“Dogs are a man’s best friend”. This phrase from the 18th Century is still and even more relevant today. Originally domesticated for the purpose of hunting and other functional tasks, dogs have since also become true companions of us humans. They’ve become more than just pets. They’ve become friends or even family members. There are now around 900 million dogs around the world, and that number is expected to increase even further.
The following ranking lists the world’s most popular dog breeds, based on ownership registrations.
Note: This ranking of the most popular dog breeds in the world excludes stray dogs and non-registered dogs.
Check out the ranking of the Top 10 Most Popular Cat Breeds in the World.
The 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in the World
1. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is the world’s most popular dog breed. A descendant of the now-extinct St. John’s Water Dog of Newfoundland in Canada, the Labrador Retriever was originally bred in the United Kingdom in the early 19th Century, making it a relatively young dog breed. The dog breed was originally used by hunters to retrieve the game for hunters, hence the name. Today, one of the many reasons for the Labrador’s worldwide popularity is the wide variety in which the dog comes. Labradors can greatly differ in coat color, pigmentation, and even size.
Due to their kind and outgoing nature, Labradors tend to make excellent family dogs and are first and foremost considered as such nowadays. However, they are still used for hunts and increasingly often also used as working dogs, primarily as guide dogs, in the assistance of disabled people as well as for therapy work.
2. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd dog is a direct descendant of the Continental Shepherd dog of Europe who was used to, unsurprisingly, herd sheep and assist farmers in other tasks. Sometime in the 1800s during the Industrial Revolution the German variant then increasingly found its way into urban areas where he was the preferred dog used for home protection. Today the German Shepherd is used both as a pet or family dog as well as a working dog in farming or, for example, in police work.
Owners value the great loyalty German shepherds show to their masters and their human families. German shepherds also show a well above-average intelligence level for dogs and animals in general. This fine and well-deserved overall image made the German Shepherd the second among the most popular dog breeds in the world.
As the ultimate pet dog, Poodles have significantly gained in popularity around the world in recent decades. Poodles can greatly vary in their appearance, not just by the color of their coat, but also by their size. They trace their origins back to the Middle Ages in what is now Germany and France. Originally, Poodles were mainly used by waterfowlers to retrieve their arrows and hunt animals. Their name stems from the German word “puddeln”, which means “to puddle” or “to splash”, referencing The Poodle’s ability and original purpose to swim through small bodies of water.
Today, Poodles are almost exclusively used as pet dogs, which contributed to their big increase in popularity around the world. Even though they may not always look like it, Poodles also belong to the most intelligent dog breeds. This makes them very sociable, but at the same time also a very kind and low-maintenance breed. No wonder so many families all around the world fell in love with their Poodles.
They may be among the smallest dogs in the world, but Chihuahuas also belong to the oldest still-existing dog breeds on the planet. Originally thought to have come from Siberia, the Chihuahua were first discovered by humans in North America, especially in what is now known as the Mexican state of Chihuahua, after which the dog breed is named. The ancient civilizations of modern-day Mexico were already familiar with this small, cute dog breed. The Chihuahua is therefore also one of the few still living dog breeds that did not originate in Europe.
Chihuahuas are usually kept as pet dogs and are often described as the “cats among dogs” since they show cat-like behaviors in many situations. At the same time, Chihuahuas are also known for their great loyalty to their owner. Despite their small size, this can often result in overprotective behavior in perceived situations of danger.
5. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is a genetic relative of the Labrador, having been bred in Scotland in the second half of the 19th Century, and shares most of the attributes of the Labrador. There is, however, less variety among the individual dogs of this breed compared to Labradors. All Golden Retrievers are blonde to yellowish-brownish golden, hence their name.
Golden Retrievers also belong to the most intelligent dog breeds on Earth and just like their Labradors cousins are known for their kindness and sociability. They are therefore the preferred choice as therapy dogs or assistance dogs for people with a disability or special needs. Of course, they are also widely used as pets and family dogs.
6. Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier is known as the smallest dog in the world, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. Originating in the county of Yorkshire in England during the 19th century, this breed was originally developed to catch rats in textile mills. Despite their small size, Yorkshire Terriers are known for being quite brave and confident. They are also known as loyal and affectionate towards their owners, making them great pet and family dogs. Yorkshire Terriers are also highly intelligent and very trainable.
