature and their nurture. You need to know what to expect to give your pup a full and happy life. 

What Do You Mean by Exercise Requirements?

As humans, we understand the importance of a balanced diet and appropriate exercise for our age and weight. Well, our dogs need that healthy balance, too! The bigger difference between us and our pups is that each breed and size comes with unique requirements. 

It’s a common misconception that the largest breeds always need the most exercise. In fact, some of these gentle giants make the best apartment pets and are content to spend most of the day chilling on the couch. 

We want to help you understand these requirements for your pup’s specific breed so you can get the fullest picture possible of what to expect from your new fur baby. 

What Are the Top Dog Breeds in the U.S.?

Lists of dog breeds can feel never-ending. There are so many types of pups to love! 

Knowing the most popular breeds — even if your dog is a mixed breed — will help you build a better relationship with your pup. Being able to provide the requirements for their specific breed will ensure a happy and healthy life with you. 

Let’s do this!

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are by far one of the most popular breeds worldwide, let alone in America. They are great companions and do well in a family setting where they can be part of a pack. 

This breed is generally easy to train but requires a lot of reinforcement and a hefty amount of exercise. They’re on the larger end of the breed sizes, ranging from 70 to 90 pounds, and you can expect them to live up to 14 years. 

These dogs are hard-working pups and eager to please their family. Their popularity as a police dog or military dog is evidence of their hard-working nature. 

Labrador Retriever

Labs are the most popular breed in America, especially among families. They are great for families with kids of all ages, as they are friendly and loving dogs. Labradors are eager to please and will make a great part of your pack. These pups are a medium to large breed, ranging from 50 to 75 pounds. 

As long as labs are given the proper dietary and exercise needs, they’ll lead a very healthy life!

French Bulldog

Frenchies are probably one of the cutest breeds of small dogs on the planet. (To be fair, we’d say this about any breed of small dogs — they’re just so cute!) These little goofballs have sweet dispositions, but they make the loudest sounds. If you’ve never been able to hear their adorable snoring, you’re missing out. 

French bulldogs are great companion pets for one person, but they also do well with children. They will need a proper diet to prevent them from getting overly chubby, but a light walk every day should be enough to keep them in shape. 

Size-wise, they’re in the 25- to 35-pound range and can live up to 15 years. Remember, proper grooming is key to keeping their smooshy airways free and clear from breathing difficulties.

Golden Retrievers

Golden retrievers are a great family dog, and they are very popular for families. They need daily exercise and will do well on a leash — so even kids can help with walks. These are the perfect dogs to make childhood memories that last a lifetime.

Golden retrievers are very chill dogs, and training should be quick and easy. Goldens are a medium breed that ranges from about 55 to 75 pounds. You can expect a lifespan of around 13 years. 

Goldens are a great family pet that with a healthy diet and exercise can live a relatively issue-free life. Goldens love water; a great way to keep them active would be a hose or sprinkler in the backyard. 


Poodles come in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. They’ve always been one of the more popular breeds, probably because they are both classy and adorable. Oh, and they’re hypoallergenic — so they’re an ideal dog for anyone with sensitivities to other breeds. Formerly waterfowl retrievers for hunters, they’re also very smart, which makes them easy to train and helpful for a family environment. 

Their weights range due to their three different sizes. You can expect the largest to get up to 70 pounds, and the smallest will weigh only a few pounds. Poodles are a very active breed and need a lot of exercise. 

Their hypoallergenic qualities make them ideal for mixed breeds, so you’ll also find these amazing qualities in breeds like Goldendoodles.


One of the smaller hounds, beagles make a great addition to any family. They usually reach about 40 pounds in weight max and require moderate exercise daily. Beagles are a friendly and kind pup, and they have a lot of patience for young kids’ antics. These pups have a relatively long life span if cared for properly. You could expect them to live up to 15 years. 

Their biggest breed issue is obesity, so make sure to provide a balanced diet and a ton of fun exercise. Be warned about this breed: they love to howl. It’s funny and cute — but it can get loud if you live in close quarters, like an apartment complex. 

Beagles have amazing noses, so watch them around the dinner table!

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are the smallest breed on our list, but don’t count them out just yet! These little angels are the third most popular breed in America

Yorkies are cute and sassy pups with a lot of personality. Even though they’re small, Yorkies are a fun-sized buddy for your little ones. In fact, in their youth, they are pretty spunky. They could make a great companion for energetic and loving kids. 

These are small dogs, usually only weighing about seven pounds and living about 18 years. 

Of course, there are tons of other popular terriers to call man's best friend. American Staffordshire terriers (not to be confused with the Staffordshire bull terrier), Boston terriers (AKA, the "American Gentleman"), and the Jack Russell terrier are all adorable breeds high on the most-popular rankings lists.

Where to Go From Here

Have you already found your furrever friend? Or were you looking and today helped you narrow down what you were looking for? Either way, it’s time to get some dog mom swag.

If you’re reading this now, you already know about our cute tops, hoodies, and sweaters. Did you also know that everything on PAWZ’s site is screen printed in the U.S.? That’s right, we do everything at home to ensure only the cutest and best quality gets shipped to you. 

In addition to our apparel’s high quality and peak comfort, a portion of our proceeds gets donated to help every puppy find their forever home. We partner with Best Friends animal society to help them in their efforts to make all shelters no-kill by 2025. You can look cute in our PAWZ Rescue shirt AND advocate for shelter dogs everywhere. Your pup will love you that much more for your effort in protecting their friends!

Enjoy Life With Your Best Furry Friend

From boxers and dachshunds to an English Springer Spaniel and a Pit Bull Terrier, You and your BFF are ready for whatever life brings your way. 

We brought you a list of the most popular breeds and also what to expect from them. With this list, you’re ready for anything that your pup may need or bring to the table. Now it’s time to get out there and enjoy life together! 


The 50 most popular dog breeds in America | USA Today

The Best Pets for Apartment Living | PetMD 

12 Common Dog Breeds and Their Health Issues | Healthline

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