Most Popular Dog Breeds in America

Most Popular Dog Breeds in America

In a shocking turn of events in the world of dog owners and lovers, the French bulldog, or “Frenchie,” has ended the Labrador retriever’s 31-year reign as America’s favorite dog. That’s according to the American Kennel Club’s newly released list of most popular dog breeds in the country.

For someone seeking to buy a dog, the options are seemingly endless, even for purebreds alone. The AKC lists about 280 breeds on its website. Some of the most popular breeds are of fairly recent origin, while others, like some hunting and herding breeds, would have been recognizable to Roman soldiers or Vikings.

To identify the 50 most popular dog breeds in America, 24/7 Tempo reviewed “The Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2022,” published by the AKC on March 15 of this year. The organization bases its rankings on the number of registrations in its purebred registry. Mixes and “mutts” are excluded.

Labrador and golden retrievers are especially popular among families, and for good reason. They may have lost the crown but they are still in the top 3. Pet owners, especially those with kids, love them because of their sweet and protective nature. (These are the best family-friendly dogs.)

The lifespan of the most popular dogs in the U.S. varies from as few as seven years to as many as 18, though the life expectancy of most breeds on this list is in the 10-15 range. If longevity is a chief concern, these are the longest living dog breeds.

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50. Bloodhound
> Popularity in 2021: 50/197
> Height: 23-27 inches
> Weight: 80-100 pounds
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years

The bloodhound is famous for its sense of smell and tracking ability. The breed is used by police forces around the world to find missing people and escaped prisoners. It is instantly recognizable because of its wrinkled face and large drooping ears. Sadly, the bloodhound is one of the shortest-lived dog breeds.

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49. Dalmatian
> Popularity in 2021: 49/197
> Height: 19-24 inches
> Weight: 45-70 pounds
> Life expectancy: 11-13 years

The dalmatian is known for its spotted coat, although puppies are born without spots. It has a unique AKC designation – coach dog – as it was once used to accompany and guard horse-drawn coaches. The breed has been known to generations of children as the star of the Dodie Smith book “101 Dalmatians” and its Walt Disney film adaptations.

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48. Australian cattle dog
> Popularity in 2021: 51/197
> Height: 17-20 inches
> Weight: 35-50 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-16 years

The Australian cattle dog is known for its agility. Bred to herd animals many times its size, it is not easily intimidated. The animal needs a lot of exercise – more than a daily walk – and mental stimulation. If not given enough to do, it will not be happy.

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47. Bichon frisé
> Popularity in 2021: 47/197
> Height: 10-12 inches
> Weight: 12-18 pounds
> Life expectancy: 14-15 years

“Bichon frisé” is French for “curly small dog.” This breed’s most distinctive feature is its puffy white coat, which accentuates its dark, inquisitive eyes. It has been described as a fluff ball of a dog and a canine comedian, reflecting its winning personality.

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46. Portuguese water dog
> Popularity in 2021: 44/197
> Height: 17-23 inches
> Weight: 35-60 pounds
> Life expectancy: 11-13 years

Described as medium sized and robust by the AKC, this breed has an advantage above the other water-loving pups: a waterproof coat. Easily the best-known example of the breed is former “first dog” Bo, who belongs to President Obama and his family.

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45. West Highland white terrier
> Popularity in 2021: 46/197
> Height: 10-11 inches
> Weight: 15-20 pounds
> Life expectancy: 13-15 years

Known as the Westie, this breed originated as a hunting dog in Scotland where the tenacious dog pursued vermin, and it has retained a strong prey instinct. It has an all-white double coat and an inquisitive expression. It is smart, independent, and energetic, and needs careful training and lots of exercise.

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44. Weimaraner
> Popularity in 2021: 40/197
> Height: 23-27 inches
> Weight: 55-90 pounds
> Life expectancy: 10-13 years

The Weimaraner is named after the German city of Weimar, where it was bred as a hunting and retrieving dog. It has distinctive silver-gray coloration and bright blue eyes. The Weimaraner is an excellent pet known for its friendliness and obedience, but needs to be kept active. Artist William Wegman has based his entire oeuvre around depictions, photographic and otherwise, of his Weimaraners.

