The AKC Shares Top Dog Breeds–Is Your Dog On The List?

Apr 7, 2024

The American Kennel Club (AKC), also known as the Grand Emcee of all things dog breed, rolls out the red carpet each year to celebrate the crème de la crème of canine royalty. With their meticulous compilation of registration statistics and preferences, the AKC annually unveils the list of top dog breeds that have stolen the hearts of Americans over the past year. The results for 2023 are in, and for the second year in a row, the French Bulldog has the top honors.

The Reigning Champion: The French Bulldog

For two consecutive years, the French Bulldog has clinched the No.1 spot, dethroning the lovable Labrador Retriever, which had loyally guarded the title for an impressive 31 years. These adorable charmers aren’t just taking over the top spot over, though; they’re also setting new records. From ranking No. 14 in 2012, they’ve hustled their way to the top, which proves that popularity isn’t all about looks. Let’s be honest, though, not many can resist those adorable faces! Their winning streak is likely energized by their playful yet adaptable nature, making them perfect for both cozy apartments and sprawling houses with room to roam. Originating from France, these dogs have a rich history that spans back to when they kept company with both royalty and artisans alike, and clearly like being on top of the list! 

AKC’s Top 10 Breeds: The Who’s Who of 2023

The dog breed leaderboard is sort of like the Hollywood Walk of Fame for our four-legged friends. Following the French Bulldog, it was no surprise who came in right after. The Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, and Poodle still hold spots 2-5. These breeds are the quintessential best friends, known for their loyalty, beauty, intelligence, and versatility.

But some movers and shakers were looking for some spotlight this year, too! With its iconic sausage-shaped silhouette, the Dachshund pawed right on up to No. 6, showing that size doesn’t always matter. The Rottweiler, a symbol of strength and nobility, took the No. 9 spot, while Bulldogs, with their dignified drooly presence, settled in at No. 7. The Beagle and the German Shorthaired Pointer, both known for their keen senses and boundless energy, maintained their spots at No. 8 and No. 10, respectively.

Here’s a breakdown of each breed who hit the Top 10
Photo: The French Bulldog is America's Top Dog and smiles at the camera.French Bulldog: The French Bulldog, with its distinctive bat ears and stocky physique, is like the charming comedian of the dog world. Frenchies, as they’re affectionately known, are compact, muscular dogs with a smooth coat, a short face, and a trademark “smile.” They’re known for their playful, alert, and affectionate nature, making them excellent companions for all types of families.

Photo: A Labrador Retriever sits in a field of leaves.

Labrador Retriever: Who doesn’t love a Lab? Labs are the all-American family dog, beloved for their friendly demeanor, intelligence, and loyalty. They’re incredibly versatile, excellent as guide dogs and in search-and-rescue missions, and in competitive events. Labs are gentle yet energetic, loving nothing more than to play fetch or splash around in water.

Photo: A Golden Retriever looks at the camera smiling.


Golden Retriever: With their luxurious golden coats and heart-melting eyes, Golden Retrievers are the epitome of a furry best friend. They’re patient, intelligent, and eager to please, making them fantastic pets for families with children. Goldens are active and fun-loving, always ready for a game or an adventure.

Photo: A German Shepherd sits majestically in a field.

German Shepherd: Known for their courage, intelligence, and versatility, German Shepherds are the world-class athletes of the dog world. They’re often seen in roles such as police dogs, service dogs, and, of course, loyal family protectors. With a noble character and high learning ability, they’re as reliable as they are majestic.

Photo: A Standard Poodle Sits In A Field. 

Poodle: Poodles are the aristocrats of the dog world, known for their elegant appearance and sharp minds. They come in standard, miniature, and toy sizes, all of which carry the breed’s signature curly coat that’s both stylish and suggested to be hypoallergenic. Poodles are active, alert, and trainable, excelling in obedience and agility sports.

Photo: A Long-Haired Dachshund sits in a field.

Dachshund: The Dachshund, affectionately known as the wiener dog, is a lively breed with a long body and short legs. They were originally bred to hunt badgers, which explains their tenacity. Dachshunds are curious and friendly, with a bold spirit that belies their size.

