The 5 Most Popular Dog Breeds

When looking for a dog, most owners will simply fall in love when they see a puppy or rescue dog, and that's the dog they love and look after for the rest of its life. Any characteristics of that breed are immaterial, but it's those characteristics which make some breeds more popular than others.

Here are some of the top 5 most popular breeds and some of the characteristics which make them such good companions, as well of some of the things you need to look out for.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is possibly the most popular dog of all. They are generally placid dogs, which make them very good as family pets. They are gentle around children and good with strangers, but as with all dogs, they will need basic training to make sure they know how to act when they meet new people and dogs. In fact, they are very easy to train which is the main reason they make excellent guide dogs for the handicapped and search and rescue dogs.

A friendly, loyal and loving dog, it's no surprise that they are so popular with dog lovers the World over.

Things to look out for

Labradors have plenty of energy so they will need lots of exercise or they could end up chewing things around the house to use up their excess energy.  They need exercise to keep them trim, too. The Labrador Retriever loves its food and  it's prone to obesity if you don't keep an eye on it. It's diet must be carefully handled so that it does not run in to health problems.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd, although a popular dog, may present problems for the inexperienced owner. They are very loyal and obedient, but can be a handful if they do not receive the right training from the start.

As it happens, they are easy to train and they are often used as police dogs, drug detection dogs and as guide dogs for the handicapped.  They are loyal and very intelligent, which makes then excellent guard dogs who will protect their property and their owners.  They are good family dogs, and are happy to join in with play time.

With the right handling, a German Shepherd will make an ideal companion and family dog.

Things to look out for

The German Shepherd has lots of energy and will enjoy plenty of exercise, but may not enjoy being kept in an apartment.  They prefer a house with lots of room and a garden.  

They can also be prone to hip or elbow dysplasia, which usually means they develop a limp. While not life threatening, it can cause pain and discomfort, and should be treated by a veterinary surgeon as soon as possible.

Golden retriever

The Golden Retriever is perfect for a family dog. Just like his Labrador cousin, it's a friendly and tolerant dog, who will get along with children. Golden Retrievers love to play and they love to chew, so plenty of chew toys are essential. They never lose their playful nature so they sometimes need a little patience as they can get distracted very easily.

They are intelligent dogs and this makes them good working dogs. They are often used for tracking or as drugs sniffer dogs, and they can make good therapy dogs as well.

Things to look out for

They are large dogs and they do need plenty of room, so they may not be ideal for a small house or apartment. If they don't get their exercise, they can easily put on weight, and this will affect their health. Their lovely golden coat needs lots of grooming as well, to make sure it  doesn't get dull or matted.


One reason Boxer dogs are so popular is their ever quizzical expression. This together with their playfulness, makes them a lively and interesting companion. A Boxer pup will jump around and play all day, eventually slowing down as they get older. While they have plenty of energy, the amount of exercise they need will vary, so you will need to tailor their exercise to suit them.

A Boxer will fit in nicely with any family, and with their playful and stubborn nature, it can seem like having another child in the house.  Boxers fit in well with one owner or with large families, and with their proud and sensitive nature, they will provide perfect companionship.

Things to look out for

That stubborn streak  is something to watch. If  they don't want to do something, they just won't and they can be very hard to move when if they don't want to.

They can be prone to heatstroke, so it's not a good idea to take them on a long walk in the middle of summer. Short walks are fine but try to keep them cool.


The Bulldog has become more and more popular in spite of its rather serious expression and stocky build.  They were originally bred for bull baiting but have since developed in to a caring, loving dog.

While they have an intimidating look, their good nature makes them good with children and around strangers, but follow basic training methods when they meet someone for the first time. They are usually happy to make new friends.

Bulldogs don't need as much exercise as other breeds, and are happy with a short walk and a good nap. They are perfect if you have limited space and will happily adapt to living in an apartment.

Things to look out for

If you're particularly house proud, they may not be the dog for you as they can drool. Their love of a good nap can also mean they put on weight easily, so their diet will need to be controlled.

They can have a stubborn streak and you may find they need constant training and leaving them on their own may not be a good idea as they get bored and can become destructive.


There are, of course, many other breeds which make excellent pets, and most dog owners find they adapt their own lifestyle to fit in with the demands of their dog no matter what. While all dogs have natural instincts and characteristics, they all respond to a loving, safe home, but it's always worth checking if you're getting more than you bargained for before you take them home.

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