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43. Shiba inu
> Popularity in 2021: 42/197
> Height: 14-17 inches
> Weight: 17-23 pounds
> Life expectancy: 13-16 years

The shiba inu, which originated in Japan, is a muscular dog once used as a hunter. It is that country’s oldest, smallest and most popular breed. The shiba inu was first brought to the United States after World War II and has been growing in popularity ever since.

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42. Newfoundland
> Popularity in 2021: 45/197
> Height: 26-28 inches
> Weight: 100-150 pounds
> Life expectancy: 9-10 years

Newfoundlands were originally bred as working dogs for fishermen in the Canadian province after which they are named. Newfoundlands are big, strong, loyal, and excellent swimmers, with lifesaving instincts in the water. The breed is easy to train and eager to please. It is an excellent companion and is even referred to as “the nanny dog.” Novelist J.M. Barrie specified that the beloved “Nana” in “Peter Pan” was a Newfoundland.

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41. Rhodesian ridgeback
> Popularity in 2021: 41/197
> Height: 24-27 inches
> Weight: 70-85 pounds
> Life expectancy: 10 years

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is named for its land of origin, formerly called Rhodesia (now divided into Zimbabwe and Zambia), and for the distinctive ridge that runs along its back, which is formed by hair growing in the opposite direction from the rest of its coat. Bred to hunt – but not kill – lions, it’s an imposing-looking dog, devoted to family and affectionate toward children.

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40. English cocker spaniel
> Popularity in 2021: 43/197
> Height: 15-17 inches
> Weight: 26-34 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years

The English cocker spaniel is a compact dog with a silk coat that comes in striking colors and patterns. It is famous for its mellow personality and its ability to flush out and retrieve gamebirds. The English cocker spaniel is larger than its cousin, the U.S. cocker spaniel.

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39. Collie
> Popularity in 2021: 38/197
> Height: 22-26 inches
> Weight: 50-75 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years

Collies have tremendous herding abilities and protective instincts, as generations who have seen Lassie in films and on television know. They are strong, loyal, affectionate, and elegant dogs and respond well to training. Collies are a good fit for families with an active lifestyle, and they can thrive in the city as well as in the country.

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38. Maltese
> Popularity in 2021: 39/197
> Height: 7-9 inches
> Weight: 7 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-15 years

The Maltese is an ancient breed – images of them can be found on Egyptian artifacts – and a classic lapdog. It’s small, like the island from which it got its name, and dainty and proud. It also has a fairly long life expectancy – up to 15 years – and a reputation for being affectionate and perky.

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37. Mastiff
> Popularity in 2021: 35/197
> Height: 28-30 inches
> Weight: 120-230 pounds
> Life expectancy: 6-10 years

Mastiffs, which weigh up to 160 pounds, are a massive breed developed to guard livestock from predators such as wolves. 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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36. Basset hound
> Popularity in 2021: 34/197
> Height: 15 inches
> Weight: 40-65 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-13 years

Originally bred in France, the basset hound is known for its droopy features, hunting ability, and keen sense of smell – second only to that of its cousin, the bloodhound. Bassets are great with kids and, despite their size, think of themselves as lap dogs.

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35. Pug
> Popularity in 2021: 33/197
> Height: 10-13 inches
> Weight: 14-18 pounds
> Life expectancy: 13-15 years


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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34. Chihuahua
> Popularity in 2021: 37/197
> Height: 5-8 inches
> Weight: 6-16 pounds
> Life expectancy: 14-16 years

Originating in the Mexican state for which they’re named, these dogs are intelligent, loyal, and loving – but they are distrustful of strangers. Because they were bred for a warm climate, they don’t do well in the cold. Their tiny size makes them easy to carry around.

