It’s been noted that the dogs we know and love today have evolved over the years from wolves. But with so many unique breeds of dogs that now exist, many don’t seem to resemble their ancient ancestors at all.
In fact, there are over 340 dog breeds that are known throughout the globe, and The American Kennel Club (AKC) currently recognizes 197 breeds. Each kind of dog has its own specific looks, personality traits, and other lovable features that makes him or her the perfect match for their specific person. And many people have been able to find their ideal companion — there are over 90 million dogs in the United States alone!
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While there are ebbs and flows of the most popular dog breeds amongst people that change a bit every year (as well as new breeds that are always emerging), let’s take a look at 100 of the top dog breeds to learn more about these popular pooches.
100. Neapolitan Mastiff
This large breed Italian dog can reach up to 150 pounds and is a part of the working breed of dogs. The Neapolitan Mastiff dates back to ancient Rome, and are known protectors and guard dogs. But don’t worry, these wrinkly, heavy-boned gentle giants have a sweet and placid disposition.
99. Wire Fox Terrier
Belonging to the terrier group of dogs, the Wire Fox Terrier has a similar look to the Smooth Fox Terrier, with more wiry fur. This dog was originally bred for old English fox hunts, and is now known by most as a superb show dog as well as a loving family companion.
98. English Setter
The English Setter is a medium-size breed belonging to the sporting group of dogs. This dog is one of the AKC’s four British setters that was created specifically to work on the different terrains of England, Ireland, and Scotland. They were named for their practice of “setting,” which is crouching low, when finding birds so that hunters could catch them with their nets. They are still a popular hunting and family dog.
97. Standard Schnauzer
Bred to be ratters, which are dogs bred for catching rat and other vermin, this farming dog originally come from Germany. Weighing between 35 and 45 pounds, the Standard Schnauzer is both a good watch dog as well as a rodent chaser. These dogs are easy to train as long as you are firm, and likes to stay active.
96. Brussels Griffon
Weighing between 5 and 15 pounds (at very most), the Brussels Griffon belongs to the toy group of dogs. But don’t let their size fool you — these smart and humorous pups have a big personality and sense of self-importance. Their big, almost human-like dark eyes and noticeable beards are part of their signature look that you are sure not to miss.
Tipping the scales at up to 170 pounds, Leonbergers are great watchdogs with German origin. Though they are calm and serene companions for the entire family, these dogs do require a decent amount of exercise as well as grooming so that they won’t shed all over your home!
94. Anatolian Shepherd Dog
With a reserved and independent nature, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is native to Turkey. They are not ideal for new dog owners, as they can have a stubborn sentiment and protective nature. Their ancient lineage dates all the way back to the Bronze Age 6,000 years ago.
93. Norwegian Elkhound
This beautiful hound dog is among Europe’s oldest dogs, and are a popular figure in Norse legend said to have sailed with the Vikings. These wolf-like dogs are energetic and have a great sense of humor who make great watchdogs and companions.
92. Bouvier des Flandres
The Bouvier des Flandres is a herding dog with impressive muscles that makes for a reliable and versatile farm dog. They are very friendly and affectionate dogs who love human companionship but can be strong-willed and therefore require some stern training to be your perfect mate.
91. Rat Terrier
The lovable Rat Terrier is said to have been named by Teddy Roosevelt, and has a life expectancy of up to 18 years. These dogs aren’t quite people pleasers, as they are stubborn and inquisitive. As its name suggests, this breed of dog is another great for catching rats and other vermin, belonging to the terrier group.
90. Lagotto Romagnolo
Known as Italy’s “truffle dog,” the Lagotto Romagnolo’s name literally means “means “lake dog from Romagna.” Though they originally helped hunt waterfowl in Romagna, Italy, this adorable curly-haired breed of pup also started to be used more and more for its ability to sniff out truffles, a delectable treat!
89. Boykin Spaniel
Belonging to the sporting group, these medium-sized dogs is mellow and quite trainable. Similarly to the Lagatto Romagnolo, the Boykin Spaniel was popular for hunting waterfowl as well as wild turkey, though at first they were a best-kept secret to Carolina hunter. These pups are great companions and get along with adults, kids, and other dogs, making them a good choice for a family dog.
