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Most popular dog breeds in 2024

The essentials

  • The Labrador retriever takes the lead — The Labrador tops the list as the most popular dog breed in America, a position they’ve continuously held for about 30 years.
  • Mixed breeds may be more popular than purebreds — It’s difficult to determine how popular mixed breeds and rescues are because popularity is typically decided by looking at breed registries.
  • Pedigree doesn’t equal perfection — At the end of the day, we know the most popular dog in your life is the one in your heart, whether they come with purebred certificates from a kennel club or adoption papers from your local shelter.

For decades, purebred dogs were always the pups of choice — but in recent years a culture has shifted favorably towards mixed breeds (such as Maltipoos) and small purebreds (such as the French bulldog).  

These changes reflect an attitude growing towards urbanization and smaller homes for humans, which necessitates smaller animals. It also reflects positive changes towards pet adoption as more shelter dogs — which are usually mixed breeds — are more likely to get adopted than they were 20 years ago. 

💡 We worked with our partners at PetScreening to come up with the list of the most popular dog breeds this year, using their data on millions of dog owners.

Top 25 most popular dog breeds in 2024

1. Labrador retriever

A happy-go-lucky pal, the Labrador retriever feels just as much at ease lazing at home on the sofa as they do swimming in the lake. Their friendly and trainable nature earned them their top spot in the ranks of the most popular dog breeds. 

Just because they like to stay on the sofa doesn’t mean they don’t need exercise, though! Labs are a high-energy commitment — meaning they’ll need about two hours of exercise each day to stay out of mischief and maintain a healthy weight. 

Labradors are relatively healthy dogs. However, they are prone to obesity and hip dysplasia, so it’s important to make a proactive diet management plan with your vet — ideally starting from your first veterinary appointment together.

2. Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is a pint-sized pup with a big attitude. Don’t be fooled by their small size! They’re a force to be reckoned with and, interestingly, they have one of the longest average lifespans of small breeds, living about 14 to 16 years in most circumstances.   

Chihuahuas have a rich history as an ancient dog breed and are now noted as companion animals protected by law in the United States. They, like other breeds on the list, are pretty healthy and hearty. Just be sure to keep an eye out for blood sugar dysregulation or heart disease. 

3. Pit bull

The American pit bull terrier is probably one of the most misunderstood breeds in the world. Contrary to what many might see in the news and media, pit bulls are loving creatures who are waiting to find their fur-ever home. They excel with early training and support from pet parents and are excellent and loyal companions. 

The American pit bull terrier is a medium-sized dog that usually weighs between 30 and 65 pounds. They’re often confused with the Staffordshire bull terrier, which is a little smaller.    

They’re healthy and happy pups, despite their predisposition to thyroid issues and allergies. Both conditions can be managed with medication and support from the veterinarian, along with regular check-ups.  

4. German shepherd

This large breed is commonly trained for military and police work. On the homefront,  however, German shepherds make loyal dogs who develop close connections with their family — and are sometimes used as assistance or medical alert dogs. 

German shepherds are rambunctious, friendly, and fiercely defensive of those they love. They get on well with other pets and family members, especially with early socialization training. They do have high energy requirements compared to other larger breeds, and require mental and physical stimulation. 

A fun fact about German shepherds is that they shed year-round — so dog owners should prepare for extra loose fur during the spring and fall when they “blow” their coat in preparation for hot and cold months. 

Unfortunately, this friendly breed can be predisposed to serious conditions such as cancer and canine degenerative myelopathy — so routine vet visits will be needed to keep your finger on the pulse of your pet’s health.  

5. Shih tzu

Once the prized pet of Chinese royalty, the modern shih tzu condescends to sit in the lap of common folk everywhere. Globally, they are consistently identified as one of the best companion dogs thanks to their big hearts and spunky attitudes. As a small dog that typically weighs between 9 and 16 pounds, they are the perfect size to take virtually anywhere. 