Yorkshire Terriers can vary in their external appearance. One of the most notable characteristics of all Yorkshire Terriers is their fur which is long, and silky, and typically comes in shades of black, golden blue, and tan. Compared to most other dog breeds, they do not shed as often, making them a popular choice among people with dog hair allergies. From their origins as rat catchers in England, Yorkshire Terriers have hence now become popular pets for different kinds of people around the world.
The Dachshund comes seventh among the most popular dog breeds in the world. These dogs are known for their long bodies, short legs, and distinctive appearance, making them easily recognizable. They were originally bred for hunting purposes in Germany, specifically to track and hunt badgers, hence the name “dachshund,” which means “badger dog” in German. The Dachshund breed has three different coat types: smooth, longhaired, and wirehaired. They come in a variety of colors, including black, chocolate, cream, red, and more.
In terms of temperament, Dachshunds are known for being loyal, brave, and intelligent. They are also quite stubborn and tend to be quite independent dogs, which can make training a bit of a challenge. Overall, Dachshunds are a beloved dog breed with a rich history and unique characteristics. Their distinctive appearance, hunting background, and loyal temperament are some of the main reasons that make them a favorite among dog lovers around the world.
The Beagle is another popular dog breed that originated in England / United Kingdom. Its genetic origins can be traced back to medieval times when they were used for hunting rabbits and hares. Today, they are still known for their excellent sense of smell, making them popular for tracking and detection work. Apperance-wise, they have a short, sleek coat that comes in a variety of colors, including black, white, and tan. Beagles are also known for their large, expressive eyes and long, droopy ears.
In terms of temperament, the Beagle is a friendly and affectionate breed, known for their loyalty and high sociability, making them popular for families and individuals alike. Because of their hunting background, Beagles can sometimes have a strong prey drive and may be prone to chasing small animals, but nonetheless are known to be highly intelligent dogs and well-responsive to training.
The Boxer is another popular dog breed that originated in Germany, where they were initially bred for hunting purposes in the late 19th Century. Boxers are a genetic relative to British Bulldogs, and much like their cousins known for their muscular and athletic build. Their strong bite allows them to hunt for larger prey than most dogs. Boxers are known for their distinct exterior characteristics, including their short, smooth coats and powerful jaws.
Boxers are furthermore known for their gentle demeanor around children and their protective nature towards their owners, making them a particularly popular choice for families who want a loyal and affectionate companion. They are also above-average intelligent and highly trainable.
The Schnauzer completes the top ten of the most popular dog breeds in the world. This breed originated in Germany in the mid-19th century and was initially bred for hunting rats and other vermin. Today, Schnauzers are primarily kept as companion dogs and are valued for their loyal and intelligent nature. Schnauzers can be divided into three types based on their size: Miniature, Standard, and Giant. All three breeds share a similar appearance, with distinctive bushy eyebrows, a long, rectangular head, and, of course, the bearded snout, after which the dog is named, “Schnauzer” meaning “snout” and colloquially “mustache” in German.
Schnauzers are known for their alert, playful, and affectionate temperament. They are excellent watchdogs and will bark to alert their owners of any perceived danger. They are also highly intelligent dogs that are easy to train and respond well to positive reinforcement. Schnauzers are energetic and require regular exercise, but they can adapt well to apartment living as long as they get enough physical activity. In conclusion, Schnauzers are a beloved dog breed with a rich history and many attractive characteristics.
The 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in the World
(by worldwide official registrations)
|Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in the World:
|1. LABRADOR RETRIEVER
Around 12.9% of all worldwide registrations
|2. GERMAN SHEPHERD
Around 8.4% of all worldwide registrations
Around 7.8% of all worldwide registrations
Around 7.1% of all worldwide registrations
|5. GOLDEN RETRIEVER
Around 6.5% of all worldwide registrations
|6. YORKSHIRE TERRIER
Around 6.2% of all worldwide registrations
Around 6.1% of all worldwide registrations
Around 3.9% of all worldwide registrations
Around 3.6% of all worldwide registrations
Around 3.2% of all worldwide registrations
|Top 10 most popular dog breeds in the world, based on worldwide registrations. Stray dogs and otherwise non-registered dogs are not accounted for in the ranking.
Last Update: 2023