America’s Most Popular Dog Breeds

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30. Cocker Spaniels
> 2017 rank: 29
> 2016 rank: 29
> 2007 rank: 17

The cocker spaniel is the smallest of the sporting dogs and packs a lot of cuteness into a small package. With a handsome face, big soulful eyes, and a tail that wags the dog, it’s no surprise it always does well in the AKC popularity rankings.

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29. Mastiffs
> 2017 rank: 28
> 2016 rank: 28
> 2007 rank: 28

Mastiffs weigh up to 230 pounds and are a massive breed developed to guard livestock. There are also accounts of them being used for entertainment as fighting dogs in ancient Roman arenas, where they were pitted against lions and tigers. Despite their fierce history, mastiffs are good-natured dogs and surprisingly docile.

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28. Pugs
> 2017 rank: 31
> 2016 rank: 32
> 2007 rank: 14

Pugs have a lot of personality in a small package, and they like attention and affection. They are intuitive dogs and sensitive to the moods of their owners, which makes them good companions. They can be strong-willed but are not aggressive. They like to play with children, but some supervision may be needed.

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27. English Springer Spaniels
> 2017 rank: 27
> 2016 rank: 26
> 2007 rank: 27

This breed is named for its hunting style — it “springs” birds, flushing them into the air, and then points and retrieves them. As well as being a great hunter, it is a friendly and playful pet and considered a buddy of hunters. English springer spaniels are highly trainable and bred to work with humans.

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26. Brittanys
> 2017 rank: 26
> 2016 rank: 25
> 2007 rank: 29

Brittanys gets their name from their native French province. According to the AKC, the Brittany didn’t officially become recognized as a breed until 1907, when an orange and white colored pup named Boy in France was registered as the first Brittany spaniel. Prior to this point, the breed was registered as one of many miscellaneous French spaniels.

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25. Shetland Sheepdogs
> 2017 rank: 24
> 2016 rank: 24
> 2007 rank: 20

This breed was originally bred to tend the small sheep of the Shetland Islands northeast of Great Britain. Because of their intelligence, Shetland sheepdogs are quick to understand and obey commands. While it’s loyal and affectionate, which makes it a great pet, it also tends to be reserved toward strangers, which makes it a great watchdog.

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24. Havanese
> 2017 rank: 23
> 2016 rank: 23
> 2007 rank: 37

The Havanese, as its name might suggest, is the national dog of Cuba. It’s small and sociable. A distinguishing feature is its long, silky coat. The Havanese has a long life expectancy of up to 16 years and manages to look like a puppy — even when it has an old-man beard.

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23. Pomeranians
> 2017 rank: 22
> 2016 rank: 22
> 2007 rank: 13

The Pomeranian is the smallest of the spitz breeds, weighing 3 pounds to 7 pounds. It was made popular by Queen Victoria, who was smitten by its puppy qualities. She had as many as 35 Pomeranians in her kennels and died with one by her side.

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22. Bernese Mountain Dogs
> 2017 rank: 25
> 2016 rank: 27
> 2007 rank: 41

The Bernese mountain dog hails from the Swiss Alps. It was used to herd cattle and haul carts filled with farm produce. The Bernese was the perfect fit for such work because of its muscular build and was known to haul loads weighing more than 1,000 pounds.

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21. Boston Terriers
> 2017 rank: 20
> 2016 rank: 20
> 2007 rank: 9

Just as Boston is a historic city with a young population, this dog is a relatively old breed with a young heart. Nicknamed “The American Gentleman,” it’s compact and classy. It excels at canine sports and is eager to please and is popular as a therapy dog.