Shih tzus are hypoallergenic with relatively low exercise requirements, but don’t let them trick you into thinking they’re low maintenance. Shih tzus were bred to be companions, and are prone to developing separation anxiety without your constant care.

6. Yorkshire terrier

Known for their iconic silky hair and spirited personalities, Yorkies are equally sassy and sweet, and they look like they’ve spent all day in a beauty salon. 

Originally from England, the Yorkshire terrier was bred to hunt vermin and keep humans company. Their high intelligence led a few Yorkies to reach legendary status, such as Smoky the World War II hero who rescued 60 soldiers by dragging a communication line through a tunnel.  

Although the Yorkshire terrier doesn’t shed much, they’ll need your help to keep their tresses smooth. Yorkies need to be brushed daily to prevent matting and bathed once or twice a month.

7. Dachshund

Bred to hunt badgers, the modern-day dachshund still has their hot dog-shaped body and deep chest — even though they’re more likely to spend their time burrowing for crumbs than sniffing out prey. These adorable dogs are usually good companion animals for people and tend to get along with other pets, even cats. 

They’re avid foodies but they’re prone to obesity — so you’ll want to make sure they get around an hour of daily exercise and feed them the correct amount of a vet-approved diet to avoid obesity. 

8. Australian shepherd

Athletic and spry, Aussies excel at sports and ace agility competitions. This makes sense, as the Australian shepherd was bred to work as a cattle dog to drive and protect flocks. 

Today, they’re considered one of the most intelligent breeds and require early training to thrive. Socialization and training from puppyhood can help to alleviate anxiety and set a positive tone for your relationship together.  

Aussies love mental and physical stimulation. If you adopt an Aussie, you can expect to spend about 2 hours each day exercising and training them. Because of their intelligence, they can become bored easily — which leads to destruction very quickly. Leave them a treat puzzle or put them in a crate while you’re gone! 

Like other breeds on this list, Australian shepherds are pretty healthy. Just be sure to watch for dysplasia, epilepsy, and cancer, all of which are commonly seen in this breed. 

9. Golden retriever

The golden retriever has woven its shining image as the quintessential family dog through the last few decades. 

Golden retrievers consistently score as one of the friendliest, most docile-mannered dog breeds, which is why they’re so popular with families with young children. They are obedient, loyal, and kind, and only require an hour or so of exercise per day.  

As large dogs, they’re prone to developing specific health problems like hip dysplasia and also have higher-than-average rates of certain cancers. Their risk of developing these health issues can be lowered with daily exercise and a balanced, vet-approved diet.

10. Goldendoodle

Although they aren’t yet recognized by the American Kennel Club as a specific breed, Goldendoodles have surged in popularity over the last few years. 

The parent breeds — golden retrievers and poodles — have long been considered top dog breeds. However, goldendoodles present the best of both breeds, combining the retriever’s friendly athleticism with the poodle’s charm and hypoallergenic locks . Scientifically known as hybrid vigor, mixed breeds are less likely to develop certain genetically inherited medical problems than their purebred parent breeds.  

Their exact size depends on whether the poodle was a miniature or standard. Mini goldendoodles typically weigh between 25 and 35 pounds, while standard versions hover between 50 and 90 pounds.  

These pets can be predisposed to von Willebrand disease and might develop thyroid conditions in the future. Both conditions can be managed with veterinary care and medication.

11. French bulldog

Fawn French bulldog with red collar looking happy in front of the camera.

The “Frenchie,” as they’re popularly called, rose to fame in the 1800s by crossing paths with a Parisian artist who included them in his sketches. Despite the name, however, the French bulldog actually has some English and Greek ancestry.  

The Frenchie is well adapted to apartment living, requiring very little grooming or exercise. Their chief concern is staying in the AC since they can experience heat stroke in hot weather and are prone to hypothermia at cold temperatures due to their thin skin.