The fluffy and spitzy Keeshond hails from the canal barges in Holland. One of the most popular markings on these cuties is the shading around their eyes showing their alert attention. Keeshonds are medium-sized and can reach a weight of 45 pounds; they make great apartment dogs as they are people-lovers who are willing to please.
Belonging to the hound group, the Basenji dog has a life expectancy of 13-14 years and stands at about 16-17 inches. These sweet hunters come from Basenji, Africa and are known as a “Barkless Dog.” But this doesn’t mean they do not make any noise — resembling something close to a yodel, the Basenji does make a funny noise known to the few people who have this “cult breed.”
86. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Bred to lure and catch waterfowl, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is intelligent and people-pleasing. They have high energy and love to play fetch and other games with their owner, making them a great option for active owners.
85. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The muscular Staffordshire Bull Terrier was created in 19th-century Britain to be a small and fast fighting dog, but now these adorable playful dogs make sweet family-oriented dogs. Staffies are on the shorter side standing only 14-16 inches, and despite looking quite different than the other breeds in this group, are a part of the terrier group.
84. American Staffordshire Terrier
With a similar look to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier is also good-natured, loyal, and smart companions. These dogs are very trainable and confident, known for their courage and friendliness.
83. Border Terrier
Originally bred to assist during foxhunts, the Border Terrier is a wiry, happy and affectionate pooch known for its “otter head.” These dogs have an affinity for hunting and digging, but are great companions who love their person and lots of exercise.
Bred from the ruling classes of ancient China, Pekingese are stocky and loyal dogs reaching only about 6 to 9 inches in height. These dogs are quite adaptable and sophisticated, and while they get along with most people, tend to have their one main companion who they cherish the most.
81. Coton de Tulear
These happy-go-lucky and goofy pups are loving and adaptable, getting along with pretty much anybody. They belong to the non-sporting group of dogs, and love to follow their owner around the house. Their names come from their lush white coats that are said to be as soft as cotton, or “coton” in French.
80. Chinese Crested Dog
You can’t miss a Chinese Crested dog with its signature hairless body with spotted pink skin and furry faces, feet, and a feathery tail. These dogs are extremely sweet and will lay in bed or on the couch with their owner for hours on end, and are also the perfect companion for people wanting a dog who won’t shed all over.
79. Irish Setter
For over 200 years, the Irish Setter has high energy levels as it was bred as a sporting bird dog. Their luxurious red coat and high spirits are their signature trademarks. These dogs are great dogs for families and children, and will love to play fetch all day.
78. Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso hails from the Himalayas, particularly in Tibet. This thousand-year old breed. are fun-loving and goofy with those closest to them, but may be rather aloof to strangers. Though they used to be at palaces, these dogs are still loyal family dogs at whatever home you have.
77. Chow Chow
The Chow Chow is a breed from ancient China who has a unique wrinkly face, lion’s-mane ruff around their head and shoulders, a blue-black tongue, and compact build standing around 20 inches tall. Though dignified and serious, Chow Chows are also great dogs that can be housebroken easily.
76. Irish Wolfhound
Also dignified and calm, the Irish Wolfhound is also a great hunter known for being able to take down a wolf in combat if need be. They are one of the tallest dogs of the AKC breeds, standing as tall as 32 inches and as heavy as 180 pounds. Nowadays, though, these dogs make great companions with their agreeable nature.
75. Jack Russel Terrier
Though small at around 9 to 15 pounds, the Jack Russel Terrier is upbeat and inquisitive, created in England about 200 years ago to hunt foxes. They are charming yet a handful to take care of and train.
74. Lancashire Heeler
This medium-to-high energy dog has a charming small size that is always ready to go for walks with its owner. The energetic Lancashire Heeler has a unique characteristic called the Heeler Smile — which resembles a human smile with their ability to draw back their lips.
73. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are dependable and faithful family-oriented dogs. These large dogs have a dense coat with rich black, red, and white markings. They make good herding and pasture dogs and are often seen as quite majestic.
