The Top 50 Most Popular Dog Breeds In The World [2022]

50 most popular dog breeds in the world 2022

Dogs are often thought to be the most popular pet in the world, ranking ahead of cats, fish and birds as our household companion of choice (of course, working out the most popular pet in the world evidently involves some level of guesswork – can you imagine counting every single pet in every single home in every single country?).

Within the very broad category of dogs, there are some dog breeds that are more popular than others. Our favorite breeds are usually influenced by our own experiences – for example, the breed we had as a childhood pet, or a dog we forged a particularly strong bond with. Others have gained in popularity due to their prominence in television programs or movies.

There are literally hundreds of dog breeds – the American Kennel Club recognizes 197 of them, and since 1991, the Labrador Retriever has been the most registered dog in each annual list of published registrations. However, what if instead of just focusing on the United States, we tried to discover the most popular dog breed in the world?

Our Methodology

Not every country publishes registration statistics like the AKC, so determining the most popular dog breed in the world is not an easy task. To help us, we turned to Google Trends. Google Trends allows you to compare the popularity of search terms against one another. In our case, we were able to find out which breeds are the most searched for – and by this metric, the most popular dog breed in the world. 

The period covered by our analysis included Google searches performed between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021.

For each breed, we have listed a few additional details.

You may recall that we carried out similar research in 2019 (see the 2019 list of most popular dog breeds). The ‘Previous Rank’ number shows where the breed ranked in that research, and shows which breeds are becoming more (or less) popular.

The AKC Rank shows where the breed ranked in number of registrations on the 2020 American Kennel Club list. This allows you to draw an easy comparison between how popular each breed is in the United States, compared with the world as a whole.

The ‘countries/regions most popular in’ shows you where each dog breed was most searched for (please note that this is weighted, and shows which countries have a higher proportion of all queries – not a higher absolute number of searches).

The Top 50 Most Popular Dog Breeds In The World for 2022 (based on Google Trends data)

50) Basset Hound

Previous Rank: 47 (-3)

AKC Rank: 36

Countries/regions most popular in: United States, Brazil, United Kingdom

Originally bred in central European countries like Belgium and France, the Basset Hound is renowned for its distinctive dome-shaped head, the fact that its feet turn outwards, and a very powerful nose.

basset hound

49) English Mastiff

Previous Rank: 27 (-22)

AKC Rank: 33

Countries/regions most popular in: Trinidad & Tobago, United States, Australia

English Mastiffs (often referred to simply as a Mastiff) are one of the largest dog breeds in the world – their weight is often comparable to many adults.

48) Collie

Previous Rank: New Entry

AKC Rank: 40

Countries/regions most popular in: Ireland, Czech Republic, Slovakia

One of the most recognizable breeds due to the prominence of Lassie in books, movies and TV shows, the Collie is a herding breed which makes a fantastic family pet.

47) Akita

Previous Rank: 25 (-22)

AKC Rank: 48

Countries/regions most popular in: Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro

Akitas originated in the snowy, mountainous areas of northern Japan. Around the world, many countries recognize the two types of Akita (Akita Inu and American Akita) as two separate breeds; however, in the United States, the AKC considers them as one breed with different strains.

akita

46) Alaskan Malamute

Previous Rank: 41 (-5)

AKC Rank: 65

Countries/regions most popular in: Slovenia, Croatia, Panama

Incredibly strong and durable, Alaskan Malamutes were historically used for several purposes – including to hunt bears and seals, and to help transport goods across the treacherous terrain of Alaska.

boston terrier

45) Boston Terrier

Previous Rank: 45 (no change)

AKC Rank: 21

Countries/regions most popular in: Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Canada

Nicknamed ‘The American Gentleman’, the Boston Terrier is a gentle breed which is most notable for its distinctive black and white ‘tuxedo’ appearance.

