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Top of the Dogs: 30 Popular Dog Breeds and Their Key Facts

Are you thinking of getting a dog? But aren't sure what kind of breed would fit smoothly into your life?

We get it, it's a big decision!


And one that needs a little (or more) research.

Luckily, the fact you're here shows your due diligence. Taking the time to look through all the relevant factors when deciding on the right pooch for you is one smart move.

Your future self will be very thankful.

There's nothing worse than diving into things headfirst, connecting with the wrong dog, and then realizing you have to part ways further down the line.

Now, if searching for a suitable breed and understanding what key characteristics to look out for (and there are quite a few) has left your head spinning, we've got you covered!

To make your job easier and avoid the heartbreak of having to part with the wrong pet, we’ve compiled the essential facts on 30 popular dog breeds to help you move forward with confidence.


But before we dig into the list of popular dog breeds and their key facts, first, let's give you a some context by quickly going over the main headings you'll see below, and why they're important to know when looking to choose your perfect match.


Time to take the stress out of deciding what kind of dog will integrate smoothly into your life and home, by learning what to look out for when deciding on a breed.

Brain Training for Dogs
Brain Training for Dogs

Key Facts Breakdown

Height & Weight

The general size and weight of a dog are both important factors that should be considered when determining your best match.


Size and weight influences the amount of food needed, exercise required, necessary living space, even grooming, and ultimately the costs involved in raising and living with your dog. 


As your dog ages, knowing the general weight of your chosen breed also gives you an indication whether your pup is too thin or putting on too much weight. Like with humans, dogs become vulnerable to a number of health conditions if their weight is not kept in check.

Life Expectancy

When a new dog enters your life they become an integral part of your world. That's why you need to understand realistically how long a dog is likely to be with you.


Generally smaller breeds of dogs tend to live longer than larger breeds. A dog's size, weight, gender and living conditions all play a role in determining the longevity of their lives.

Temperament

Bringing a canine member into your home and/or family is a big commitment. While every dog is unique, insights into a breed's inherited personality traits will give you a good idea whether that specific breed suits your personality and meets your needs.

Trainability

Although a dog's trainability is directly related to it's intelligence, some breeds have a shorter attention span or may be a little too stubborn to train easily, despite being smart pups.


Resistance to training can be overcome through positive reinforcement methods and with repetition, time and patience. But it's always good to know how trainable a breed is, so you're clear on the effort you'll likely need to put in.

Intelligence Grade

Throughout the ages humans have bred dogs for variety of different tasks. Brainy dogs have been bred as such in order to help people achieve specific tasks which require above average intelligence, more concentration and skills in decision making.


Dogs with higher levels of intelligence must exercise their brains, much the same as dogs bred for running around all day need to exercise their bodies.


These types of dogs need regular mental stimulation to stop boredom and keep their brains active, if it's not received, undesirable and destructive behaviors can quickly start taking hold.

Barking Tendencies

Dogs communicate with us in many different ways, and barking is one of the most common ways in which dogs vocalize themselves. But not all breeds sound off the same ...


Some breeds are fairly quiet, occasionally barking to alert their owners or because they're happy to see them, while other breeds have a tendency to put on a good sound show that's hard to ignore.


If you're particularly sensitive to noise, have people or neighbors around that are, or live in an area with noise restrictions, this is one area you'll most likely want to pay close attention to.

Health Issues

Like with people, dogs have the potential to inherit genetic health problems. Some of the most common disorders and diseases in dogs include hip dysplasia, epilepsy, heart disease and degenerative myelopathy.


It's important to understand that while different breeds have an increased risk of developing certain problems, it doesn't mean that every dog within that breed will suffer from the same issues.


The health issues level you'll see listed for each breed below, indicates the amount of potential health issues a breed has.


When speaking to breeders about a likely dog you intend to acquire, always make sure to ask about the physical health and history of a dog's parents and other relatives.

Exercise Requirements

Dogs originally bred for hunting, herding or any other physically demanding job have a lot of energy and will require plenty of exercise.


