Top 10 Most Popular North American Dog Breeds

The American Kennel Club names the top 10 most popular North American dog breeds every year.

The beloved Labrador Retriever has been first on the annual list for an amazing 29 years in a row.

Much of the list stays the same year by year but there are always a few new breeds that manage to make the list meaning a few have to drop off the list also.

Do you want to know if your dog is on the list of top 10 most popular North American dog breeds for 2020?

We’ve compiled the list from first to tenth below with some info on each dog breed.

1. Labrador Retriever 

Labrador retriever sitting on a white background

The Labrador Retriever comes from Newfoundland in Canada and was bred to work in the fishing industry in freezing cold weather conditions.

Browse dogs from North American Countries below:

It’s no wonder this dog wins year after year as the favorite of American dog owners. It is the friendliest dog you could hope to meet.

This loyal and lovely dog is a high-energy canine that loves being outdoors, in the water and exploring nature.

Breed to be a hunting dog the Labrador Retriever is happy to be put to work and have many uses these days including hunting, competitions and search and rescue.

Did You Know?

  • A long time ago the Labrador Retriever was called the St John’s dog after the capital city of Newfoundland.
  • They make great therapy dogs for the disabled or elderly.
  • This bred loves to eat and will binge eat if allowed. Hide anything it might consider tasty or you can consider it eaten.

2. German Shepherd

German Shepherd lying on a white background

Also known as the Alsatian the German Shepherd is a well-rounded, hard working dog that is very versatile to work in many areas including police work, search and rescue, farm work and also makes a faithful pet.

Thinking Of Getting a GSD:

[ Check Out German Shepherd Pros and Cons Here ]


Did You Know?

  • They need to be well exercised and stimulated to be happy. Otherwise they can cause trouble with excessive barking and chewing everything in sight.
  • The German Shepherd is a relatively new breed dating back to 1899.
  • They are not good alone and need lots of company.

3. Golden Retriever

Golden retriever lying on white background

The Golden Retriever is a gun dog that was breed to retrieve birds during hunting trips.

It is interesting to know they have a soft mouth so can bring the birds back to the hunter undamaged.

They also are wonderful support dogs for the disabled and are compatible with law enforcement services.

Golden Retrievers also make great pets and are great with children. This medium-large bred of dog has lots of energy to burn and needs lots of exercise.

Did You Know?

  • Golden Retrievers mature slowly and can display puppy traits well into adulthood.
  • The Golden Retriever originates from Scotland and was first bred by a man named Lord Tweedmouth.
  • There are 3 kinds of Golden Retrievers: American, Canadian and British.


Are you looking for a unique Red Golden Retriever?

Check Out my top 10 Red Goldens puppy breeders in the USA article.

4. French Bulldogs

french bulldog photographed on white background

French Bulldogs seem to always get lots of attention wherever they go and were bred to be pets.

This domestic dog has a calm and friendly nature that suits many pet owners perfectly and also make fine show dogs.

It was bred from English toy bulldogs and local ratters in France in the 1800s. The result was the much-loved social French Bulldog (miniature Bulldog).

Did You Know?

  • French Bulldogs are often called Frenchies.
  • They are a little bit cheeky and naughty at times.
  • The Frenchie doesn’t handle the heat well so needs to be watched carefully during hot summer months.

5. Bulldogs

English Bulldog Sitting on white background

Bulldogs are stocky, wrinkle-faced dogs that were bred for the purpose of driving cattle and competing in a aggressive sport called bullbaiting.

But these days they are faithful companions for pet owners. Not needing much exercise, but needing loads of love and attention this dog makes a great family dog or friend for an elderly person.

The dog is quite nosy with snorting, wheezing and farting amongst some of the many daily sounds you can expect to hear come out of your pet.

Did You Know?

  • Bulldogs are prone to many illnesses, especially related to their joints and respiratory system.
  • They don’t like the cold weather.
  • 1890 was the year the American Kennel Club first recognized the bulldog breed.

6. Poodles

white toy poodle standing on white background

Poodles have a reputation for being posh pooches and this little dog comes 3 sizes: standard, miniature and toy.

They do very well in shows and competitions and make lovable pets.

Poodles need a lot of grooming (coat, teeth and nails) and most owners take them to a professional salon every month or so.

The grooming they need is high maintenance and perhaps that’s how they have the reputation of being a luxury and fancy dog – they are in the salon more often than their owner!

Their original isn’t known for sure but some believe it came from Germany while others say it came from the France.

While this is debatable most people agree they were breed as water dogs and used for hunting.

Did You Know?

  • Poodles are one of the most intelligent breeds of dog in the world.
  • The name Poodle comes from the German word “puddle” which translates to “splash in the water.”
  • The history of the poodle dates back to Egyptian times with poodle-like illustrations found on artifacts.

7. Beagles

Beagle dog standing against a white background

The lovable Beagle has earned it’s place on the list of top 10 most popular dog breeds in North America.

It was bred as a scent hound to track rabbit, hare and game and still do this job today as well as being a much-loved pet for many happy dog owners.

Did You Know?

8. Rottweilers

rottweiler photographed against a white background

The Rottweiler is a domestic dog with a fierce reputation.

The dogs were breed to herd livestock and pull carts of meat to market. These days they are prized guard dogs and pets.

They need an experienced owner who has time to put in for training, socialization and care.

Did You Know?

  • They were one of the first breeds used in the police force and later also in the military.
  • They have a nickname of Rottie or Rott.
  • Rottweilers have a strong prey drive and can be aggressive and overly protective.

9. German Shorthaired Pointers

German shorthaired pointer sitting on white background

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a medium to large sized breed of dog developed in the 19th century in Germany for hunting.

Due to its fine breeding its has many uses today including as a gun dog, hunting dog and loyal pet.

Did You Know?

  • Owners of this dog often affectionately call them “Perfect Pointers.”
  • They excel in competitive hunting events.
  • It is a strong swimmer and has webbed feet.

10. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

pembroke welsh corgi dog on white background

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi just makes the list for the top 10 most popular dog breeds in North America.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a cattle herding dog breed that originated in the area of Pembrokeshire in Wales.

This dog was bred for the purpose of herding cattle, sheep and horses. It is a smart and active little dog.

[ CHECK OUT OUR: Corgi-Husky Mix Article ]

Did You Know?

  • The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is one of the most popular herding breeds.
  • This pooch is prone to being overweight so needs a carefully monitored diet.
  • It has a thick double coat.


Dogs indigenous to North America are few these days, as most breeds have long since mixed in one way or the other with those that came with settlers.

Most breeds native to North America are believed to have descended from wolves.

That said, North America has produced many new breeds derived from others, just as what’s gone on in Europe and other continents.

Is your dog on the list?

There is always next year when the list will be updated and there could always be some surprises on which breeds will be at the top of the list.

Want More Dog Exploration?

You’ll find more fascinating dog breeds in the links below:

About the author: Driven by his lifelong passion for dogs and an insatiable curiosity about their diverse breeds, Pablo Pascua founded dogbreedsfaq.com. Through this website, he seeks to expand his knowledge and share his findings with fellow dog enthusiasts. Having owned several dogs throughout his life, Pablo’s experiences have fueled his interest in learning more about these beloved animals. His mission is to provide accurate and comprehensive information to help pet owners make informed decisions about their furry companion.