Photo: A Bulldog sits in a field.

Bulldog: Bulldogs are the gentle giants of the dog world, known for their loose, wrinkly skin, distinctive pushed-nose, and muscular build. Despite their somewhat glum and gloomy appearance, they’re among the friendliest of breeds, known for their loyal and patient demeanor.

Photo: A Beagle puppy holds a duck toy.

Beagle: The Beagle is a small to medium-sized hound with a strong sense of smell and a strong instinct for tracking. They’re known for their adorable faces and big, floppy ears. Beagles are friendly and curious, with an always-wagging tail and a drive for exploration.

Photo: A Rottweiler puppy smiles at the camera.

Rottweiler: Rottweilers are powerful, confident guardians known for their loyalty and protective instincts. They’re large, muscular dogs with a calm and confident demeanor when well-trained. Rotties are devoted family members who take their role as protector seriously. But they’re also adorable, which makes them irresistible as family dogs.

Photo: A German Shorthaird Pointer lays in a field. 

German Shorthaired Pointer: These agile and elegant athletes are known for their versatility as hunting dogs, able to perform virtually all gun dog roles. They’re friendly, smart, and willing to please, with unending enthusiasm for activity and action and a love for their human companions.

AKC Top Dogs: Rising Stars and Hidden Gems

The dog world is not just about the top 10; it’s about diversity and discovery. Breeds like the Papillon, with its butterfly ears, the majestic and stately Great Pyrenees, the sleek and silent Basenji, and the hardy Finnish Lapphund have all seen significant jumps in their rankings. That just goes to show that every dog DOES have its day.

Breeds on the rise, like the Cane Corso, Belgian Malinois, Giant Schnauzer, and English Cocker Spaniel, remind us of the many of choices for companionship we have, each breed bearing unique traits and histories. Newly recognized breeds like the Mudi, Russian Toy, and Bracco Italiano are the fresh faces on the block, eager to make their mark in the coming years.

AKC Underdogs: Rare Breeds with Unique Charms

At the tail end of the list, we find the breeds that are the rare jewels of the dog world. The Azawakh, Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, Norwegian Lundehund, English Foxhound, and Sloughi may not top the popularity charts, but they boast distinct qualities and histories that make them treasures to those who love them. These breeds remind us that popularity isn’t everything and that every dog has a special place in the world regardless of its ranking.

Bottom 5 Breeds: The Rare Jewels
Photo: An Azawakh dog walks on the beach at the shoreline.

Azawakh: The Azawakh is a svelte, elegant sighthound from West Africa, known for its graceful appearance and loyal nature. They’re tall and slim, with a short coat and a unique gait. Azawakhs are reserved with strangers but deeply affectionate with their families.

Photo: A Grand Bassett Griffon Vendeen looks at the camera.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen: This breed is a long-bodied, short-legged hound known for its vivacious and friendly nature. With their shaggy coats and strong sense of smell, they’re born hunters and loyal companions, full of energy and affection.

Photo: A Norwegian Lundhunde looks at the camera.

Norwegian Lundehund: The Norwegian Lundehund is a small Spitz breed known for its unique ability to climb and navigate rocky cliffs to hunt puffins. Its several distinctive physical traits, including extra toes and extreme flexibility, make it uniquely suited to its original tasks.

Photo: An English Foxhound looks off to the side.

English Foxhound: The English Foxhound is a classic hunting dog, known for its stamina, strength, and harmonious voice. They’re sociable, friendly, and energetic, with a love for running and the outdoors. Despite their hunting heritage, they make loyal and affectionate family pets.

Photo: A Sloughi looks off to the side.

Sloughi: Also known as the Arabian Greyhound, the Sloughi is a regal and ancient breed known for its speed, strength, and graceful appearance. They’re reserved with strangers but loyal and affectionate with their families, embodying elegance and dignity.


Whether you’re a fan of the popular crowd, love an underdog story, or are intrigued by the new kids on the block, the world of purebred dogs is a testament to the diversity and enduring bond between humans and their canine best friends. Here’s to finding your perfect match, be it a reigning champion or a hidden gem!

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