Every year, the American Kennel Club (AKC) publishes a list of favorite dog breeds.
The following is a list of America’s top six breeds, the character traits that made them favorites, some drawbacks to the breed (which can also be advantages to some dog owners), and an idea of the owners who are best suited to the breed.
#6: French Bulldog
This small dog is intelligent, easy to train, only barks if there’s something to bark at, kills mice, and makes a great companion dog. He doesn’t require a lot of space or exercise. However, French Bulldogs do snore, have a tendency to drool, overheat easily, are prone to flatulence, and may have a variety of health disorders. If you have to leave your dog for long periods, just want to talk him for short walks, and are willing to put up with his snoring, a French Bulldog may be just the dog for you.
Beagles are funny, happy, loyal dogs that make excellent hunting dogs and enjoy human company. They don’t require a lot of grooming nor do they shed much. They are difficult to train and inclined to follow their noses, which makes it imperative that they be in a well-fenced yard or be on a leash at all times outside. They also have a distinctive bark that not everyone cares for. If you never let your dog run loose, keep food and garbage out of his reach, are not insistent that your dog obey your every command, but want a loving, fun dog, a Beagle may be right for you.
Despite their gloomy faces, these dogs are very amiable, seldom bark, don’t require a lot of exercise, and have easy-care coats. Training is possible if you’re patient, persistent, and use food as an incentive, but bulldogs can be very stubborn. They have a tendency to snore, are flatulent, and they shed. They also often have a myriad of health issues. If you are looking for a dog who likes to sleep much of the day, doesn’t bark, and is calm, a bulldog may be the dog for you.
#3: Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are friendly, intelligent, adaptable dogs who want nothing more than to please their owners. Though they’re large dogs, they are too amiable to make good guard dogs. Their long coats shed, even with constant grooming. They will not stay close to home if given the chance, and need to be fenced or on a leash when outdoors. A Golden Retriever’s perfect owner has a large fenced yard, enjoys talking long walks, and/or has children for the dog to play with so the dog gets the exercise he needs while having the companionship he craves.
#2: German Shepherd
German Shepherd Dogs come in second favorite amongst dog breeds, and are one of the most recognized breeds of dog. They are loyal, brave, intelligent dogs able to learn and retain specialized commands, and will risk their lives to defend their owners. They require a lot of exercise, excel in a structured environment, and don’t always do well when left alone in a enclosed place for long periods of time. They do well with both individuals and families, as long as they get a lot of physical and mental exercise.
#1: Labrador Retriever
For the 25th consecutive year, the Labrador Retriever is America’s favorite breed. These medium-sized, intelligent, active dogs are friendly, gentle, and do well with families. They are obedient, loyal, and loving dogs. They love human companionship, which can be seen as either a good or bad trait, depending on the owner. Labradors’ coats shed, they have a tendency to get dirty playing in the yard, and often are messy eaters; so if you are fastidious about having a clean home, this is not the best breed for you. Their need for exercise makes them great companions for people who enjoy the outdoors and hunters (Labradors were bred to hunt, specifically bird).
You may find your favorite companion on this list. If not, don’t worry: with 189 breeds registered with the AKC and countless mixed breed dogs available, your perfect dog is undoubtedly out there.