Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds for 2020 (CKC)

Are you looking to add a new dog to your life and family?  Depending on your situation, some breeds will be a better fit than others for you. Each year both the American Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club release their lists of popular dog breeds – based on their registration statistics. Check out the CKC’s list of the top 10 most popular dog breeds – maybe you might find the dog you have been looking for!

1. LABRADOR RETRIEVERs

labrador retriever - top 10 most popular dog breeds

 Labrador Retrievers are a friendly dog making it favorite among families including those with children… this is shown by the fact that this breed has been at the top of the list for the past 30 years!  A hardworking, strong, athletic breed that enjoys hunting to agility to just being a loving, family companion.  With their wide range of capabilities, temperament and dependability, they have become one of the primary choices for service and guide dogs as well as search and rescue.

Temperament:  Friendly / Active / Outgoing

Height:  22.5 to 24.5 inches (male) / 21.5 to 23.5 inches (female)

Weight:  65 to 80 lbs (male) / 55 to 70 lbs (female)

Life Expectancy:  10 to 12 years

2. GOLDEN RETRIEVERs

golden retriever - top 10 dogs

The Golden Retriever’s personality and self confidence makes this breed well known for being a hard worker and eager to please.  Combined with their intelligence and friendly demeanor, this breed has become a popular choice for service and guide dogs. 

Temperament:  Intelligent / Friendly / Devoted

Height:  23 to 24 inches (male) / 21.5 to 22.5 inches (female)

Weight:  65 to 75 lbs (male) / 55 to 65 lbs (female)

Life Expectancy:  10 to 12 years

3. GERMAN SHEPHERDs

german shepherd - top 10 dogs

 As a strong and determined working dog, the German Shepherd are a popular choice for herding dogs, police / military work and as guide dogs for the blind.  The qualities they exhibit have made them well known as a companion, protector and friend.

Temperament:  Smart / Loyal / Courageous

Height:  24 to 26 inches (male) / 22 to 24 inches (female)

Weight:  65 to 90 lbs (male) / 50 to 70 lbs (female)

Life Expectancy:  7 to 10 years

4. STANDARD POODLEs

standard poodle - top 10 dogs

While you might look at the Poodle and think of them as pampered… these dogs originated as a water retriever.  These dogs are, therefore, incredibly athletic and are excellent swimmers.  Their coat is one that lends itself to ‘hair styling’ which is why you see so many with a traditional Poodle cut.  Poodles require both physical exercise and mental stimulation and enjoy being with people.  All these characteristics combined are a benefit when you look at the fact that this breed is growing in popularity as a choice for service dogs… they are very intelligent, eager to please and love to work and be active.

Temperament:  Proud / Active / Very Smart

Height:  over 15 inches

Weight:  60 to 70 lbs (male) / 50 to 60 lbs (female)

Life Expectancy:  10 to 18 years

5. FRENCH BULLDOGs

French Bulldog - Top 10 dogs

 An affectionate and sweet-tempered companion that is intelligent and can serve as a good watchdog.  With their tendency of barking less than many other breeds, combined along with their small stature, these dogs would be a good choice for apartment living.

Temperament:  Playful / Smart / Adaptable

Height:  11 to 13 inches

Weight:  under 28 lbs

Life Expectancy:  10 to 12 years

6. SHETLAND SHEEPDOGs

Shetland Sheepdog - top 10 dogs

 These dogs were bred for working on a farm… thus their name.  Very intelligent (they are ranked as one of the smartest dogs) and active, the Shetland Sheepdog requires a good deal of stimulation (both mental and physical) to keep them content.  In other words, they are not likely a good dog for you if you are looking for a lazy house dog!  However, maybe they are the type of dog that will get you off the couch and out doing things – like agility!  They can also be a little more prone to barking and whining but that goes hand in hand with the fact that they were bred to herd.  Shelties have a beautiful, soft coat that needs maintenance and… with all that hair… they will shed a lot… be prepared for that! 

Temperament:  Bright / Playful / Energetic

Height:  13 to 16 inches

Weight:  15 to 25 lbs

Life Expectancy:  12 to 14 years

7. AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERDs

australian shepherd - top 10 dogs

 Australian Shepherds are well known for their distinct looks and energetic attitudes.  Though these dogs were bred for ranch life and the herding that happens there, they are also well suited for other service related work – such as drug detection dogs.  Extremely intelligent and constantly on the go, these dogs are not well suited for small living spaces or sedentary lifestyles.  They love to work and you will likely wear out before your dog does!  Can be somewhat challenging with small children around (as well as other small pets) as their instinct is to herd and that trait can be redirected toward those in your home.

Temperament:  Smart / Work-Oriented / Exuberant

Height:  20 to 23 inches (male) / 18 to 21 inches (female)

Weight:  50 to 65 lbs (male) / 40 to 55 lbs (female)

Life Expectancy:  12 to 15 years

8. HAVANESE

havanese - top 10 dogs

 A small breed that is very sweet and enjoys companionship… in fact, this dog does best when it is not left alone for long periods of time.  They are not considered an overly vocal dog and does not require a great of exercise.  An interesting note… the Havanese have shorter front legs and longer back legs which gives them a bouncy gait.  You will be required to have regular appointments with the groomer with this breed but you have the option of a shorter puppy cut or having the coat grow long which will require a great deal of regular brushing.

Temperament:  Outgoing / Funny / Intelligent

Height:  8.5 to 11.5 inches

Weight:  7 to 13 lbs

Life Expectancy:  14 to 16 years

9. BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOGs

bernese mountain dog - top 10 dogs

 The Bernese Mountain Dog was historically bred to protect the farms and herd cattle – with the two primary exports of the region in Switzerland – chocolate and cheese.  This is a sweet and affectionate breed with puppies that literally look like cute balls of fluff!  Easy to train and working hard to please… it is important to note they can be sensitive, so be sure to focus on that positive reinforcement training.  With a thick double coat they shed a fair amount and require at least weekly brushings to maintain the coat.  A great family dog!

Temperament:  Good Natured / Calm / Strong

Height:  25 to 27.5 inches (male) / 23 to 26 inches (female)

Weight:  80 to 115 lbs (male) / 70 to 95 lbs (female)

Life Expectancy:  7 to 10 years

10. CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIELs

cavalier king charles spaniel - top 10 dogs

 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a gentle breed with a sporty side due to their Spaniel characteristics.  Generally they make a nice family dog and are able to get along well with children and other dogs.  They are very adaptable and do equally well with owners that are more of a home body… or one that leads an active, athletic lifestyle.  

Temperament:  Affectionate / Graceful / Gentle

Height:  12 to 13 inches

Weight:  13 to 18 lbs

Life Expectancy:  12 to 15 years

I encourage you to also make note of the list of most popular breeds in the United States (now updated to 2021) according to the American Kennel Club. The comparisons are interesting.  You will see some similarities, but only for a few breeds… after that the list is very different.

source: AKC re breed stats

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