Can You Identify the 40 Most Popular Dog Breeds in America?

By: Jacqueline Samaroo
Image: Compassionate Eye Foundation/David Leahy / DigitalVision / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Hot diggity dog! You are in for a happy, tail-wagging experience with this dog breed identification quiz!

Out of all the domesticated animals in the world, dogs were the very first! They have been evolving with humans for almost 15,000 years and our history is intricately intertwined with theirs. The domestication of the ancient wolf and the emergence of the dog as a protector, worker and companion occurred independently in several regions. The isolation of some dog populations, along with selective breeding by dog owners, has given rise to the wonderfully diverse dog breeds present today. With so many dog breeds in existence, it's no surprise that some enjoy more popularity than others.

The breeds are often classified and named according to factors such as location, ancestry, size and purpose. So, while it may be easy to distinguish between toy and giant breeds, it may take more in-depth canine knowledge to differentiate between English, American and Australian breeds, for example! Do you know enough about the different dog breeds to ace this quiz or will you be barking up the wrong tree? Let's find out!

If you are an expert in all things dog-related or just an avid dog lover, then this is no time to roll over and play dead - take the quiz!

There is no doubt that the Labrador Retriever is an extremely popular dog across America. It has taken the top spot in the American Kennel Club's ranking for over 25 years in a row! That's pretty much thanks to the Lab's winning personality, described as "friendly, outgoing and active" by the AKC.

German Shepherds are strong, obedient and easily trained, making them good animal actors. In fact, Rin Tin Tin, a German Shepherd who starred in multiple films between 1922 and 1931, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of fame! Plus, the 2008 film "Bolt" centers around a white German Shepherd puppy.

True to its name, the Golden Retriever has a thick, rich, luxurious coat which can be anywhere from light to dark golden in color. This "friendly, intelligent and devoted" breed has been named the State Dog of Delaware.

Popularly called the Frenchie, the small breed is described by the AKC as "playful, alert, adaptable and completely irresistible." The shape of a Frenchie's ears (called bat ears) is one of the breed's most distinguishing characteristics.

Over the past few years, the Bulldog breed has held on to either the 4th or 5th place on the list. This breed is friendly, courageous and calm," according to the AKC. Those qualities explain why President Calvin Coolidge had a Bulldog - one he gave the super cute name of "Boston Beans"!

This intelligent and friendly tracker has seen a small decline in popularity, moving from 4th place in 2013 to its current position at 6th, overall. President Lyndon B. Johnson apparently loved the breed - he has 3 of them with the unusual names of "Him," "Her" and "Edgar"!

The AKC says that this breed is "active, proud and very smart"! Poodles are categorized as Standard, Miniature and Toy, with the Toy version being no more than 10 inches tall. The easy-to-recognize Poodle clip is both decorative and functional, as it helps to keep the dogs' joints warm.

They may be in 8th place on this list, but this courageous working dog is often the top choice as a police dog, guard dog or search and rescue dog. The Rottweiler has a characteristically short, shiny, black coat with rust or tan markings.

Yorkshire Terriers (lovingly known as Yorkies) are categorized as Toy dogs due to their small size. When the AKC compiled its most recent list of popular dog breeds, the small and spunky Yorkshire Terrier was ranked 9th out of nearly 200 breeds!

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a Sporting dog which has seen a steady increase in popularity over the years. Back in 2013, the breed was ranked as 13th most popular but has now broken into the top ten - and probably has its sights set on the Number 1 spot!

Boxers have a cheerful disposition and a protective nature, making them good dogs to have in homes with children. This might be behind why Boxers have been consistently popular with dog owners in the US. In 2013, they were ranked Number 7 and now they are still going strong at Number 11!

In 12th position is a dog who holds a permanent place in sled dog history. Two Siberian Huskies, Balto and Togo, are remembered for their stamina and bravery helping to carry much-needed serum across Alaska to Nome. The dogs are honored by a statue of Balto in Central Park (New York City).

The word "Dachshund" is German for "badger dog" and refers to the breed's history of being used in badger hunting. President Grover Cleveland, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso have at least one thing in common - they had Dachshunds as pets!

"Friendly, patient and dependable" are the words used to describe this large breed of powerfully muscular dogs. Although named for Denmark, the Great Dane is actually of German origin. Two of the most famous fictional dogs are Great Danes - Scooby-Doo and Marmaduke!

In 2013, the AKC ranked the Pembroke Welsh Corgi as the 24th most popular breed in the US. The breed has since moved up to occupy 15th place! The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a favorite of Queen Elizabeth II who has owned more than 30 of them, beginning with Dookie in 1933.

The Doberman Pinscher has a reputation of being an alert and protective dog. Doberman Pinschers are medium-sized, company, energetic and fiercely loyal! Development of the Doberman Pinscher began in Germany around 1890 and by 1900 it was officially accepted as a breed.

Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd was not developed in Australia! Its roots instead lie in the borderlands connecting France and Spain. They are noted as being eager-to-please with a strong instinct for herding.

The 18th position is occupied by the smallest of the Schnauzers - the Miniature Schnauzer. While the Standard Schnauzer weighs up to 50 pounds and the Giant gets up to 85 pounds, the Miniature Schnauzer packs all of its energy into just 20 pounds!