If these high-energy breeds do not burn off enough of their pent-up energy, they can put on weight and also find other less pleasant outlets for release.


These breeds are suited best for active people, people who like the outdoors, or have access to plenty of space or time to provide the much needed exercise.


Low-energy dogs generally do better in apartments and one or two leisurely strolls around the block a day is plenty for them.

Shedding Levels

Sharing your home with a dog inevitably means dealing with some level of dog hair. However, like with most things, the amount a dog sheds depends on the breed.


Some breeds shed barely at all, some breeds shed all year round, and other breeds shed seasonally.


If hair on your clothes and around your home is something that would cause you an issue, sticking with a low-shedding breed would be advisable.

Grooming

As you've guessed by now, the amount of grooming a dog needs depends on the breed.


Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs, only requiring the occasional brush and bath. Others need regular brushing, bathing, clipping, ear cleaning, nail trimming, and other hygienic tasks to keep them clean and healthy.


Think of the amount of time, patience and money necessary when considering breeds with higher grooming needs. Of course, professional grooming can help you keep things in check, but it does come at a cost.

Top 30 Popular Dog Breeds

30. Brittany

Brittany

The beautiful Brittany is not a dog for the faint of heart. They have a nearly endless supply of energy and a mind that needs something to focus on. If you can get on board with those necessities, the Brittany makes a wonderful, spirited companion. They are eager to please and responsive to training.

General Information

Breed Group

Sporting/Gun Dog


Height

17-21 inches (43-53 cm)


Weight

28-33 pounds (13-15 kg)


Life Expectancy

12-15 years

Characteristics

Temperament

Fun-loving, Social,
Responsive, Upbeat


Trainability

Four

Intelligence Grade

Five

Barking Tendencies

Three

Health & Care

Health Issues

Three

Exercise Requirement

Five

Shedding Level

Two

Grooming

Two

29. Great Dane

Great Dane

To know a Great Dane is to love one. They have hearts as big as their sizable bodies. It might be a surprise to learn they often make great apartment dogs, as they have minimal exercise demands. Keep in mind that everything is more expensive with a Dane, whether that be the giant dog bed, the amount of food, or the necessary flea medication.

General Information

Breed Group

Working Dogs


Height

28-34 inches (71-86 cm)


Weight

100-200 pounds (45-91 kg)


Life Expectancy

8-10 years

Characteristics

Temperament

Confident, Gentle,
Patient, Devoted


Trainability

Three and a Half

Intelligence Grade

Three

Barking Tendencies

Three

Health & Care

Health Issues

Four

Exercise Requirement

Three

Shedding Level

Three

Grooming

Half One

28. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs look like teddy bears and have a gentle personality to match. Even with their quiet temperament, these dogs still appreciate regular exercise. Sadly, prone to health issues, the Bernese Mountain Dog has an unusually short life expectancy of 6-8 years.

General Information

Breed Group

Working Dogs


Height

23-28 inches (58-71 cm)


Weight

80-110 pounds (36-50 kg)


Life Expectancy

6-8 years

Characteristics

Temperament

Affectionate, Good-Natured,
Calm, Strong


Trainability

Three and a Half

Intelligence Grade

Four

Barking Tendencies

Three and a Half

Health & Care

Health Issues

Five

Exercise Requirement

Three

Shedding Level

Four

Grooming

Three

27. West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

Don’t let that comically cute face deceive you. West Highland White Terriers are full of confidence. They are a pleasant combination of both social and independent. With a strong prey drive, these dogs will chase after anything. They share the same traits as other kinds of terriers, tending to be vocal and boisterous.

General Information

Breed Group

Hunting/Terrier


Height

9-12 inches (23-30 cm)


Weight

13-22 pounds (6-10 kg)


Life Expectancy

12-16 years

Characteristics

Temperament

Alert, Affectionate,
Happy, Hardy


Trainability

Four

Intelligence Grade

Three and a Half

Barking Tendencies

Five

Health & Care

Health Issues

Five