Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds According to the AKC

by Britt

Dog ownership is on the rise in the United States, with 69 million families sharing their hearts and homes with a canine family member. But, have you ever wondered which breeds are the most popular in this growing population?

Every year the American Kennel Club analyzes their registrations for the previous year, revealing the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Today, the numbers for 2021 were released with some old favorites and some surprising additions to the list.

For the 31st year straight, the Labrador Retriever has taken the top spot! For many dog lovers, this comes as no surprise. Here’s a little more information about 2021’s top 10 dog breeds:

The 2021 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S. list

#1 – Labrador Retriever

Their family-friendly nature and eager-to-please personality make the lab a great choice for families across the country. They are incredible family dogs, bonding with the whole family and socializing well with any friends that may visit.

#2 – French Bulldog

Don’t let the small stature of the French Bulldog fool you. These little pups are bursting with playful, happy energy that will add joy to your life. They are highly adaptable and well-suited for smaller spaces if they are given daily walks and outdoor exercise.

#3 – Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever gets its name from its long, beautiful golden-colored coat. But this dog is a lot more than just a pretty face! Goldens are friendly, intelligent, and energetic. They enjoy being part of the family and are always up for an adventure with their people.

#4 – German Shepherd Dog

Best known for their work with the police K-9 units and the military, the German Shepherd is a highly intelligent and driven breed. When brought into a family setting, they are loyal and confident.

#5 – Poodle

Both smart and athletic, the poodle is a highly versatile dog that can be trained without too many challenges. They are gaining in popularity in recent years as potential pet owners learn more about their low-allergen coats.

#6 – Bulldog

Often portrayed as the tough guy and the bully in cartoons, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Bulldogs are kind, friendly, loyal, and docile. They approach life with an easy-going nature, allowing them to easily adapt to different situations.

#7 – Beagle

Energetic and clever, beagles make for lovable companions. They are very curious dogs, excited to take on whatever may come their way. The combination of their playful nature and loving personality makes them a great choice for many families.

#8 – Rottweiler

The large, muscular build of the Rottweiler can make them look intimidating at first glance, but these playful and loving dogs are often completely unaware that they aren’t a toy breed. They are calm and confident but will also protect their family if needed.

#9 – German Shorthaired Pointer

With an unwavering level of enthusiasm and energy, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a great companion for those with an active lifestyle. They are incredibly friendly dogs and are highly trainable in a positive, loving environment.

#10 – Dachshund

These spunky and independent little dogs are often completely unaware of their small size. While they aren’t built for distance running or leaping, they are energetic, smart, and stubborn. They will bravely face whatever life throws their way and take on the world with their family by their side.  

Other Popular Breeds in the US

The Flat-Coated Retriever, often referred to as the Peter Pan of the Sporting Group for their happy-go-lucky, fun-loving personalities, climbed the list over 10 spots in a single year. In 2020 they held spot but they finished 2021 in spot 103.

Some other notable breeds that didn’t make the top 10 list, but are known for their popularity on social media, include:

  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi (
  • Yorkshire Terrier (
  • Siberian Husky (
  • Pug (
  • Chihuahua (
  • English Cocker Spaniel (

What is your favorite dog breed? Did it make the list? 


Britt Kascjak is a proud pet mom, sharing her heart (and her home) with her “pack” which includes her husband John, their 2 dogs – Indiana and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx. She has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the country camping, hiking, and canoeing with her pets.

More by Britt