44) Tibetan Mastiff

Previous Rank: New Entry

AKC Rank: 140

Countries/regions most popular in: Poland, Bulgaria, Latvia

The Tibetan Mastiff is not technically a mastiff (in the same way that Tibetan Spaniels are not spaniels, and Tibetan Terriers are not terriers). Instead, the name was coined by Europeans who came to Tibet and referred to virtually all large dog breeds as mastiffs. In 2014, a Tibetan Mastiff puppy sold for almost $2 million in China – believed to be a record.

43) Bichon Frise

Previous Rank: 43 (no change)

AKC Rank: 45

Countries/regions most popular in: Ireland, United Kingdom, Norway

Gentle, kind and loving, the Bichon Frise is a sociable dog whose European ancestors were actually used as retrievers or water dogs.

42) Dogo Argentino

Previous Rank: New Entry

AKC Rank: 93

Countries/regions most popular in: Bolivia, Argentina, Guatemala

The Dogo Argentino is one the most recently recognized breeds by the American Kennel Club, joining the list in 2020. These dogs are pack-hunters, demonstrating the perfect mixture of strength, speed and endurance to hunt wild boars and pumas.

41) Samoyed

Previous Rank: 36 (-5)

AKC Rank: 56

Countries/regions most popular in: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Poland, Serbia

A medium-sized herding dog with a thick, white, double-layer coat, the Samoyed takes its name from the Samoyedic peoples of Siberia. They were traditionally used for herding reindeer and hauling sleds.

samoyed running in the snow

40) English Pointer

Previous Rank: New Entry

AKC Rank: 116

Countries/regions most popular in: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary

Pointers are typically regarded as one of the foremost hunting dogs, although they were bred to point (hence the name), not retrieve. It is believed they descended from the now-extinct Old Spanish Pointer, but after arriving in England in the early 1700s, they were crossed with local breeds to improve their hunting capability.

39) Australian Cattle Dog

Previous Rank: 40 (+1)

AKC Rank: 54

Countries/regions most popular in: Australia, Costa Rica, United States

The Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) is a herding breed which was developed in Australia for moving livestock over long distances. Cattle Dogs are energetic, lively working dogs, and become very protective over their owners and their possessions.

st bernard dog

38) St. Bernard

Previous Rank: 34 (-4)

AKC Rank: 52

Countries/regions most popular in: Chile, Guatemala, Paraguay

Famous for their size, gentle disposition, and numerous tales of Alpine rescue, the St. Bernard was originally bred for rescue work in the Alps. If socialized, this breed is extremely friendly with people of all ages, but in rare cases, they can become fearful or territorial. 

37) Greyhound

Previous Rank: 32 (-5)

AKC Rank: 142

Countries/regions most popular in: Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia

Almost certainly the fastest dog breed in the world, the Greyhound is tall, muscular and built for speed. Although still frequently used for racing, the breed has become popular in recent years as a family pet.

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36) Bernese Mountain Dog

Previous Rank: 35 (-1)

AKC Rank: 52

Countries/regions most popular in: Ireland, Poland, Canada

One of the four types of Sennenhund-type dogs (along with the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog and the Entlebucher Mountain Dog), Bernese Mountain Dogs originate from the Swiss city of Bern. They have a distinctive tri-colored coat and were typically used as a multi-purpose farm dog.

35) Dalmatian

Previous Rank: 37 (+2)

AKC Rank: 51

Countries/regions most popular in: Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, United Kingdom

The Dalmatian experienced a wave of popularity in the 1990s, as Disney released a live-action remake of the 1961 animated film, 101 Dalmatians (which in itself was based on the 1956 novel by Dodie Smith). Their origins as a hunting dog can be traced to modern-day Croatia and the historical region of Dalmatia.