72. Cairn Terrier
Bred to get out foxes and other prey without any fear amongst the Scottish countryside, the Cairn Terrier is an alert and cheerful dog that enjoys digging and exploring around.
71. Giant Schnauzer
The loyal and trainable Giant Schnauzer is a larger size of the Standard Schnauzer, coming in at around 23 to 28 inches tall and 55 to 85 pounds. These dogs are very intelligent and fantastic workers.
70. Old English Sheepdog
These gentle giants are known for their shaggy hairdo and fluffy coat. The Old English Sheepdog is mellow and agreeable and enjoys exploring with its companion.
69. Tatra Shepherd Dog
Hailing from the Tatra mountains of Poland, the Tatra Shepherd Dog is a guardian dog that has a pure white coat. They are also herding dogs who are devoted and loving to their families.
68. Dogue de Bordeaux
As one of the most ancient dog breeds in France, the Dogue de Bordeaux (“Mastiff of Bordeaux”) is protective, loyal, and affectionate. They belong to the working group of dogs and weigh up to 110 pounds. Fun fact: these dogs have the largest head (by proportion) in the canine kingdom!
67. Italian Greyhound
The miniature version of a regular greyhound, Italian Grehounds are playful and affectionate, as well as great cuddlers. Though they make the best lapdogs, these dogs also have an outgoing size, being elegant and ancient, bred for centuries as companions and entertainers.
66. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Belonging to the herding group, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi weighs about 25 to 38 pounds and stands up to about 13 inches tall. With low-set legs and a deep chest, Cardis are trainable and faithful dogs with a “big dog” bark that doesn’t match its smaller stature.
65. Chinese Shar Pei
Chinese Shar Pei’s are loyal and calm dogs that were created to guard, hunt, herd, and eventually to fight. Its physical characteristics include its broad “hippopotamus” muzzle and pointy ears as well as loose skin. They are loyal to their people though they are not always a huge fan of strangers.
64. Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute belongs to the working group of dogs and is a strong working-type breed that was the original sled dog. These dogs are playful and great with kids, as well as beautiful looking with their plumed tail and almond-shaped eyes.
63. German Wirehaired Pointer
With a weatherproof coat and eager attitude, the German Wirehaired Pointer has an innate need to run outdoors and get exercise, probably from its history as a gundog who loves outdoor activity. For active and sporty owners, this dog will make a great companion.
62. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Similar looking to a German Wirehaired Pointer, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is known as the “supreme gundog” for its low-shedding coat. These dogs are quick-witted and eager for sporting and the outdoors.
61. Miniature Bull Terrier
Just like the Bull Terrier in every way besides its size, the Miniature Bull Terrier is mischievous and somewhat comical, titled the “Clown Prince of Dogdom,” by the AKC. Their trademarked egg-shaped head and dark eyes give these cuties their unique look.
60. Airedale Terrier
Nicknamed “the King of Terriers” the Airedale Terrier is both an athlete and a hunter that also makes for a superb companion. Standing up to 23 inches and weighing up to 70 pounds, this terrier breed has a dense wiry coat and sporty beard and mustache.
Hailing from Croatia, Dalmatians are a sleek and athletic breed that are known to be a “coach dog” and have accompanied travelers and firefighters alike. These dogs are known for their spotted coat, as well as their time in the spotlight in Disney’s 101 Dalmatians.
These gentle, graceful, and giant floofs stand up to 24 inches tall and weigh up to 65 pounds, though they may appear even larger with their thick all-white coat of fur. Samoyeds come from the Siberian town of Oymyakon where temperatures of -60 degrees are common; this is why the upturned corners of their mouth prevent drooling so that icicles can not form on their face.
With a similar look to Greyhounds, the Whippet is also known as the “Poor Man’s Racehorse.” Though these dogs are gentle and sweet, they are ready to run when given the opportunity, yet can still lay down for hours to relax with their human.
56. Scottish Terrier
Nicknamed “the Diehard,” Scottish Terriers have almost human characteristics with an independent and confident disposition. They love walks and playing but may not be the best around other dogs, as their hunting nature is still engraved in their personality.
