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The Most Popular Dog Breeds

September 16th, 2011 Pets

With more than 150 breeds to choose from, selecting the right breed of dog for your family can be a tough decision. If you're looking to get a pure-bred canine, you may want to start by reviewing 10 of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. and what makes each one so endearing. Here's the list.

1. Labrador retrievers. These dogs are the top choice for active families or hunters looking for a companion. They are even-tempered and easy to train, which makes the breed ideal for first-time dog owners. They are usually loving, patient and very intelligent and enjoy playing in water. Labs also make good seeing-eye dogs for those who have vision problems.

2. Golden retrievers. This breed is a great family dog because of their mild, eager-to-please natures. They are very active, intelligent and obedient, making them easy to train. They are patient and gentle with small children and aren't aggressive. They love people and may become mischievous when left alone for long periods.

3. Yorkshire terriers. These little dogs are lively and spirited. They're very affectionate, brave and clever, but they don't often get along with other animals easily. Their small size makes them ideal to travel with. They require less exercise than larger breeds but demand a lot of attention.

4. German shepherds. These dogs are known for their obedience and courage. They're cheerful, fearless companions who love to have active fun and get along with children once a bond is established. They make great guard dogs and are practically human in their intelligence.

5. Beagles. This breed is generally very happy and friendly, making them good family dogs. They require patient, firm training and they don't like being left alone. Beagles generally like other dogs, so two would be ideal if you plan to be away a lot. They have a very distinctive bark.

6. Dachshunds. These little dogs are affectionate, tenacious and curious. They are devoted to their families and can adapt to many environments. They're good with other animals and children with proper supervision.

7. Boxers. These dogs crave human affection and are highly intelligent and energetic. They are patient and protective of children, which makes them great for families. They are easy to train and generally quiet. They get along well with other dogs as long as they're not challenged.

8. Poodles. These dogs are generally good-natured and proud. They're one of the most highly intelligent breeds, making them easy to train. Their hypoallergenic coats are good for individuals who have allergies, but they require professional grooming.

9. Shih tzus. These little hairy dogs are assertive and a bit arrogant. They're spunky, friendly and loyal, making them loving companions. They like to be with people, so don't leave them alone for too long. They require minimal exercise, but may need regular grooming if their hair is kept long.

10. Miniature schnauzers. These little dogs are perky and intelligent, making them easier to train than most terriers. They like children, but can be feisty with other dogs. They adapt to all environments, and they don't shed very much.

No matter which breed you choose, a dog is a loving companion who you can create a lasting bond with. As long as you give them the attention and care they crave, they'll be your best friend for years to come.