34) American Staffordshire Terrier

Previous Rank: 31 (-3)

AKC Rank: 82

Countries/regions most popular in: Czech Republic, Serbia, Montenegro

American Staffies made their way into the United States in the 1850s, and were notorious for their dog fighting skills. Strong and confident, American Staffordshire Terriers do have a similar appearance to Pit Bull Terriers, but they are two different breeds. They are named after the Staffordshire region of England, where the breed originated.

american staffordshire terrier

33) Miniature Schnauzer

Previous Rank: New Entry

AKC Rank: 19

Countries/regions most popular in: Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico

The most popular of the Schnauzer varieties, the Miniature Schnauzer was developed in the mid-19th century by farmers who wished to breed a smaller dog for ratting. As their coats shed minimally compared to many other breeds, they are often referred to as hypoallergenic.

32) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Previous Rank: 46 (+14)

AKC Rank: 17

Countries/regions most popular in: Czech Republic, Denmark, Australia

Good-natured with a friendly disposition, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel requires plenty of human interaction. The breed was brought to the United States as recently as 1956 and was only recognized by the AKC in 1995.

31) Miniature Pinscher

Previous Rank: 39 (+8)

AKC Rank: 77

Countries/regions most popular in: Colombia, Brazil, Bulgaria

Assertive, outgoing and active, Min Pins are a stubborn breed who can be difficult to train for the inexperienced dog owner. They need constant physical and mental stimulation to help prevent destructive behavior.

staffordshire bull terrier running in the grass

30) Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Previous Rank: 33 (+3)

AKC Rank: 81

Countries/regions most popular in: Australia, United Kingdom, Czech Republic

Broad-chested and deceptively strong, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was first recognized by the AKC in 1936. Sadly, they were used in blood sports for much of their early years, but they are loyal creatures and can make great family pets.

29) Chow Chow

Previous Rank: 28 (-1)

AKC Rank: 84

Countries/regions most popular in: Paraguay, Nicaragua, Georgia

Chow Chows are distinguished by their purple/blue tongue, setting them apart from virtually every other breed. Often suspicious of strangers, the Chow Chow is extremely protective of their owners and possessions.

chow chow

28) Bull Terrier

Previous Rank: 29 (+1)

AKC Rank: 64

Countries/regions most popular in: Norway, Costa Rica, Denmark

Recognizable by their egg-shaped head, the Bull Terrier is often described as independent and stubborn, which can make them difficult for novice dog owners. Early socialization can help to mitigate any future behavioral issues.

27) Belgian Sheepdog

Previous Rank: New Entry

AKC Rank: 117

Countries/regions most popular in: Sri Lanka, Trinidad & Tobago, North Macedonia

The Belgian Sheepdog is bred in four distinct varieties; the Groenendael, the Malinois, the Tervuren and the Laekenois. In addition to their historical role as a herding dog, the modern-day Belgian Shepherd can be used for many purposes, including as police dogs, assistance dogs or search and rescue dogs.

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26) Great Dane

Previous Rank: 24 (-2)

AKC Rank: 15

Countries/regions most popular in: Puerto Rico, United States, Slovakia

With their noble appearance, tremendous size and floppy triangular ears, the Great Dane is one of the most recognizable dog breeds. Despite their size, Great Danes are usually passive and often referred to as a gentle giant.

25) Jack Russell Terrier

Previous Rank: 26 (+1)

AKC Rank: 72

Countries/regions most popular in: Ireland, Belarus, Poland

Jack Russells are small hunting dogs, seen in a range of coat types and markings. They were first bred by the Reverend John Russell in the 1800s. Russell was a founding member of the Kennel Club in the United Kingdom.

24) Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Previous Rank: 19 (-5)

AKC Rank: 11

Countries/regions most popular in: Finland, United States, Philippines

Beloved by Queen Elizabeth II – who has owned more than 30 Royal corgis in her reign – corgis are actually listed as ‘vulnerable’ in the United Kingdom due to their falling popularity. By contrast, their popularity has been increasing in the United States.

boxer dog crouching in the grass

23) Boxer

Previous Rank: 11 (-12)

AKC Rank: 14

Countries/regions most popular in: Guatemala, Hungary, Paraguay

The Boxer is an assertive dog of German origin. They are extremely versatile – in addition to their use as family pets, a Boxer can also be found as a police dog, a guard dog, and even a service dog.