55. Australian Cattle Dog
The curious and alert Australian Cattle Dog (also called Blue Heeler or Queensland Heeler) is related to an Australian legend — the dingo! These herding dogs are intelligent enough to outsmart their owners, and enjoy regular exercise to get out energy and stay in shape.
54. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are extremely devoted to their people, yet have their terrier-like stubbornness still intact. The unique Wheaton coat does not shed much, but must be properly groomed as to avoid matting.
Belonging to the toy group of dogs, Papillons area happy, friendly, and alert dogs that do well in both hot or cold climates. The signature look of these dogs is their large, wing-shaped ears that earned them their name, as “papillon” is French for “butterfly”.
These affectionate and loyal giants are muscular yet docile companions who pursued poachers in Old England. Reaching weights of up to 130 pounds, the Bullmastiff isn’t quite as large as its cousin the Mastiff, but still requires early training and socialization.
Belonging to the hound group, Bloodhounds are known for their sleuthing ability and can find any animal or person lost or hiding. Though they are quite docile, these dogs are also stubborn when on a scent.
50. Cocker Spaniel
With big eyes and a big personality, Cocker Spaniels is one of the best-loved breed around the world. Though they were originally bred as hunting dogs, their soft ears and adorable expression invites all the pets.
49. English Cocker Spaniel
This silky-coated pup also has lush big ears like the Cocker Spaniel as well as a delightful personality. This hunter dog is an eager to please bird dog.
48. Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese Water Dog was bred to be a fisherman’s helper, and is eager to help out with water work. This dog is easy to train with an affectionate and adventurous personality.
47. Saint Bernard
The gentle giant of the Swiss Alps is extremely muscular and powerful, yet is still careful with kids and one of the most beloved breeds. With their short muzzle, dark eyes, and friendly expression, the Saint Bernard is watchful and patient.
Akitas are extremely loyal and burly dogs from ancient Japanese lineage. In Japan, these dogs are seen as family protectors as well as symbols of health, happiness, good health, and a long life. Their alert expression is a hallmark of the breed.
45. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
From the mid-Atlantic, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is famous for its waterproof coat and chocolatey brown coat. These dogs aren’t just any gundog — they are quite protective of their owners and quite sensitive dogs.
44. Shiba Inu
The Shiba Inu is a small, muscular dog that is also an ancient Japanese breed. This good-spirited and well-natured dog is one of the most popular breeds in Japan, since they make great companions amongst the city or countryside.
43. West Highland White Terrier
The confident and cute West Highland White Terrier — called Westie, for short — is one of the most popular of the small terriers. This dog stands about 10 to 11 inches in height and are tough and strong despite their size. Though they may resemble a stuffed animal, the West Highland White Terrier was bred to catch rats and other rodents, and their coat is hard rather than soft to the touch.
42. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is known as one of the best “personality dogs” in the world, with irresistible charm and comedic grace. These adaptable dogs get along well with families with children, and although they are lovers, the Bichon Frise also make good watchdogs.
41. Rhodesian Ridgeback
The dignified and even-tempered Rhodesian Ridgeback is an all-purpose “Renaissance hound” that was made famous in its native Africa for tracking lions. They still have a strong prey drive, but make affectionate family dogs.
40. Belgian Malinois
This hard-working dog in the herding group lives simply for your company and activity, so make sure not to under-train, play with, or ignore this pooch! Give them plenty of attention and exercise, and the Belgian Malinois will be devoted to you.
The large Newfoundland is a powerful dog in the working group who is sweet-tempered nature lends itself to being a “nanny dog” for children. Newfies like gentle guidance and has a lot of patience.
The Weimaraner is known as Germany’s “Gray Ghost,” belonging to the sporting group and known for its hunting abilities. They enjoy lots of exercise and outdoor time with their owners.
Known for their time behind the camera, Collies are graceful and majestic looking canines whether either the full coated “rough” Collie or the sleek “smooth” Collie. These dogs are known to be quite fond of children and are great family pets.
36. Basset Hound
This low-key and patient pup is recognized from its low-slung, sad-looking eyes, long droopy ears, little legs, and massive paws. The Basset Hound can be stubborn when on a hunt, but are very loyal to their owners.
