Lifestyle

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

Photo:
list ordered by
  • Golden Retriever
    1
    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
  • 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 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
  • 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 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
  • Border Collie
    6
    The Border Collie is a working and herding dog breed developed in the Scottish borders for herding livestock, especially sheep. It was specifically bred for intelligence and obedience. Considered ...more
  • Siberian Husky
    7
    The Siberian Husky (Russian: Сибирский хаски, tr. Sibirskiy khaski) is a medium size working dog breed. The breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family. It is recognizable by its thickly furred double ...more
  • Beagle
    8
    The beagle is a breed of small hound that is similar in appearance to the much larger foxhound. The beagle is a scent hound, developed primarily for hunting hare (beagling). With a great sense of ...more
  • 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 Great Pyrenees, known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog outside of North America, is a large breed of dog used as a livestock guardian dog. It should not be confused with the Pyrenean Mastiff. As late ...more
  • Welsh Corgi
    11
    The Welsh Corgi, sometimes known as just a Corgi (, Welsh for "dwarf dog"; plural "Corgis" or occasionally the etymologically consistent "Corgwn"; ), is a small type of herding dog that originated in ...more
  • Great Dane
    12
    The Great Dane is a German breed of domestic dog known for its giant size.The record holder for the tallest dog ever is a Great Dane called Zeus (died September 2014; aged 5), that measured 111.8 cm ...more
  • Samoyed
    13
    The Samoyed ( SAM-ə-yed or sə-MOY-ed; Russian: Самое́дская соба́ка or Самое́д) is a breed of large herding dog that descended from the Nenets herding laika, a spitz-type dog, with a thick, white, ...more
  • Collie
    14
    Collies form a distinctive type of herding dogs, including many related landraces and standardised breeds. The type originated in Scotland and Northern England. Collies are medium-sized, fairly ...more
  • The Shetland Sheepdog, often known as the Sheltie, is a breed of herding dog that originated in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. The original name was Shetland Collie, but this caused controversy ...more
  • Saint Bernard
    16
    The St. Bernard or St Bernard (UK: , US: ) is a breed of very large working dog from the western Alps in Italy and Switzerland. They were originally bred for rescue by the hospice of the Great St ...more
  • Boxer
    17
    The Boxer is a medium-sized, short-haired breed of dog, developed in Germany. The coat is smooth and tight-fitting; colors are fawn brindled or white, with or without white markings. Boxers are ...more
  • The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small spaniel classed as a toy dog by The Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club, that originated in the United Kingdom. Since 2000, it has grown in ...more
  • Newfoundland
    19
    The Newfoundland dog is a large working dog. They can be either black, brown, or white-and-black (called Landseer). However, in the Dominion of Newfoundland, before it became part of the ...more
  • Irish Setter
    20
    The Irish Setter (Irish: sotar rua, literally "red setter") is a setter, a breed of gundog, and family dog. The term Irish Setter is commonly used to encompass the show-bred dog recognised by the ...more
  • Dachshund
    21
    The dachshund (UK: DAKS-ənd, -⁠huund, -⁠huunt or US: DAHKS-huunt, -⁠ənd)(German: "badger dog"), also known as the sausage dog or wiener dog is a short-legged, long-bodied, hound-type dog breed. ...more
  • Pit bull
    22
    Pit bull is the common name for a type of dog descended from bulldogs and terriers. The pit bull-type is particularly ambiguous, as it encompasses a range of pedigree breeds, informal types and ...more
  • Rottweiler
    23
    The Rottweiler (, UK also ) is a breed of domestic dog, regarded as medium-to-large or large. The dogs were known in German as Rottweiler Metzgerhund, meaning Rottweil butchers' dogs, because their ...more
  • Dobermann
    24
    The Dobermann, (; German pronunciation: [ˈdoːbɐman]), Doberman or Doberman Pinscher in the United States and Canada, is a medium-large breed of domestic dog that was originally developed around 1890 ...more
  • The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a medium-sized gundog bred primarily for hunting. It is often referred to as a "toller". It is the smallest of the retrievers, and is often mistaken for a ...more