If you’re thinking about getting a new dog, it’s important to consider many factors. No matter if you live in a small apartment, a modest home, or a sprawling ranch, there is a breed out there that will compliment your lifestyle. When people complain about a certain kind of dog, it’s usually because that dog isn’t being kept in the way it was bred to be. Just like with any big investment it’s important to do your research.

Dog breeds can be a lot like baby names - as the years go by, trends come and go. Changes to society, lifestyle, and aesthetics bring different breeds of dogs, each with their own unique attributes, into popularity. Also like baby names, there are some classics that never seem to go out of style. The American Kennel club keeps a list of the country’s top dog breeds and the top ten includes a combination of both new trends and old classics.

We have to start out by talking about the gold standard of American dogs – the Labrador Retriever. This playful, energetic, and hearty breed has been the most popular dog in America hands down for twenty-seven straight years! It’s no surprise why - they are exceedingly friendly, fiercely loyal and seem to want nothing more than to play and have fun with their family. This breed needs a lot of room and has a lot of energy, so you may tend to see less of them in urban, apartment dwellings.

Choosing a Dog

Rounding out the top three dogs, a similar trend continues. German Shepherds (2) and Golden Retrievers (3) have each held on to their positions for the last several years for many of the same reasons people love Labrador Retrievers. All three of these breeds are so popular that their status in American society will probably not change any time soon.

After these most popular breeds, we start to see where trends can come into play. The fourth most popular dog in America this year is the French Bulldog. Most likely, you’ve seen these cute little guys in person or in pictures all over the place lately. Twenty years ago, it barely registered in America. Today, thanks to changing lifestyles and its place in popular media and culture, it’s now a very popular breed. As more Americans move to cities and live in smaller apartments with closer neighbors, the small, quiet, friendly, and exceedingly cute French Bulldog has come to represent this new social dynamic.

Many of the other top breeds are familiar to Americans and they are just as interesting and diverse as the people of this country are as a whole. The rest of the top ten includes the Bulldog, Beagle, Poodle, Rottweiler, Yorkshire Terrier, and German Pointer. All of these dogs have their own unique qualities and personalities.

How much space do you have? How much time and energy do you have to devote to a pet? Do you live with small children? Are you looking for a dog to act as a service or therapy animal? These are just some of the things you’ll want to look into before making a decision about what breed is best for you. Don’t get discouraged, just because you have a small place, or don’t have the time to run around every day with a dog doesn’t mean there isn’t a good option for you. But being honest with yourself about what your needs are and what you can provide to a pet will help ensure that when you do get a dog, you have one that matches your lifestyle and interests.