10 Best Rated Dog Breeds That Top Every List

Discover the 10 most popular dog breeds and why they’re so well-loved.

Published March 15, 2023

Best Rated Dog Breeds You'll Fall in Love With


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. See if one of the 10 best-rated dog breeds would be a good fit for your home.

1. Labrador Retriever


Labrador Retrievers have continuously made the No. 1 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. Labs 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. 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.

Fast Fact

The dog known as the "smartest dog in the world" was a Border Collie named Chaser, who had the vocabulary recognition of a human toddler.

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 work 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, though 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 No. 1 choice for seniors due to their small size and pleasant personality. They do have some grooming needs due to their long hair, but these dogs are low-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 great choice. Like Labrador Retrievers, they are very versatile and do well in many canine endeavors, such as service dog work, performance sports, fieldwork, 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 3 to 5 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. If you decide to bring a yorkie home, you can expect an energetic and feisty little dog.

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 live 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 and loyal personalities. The Boxer regularly appears within the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the AKC's annual survey.

Which Best Rated Dog Breed Is Your Favorite?


These popular dog breeds are well-loved for many reasons. However, that doesn't mean they're automatically a great fit for your home. Each breed has its own unique traits and quirks. Read about each breed to find out if they suit your lifestyle, schedule, and needs before bringing them home. You can even take a breed quiz to help narrow down your choices. Your research will pay off when you settle on the perfect dog breed for you.

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10 Best Rated Dog Breeds That Top Every List