A dog is the best dog if it's the right one for you. When choosing a dog, select one that best fits your personality and lifestyle. According to the American Kennel Association (AKC), certain breeds are more popular than others based on annual registration statistics. In 2009 the AKC reported that protective dogs dominated the top five rankings of most popular dog breeds.
For nearly two decades, the amiable Labrador retriever has topped the AKC list as the most popular breed of dog. First bred as a large water retrieving dog in 1800s Canada, Labs make good pets because they are obedient, affectionate and very sociable. The Labrador retriever breed features short coats of black, yellow or chocolate. They love to play, fetch and swim and are tolerant with children. Labradors enjoy an active lifestyle and thrive in most conditions.
At No. 2 on the AKC list is the German shepherd, considered to be very intelligent, faithful and loyal. Originally bred in 1800s Germany as a large herding dog, the German shepherd works best in an active environment. German Shepherds are very versatile, making an excellent family pet as well as a working dog for law enforcement and the military. They come in many colors with tan and black as the more common shades. They are protective, agile, easygoing and gentle with children.
The Yorkshire terrier is a bright, playfully bold and sometime stubborn dog. Terriers are small in stature with long silky coats of tan and blue-gray color. The tiny terrier boasts roots from the Yorkshire area of early 1800s England, where they were used for small vermin hunting. Yorkies have a naturally protective nature and make good indoor pets. Yorkshires like to bark, serving as excellent watchdogs.
Taking the fourth spot on the AKC list of popular dog breeds is the good-natured Golden retriever. The most notable characteristic of the breed is the dogs' happy-go-lucky nature and medium-length coats found in abundant shades of gold. The Golden retriever's ancestry dates from 1800s England, where it was bred as a sporting dog. Goldens like to play and rarely say no to a game of fetch. Once valued as a large hunting dog ,they are now best known as a popular family pet.
The Beagle originates from 1300s England and was initially bred as a small scenthound for rabbit hunting. The breed comes in many colors, the most common being the tri-colors of tan, black and white. Beagles often have headstrong personalities and love to explore. Naturally affectionate, the jovial Beagle enjoys daily exercise. Beagles welcome companionship in the form of their human family or other dogs. They are protective, playful and mild toward children.