Fully grown Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are roughly 13 inches tall and weigh around 18 pounds. The AKC points out that although small. the Cavalier is quite active, gentle and friendly, making it a good choice as a pet for a family with small children.

The history of the Shih Tzu can be traced back to almost 1,000 BCE and cross-breeding among dogs of Chinese and Tibetan origin. Since its origin, the Shih Tzu breed has been associated with Chinese royalty and is currently ranked at 20th among the most popular breeds in America.

According to the American Kennel Club, all true Boston Terriers can trace their lineage back to one dog known as Hooper's Judge who lived in Boston sometime around the 1860s. Both the coloring and disposition of this breed have led to it often being referred to as "The American Gentleman."

The Pomeranian, or Pom, is the smallest breed among the Spitz Group of dogs and sometimes goes by the German name Zwergspitz, meaning Dwarf Spitz. This Toy dog may not look it, but the breed is actually descended from Iceland sled dogs!

This is Cuba's only native dog breed! They are increasingly popular in the US, moving up to 23rd place from 25th in 2013. As you might be able to guess from its name, The Havanese is the national dog of Cuba.

Fondly known as the Sheltie, the Shetland Sheepdog occupies the 34th spot on the AKC's list. The breed is often described as a small version of the Collie. Shelties were originally developed on the Shetland Islands in Scotland just like the similarly small Shetland Pony and Shetland Sheep.

This large, hardy worker has a plush, relatively long double coat. That distinctive black, white and rust color coat along with the breed's characteristic facial markings add to the dogs' appeal. They help to explain why the Bernese Mountain Dog gets ranked 25th out of nearly 200 breeds!

According to the American Kennel Club, the Brittany loves being outdoors and makes a good "all-purpose hunting partner." The Brittany is named for the region in France where it was developed for bird hunting. The breed has since come to be recognized as one of the best bird dogs!

The English Springer Spaniel was developed as a hunting dog to assist with flushing out and retrieving game, Its hunting and detection skills have, in recent times, helped the breed become more popular with police and military K-9 units as sniffer dogs.

Male Mastiffs can weigh up to 230 pounds! The AKC lists this breed as "courageous, dignified and good-natured." In relation to their owners, Mastiffs are both loyal and protective, making them ideal companions for anyone willing to take on a pet of that size!

The American Cocker Spaniel is simply referred to as the Cocker Spaniel by the AKC. The popularity of the breed in years gone may be associated with the hugely popular 1955 Walt Disney animated movie "Lady and The Tramp" in which the beautiful Lady is an American Cocker Spaniel.

Its smooth and shiny golden-rust coat is the most distinguishing physical feature of this breed. The Vizsla is an energetic and affectionate gundog who forms a very strong bond with its owner, making it a very good choice of pet. Be warned - this lovable dog does not like being left alone!

The Pug currently ranks at Number 31 on the AKC's popularity chart. Described as "charming, mischievous and loving," this small dog is fittingly summed up by the AKC with the Latin phrase "multum in parvo" which means "a lot in a little"!

The small and sassy Chihuahua is ranked at Number 32. An adult Chihuahua weighs no more than 6 pounds, making it the smallest breed recognized by the American Kennel Club! Chihuahuas are regularly featured in films, such as "Beverly Hill Chihuahuas" (2008) and "Legally Blonde" (2001)

Known as "the ancient dog of Malta," the Maltese is believed to have been developed in that Mediterranean island-country from before 500 BCE. Maltese are playful companions who weigh less than 7 pounds when fully grown and measure between 7 and 9 inches in height.

Out of over 200 breeds listed by the American Kennel Club, the Weimaraner ranks at Number 34 in terms of popularity. One lover of the breed was US President Dwight D. Eisenhower who had a pet Weimaraner named Heidi. She lived with the President and his family in the White House.

The Miniature American Shepherd was developed in the US in the 1960s. It was intended to be a smaller version of the Australian Shepherd while retaining the amazing herding abilities of that breed. In fact, the breed was originally known as the Miniature Australian Shepherd!

The Newfoundland breed is described by the AKC as "sweet, patient and devoted." Both Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and James Buchanan has Newfoundlands as pets while they lived in the White House. Buchanan's dog was named Lara while Grant's dog was named Faithful.

The Cane Corso's popularity has been growing in leaps and bounds! The breed, also known as the Italian Mastiff, was ranked 60th in 2012 but has jumped all the way up to 37th, currently. The fiercely loyal Cane Corso's name translates to "guardian dog" or "protector dog."

In 38th place is the Border Collie - a breed which the AKC describes as "a remarkably bright workaholic." This muscular medium-sized dog is strong, agile and always alert, making it one of the most respected sheepdogs anywhere in the world!

The AKC describes Basset Hounds as "low-slung and low-key." This very keen scent hound has an independent nature and is not easily trained but can be a very friendly and loyal companion. Many persons perhaps recognize the Basset Hound breed as the mascot for Hush Puppies shoes!

Lassie - one of the most famous fictional dogs is actually a Rough Collie! She appears in the 1940 novel "Lassie Come-Home" which, 3 years later, was turned into an enduring classic film starring Pal (a male Rough Collie) as Lassie.

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