Dogs are the most popular kind of pet in Illinois, and you can find many different kinds of dog breeds living in all parts of the state. However, there are some clear favorites, and they’re a much more common sight to see. Some popular dog breeds in Illinois reflect national rankings of popular dog breeds, while other breeds are distinctly favored in Illinois.
Our list provides information on some of the most popular dog breeds in Illinois. Let’s get to know these wonderful dogs and possible reasons why they’re favorites.
The 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Illinois
1. French Bulldog
French Bulldogs have been growing in popularity, and they finally outranked the Labrador Retriever’s number one position as the most popular dog in the US. French Bulldogs are a common sight to see in Illinois, especially in Chicago. These small, adorable dogs are perfect for Chicago apartment dwellers, and they don’t tend to get stressed by the hustle and bustle of city life due to their easygoing and adaptable temperaments.
While French Bulldogs are wonderful dogs, they can be high maintenance. As a brachycephalic breed, French Bulldogs are particularly sensitive to heat. Illinoisans must be mindful of how much time and exercise their French Bulldogs get in the summer to avoid breathing issues and overheating.
2. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are still popular in Illinois. They’re known to be adaptable and versatile, and they just love spending time with their families. So, it’s likely that they’ll enjoy exercising and playing outdoor sports with their owners, and they’ll also be content spending an afternoon relaxing on the couch.
Labrador Retrievers tend to be very intelligent, eager to please, and people oriented. These qualities make them an excellent breed to consider for first-time dog owners or people looking for service dogs or therapy dogs.
3. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are popular all across the US, and they’re a common sight to see in Illinois. This dog breed is known for its courage, intelligence, and loyalty. They’re hard-working dogs that have a lot of strength and stamina. This makes them excellent candidates for all kinds of work, including being police dogs and search and rescue dogs.
While German Shepherds are known for their loyalty, it’s important to note that their loyalty is hard-earned. Therefore, these dogs often do best with firm and fair training from an experienced dog owner.
4. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are lovable dogs that enjoy being around people. They tend to be social butterflies and often like meeting and playing with other dogs. However, they’re ultimately family dogs and would love nothing more than to spend all day with their favorite humans. Golden Retrievers are also easygoing, intelligent, and easy to train. They have a good amount of patience and often become gentle companions for children in their families.
Rottweilers are large dogs with an intimidating appearance, but many are sweet and loyal to their families. When matched with the right family, Rottweilers can be gentle with children. They also have a strong protective instinct and can learn to become successful watchdogs and guard dogs.
Rottweilers are known for being intelligent, but they require firm and fair training and an assertive owner. So, they’re often not recommended for first-time dog owners.
6. Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies are iconic dogs, and they’ll thrive in the cold winters in northern Illinois. While you’ll see some Siberian Huskies in larger cities in Illinois, they’re often better suited for suburban and rural communities. This is because these dogs are extremely active and need a lot of space to let loose and run around. They also have a tendency to howl, so they may not be favorable for apartment dwellers.
7. Pit Bull Terrier
Pit Bull Terriers tend to have a bad reputation due to negative stereotypes placed on them. However, many Illinoisans can see past these stereotypes and adopt many Pit Bull Terriers with sweet and loving natures.
Despite their intimidating appearance, Pit Bull Terriers often become doting family dogs. They have a strong desire to please, and they thrive on consistent training and learn commands fairly quickly. While they’re friendly with people, Pit Bull Terriers tend to have a strong prey drive. So, they’ll benefit greatly from early socialization with other dogs and pets.
The Goldendoodle is one of the most popular designer dog breeds in Illinois. Goldendoodles are favorable for many families because they’re easy to train, friendly, and intelligent. They also have low-shedding coats, so they tend to be a little easier for allergy sufferers to live with.
Since Goldendoodles are hybrid dogs, their appearance and level of shedding will vary from dog to dog. Some Goldendoodles will have wavy coats that more closely resemble a Golden Retriever’s coat, and they’ll be moderate shedders. Goldendoodles with curlier, Poodle-like coats will shed less.
9. Cane Corso
Cane Corsos aren’t fairly common pets in Illinois, but they’re still popular because they have the highest number of internet searches in Illinois. Cane Corsos are fiercely loyal and love their families. However, they’re not recommended for inexperienced dog owners because they’re willful and require living with an assertive owner. Early socialization is a must, as Cane Corsos have strong guarding tendencies and can show aggression to people and pets.
10. Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds are beautiful companion dogs that are loving and loyal to their families. They grow strong bonds with their families and are also known as shadow dogs that will follow their favorite people everywhere they go.
While Australian Shepherds are playful with their family members, they can be shy and aloof with strangers and other dogs. They tend to be pretty introverted and much prefer spending time with their favorite people than going to the dog park.
As with many other US states, French Bulldogs, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers are extremely popular in Illinois. Illinois is also a fan of Pit Bull Terriers and Poodle-mixes like the Goldendoodle. Many people also seem to be curious or intrigued by the Cane Corso even if they may not own one.
Regardless of popularity rankings, all the breeds we’ve listed have the potential to become wonderful companion pets. They’re all worth getting to know and are equal winners in our eyes.
Featured Image Credit: Maria Moroz, Shutterstock