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33. Vizsla
> Popularity in 2021: 32/197
> Height: 21-24 inches
> Weight: 44-60 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years

Also referred to as the Hungarian pointer, the Vizsla may trace its origins back over 1,000 years. There are depictions of Vizsla being used as hunting dogs from the early 10th century, when Magyar tribes invaded Central Europe.

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32. Belgian Malinois
> Popularity in 2021: 36/197
> Height: 22-26 inches
> Weight: 40-80 pounds
> Life expectancy: 14-16 years

The Belgian Malinois originated around the city of Malines (or Mechelen), and is one of four closely related breeds of Belgian herding dogs. It’s hard-working, proud, alert, and intelligent, and needs a lot of exercise.

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31. Miniature American shepherd
> Popularity in 2021: 30/197
> Height: 13-18 inches
> Weight: 20-40 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-13 years

The miniature American shepherd was developed in California in the 1960s and was originally called the miniature Australian shepherd. It has been used to herd small stock such as sheep and goats, and its own small size and temperament makes it a good household pet and travel companion.

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30. Border collie
> Popularity in 2021: 31/197
> Height: 18-22 inches
> Weight: 30-35 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-15 years

The border collie is widely considered to be the most intelligent dog breed. In fact, it was bred for its intelligence and obedience and has tremendous herding abilities and protective instincts. The border collie makes a great pet but needs more physical exercise and mental stimulation than many other breeds.

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29. Cocker Spaniel
> Popularity in 2021: 29/197
> Height: 14-17 inches
> Weight: 20-30 pounds
> Life expectancy: 10-14 years

The cocker spaniel – also called the American 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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28. Brittany spaniel
> Popularity in 2021: 27/197
> Height: 18-21 inches
> Weight: 30-40 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years

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. Prior to this point, the breed was registered as one of many miscellaneous French spaniels.

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27. Shetland Sheepdog
> Popularity in 2021: 28/197
> Height: 13-16 inches
> Weight: 15-25 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years

This breed was originally bred to tend the small sheep of the Shetland Islands at the far northern tip of Scotland. Because of its intelligence, Shetland sheepdogs are quick to understand and obey commands. While they’re loyal and affectionate, which makes them great pets, they also tend to be reserved towards strangers, which makes them good watchdogs.

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26. English springer spaniel
> Popularity in 2021: 26/197
> Height: 19-20 inches
> Weight: 40-50 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years

This breed is named for its hunting style – it “springs” birds, flushing them into the air, and then points at and retrieves them. As well as being a great hunter, the springer spaniel is a friendly and playful pet. The breed is highly trainable.

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25. Havanese
> Popularity in 2021: 25/197
> Height: 9-12 inches
> Weight: 7-13 pounds
> Life expectancy: 14-16 years

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

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24. Boston terrier
> Popularity in 2021: 23/197
> Height: 15-17 inches
> Weight: 12-25 pounds
> Life expectancy: 11-13 years

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 so is popular as a therapy dog.

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23. Pomeranian
> Popularity in 2021: 24/197
> Height: 6-7 inches
> Weight: 3-7 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-16 years

The Pomeranian is the smallest of the spitz breeds, weighing three to seven pounds. It was made popular by Queen Victoria, who was smitten by its puppy-like 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 dog
> Popularity in 2021: 20/197
> Height: 23-28 inches
> Weight: 70-115 pounds
> Life expectancy: 7-10 years

This breed originated in the Swiss Alps, where it was used as a working dog. It has a muscular build and can haul loads as heavy as 1,000 pounds. The Bernese is good for families – it is gentle with children but may become attached to one person in particular.

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21. Siberian husky
> Popularity in 2021: 19/197
> Height: 20-24 inches
> Weight: 35-60 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years

Bred as a sled dog, the Siberian husky is known for its endurance. Huskies have a great work ethic and love to run, preferring that to walking. In fact, the husky is so energetic that it has to be kept leashed or it will run away. In 1925, a relay team of huskies and other sled dogs saved Nome, Alaska, from a diptheria epidemic by running for five days to bring medicine to the town.

