Best Rated Dog Breeds

Updated April 30, 2018
Labrador Retrievers in field trials

What's the best dog breed for you? The answer really depends on what you're looking for in a dog. Whether it's the best breed for families, dog sports, or hunting, there's a perfect choice for every type of dog owner.

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador retrievers have continuously made the number one spot on the list of most popular dog breeds by the American Kennel Club. The breed is known for being friendly, outgoing and easy to train. They excel as service, therapy and working dogs, hunting companions, dog sports athletes, and all-around fun companions for households with children.

2. Border Collie

Professor and psychologist Stanley Coren researched the intelligence of dog breeds and found the Border Collie to be the best dog if you're looking for a canine genius. The "smartest dog in the world" is a Border Collie named Chaser who has the vocabulary recognition of a human toddler. While not every Border Collie rises to this level, the breed was created to work independently to herd sheep and respond quickly to humans which makes them an excellent choice if you're looking to do any type of complex training, such as dog sports like agility, tricks, or specialized service work.


3. Boston Terrier

These distinctive little dogs are a best choice for people who live in the city in a condo or apartment. Boston terriers have a lot of personality in a small body which makes them attractive for "big dog people" who need to downsize. They make excellent companion dogs but can also do well with obedience training and tricks work, dog sports and working as a therapy dog.

4. Beagle

The Beagle is known to be one of the healthiest dog breeds. If you are looking for a dog that is reasonably free of a host of genetic disorders or physical ailments, Beagles fit the bill. They are good family dogs with affable dispositions and minimal grooming needs. They are very intelligent and some owners find them a bit of a challenge to train compared to more easygoing breeds.

5. Shih Tzu

Owning a dog can have tremendous health benefits, particularly for senior citizens who may suffer from more loneliness and health issues than active younger adults. The Shih Tzu is a number one choice for seniors due to their small size and pleasant personality. They do have some grooming needs but a plus is their lack of shedding which makes them a good choice for people with allergies as well. Shih Tzus also are known to do well with children which makes them a suitable option for seniors with visiting grandchildren.


6. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are the social butterflies of the dog world. If you have other pets in your home, such as a cat, a Golden Retriever is a number one choice. Like Labrador retrievers, they are very versatile and do well in many canine endeavors such as service dog work, performance sports, field work and therapy visits. They have a friendly, intelligent demeanor and do well with humans of all ages.

7. Yorkshire Terrier

"Yorkies" are a much loved small dog breed. The Yorkshire terrier weighs about three to five pounds which makes them an excellent choice for owners who travel often and need a portable canine companion. Regular grooming is required but they are a low-shedding dog which makes them easy to care for.

8. Portuguese Water Dog

If you're seeking an active companion to go hiking and explore the world with you, a Portuguese water dog is a top choice. They do well with other animals in the household and are a great option for people with allergies. This breed is known for being affectionate, easy to train and a good fit for active families or adults. If you live near the water or enjoy boating, these dogs love swimming and living up to their full name.


9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These adorable toy dogs are excellent travel companions and apartment dogs. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has the appearance of an elegant lap dog but they actually have energetic personalities as they were originally bred as hunting dogs. They have consistently ranked within the top 20 dog breeds on the AKC listings annually.

10. Boxer

Boxers are handsome, high-energy dogs that are fun and loving companions for families with children. Despite their clownish nature, they also make good family guard dogs due to their strong, muscular appearance. The Boxer regularly appears within the top 10 most popular dog breeds of the AKC's annual survey.

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Best Rated Dog Breeds