12. Boxer

The boxer’s ancient ancestors were the German Bullenbeisser, or “bull-biter” dogs. These canines hunted boars and bears, which is how the boxer inherited their hunting and guarding nature. Don’t let their tough appearance fool you, though: underneath most boxer’s street-fighting persona is a goofy personality ready to shine through to their favorite human. 

Boxers tend to make wonderful family dogs and are great companion animals as long as you have plenty of time to spend with them. Left to their own devices, boxers can become destructive, so make sure to exercise them for at least 30 minutes to an hour each day.

13. American bully

Not to be confused with the American bulldog, the American bully is a new crossbreed involving the Staffordshire terrier and the American pit bull terrier. The result? A large, stocky dog with short ears and a broad head. 

They seem to “smile” a lot since their tongue flops out of their mouth and they generally have mild personalities, making them a suitable family dog. 

14. Australian cattle dog

Popularized in television by the children’s cartoon Bluey, the Australian cattle dog has seen a recent hike in rankings — no doubt in part due to their screen time. The Australian cattle dog is commonly nicknamed the “blue heeler” or the “red heeler,” reflecting whether their speckled coats take on a reddish or bluish tint.  

Originally a herding dog, this breed boasts high energy levels and a great working attitude. They’re ready to tackle the next walk to the dog park and ready to hike with you any time. They tend to be fairly independent and need consistent training to thrive. 

15. Beagle

This hound has been around American households for over a century. Beagles are thought to have come from Great Britain, but their name was likely derived from the French word “beguele,” which means “open throat.” They are a vocal breed with a tendency to bark and bay, and they like to explore with their noses.  

Like beloved Snoopy from the Charlie Brown cartoon — who, by the way, is formally registered in the American Kennel Club despite being a fictional character — beagles tend to love children as long as they’re properly trained.

16. Siberian husky

The Siberian husky is a particular type of husky that’s recognized by the AKC. They have defined characteristics, such as weighing between 35 and 60 pounds, and belong to the working group class of dogs. 

As part of the Alaskan Gold Rush, Siberian huskies were trained to pull sleds for miners and were even employed by the U.S. Army as rescue dogs in snowy conditions. However, the true credit for their domesticity goes to the Churchi tribe in northern Siberia which originally trained them to hunt and taught them to form bonds with humans.

Today, you can own a Siberian husky all across the country. However, you should know that these dogs require a lot of intense exercise and regular grooming before you commit.

17. Pomeranian

Weighing under 10 pounds and a member of the AKC toy group, the modern Pomeranian is a true lap dog. However, underneath their fluffy double coat lies the heart of a sled dog who’s traded the snow for the glow of fame. 

Pomeranians likely descended from medium-sized Spitz dogs but garnered lavish affection from English courts. Queen Victoria is actually directly responsible for their current size; she bred the original 30-pound Pomeranian down to the 6- to 9-pound toy dog we adore today.

18. American Staffordshire terrier

This medium-sized breed is considered a pit bull type dog but is a distinct breed from the Staffordshire bull terrier or the American pit bull terrier. 

The American Staffordshire terrier is an AKC-recognized breed that’s a little bigger than the Staffordshire bull terrier, with a smaller head than the American pit bull terrier. Amstaffs, as they are affectionately called, tend to be very loving dogs who are protective of their owners. While they may get along with other dogs, it’s important to train and socialize them properly before hitting the dog park.

19. Border collie

Considered the most intelligent dog in the world, the border collie likes to play games while they work.  They can easily become bored in a modern house setting, so it’s important to let them run outside for a couple of hours so they don’t become destructive indoors. They are traditionally herding dogs with an enormous amount of energy and are sometimes used as service dogs today. 

20. Poodle

Full of curls and life, the poodle brings a sense of style to the scene while always managing to be the life of the party. This playful breed is exasperatingly intelligent, which can work in your favor as long as you train them consistently, but can be your worst nightmare if you let them outwit you. 

The word poodle is translated from the German word “pudelin” which means puddle. This references the standard poodle’s original job of retrieving waterfowl; the miniature and toy poodle came later and were bred to be companion dogs.