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20. Shih tzu
> Popularity in 2021: 22/197
> Height: 9-11 inches
> Weight: 9-16 pounds
> Life expectancy: 10-18 years

Shih Tzus originated in China many centuries ago. Although diminutive in size, they take their name from the Mandarin word for lion. They began appearing in the United States after World War II, when veterans brought them back to America, and they were recognized by the AKC in 1969. They have a long flowing coat and a proud bearing. Among their owners was Queen Elizabeth II, and pop star Miley Cyrus has one now.

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19. Great Dane
> Popularity in 2021: 17/197
> Height: 28-32 inches
> Weight: 110-175 pounds
> Life expectancy: 7-10 years

The great Dane was developed in England and Germany as a boar hound: Its long ears were often left shredded by the sharp tusks of the wild boar. Today’s great Danes lead much less hazardous lives and can make for great pets. They are dependable, patient, and friendly. But as their name implies, they are huge. Standing on its hind legs, a great Dane can be taller than its owner and weigh up to 200 pounds.

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18. Cane corso
> Popularity in 2021: 21/197
> Height: 24-28 inches
> Weight: Proportionate to height pounds
> Life expectancy: 9-12 years

Originating in Italy, where it was bred as a guard dogs, the cane corso is described by the AKC as a “peerless protector.” Notwithstanding their intimidating appearance – they are among the biggest dogs in the world (100 pounds for males) – they are also intelligent, loyal, and docile in the company of their owners.

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17. Miniature schnauzer
> Popularity in 2021: 18/197
> Height: 12-14 inches
> Weight: 11-20 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-15 years

In competitions in the United States, the miniature schnauzer is treated differently from other schnauzer breeds in that it is not classified as a working dog but is judged as a terrier. It is intelligent and alert, which makes it a good watchdog, and it excels in obedience trials and agility competitions. The miniature’s eyebrows and beard make it easily recognizable.

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16. Boxer
> Popularity in 2021: 14/197
> Height: 22-25 inches
> Weight: 50-80 pounds
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years

Although it was recognized by the AKC in 1904, the boxer did not really gain popularity in the U.S. until after World War II, when returning soldiers brought the dogs home with them from Europe. Its popularity may also have received a boost when actors Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were given one as a wedding present.

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15. Doberman pinscher
> Popularity in 2021: 16/197
> Height: 24-28 inches
> Weight: 60-100 pounds
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years

This dog was first bred by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a German tax collector who wanted a dog to protect him in his sometimes dangerous job. As well as being one of the smartest breeds, the Doberman often ranks highly in obedience and trainability. That makes it popular with police and military forces around the world.

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14. Cavalier King Charles spaniel
> Popularity in 2021: 15/197
> Height: 12-13 inches
> Weight: 13-18 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-15 years

This breed has been popular since the days of England’s King Charles II in the 17th century. It is small for a spaniel and goes through its puppy stage slowly, staying frisky even when older. It also has big eyes and a big heart.

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13. Yorkshire Terrier
> Popularity in 2021: 13/197
> Height: 7-8 inches
> Weight: 7 pounds
> Life expectancy: 11-15 years

The Yorkshire terrier’s confidence and courage make it a good pet to keep in bustling cities, and those qualities have earned it the nickname “the tomboy toy.” It is also known for its beautiful silky coat, which has a texture similar to that of human hair. The Yorkshire terrier requires a lot of care and attention.

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12. Australian shepherd
> Popularity in 2021: 12/197
> Height: 18-23 inches
> Weight: 40-65 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-15 years

The Australian shepherd is descended from the Pyrenean shepherd, a dog favored by the Basques who live in the mountains between France and Spain. Basque emigrants to Australia crossed that breed with collies to create the intelligent herding dog we know today.

