Home Dog breeds AKC’s 2021 List of Most Popular Dog Breeds Brings New Surprises

AKC’s 2021 List of Most Popular Dog Breeds Brings New Surprises


Each year the American Kennel Club (AKC) releases a list of the most popular dog breeds from the previous year. Each time, there are many coherences but also many unexpected changes. One breed continues to break records this year, with a few fan favorites dropping a spot and another re-entering the top five.

Of course, all dogs are amazing, regardless of breed, but this list is always fun and interesting to watch. Whatever breed your dog is, they will always be the most popular in your household.

AKC’s Most Popular Dog Breeds 2021

For 31 consecutive years, the Labrador Retriever has ranked number one on the list, setting a new record every year. However, dogs that follow this breed often change slightly with new surprises each time.

“The versatile, family-friendly Labrador Retriever has established itself as America’s dog,” said Gina DiNardo, executive secretary of the AKC. “With their loving, outgoing personalities and eager-to-please attitude, it’s no surprise the Lab has been able to continue its record run as the most popular breed in the United States”

Labrador Retriever on the beach

The most popular breeds in 2021 are:

  1. Labrador Retrievers
  2. french bulldogs
  3. Golden retriever
  4. german shepherd dogs
  5. Poodles
  6. bulldogs
  7. Beagles
  8. Rottweiler
  9. German Shorthaired Pointers
  10. Dachshunds

What has changed this year?

The French Bulldogs retained their second place finish from the previous year, but a few other changes were made. The Golden Retrievers dropped the German Shepherds and won third place.

The poodle entered the top five this year for the first time since 1997. It is suspected that their popularity is due to the many mixed breeds of poodle that are in high demand. The Poodles knocked the Bulldogs out of the top five for the first time in nearly a decade.

standard poodle outdoors

Of course, all of these popular dog breeds are at the top for a reason. They are known to be adorable and friendly. However, it is important not to adopt a dog based solely on its appearance. If you go to a breeder, make sure it’s a reputable breeder that puts the dog’s health first. Pet stores, online breeders, or any other breeder that won’t show you the parent dogs or breeding location is likely a puppy mill.

Around the world, breed standards are also starting to change for the better. Norway recently banned the breeding of two popular breeds to encourage healthier breeding practices, and many countries have similar regulations for flat-faced dogs. It will be interesting to see if these changes affect the AKC in the future.

You can check out the AKC’s Most Popular Dogs List for 2021 here!

H/T: akc.org