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The Very Best Dog Breeds, Ranked

Updated July 10, 2020 253.8k votes 27.8k voters 324.9k views123 items

List RulesMust be a recognized dog breed or hybrid of two recognized dog breeds

List of favorite dog breeds, mainly gauged by the animals' suitability as pets in homes and apartments. Because of thousands of years of selective breeding by humans, dogs come in a tremendous variety of sizes, shapes, colors, temperaments and behaviors. They are the only animal to have so much variation in appearance without branching into a separate species.

Though groups like the American Kennel Club make very specific designations about breeds and breed hybrids, there continue to be new breeds and breed variants developed all the time, as well as "up and coming breeds" not officially recognized by kennel clubs and experts. (Many dogs not purchased directly from breeders are also mixed-breeds of some kind, or have less than purebred ancestry.)

Dog breeds are typically divided into a few basic categories: companion dogs, guard dogs, hunting dogs, herding dogs and working dogs. The top dog breeds for every purpose are represented here. Despite the names, in contemporary America, most breeds - even hunting or herding dogs - service as companies for individuals and families.

Pick your favorite dog breeds from the list below and vote them up, and if your favorite breed or hybrid dog is not currently listed, make your own version of the list and add it there yourself! And if you love dogs but suffer from allergies, be sure to check out our list of the best hypoallergenic dogs

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  • 1
    The Golden Retriever is a large-sized gun dog that retrieve shot waterfowl, such as ducks and...  more
  • 2
    The German Shepherd (German: Deutscher Schäferhund, German pronunciation: [ˈʃɛːfɐˌhʊnt]) is a...  more
  • 3
    The Labrador Retriever, or just Labrador, is a large type of retriever-gun dog. The Labrador...  more
  • 4
    The Australian Shepherd, often known simply as the "Aussie", is a medium-sized breed of dog...  more
  • 5
    4,364
    2,308
    The Border Collie is a working and herding dog breed developed in the Scottish borders for...  more
  • 6
    4,799
    2,730
    The Siberian Husky (Russian: Сибирский хаски, tr. Sibirskiy khaski) is a medium size working...  more
  • 7
    The Alaskan Malamute is a large breed of domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) originally...  more
  • 8
    The Bernese Mountain Dog (German: Berner Sennenhund) is a large-sized breed of dog, one of the...  more
  • 9
    3,438
    2,136
    The beagle is a breed of small hound that is similar in appearance to the much larger...  more
  • 10
    1,264
    840
    The Samoyed ( SAM-ə-yed or sə-MOY-ed; Russian: Самое́дская соба́ка or Самое́д) is a breed of...  more
  • 11
    2,759
    1,994
    The Welsh Corgi, sometimes known as just a Corgi (, Welsh for "dwarf dog"; plural "Corgis" or...  more
  • 12
    3,058
    2,270
    The Great Dane is a German breed of domestic dog known for its giant size.The record holder...  more
  • 13
    The Black Russian Terrier (abbreviated as BRT, Russian: Русский чёрный терьер), also known as...  more
  • 14
    The Great Pyrenees, known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog outside of North America, is a large...  more
  • 15
    2,544
    1,962
    Collies form a distinctive type of herding dogs, including many related landraces and...  more
  • 16
    3,464
    2,610
    The Boxer is a medium-sized, short-haired breed of dog, developed in Germany. The coat is...  more
  • 17
    2,433
    1,922
    The dachshund (UK: DAKS-ənd, -⁠huund, -⁠huunt or US: DAHKS-huunt, -⁠ənd)(German: "badger...  more
  • 18
    1,124
    847
    The Shiba Inu (柴犬, Japanese: [ɕiba̠ inɯ̟ᵝ]) is a Japanese breed of hunting dog. A...  more
  • 19
    1,193
    856
    The Akita (秋田犬, Akita-inu, Japanese pronunciation: [akʲita.inɯ]) is a medium breed of dog...  more
  • 20
    1,259
    889

    Shetland Sheepdog

    The Shetland Sheepdog, often known as the Sheltie, is a breed of herding dog that originated...  more
  • 21
    The English Mastiff is a breed of extremely large dog. National kennel clubs, including the KC...  more
  • 22
    The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small spaniel classed as a toy dog by The Kennel Club...  more
  • 23
    4,147
    3,507
    Pit bull is the common name for a type of dog descended from bulldogs and terriers. The pit...  more
  • 24
    2,713
    2,085
    The St. Bernard or St Bernard (UK: , US: ) is a breed of very large working dog from the...  more
  • 25
    3,156
    2,608
    The Rottweiler (, UK also ) is a breed of domestic dog, regarded as medium-to-large or large....  more