When it comes to choosing your new best friend, there are over 360 officially recognized dog breeds worldwide. How do you decide which is best for you? Well, a good place to look is the top 5 most popular dog breeds of 2019.
Overview: Labrador Retrievers are incredibly popular dogs due to their friendly and outgoing temperament. Depending on the gender, they can get up to 80 lbs and have a life expectancy of 10-12 years. They are very active, affectionate dogs and come in three colors: black, chocolate, and yellow.
History: Originating in Newfoundland in the 1800s, Labs were naturally perfect companions to hunters and fishermen due to their retrieving abilities. These dogs are built for water with a short coat and thick “otter tail”, perfect for propelling through water towards prey. Labs are gentle and intelligent, making them easy to train. Today they are often seen as family dogs, as well as guide and rescue dogs.
Care: Labs require frequent grooming due to their thick coat, which will shed regularly. They are a very energetic breed and love to exercise. Make sure to give them room to run or swim, as any pent-up energy could turn destructive.
Who is it best for?: Labs are perfect for families, as well as anyone with an active lifestyle.
Overview: Large, confident, and smart are all traits of the infamous German Shepherd. They weigh up to 90 lbs and can live 7 to 10 years. Their high intelligence makes them easy to train and a great companion.
History: German Shepherd’s are from, you guessed it, Germany. They were created to be ideal herding dogs, though suffered greatly in popularity during WWII. The dog’s creator, Captain Max von Stephanitz, promoted the dog as a strong, loyal worker, helping it bounce back from it’s less than ideal reputation. Today, not only are German Shepherds the second most popular dog breed, but they are utilized by police and military personnel worldwide.
Care: These dogs are regular shedders, requiring frequent brushing due to their dense double coat. German Shepherds are very athletic, so daily exercise is a must. Their intelligence and agility are perfect for agility courses should you want to enter that arena.
Who is it best for?: These dogs are great for families, due to the gentleness and loyalty. They are quite active, so make sure they have room to roam. They can also be great service dogs, as giving them a task is a great way to burn energy mentally and physically.
Overview: Ranked number 3 on the list of most popular dog breeds, the Golden Retriever is a friendly, devoted companion to many families. They live for 10 to 12 years, reaching a top weight of 75 lbs. Revered as family dogs, they are also very popular working dogs due to their eager-to-please nature.
History: This dog originated in the Scottish Highlands in the early 1800s. The breed’s utility has given it the ability to function as a gundog. Goldens have even graced the White House in the form of President Gerald Ford’s pet.
Care: Golden Retrievers are known for their luscious golden coats. These long, thick coats shed seasonally, so grooming is a must. Since these dogs are traditionally a sporting breed, they require daily exercise. Running, swimming, and playing fetch are all fantastic activities that goldens can engage in. Always eager to please, these dogs are easily trainable.
Who is it best for?: The Golden’s sweet temperament lends itself most readily to a family environment, as well as any guide dog work.
Overview: The most popular small-dog breed is the French Bulldog, affectionately called the Frenchie. These dogs are usually under 28 lbs., with a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. Frenchies are incredibly smart and playful little dogs that can adapt to most environments.
History: French Bulldogs first reached popularity during the English Industrial Revolution. After extensive breeding, they developed their now famous bat-like ears, attracting the attention of the high society in France and spreading across Europe and America in the 1900s.
Care: Frenchies are quite prone to obesity, so diet must be monitored. Unlike the dogs higher on the list, they have a short coat that requires little maintenance. The occasional brushing will take care of the shedding fur. In terms of exercise, French Bulldogs are very calm, but will appreciate a simple walk or play session. Training can be a challenge, but they are fairly agreeable if you put in the time.
Who is it best for?: These dogs are great for anyone living in a small apartment or house. This is especially true since they don’t require much exercise.
Overview: Maxing out at a hefty 50 lbs, the Bulldog is the world’s 5th most popular dog breed.They are kind, intelligent dogs that have a trademark Brachycephalic, or “squashed nose” face. They have a healthy lifespan of 8 to 10 years and are very docile, yet playful animals.
History: The history of Bulldogs is a quite a bloody one. They were originally created in England’s 13th century as bullbaiting dogs. Once that “sport” was outlawed and dog fighting took over, there was no need for the bulldog. Through breeding, the rough and vicious animals became the sweet and docile Bulldogs we know today.
Care: Bulldogs are incredibly easy to care for. Their short coats shed regularly, which can be tamed through weekly brushing and the occasional bath when dirty. In terms of exercise, these pups love a good walk or romp around the yard, but are just as happy relaxing indoors.
Who is it best for?: Bulldogs are great companions for low activity households, as well as owners living in smaller spaces, like an apartment.
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