Called “Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta,” the Maltese is known for its floor-length coat and playful charm. Though they had an aristocratic bearing, these toy dogs are good watchdogs and loyal companions.
Chihuahuas are charming and sassy toy dogs with small stature and a large personality. This dog is a national symbol of Mexico, with a lineage going back to pre-Columbian times.
The red-coated Vizsla is a gundog athlete that has belonged to many Hungarian sportsmen, though they are becoming increasingly popular in America. These dogs are affectionate and energetic yet gentle.
32. Border Collie
Border Collies love to work and could be a handful for owners that don’t have the time or activities to keep them occupied. Though they like to stay busy, they are still available for a great cuddle after a long day!
Though good-natured and courageous in nature, the giant Mastiff tips the scales at up to 230 pounds for a male, and 170 pounds for a female. The massive Mastiff is heavy-boned and large, standing up to 30 inches tall. With a broad head and wrinkled forehead, this dog is a lot to take on but makes an amazing pet for those willing to take on this large breed.
The mischievous and adorable Pug was once the companion of Chinese emperors as well as the mascot of Holland’s royal House of Orange. But don’t let their royal lineage fool you – these dogs are down to earth and have an adorable curiosity for life, as well as an affinity for food.
29. Cane Corso
Just as they look regal and majestic, the Cane Corso is an affectionate and confident big dog with a lineage that goes back to ancient Roman times. These dogs make good protectors, as their name even roughly translates from Latin as “bodyguard dog.”
28. Miniature American Shepherd
Resembling a smaller version of the Australian Shepherd, the Mini American Shepherd is a true herder with its compact size and self-motivation for work. These loyal companions are lively and intelligent, as well as devoted to their owners.
27. English Springer Spaniel
These lovable bird dogs are well-mannered pets and hard-working hunting dogs who have lots of energy and are people-pleasers. Their friendly and obedient nature and lush ears make them a great choice for any person’s pet.
The fun-loving and upbeat Brittany is a gundog that is loved by owners on both sides of the Atlantic. Their beautiful coats are white and reddish-orange, making them a beautiful sport dog that requires lots of exercise.
25. Shetland Sheepdog
Also called a Sheltie, the Shetland Sheepdog is a herder that is both playful and obedient. They are easy trainers and great competitors.
The lively Pomeranian has been called the ideal companion, making it one of the world’s most popular toy breeds. They enjoy exercise but can be ideal in both city living in a small apartment or in a larger house, as they do not need too much exercise to get tired out because of their small size.
23. Bernese Mountain Dog
The sweet, good-natured Bernese Mountain Dog are typically easy-going and calm, though they still enjoy a stroll with their owner from time to time. They live to please their people, and are especially good with children.
As the only dog native to Cuba, Havaneses are cheerful and funny little dogs that weigh 7-13 pounds and stand from 8 to 12 inches tall. This breed is especially popular amongst American city-dwellers, as they are adaptable yet social.
21. Boston Terrier
The amusing and friendly Boston Terrier has a signature “tuxedo” look with white and black fur that has helped earned its nickname, “The American Gentleman.” The signature big, round eyes of this terrier are known to many, and Bostons are popular for their fun nature bright smiles.
20. Shih Tzu
Around for a thousand years, this aptly nicknamed “Lion Dog” was bred to mostly sit around all day in royal palaces. This charmer of a dog is extra affectionate towards children, and will enjoy sitting in your lap all day long.
19. Doberman Pinscher
The loyal and fearless Doberman Pinscher is a nobleman of the canine kingdom. They are one of the best protection dogs with their intelligence and alertness.
18. Miniature Schnauzer
Stocky and low-shedding, the Miniature Schnauzer is an obedient and trainable companion who gets along with people and other dogs, while loving to hunt rats and other vermin. They love to play with their family, and also make a great little watchdog.
17. Great Dane
Belonging to the working group, the Great Dane is also called “the Apollo of Dogs.” Great Danes are a joy to live with, as they are friendly, patient, and dependable, but they are also quite large, making them a fit only for those who are willing to take care of such a large breed. These dogs make friends easily and are very patient with children.
16. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
With a connection to British history, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is graceful and affectionate as well as even-tempered. Though they descend from aristocrats, this breed gets along with almost everyone and can be a good choice for both active or sedentary owners.
15. Siberian Husky
The beautiful yet mischievous Siberian Husky has a thick coat of fur as it was meant to being able to pull light loads over vast frozen areas. Siberian Huskies get along great with other dogs are they are natural pack dogs, and they also love chasing after smaller animals.
The fun-loving Boxer belongs to the working group of dogs, as they love being active and have a good work ethic. Boxers encompass what most people would love having in a dog; they are silly, alert, and intelligent breeds.
13. Australian Shepherd
Though this dog is named an Australian Shepherd, the story of how this breed came to be is actually more unique than you may think. They actually come from a European breed that was perfected in California by way of Australia. Australian Shepherds are true cowboys — you will often find them on the rodeo circuit as they have natural herding tendencies.
12. Yorkshire Terrier
Another dog with a silky, luscious floor-length coat of fur, the Yorkshire Terrier has been a lapdog since they could sit on the laps of Victorian ladies. Still, they were ratters in mines and mills long before then, and is also known to be a true “personality breed.”
The bold and spunky Dachshund has a personality that has made it a favorite in the dog kingdom. Though they are tiny, they make excellent watchdogs with their big-dog bark.
10. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
As one of the most agreeable of all house dogs, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is athletic, strong, and affectionate, yet not needy. These cuties are known for their signature short legs, muscular thighs and big chest. As a big dog in a small dog’s body, the Corgi has a need for activity from its herding background.
9. German Shorthaired Pointer
The versatile German Shorthaired Pointer works well with positive training and lots of exercise, making them a great choice for an active owner. People often describe this dog’s looks as “noble” and “aristocratic,” with their beautiful brown and white patterned markings. German Shorthaired Pointers are extremely energetic and up for anything, whether it is swimming, running, fetching, or anything else.
The loving and loyal Rottweiler descends from the large Mastiffs of Roman legend. They have a lot of strength and love to play. Though Rottweilers may have territorial instincts, early socialization and training will help this dog be as great as they can be.
Belonging to the hound group, the curious and friendly Beagle has a happy disposition and makes an excellent hunting dog or loyal companion. Since they were bred to hunt in packs, Beagles like other dogs and enjoy the company. They are one of the more popular hound dogs in America, and are often described by their owners as “merry.”
6. Standard Poodle
The smart and proud Standard Poodle usually have either black, white, or apricot coloring. They are said to be the true aristocrats in the dog kingdom, and are often shown in dog shows. These dogs are athletic and intelligent, with a low-allergen coat of fur.
5. English Bulldog
Calm and friendly in nature, the English Bulldog as a low-slung and thick body with lots of muscle. Extremely docile and loyal, the English Bulldog will want to curl up on your lap, despite weighing around 50 pounds. These stout dogs need some regular exercise and a diet to stay in shape.
4. French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are easily seen for their large bat ears, super short nose, and lots of face wrinkles. Frenchies are one of the most popular small-dog breeds, especially for those who live in the city. These playful and adaptable dogs are sure charmers who also make great watchdogs.
3. Golden Retriever
Extremely devoted and intelligent, Golden Retrievers are one of America’s most popular dog breeds, though they have lineage in Scotland. This working dog breed is an excellent choice for hunting, guide dogs, search-and-rescue, and other competitive events.
2. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd dog is courageous, smart, and confident — making them excellent choices to be a great guardian. They may be a bit aloof before they know someone well, but once the bond is formed, they are willing to risk their lives for their loved ones.
1. Labrador Retriever
Ranked number one by the AKC as the most popular dog breed in America, the friendly and outgoing Labrador Retriever is affectionate and a great choice for a family dog. They won’t only connect and socialize well with their owners, though, these dogs will also have no problem connecting to their neighbors and other humans they come in contact with easily. These athletes do require a decent amount of exercise to stay happy — walking, running, swimming, or a game of catch are all great options for Labrador Retrievers.