The Very Best Dog Breeds, Ranked

List Rules
Must 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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Ranked by
  • Golden Retriever
    1
    9,391 votes
    The Golden Retriever is a large-sized gun dog that retrieve shot waterfowl, such as ducks and upland game birds, during hunting and shooting parties. They were named 'retriever' because of their ...more
  • Labrador Retriever
    2
    The Labrador Retriever, or just Labrador, is a large type of retriever-gun dog. The Labrador is one of the most popular breeds of dog in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.A favourite ...more
  • The German Shepherd (German: Deutscher Schäferhund, German pronunciation: [ˈʃɛːfɐˌhʊnt]) is a breed of medium to big-sized working dog that originated in Germany. In the English language, the breed's ...more
  • The Australian Shepherd, often known simply as the "Aussie", is a medium-sized breed of dog that was, despite its name, developed on ranches in the United States during the 19th century. There is ...more
  • Alaskan Malamute
    5
    3,545 votes
    The Alaskan Malamute is a large breed of domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) originally bred for their strength and endurance to haul heavy freight, and later as a sled dog. They are similar to ...more
  • The Bernese Mountain Dog (German: Berner Sennenhund) is a large-sized breed of dog, one of the four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from the Swiss Alps. Bred from crosses of Mastiffs and guard-type ...more