22) English Cocker Spaniel

Previous Rank: 42 (+20)

AKC Rank: 30

Countries/regions most popular in: United Kingdom, Ireland, Panama

The English Cocker Spaniel is a sporting dog commonly used as a gun dog. At the annual Crufts dog show, the English Cocker Spaniel has emerged as Best In Show on a record seven occasions (1930, 1931, 1938, 1939, 1948, 1950 and 1996).

21) Shiba Inu

Previous Rank: 18 (-3)

AKC Rank: 43

Countries/regions most popular in: Iran, Japan, Paraguay

Alert and agile, the Shiba Inu lived in the mountainous areas of the Chubu region in Japan. In the late 1920s, the breed was almost rendered extinct until hunters and intellectuals decided to protect the remaining Shiba.

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20) Cane Corso

Previous Rank: 30 (+10)

AKC Rank: 25

Countries/regions most popular in: Mauritius, Georgia, Serbia

With its intimidating presence, the Cane Corso is often used to protect livestock or as a protection dog. It is very similar to its Italian cousin, the Neapolitan Mastiff.

19) Maltese

Previous Rank: 20 (+1)

AKC Rank: 38

Countries/regions most popular in: Serbia, Poland, El Salvador

Despite the seemingly obvious connotations from its name, the Maltese actually has no connection with the Mediterranean island of Malta. This toy breed was recognized by the AKC in 1888 and is kept as a companion dog.

maltese dog

18) Border Collie

Previous Rank: 23 (+5)

AKC Rank: 32

Countries/regions most popular in: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Australia

Border Collies are renowned for their intelligence and athleticism. They have been used to herd sheep since the late nineteenth century, and often compete in dog sports like agility, obedience and flyball.

17) Beagle

Previous Rank: 16 (-1)

AKC Rank: 7

Countries/regions most popular in: Costa Rica, Georgia, Serbia

The word ‘beagle’ was used as far back as medieval times as a generic description for smaller hounds. The modern breed was developed in the 1830s in England. Beagles are known for having one of the best senses of smell of any dog – they are frequently used in hunting activities.

doberman running through water

16) Dobermann

Previous Rank: 21 (+5)

AKC Rank: 18

Countries/regions most popular in: Costa Rica, Serbia, Georgia

Known as the Doberman Pinscher in North America, this medium-large breed was developed around 1890 by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a German tax collector. Dobermann wanted a dog that could protect him, and it is believed the Doberman was created from a combination of several breeds. The breed has a reputation for being ferocious and intimidating.

15) Rottweiler

Previous Rank: 17 (+2)

AKC Rank: 8

Countries/regions most popular in: Sri Lanka, Honduras, El Salvador

Another breed originating in Germany, the Rottweiler is considered to be one of the oldest breeds. Their ability to intimidate and control made them a great candidate for their original purpose – herding. These days, Rottweilers are often seen working as law enforcement K9s or protection dogs.

14) Australian Shepherd

Previous Rank: 22 (+8)

AKC Rank: 12

Countries/regions most popular in: Australia, France, Belgium

Don’t be fooled by the name – or the fact that they are popular in Australia – the Australian Shepherd did not originate Down Under. Instead, the breed was developed in California – but was used to herd sheep imported from Australia and New Zealand. Australian Shepherds are known for their playful nature and range of colorations and coat patterns.

13) Yorkshire Terrier

Previous Rank: 12 (-1)

AKC Rank: 13

Countries/regions most popular in: Belarus, Ukraine, Bulgaria

This sprightly toy breed originated in the English county of Yorkshire, where it is believed they were used to flush out rats. Yorkshire Terriers were introduced to North America in 1872 and first registered with the AKC thirteen years later. Their coat requires constant maintenance and grooming; if not brushed daily, it may become knotted and difficult to untangle.

