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20 Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2021 (with Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove

If you’re curious to know what the most popular breed of dog is, you’re in the right place! The statistics for registrations of purebred puppies with the American Kennel Club over 2020 have just been released. These give us a good indication of what the most popular breeds will be in 2021. Let’s find out which breeds take the top spots and which have started to fall out of favor.

The 20 Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2021

1. Labrador Retriever

labrador-retriever_BoraAlma_Pixabay
Image Credit: BoraAlma, Pixabay

The ever-popular Labrador Retriever holds onto the top spot for the 30th year! That’s an amazing achievement, though not a surprising one for a lovable and enthusiastic breed like the Labrador. This breed has plenty of energy, loves to spend time with their families, and has an incredibly kind nature. Labrador Retrievers are extremely intelligent and love the challenge of training sessions. They need an active home where they have plenty of opportunities to play and run off steam.

Life expectancy 10-12 years
Height 21.5-24.5 inches
Weight 55-80 pounds
Temperament Energetic and friendly

2. French Bulldog

french bulldog_Mylene2401_Pixabay
Image Credit: Mylene2401, Pixabay

The French Bulldog has gained popularity in recent years and jumped two places higher than last year. It’s unlikely that they’ll overtake the Labrador, but they’re the most popular small breed by quite a margin. French Bulldogs have an adorable personality combined with low to moderate exercise requirements. They’re a great choice for urban living. French Bulldogs are expensive, though, and have a few health issues that owners should read up on before taking the plunge.

Life expectancy 10-12 years
Height 11-13 inches
Weight Up to 28 pounds
Temperament Outgoing and adaptable

3. German Shepherd Dog

german-shepherd
Image Credit: Diego Cervo, Shutterstock

The German Shepherd Dog has slipped down the rankings two places since 2019, but they have a strong following of loyal fans nevertheless. This breed has an exceptional work ethic and is prized as a working breed. They also make exceptional family pets, although they can be quite disinterested in strangers and visitors whom they don’t know well. This active breed needs plenty of exercise and opportunities for mental stimulation.

Life expectancy 12-14 years
Height 22-26 inches
Weight 50-90 pounds
Temperament Brave and loyal

4. Golden Retriever

male-golden-retriever
Image Credit: Helena Lopes, Unsplash

The Golden Retriever consistently ranks as one of the most popular dog breeds and for good reason! These adorable dogs are affectionate and loyal but can also be focused and serious when working. They have a cheerful disposition and are always happy and eager to please their owners. That happy-go-lucky exterior masks a fierce intelligence and a strong work ethic, which makes them the go-to choice as guide dogs and the perfect family companion.

Life expectancy 10-12 years
Height 21.5-24 inches
Weight 55-75 pounds
Temperament Affectionate and loyal

5. Bulldog

bulldogs_B Wills_Pixabay
Image Credit: B Wills, Pixabay

The chunky Bulldog has a look all of their own, with their muscular, low-slung bodies and cheerful broad smile. Despite their tough-looking exterior, this breed loves nothing more than to try and snuggle into their owner’s lap! They can easily put on weight, so they need a moderate amount of exercise. Care needs to be taken during the warmer months because their short muzzle means they can easily overheat. Bulldogs are not strong swimmers and should never be left unsupervised around water.

Life expectancy 8-10 years
Height 14-15 inches
Weight 40-50 pounds
Temperament Calm and cheerful

6. Poodle

poodle-lying-on-grass
Image Credit: Rosalie Barley, Unsplash

The Poodle can be found in three different sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The listed size and weights are for the Standard variety. All Poodles are incredibly smart, athletic, and trainable. They once had a reputation as a delicate city dog, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re looking for an active companion for outdoor adventures, they’re a great choice. Also, the breed has resulted in many popular mixed breeds, like the Labradoodle, Cockapoo, and Goldendoodle.

Life expectancy 10-18 years
Height 15 inches and over
Weight 40-70 pounds
Temperament Proud and intelligent

7. Beagle

Beagle_Ross stevenson, Shutterstock
Image Credit: Ross stevenson, Shutterstock

The Beagle is incredibly loyal, but they also have an independent streak that you’ll see whenever they catch the scent of something interesting. This is a cheerful and happy breed that never fails to make their owners smile. They adore company, which given their history as a pack dog, is not surprising. Beagles are an active breed, but they shouldn’t be let off-leash or they may run off. Their love of following scents is so strong, they will frequently try to jump fences or burrow underneath them to follow that trail.

Life expectancy 10-15 years
Height 13-15 inches
Weight 20-30 pounds
Temperament Cheerful and independent

8. Rottweiler

rottweiler-standing_
Image Credit: Ricantimages, Shutterstock

The muscular and strong Rottweilers are incredibly gentle and loyal around their families, but they don’t share this same part of their character with strangers. They can be a little aloof around people whom they don’t know, but they won’t hold back from letting their loved ones know how much they adore them. Rottweilers have plenty of energy, which combined with their intelligence, means they need a home where they get plenty of mental and physical exercise on a regular basis.

Life expectancy 9-10 years
Height 22-27 inches
Weight 80-135 pounds
Temperament Loyal and confident

9. German Shorthaired Pointer

Vitalii_Mamchuk, Shutterstock
Image Credit: Vitalii_Mamchuk, Shutterstock

The noble and enthusiastic German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) loves any activity that allows them to spend time in the great outdoors. They’re an enthusiastic and noble breed and are equally at home at gundog trials as they are on an all-day hike. The intelligence of the GSP makes them a rewarding training partner, and whatever you want to teach them, they’ll be enthusiastic and committed to giving it their all.

Life expectancy 10-12 years
Height 21-25 inches
Weight 45-70 pounds
Temperament outgoing and hardworking

10. Dachshund

Dachshund
Image Credit By: CC0 Public Domain, pxhere

The instantly recognizable Dachshund comes in two sizes and three coat types. Whatever size or coat they have, you’ll never mistake them for another breed! This breed might be small, but they love to keep an active eye on whatever is happening in their neighborhood. Sometimes they can be a bit too enthusiastic. Given their history as a breed designed to take on fierce prey like badgers, this isn’t too surprising. These little dogs are independent, intelligent, and incredibly endearing.

Life expectancy 12-16 years
Height 5-9 inches
Weight 11-32 pounds
Temperament Friendly and vigilant

That’s a brief rundown of the breeds in the top 10. If you’re wondering about what breeds come next, here they are!


Featured Image Credit: Rob Wee, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.