Skip to content

10 Most Popular Dog Breeds, American Kennel Club Data Reveals

Is your dog one of America's favorites?

When you're thinking of getting a dog, choosing the right breed for your lifestyle can help ensure a harmonious match. This is highly subjective—there's a different "perfect dog" for everyone out there. However, some dog breeds are especially beloved, having an easy temperament, outward charms, and other admirable qualities. The American Kennel Club (AKC), the world's largest registry of purebred dogs, shares an annual list of the most popular dog breeds based on registration statistics—and the 2023 results are in.

RELATED: The 10 Most High-Maintenance Dog Breeds, New Study Shows.

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer

Described by the AKC as "friendly, smart, and willing to please," German Shorthaired Pointers were bred in the 1860s as hunting and sporting dogs. Among breeders, they were "highly prized for their abilities to point, retrieve, and track with a little training. They succeeded beyond their wildest imaginings in creating a do-it-all hunting dog."

The AKC adds that today, German Shorthaired Pointers also make for "an intelligent family watch dog and companion," beloved for their attentive and affectionate demeanor.


Rottweiler laying in grass

"Loyal, loving, and confident guardians," Rottweilers have a reputation for protecting their owners fiercely. Because they are so large and muscular, socialization and training are essential.

"A well-bred and properly raised Rottie will be calm and confident, courageous but not unduly aggressive," says the AKC. "The aloof demeanor these world-class guardians present to outsiders belies the playfulness, and downright silliness, that endear Rotties to their loved ones. (No one told the Rottie he's not a toy breed, so he is liable to plop onto your lap for a cuddle.)"

"Early training and socialization will harness a Rottie's territorial instincts in a positive way," they add.

RELATED: The Best Dogs to Walk (and Even Run) With.


beagle puppy popping out of a cardboard box

Beagles are formidable hunting dogs, but the AKC says that the breed's current popularity is due to their lovable looks.

"The Beagle's fortune is in his adorable face, with its big brown or hazel eyes set off by long, houndy ears set low on a broad head. A breed described as 'merry' by its fanciers, Beagles are loving and lovable, happy, and companionable, all qualities that make them excellent family dogs," they write, adding, "These are curious, clever, and energetic hounds who require plenty of playtime."


Bulldog Sleeping on Floor
Naruedol Rattanakornkul/Shutterstock

Aesthetically, Bulldogs are an acquired taste—they're wrinkly, they drool, and they tend to run pudgy. Yet there's no denying that there's something charming and sweet, not to mention unique and memorable, about the breed.

"Kind but courageous, friendly but dignified, the Bulldog is a thick-set, low-slung, well-muscled bruiser whose 'sourmug' face is the universal symbol of courage and tenacity," says the AKC. "These docile, loyal companions adapt well to town or country."

RELATED: I'm a Dog Trainer and I'd Never Own These 5 Breeds "Unless My Life Depended on It."


Cute dachshund puppy lying on human knees
Dora Zett / Shutterstock

Described as "curious and friendly," it should come as no surprise that the Dachshund is among the most popular breeds. They may come in a tiny package, but they have big personalities, the AKC says.

Originally bred to burrow into badger holes, their bodies are comically long—a feature that adds a bit of lovable humor to their already spunky demeanor. "The famously long, low silhouette, ever-alert expression, and bold, vivacious personality of the Dachshund have made him a superstar of the canine kingdom," the AKC says.


brown toy poodle with tongue out on white bed
Shutterstock / Lim Tiaw Leong

The five most popular breeds remain unchanged in their ranking from the 2022 AKC list. And at number five is the Poodle, a breed that is highly intelligent and trainable, but also fun-loving and family-friendly

"Whether Standard, Miniature, or Toy, and either black, white, or apricot, the Poodle stands proudly among dogdom's true aristocrats. Beneath the curly, low-allergen coat is an elegant athlete and companion for all reasons and seasons," the AKC says.

RELATED: 10 Best Dog Breeds to Own If You're Over 55, Veterinarian Says.

German Shepherd

german shepherd looking alert in a home
ChristopherBernard / iStock

The AKC describes German Shepherds as "the finest all-purpose worker" among dog breeds. They're smart, task-oriented, and capable. Yet that's not their only appeal.

"There are many reasons why German Shepherds stand in the front rank of canine royalty, but experts say their defining attribute is character: loyalty, courage, confidence, the ability to learn commands for many tasks, and the willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones," says the AKC. "German Shepherds will be gentle family pets and steadfast guardians."

Golden Retriever

Close up of a man holding his Golden Retriever's paw outside
mladenbalinovac / iStock

Third on the list, Golden Retrievers have a reputation for being loyal, loving, and strikingly beautiful. They're an extremely popular choice among families with young children, thanks to their reputation for trustworthiness.

However, the AKC notes that they're also accomplished at hunting and field work, as guides for the blind, and in search-and-rescue. They "enjoy obedience and other competitive events, and have an endearing love of life when not at work," they write.

RELATED: I'm a Veterinarian and These Are the Top 5 Neediest Dog Breeds.

Labrador Retriever

Cropped image of handsome young man with labrador outdoors. Man on a green grass with dog. Cynologist

Labrador Retrievers have many of the same virtues as Goldens.

"The sweet-faced, lovable Labrador retriever is one of America's most popular dog breeds, year after year. Labs are friendly, outgoing, and high-spirited companions who have more than enough affection to go around for a family looking for a medium-to-large dog," the organization says.

These dogs are so popular, that they spent 31 years as the number-one most popular dog breed until they slipped to number two in 2022.

French bulldog

French Bulldog Laying on Floor

Taking the number one spot on the list as America's favorite dog is the French Bulldog, also known as the Frenchie. This breed has been growing in popularity for 11 years. They were ranked as the AKC's 14th most popular dog breed in 2012 and then made it to number two in 2021 before sitting in the top spot for two years running.

"The one-of-a-kind French Bulldog, with his large bat ears and even disposition, is one of the world's most popular small-dog breeds, especially among city dwellers. The Frenchie is playful, alert, adaptable, and completely irresistible," says the AKC. "They happily adapt to life with singles, couples, or families, and do not require a lot of outdoor exercise. They get on well with other animals and enjoy making new friends of the human variety. It is no wonder that city folk from Paris to Peoria swear by this vastly amusing and companionable breed."

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
Filed Under
 •  •