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28.2k voters

The Very Best Dog Breeds, Ranked

Updated July 10, 2020 248k votes 28.2k voters 329.5k 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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    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
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    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
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    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
  • 4
    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    The Black Russian Terrier (abbreviated as BRT, Russian: Русский чёрный терьер), also known as the Chornyi Terrier (chornyi being Russian for black) is a breed of dog created in USSR in Red Star  ...more
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    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
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    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
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    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
  • 17
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    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
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    The English Mastiff is a breed of extremely large dog. National kennel clubs, including the KC and the AKC, refer to the breed as simply the Mastiff. They perhaps descended from the ancient Alaunt  ...more
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    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
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    The Shiba Inu (柴犬, Japanese: [ɕiba̠ inɯ̟ᵝ]) is a Japanese breed of hunting dog. A small-to-medium breed, it is the smallest of the six original and distinct spitz breeds of dog native to Japan.A  ...more
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    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
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    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
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    The Akita (秋田犬, Akita-inu, Japanese pronunciation: [akʲita.inɯ]) is a medium breed of dog originating from the mountainous regions of northern Japan. There are two separate varieties of Akita: a  ...more
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    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
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    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