12) Dachshund

Previous Rank: 13 (+1)

AKC Rank: 10

Countries/regions most popular in: Hungary, United Kingdom, Australia

Dachshunds are sometimes referred to as sausage dogs, owing to their long, narrow frame. The breed was developed to trail and hunt animals (such as badgers), and includes elements of German, French and English hounds and terriers. Due to their association with Germany, the mascot for the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich was a dachshund named Waldi. Waldi was the first official Olympic mascot.

running dachshunds

11) Shih Tzu

Previous Rank: 14 (+3)

AKC Rank: 20

Countries/regions most popular in: Philippines, Brazil, Poland

Known for their short snout, large round eyes and silky coat, the Shih Tzu originated in Tibet. The name comes from the Chinese word for ‘lion’, as the breed was originally bred to resemble the lion as depicted in traditional art. It is theorized that the Shih Tzu was descended from a cross between the Pekingese and Lhasa Apso. Shih Tzus were so loved by Chinese rulers that, for some time, they actually refused to allow the dogs to leave the country.

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10) Pug

pug running in the grass

Previous Rank: 5 (-5)

AKC Rank: 29

Countries/regions most popular in: Mexico, Chile, Guatemala

The largest of the toy breeds, the Pug is easily recognized around the world for their bulging eyes, curly tales and wrinkled faces.

Originally bred to be a companion dog for Chinese royalty, the Pug spent much of its early years living in luxury. They were imported to Europe in the 1500s, where they continued to prove popular in royal circles. This trend continued further during Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901), who favored apricot and fawn colorings on her Pugs. 

Pugs were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. They are typically very sociable dogs and make great family pets. Unfortunately, Pugs are prone to several health problems because of their unusual structure, compact breathing passageways, and shorter snouts. It can also be difficult for Pugs to keep themselves cool in hot conditions. The breed also requires frequent exercise and a healthy diet to stave off obesity.

9) Pomeranian

pretty pomeranian sitting in the grass

Previous Rank: 10 (+1)

AKC Rank: 23

Countries/regions most popular in: Sri Lanka, Iran, Bulgaria

Named after the Pomerania area which splits Poland and Germany, the Pomeranian is a descendant of larger Spitz type dogs. Their coats have an array of different colors – black, cream, brown, orange, red, or any mixture of these colors.

The modern-day Pom is heavily influenced by the British Royal Family. Queen Charlotte brought two Pomeranians to England in 1767, although that version of the breed weighed approximately ten times what a 2022 Pomeranian might weigh (1767 = 35-50lbs; 2022 = 3-7 lbs). During the lifetime of Queen Victoria, she worked to reduce the breed in size from the typical 40-50 pound range to accommodate her preference for a smaller dog. By importing Poms from across the world, not only did she achieve her goal of making the breed smaller, but it also resulted in a diverse range of colorings which we see in Pomeranians today.

The modern Pomeranian is commonly used as a household pet. They are affectionate towards their owners, and thrive on attention. In their quest to be alongside their family at every turn, Pomeranians can occasionally suffer from separation anxiety.

8) Chihuahua

chihuahua puppies

Previous Rank: 8 (no change)

AKC Rank: 34

Countries/regions most popular in: Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico

Another small breed, the Chihuahua’s name is derived from the Mexican state of the same name. The breed remains extremely popular in Latin America. The Chihuahua can either be short-haired or long-haired.

It is believed that the dog was descended from the larger Techichi breed, which was favored by the Toltec civilization in Mexico. When the Aztecs conquered the Toltecs in the twelfth century, they refined the Techichi into the smaller, more compact Chihuahua we are familiar with today.  

As with other smaller breeds, Chihuahuas can require lots of veterinary help in the early months of their life. They can be born with moleras (a soft spot on the skull), but these fill in as they get older. Their small size makes them vulnerable to attacks from larger dogs or other animals. Typically, a Chihuahua makes a good companion dog and will be better suited to apartment living.