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11. Pembroke Welsh corgi
> Popularity in 2021: 11/197
> Height: 10-12 inches
> Weight: 28-30 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-13 years

The Pembroke Welsh corgi is popular with English royalty as well as American pet owners – it was Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite. The corgi is a working dog, strong and athletic. And despite its little legs, it excels at many sports. The corgi is an easy pet to have, and its short coat needs little maintenance.

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10. German shorthaired pointer
> Popularity in 2021: 9/197
> Height: 21-25 inches
> Weight: 45-70 pounds
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years

The German shorthaired pointer is a great gundog and a great pet, although it likes a lot of exercise. It is a natural retriever on land and water, and is one of the finest swimming dogs, aided by webbed feet.

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9. Dachshund
> Popularity in 2021: 10/197
> Height: 5-9 inches
> Weight: 11-32 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-16 years

The dachshund was developed in Germany centuries ago to hunt badgers, and its short legs and long body make it good at below-ground work. The dachshund is intelligent and should be kept busy or it will get bored. It comes in miniature or standard size and can have a smooth, wirehaired, or long-haired coat.

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8. Beagle
> Popularity in 2021: 7/197
> Height: 13-15 inches
> Weight: 20-30 pounds
> Life expectancy: 10-15 years

Bred to live and work in packs, beagles are sociable dogs and like the company of their human families, as well as that of other dogs. They are scent dogs, which can sometimes get them into trouble and means they should not be left off-leash unless in a secured area.

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7. Rottweiler
> Popularity in 2021: 8/197
> Height: 22-27 inches
> Weight: 80-135 pounds
> Life expectancy: 9-10 years

The Rottweiler is one of the oldest working breeds and may have been herding livestock since the days of the Roman Empire. The breed combines intelligence, strength, and endurance. Unfortunately, the Rottweiler has sometimes been portrayed in the media as aggressive, but according to the AKC, it is “a calm, confident, and courageous dog.”

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6. Bulldog
> Popularity in 2021: 6/197
> Height: 14-15 inches
> Weight: 40-50 pounds
> Life expectancy: 8-10 years

The bulldog has long been associated with British culture (note the resemblance to Winston Churchill!), but it’s also one of the most popular breeds in America. Its name belies a friendly personality and gentle disposition.

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5. Poodle
> Popularity in 2021: 5/197
> Height: 10 inches
> Weight: 4-6 pounds
> Life expectancy: 10-18 years

Poodles come in different size varieties and all are intelligent. Miniature Poodles are 15 inches or under and excel in advanced obedience competition, where retrieving and jumping skills are required.

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4. German Shepherd
> Popularity in 2021: 4/197
> Height: 22-26 inches
> Weight: 50-90 pounds
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years

The German shepherd is the second most registered breed by the AKC. Originally bred for herding sheep, it has become the first choice for many roles because of its intelligence, trainability, and obedience. German shepherd roles include disability assistance, search and rescue, and police and military work.

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3. Golden Retriever
> Popularity in 2021: 3/197
> Height: 22-24 inches
> Weight: 55-75 pounds
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years

Golden retrievers aren’t just smart but have a great work ethic too. They are often used as guide dogs, in search and rescue, and – as their name suggests – for hunting. Their many other endearing characteristics, including patience and playfulness, make them great pets.

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2. Labrador Retriever
> Popularity in 2021: 1/197
> Height: 22-25 inches
> Weight: 55-80 pounds
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years

The Labrador retriever is one of the most sought-after breeds for challenging work, whether as a guide dog for the blind or for search and rescue. When lives are in danger, you want a dog that is smart and dependable – just like the Labrador retriever.

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1. French Bulldog
> Popularity in 2021: 2/197
> Height: 11-13 inches
> Weight: 28 pounds
> Life expectancy: 10-12 years

Contrary to its name, the French bulldog actually comes not from France but from Nottingham, England.These sturdy little dogs with their bat-like ears are playful, good with small children, and intelligent. They don’t need much exercise or grooming but shouldn’t be left alone for long as they can suffer from separation anxiety. Like other “flat-faced” breeds, French bulldogs are prone to snoring, which can add to their charm – or not.

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