21. Pug

This ancient breed is probably the only creature in the world that becomes cuter with more wrinkles. The pug was actually intended to have wrinkles. They were companion dogs to Chinese nobility and bred with the intention of their wrinkles forming the Chinese letter for “prince.” 

The pug of today hasn’t forgotten their royal roots — they enjoy human companionship and don’t particularly care to exercise.

22. Maltese

“Ye ancient dog of Malta” has come a long way from its Mediterranean roots. The Maltese only weighs between 4 and 7 pounds but excels in sports. Their robust attitude mixed with their charms has endeared people to them for millennia. Even Aristotle mentioned the Maltese in his writings, calling it “perfetto nella sua piccolezza,” which means perfect in its smallness. 

23. Miniature schnauzer

The miniature schnauzer’s thick beard and bushy eyebrows set them apart from most breeds. Their hypoallergenic fur has a wiry top coat and soft undercoat which needs to be clipped or stripped every 4 to 6 weeks, a trait they share with the standard schnauzer

Interestingly, the AKC classifies the miniature schnauzer as a terrier but puts the standard schnauzer in the working group. The mini schnauzer weighs about 20 pounds less than the standard and is by far the more popular dog. 

24. Husky

Unlike the Siberian husky, the husky — or the Alaskan husky as they’re commonly called — doesn’t have a breed standard. Rather, the Alaskan husky was bred based on work ethic and skills instead of appearance and breed characteristics. A husky can refer to any mix of sled dogs, including the Siberian husky, Alaskan malamute, or even the greyhound.

25. Maltipoo

An affectionate doodle mix of the Maltese and the miniature or toy poodle, the Maltipoo splits its time between playing and cuddling. They typically have blonde, red, or cream curly coats, but they can have darker or wavy hair depending on genetics. 

Although no breed is 100% allergen-free, both parent breeds are hypoallergenic, which makes the Maltipoo an ideal companion for allergy sufferers and people who prefer low-shedding dogs. Since they shed only minimally, Maltipoos need regular brushing several times a week and a haircut every couple of months to prevent matting. 

The most popular breeds in 2024 reflect a gradual move towards smaller homes and apartments as opposed to big yards, which is one reason why the Frenchie has soared up the charts. 

Mixed breeds — especially hypoallergenic doodle designer dogs—are also becoming a popular choice instead of standard purebreds. While the Labrador retriever still currently ranks in our #1 spot, the trajectory seems to be leaning more towards designer dogs like the labradoodle, who could make the list soon.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the most popular dog breed through the years?

The Labrador retriever reigned as the uncontested most popular dog breed in the United States from 1991 until 2022 — when they were usurped by the French bulldog in terms of AKC registries. These two breeds have been directly competing for first place for the last few years. 

How is the most popular dog breed determined?

Most times, a list of the most popular dog breeds is determined by AKC registration statistics, which is why it’s difficult to say what the new top dog truly is since mixed breeds aren’t included. For example, even though a pit bull may be more common than a purebred golden retriever, they won’t show up on some lists of most popular pups. Our data includes mixed breeds to give a more accurate picture. 

What is the #1 selling dog?

According to the AKC, the French bulldog holds the title of the most #1 selling dog. Frenchies accounted for more AKC registries than any other breed for the first time in 2022, followed by Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers.

What is the nicest dog breed?

Some breeds, such as the golden retriever and the shih tzu, were bred to be companion dogs. These dogs were cherished based on their kinsmanship with humans, as opposed to hunting or guarding instincts valued in breeds such as German shepherds. Any dog can be kind or mean, but companion or non-sporting breeds are the most likely to be naturally friendly to humans. 

What is the #1 most popular dog?

The Labrador retriever is the top dog according to our data, which we ac acquired from PetScreening. Our list accounts for mixed breeds as opposed to solely relying on purebred registries. This is why bully breeds hold a high ranking on our list but are excluded from the AKC rankings.