7) French Bulldog

two french bulldogs playing with tennis ball

Previous Rank: 9 (+2)

AKC Rank: 2

Countries/regions most popular in: United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Serbia

The French Bulldog frequently ranks near the top of most-registered dog lists around the globe. In 2020 registration lists in both the United States and the United Kingdom, the Frenchie was in second place. 

The breed has its origins in the United Kingdom. They were often used in blood sports, until these were outlawed in 1835. When lace workers in Nottingham, England were displaced by the Industrial Revolution, they moved to France – bringing their bulldogs with them. As the nineteenth century progressed, the French gained an affinity for these dogs. This coincided with English breeders sending Bulldogs to France which they deemed to be too small. The dogs became popular with the creative class in Paris, garnering favor with artists and fashion designers.

Today, French Bulldogs are kept as companion dogs in many countries. They do require socialization and close contact with humans to reduce the chance of separation anxiety. Overall, they are considered intelligent, affectionate and occasionally stubborn dogs.

6) Poodle

white poodle dog on green grass field

Previous Rank: 7 (+1)

AKC Rank: 6

Countries/regions most popular in: Japan, Argentina, Costa Rica

With their iconic coat, the Poodle is one of the most distinctive dogs in the world. Poodles come in three different sizes (from largest to smallest) – the Standard Poodle, the Miniature Poodle and the Toy Poodle.

There is some contention over the origins of the Poodle. On one hand, some believe that the breed has its roots in Germany. The German words ‘pudel’ or ‘pudelin’ – approximately translating to splash – supports the theory that the Poodle may have originated in Germany. An alternative theory is that the Poodle comes from France. The breed is named Caniche in French (meaning duck dog), and some claim that the Poodle is a descendant of the extinct Barbel. Some even suggest that the breed may have its origins in eastern Europe or Africa.

The modern Poodle has several uses, but it is perhaps most commonly associated with performing service dog tasks. Poodles can be trained as autism service dogs, guide dogs, and offer assistance to other individuals with disabilities. Although they are trainable, the Poodle is intelligent and requires patience from owners and dog trainers alike.

5) Siberian Husky

siberian husky with eyes closed in the snow

Previous Rank: 4 (-1)

AKC Rank: 16

Countries/regions most popular in: Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico, Iran

Just the mere mention of the Siberian Husky conjures up the image of its energetic frame sprinting through the snow. The Siberian Husky has one of the thickest double coats of all breeds, which helps them to withstand even the harshest, coldest weather conditions.

The breed did originate in Siberia, where it was bred by the Chukchi people in the eastern part of the region. Initially, they were simply used to transport goods and people across vast distances of the treacherous landscape. As the people became more familiar with the dogs and their behavior, the Huskies were eventually invited to live amongst them. The Siberian Husky made its way to Alaska in 1908, where it served a similar purpose. They were also used for sled dog racing – which is still the case today, with several huskies taking part in the annual Iditarod contest which races over a thousand miles of Alaska.

The Siberian Husky is very independent and can be difficult to train. In particular, males may be inclined to challenge authority during training sessions. Training them from a young age is essential – by doing so, owners will be rewarded with a friendly, social and amiable family pet. 

4) Golden Retriever

wet golden retriever in lake

Previous Rank: 6 (+2)

AKC Rank: 4

Countries/regions most popular in: Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Ireland

Their golden coat and sweet disposition makes a Golden Retriever instantly recognizable. From their working roots in Scotland in the nineteenth century, all the way to their modern utilization as a family pet or reliable service dog, the Golden Retriever is one of the most adored dog breeds around the world.

The breed originated in the Scottish Highlands in the 1800s. Lord Tweedmouth (originally known as Sir Dudley Marjoribanks) crossed Flat-coated Retrievers with a mixture of other British dog breeds. He maintained a comprehensive stud book which detailed the origins of the Golden Retriever. Until the publication of the stud book in the 1950s, some had even speculated that the Golden started off as a Russian circus dog. The first breed club was set up in 1911, and the Golden Retriever was recognized by the Kennel Club in 1920. Its popularity extended across the world in the 1920s and 1930s, with the AKC recognizing the breed in 1932.

Golden Retrievers are usually affectionate, intelligent and easy to train. These traits make the Golden Retriever an ideal candidate for a family pet, particularly if the household has young children. They are occasionally still used as hunting companions. 

3) Labrador Retriever

three labradors sitting in the grass

Previous Rank: 3 (no change)

AKC Rank: 1

Countries/regions most popular in: Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Canada

For over thirty years, the Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog in the United States based on AKC registrations. In 2022, the Labrador retains the bronze medal position in our analysis of popular dogs around the world.

The breed dates back to the 1500s, where it was developed in Newfoundland, Canada. Small water dogs were bred with the larger Newfoundland breed to create a new breed called the St. John’s Water Dog or the Lesser Newfoundland. The St. John’s Water Dog was then brought to England in the 1830s, and weas bred with hunting dogs to create the modern-day Labrador Retriever. By the 1870s, the breed was popular across England. The breed was originally predominantly found with a black coat, but at the turn of the nineteenth century, the Yellow and Liver (now Chocolate) Labs also appeared. 

Labs are known to be even-tempered and a relatively healthy breed. They make great family pets, but have also been used for a number of functions. They are incredible swimmers, which means they can use their nose to locate injured or dead waterfowl. They can also be used as police or military K9s, or to perform service dog tasks. The versatility of the Labrador highlights why they are so popular around the world.

2) German Shepherd

german shepherd running on the beach

Previous Rank: 2 (no change)

AKC Rank: 3

Countries/regions most popular in: Iran, Ukraine, Paraguay

The German Shepherd’s popularity shows no sign of waning. They are the third-most registered breed in the United States, and feature in second place in this analysis – just as they did last time.

A medium-to-large sized dog with distinctive pointed ears, the German Shepherd was developed to help with herding sheep and protecting flocks in Germany. These efforts took place in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was decided that the breed needed to be strong, smart, fast and agile to fulfill its role, and whilst early efforts to standardize the breed failed, a gentleman named Max von Stephanitz was instrumental in its eventual success. He had a clear idea of what a working dog should be, and was so taken with a dog he saw in a dog show in 1899 that he decided to purchase it on the spot. Von Stephanitz then formed the Society for German Shepherd Dogs, and within a matter of decades, the breed became one of the most popular – not just in Germany, but in other countries around the world.

Today, the German Shepherd has multiple uses. Its trainability, temperament, drive and build make it well-suited for K9 work in police and military teams. Their strong sense of smell also enables them to succeed in detection disciplines and search and rescue.

1) Bulldog

bulldog and bulldog puppy

Previous Rank: 1 (no change)

AKC Rank: 5

Countries/regions most popular in: United Kingdom, Serbia, Puerto Rico

According to Google Trends data, the Bulldog is the most popular dog breed in the world! This muscular, medium-sized dog has retained the crown it earned in our previous analysis.

The origins of the Bulldog are not pretty. Bred in England as a cross between the Pug and the Mastiff, its original use was for bull-baiting and blood sports. When bull-baiting was banned in the 1830s, the breed almost became extinct. Throughout the rest of the 1800s, breed enthusiasts worked to refine the characteristics of the breed, toning down its fierce aggression and turning it into something more akin to a companion dog. The Bulldog is synonymous with the British Prime Minister during World War II, Winston Churchill. Although many said that Churchill embodied the ‘bulldog spirit’ during the difficult stages of the war, it was suggested that there was more than a passing physical resemblance, too.

Today, the Bulldog is used primarily as a family pet, although they can be trained as a protection dog. Whilst they can be difficult to train, they form strong bonds with their owners and are fiercely loyal to their family.

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