Caring for the Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds: A Guide

French Bulldog one of the Most Popular Breeds

At Hounds Lounge, we believe that every dog breed – or mutt – is truly amazing. However, some pooch breeds are extra paw-pular and commonly owned.

Every year, the American Kennel Club (AKC) uses registration data to compile a list of the most popular dog breeds. In this blog, we dig into the top 10 of AKC’s list of 2021’s most popular dog breeds and break down how to best care for each of them. We discuss everything from grooming needs to activity level to common dog health problems. 

Since Hounds Lounge Pet Resort and Spa is an award-winning doggie daycare, overnight stays and dog grooming facility, we also mention how our services can benefit each of the most popular dog breeds right here in Arkansas. Spoiler alert: Hounds Lounge is a grrreat place for all types of woofs. However, as you’ll read below, some breeds can definitely get more out of Hounds Lounge than others.

If you’re considering getting one of the breeds below or you already own them, this is the blog for you! Now, let’s see who topped 2021’s list of the most popular dog breeds

Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2021

Most popular breed Labrador retrievers

#1 Labrador Retriever

For the 31st year in a row, the Labrador Retriever is top dog! And for good reason. No matter the color (black, yellow or chocolate), Labradors are friendly, happy-go-lucky dogs, making them perfect for families. They get along well with children and other dogs. As members of the sporting group, Labs also make excellent hunting partners, especially for duck hunters in Arkansas.

Not only are they great hunters, but Labradors are also excellent companions and service dogs. You will often see Labradors working with law enforcement and as guide dogs. It comes as no surprise that these well-rounded woofs are the most popular breed of dog.

Grooming

In comparison to other breeds, Labradors have pretty basic grooming needs. They typically don’t require a visit to the groomer’s, but they are notorious shedders – so weekly brushing is a must. They should be bathed on a monthly basis, or any time they get especially dirty!

Black labrador retrievers

Activity Level

Labradors are very active and require a lot of exercise, including (you guessed it) retrieving. Labs who don’t burn enough energy are known to get destructive with chewing, digging and/or scratching. If you’re looking for ways to keep a Lab entertained, check out our blog, 30 Dog Games to Play with Pups Young and Old, Indoors and Out.

Common Health Problems

Labradors are generally a healthy breed, but they are prone to ear infections, joint problems and obesity. Males should weigh between 65-80 pounds, and females 55-70 pounds, so owners should keep an eye on the scale! 

Average Life Span

11-13 years

How Hounds Lounge Can Help Top Dog Breeds

Since they love to play and socialize, Labs are very happy campers at Hounds Lounge Doggie Daycare! They also do well with our Overnight Dog Boarding and love to bond with our hooman staff. Since Labradors usually don’t need professional dog grooming, our Self-Serve Dog Wash with raised tubs is a great way for owners to keep these water dogs clean and Labradorable. 

Impawtant Note: Labs and all dog breeds need their nails trimmed and teeth brushed regularly. If you’ve ever attempted this maintenance on your dog, you know it’s not easy! Our Dog Grooming Spa offers a la carte services including Nail Trimming ($10) and Teeth Brushing ($6) so you can leave the hard work to us.

Wondering what breed you’d be if you were a dog? Take our quiz, What Type of Dog Breed Am I?, and find out if you’re one of the most popular dog breeds!

Second most popular breed French Bulldog

#2 French Bulldog

Frenchies are just as smart as they are cute – and they’re very cute! These little fellas are one of the most popular dog breeds because they are well-behaved yet playful. They are wonderful apartment dogs, which makes them perfect pooches in Arkansas cities like Little Rock and Fayetteville. Frenchies are quiet dogs and rarely bark, but they are typically snorers… They are also excellent watchdogs!

Grooming

It might sound silly, but Frenchie owners should always remember to clean inside their French Bulldog’s wrinkles. These folds can get pretty icky if they don’t stay clean and dry. 

The French Bulldog’s short coat is very easy for owners to maintain. The occasional brush and bath (gently scrub those crevices!) is all that’s necessary to keep your Frenchie looking parfait. 

Activity Level

French Bulldogs are active but do not require extensive outdoor exercise. They enjoy playing with hoomans and other woofs, as well as going on short walks.

Common Health Problems

Like other flat-faced breeds, Frenchies can suffer from respiratory issues. They are also more susceptible to heat stroke than other breeds, so owners should limit their time outdoors when the temperature rises.

Impawtant Note: French Bulldogs cannot swim and should never be left unattended near a body of water. 

Average Life Span 

10-12 years

How Hounds Lounge Can Help Top Dog Breeds

French Bulldogs love to play with furriends at our Doggie Daycare! Our 24/7 on-site staff is CPR and Pet First Aid certified, and they are always present to make sure Frenchie doesn’t play too hard or get too hot. As descendants of Parisian pooches who enjoyed the finer things in life, French Bulldogs are big fans of the private luxury suites we provide for Overnight Dog Boarding

French bulldog being groomed

Our Self-Serve Dog Wash is pawfect for giving Frenchies a scrub-a-dub-dub.

Third most popular breed Golden Retriever

#3 Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever has both a coat and a heart of gold. These medium-sized dogs are devoted to their family and love people of all ages, making them one of the most popular dog breeds around. They are also fairly easy to train, so Golden owners can have a lot of fun with our Five Cool Tricks to Teach Your Dog.

Grooming

Despite their long locks, Golden boys and girls don’t have a ton of grooming needs. They should be brushed once a week to keep shedding at bay, and they’ll need a bath every six weeks or so. Their coat should never be shaved, but they should be trimmed around their paws, neck, tail, back of the legs and underbody. Read more about Golden Retriever maintenance in our Dog Grooming and Style Guide.

Activity Level

Golden Retrievers are very energetic dogs who love to play. Fetch is obviously one of their favorite games! Goldens require homes with large backyards or access to wide open spaces, because they need space for romping and running. Bred to be waterfowl hunters, they’re extra happy when they’re playing in water.

Golden Retriever sitting in a bucket

If they don’t get their energy out, Goldens could misbehave… so owners should ensure they get daily activity and exercise.

Common Health Problems

Goldens are generally healthy dogs, but they are susceptible to joint issues, eye infections and some heart problems. Owners should check their ears weekly for signs of infection.

Average Life Span

10-12 years

How Hounds Lounge Can Help Top Dog Breeds

Since they’re one of the most popular dog breeds, we see lots of sweet Goldens at Hounds Lounge, and we can tell you that they live for Doggie Daycare. It’s a grrreat way for them to get their daily exercise, especially if their pawrents have busy schedules. Plus, our professional dog groomers are pros at trimming Goldens’ fur and giving them beautiful, symmetrical cuts – and dog grooming appointments come with a FREE day of play at Doggie Daycare!

Fourth most popular breed German Shepherd

#4 German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherds were bred to herd sheep, and they now do a variety of jobs, from service dogs to therapy dogs to search-and-rescue workers. Their versatility makes them one of the top dog breeds. These highly intelligent and focused dogs have a strong desire to please, and they love their family members, though they are standoffish toward strangers. 

Grooming

The extent of German Shepherds grooming needs are the occasional bath and regular brushing. This breed does shed more profusely once or twice a year, so extra brushing is needed during these times. Owners should trim or grind their dog’s nails once a month if they aren’t worn down naturally from activity.

Activity Level

German Shepherds are multi-talented dogs. This is why they are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They really can do it all, so it’s important for their owners to help them meet their full potential, exercising their body and mind. German Shepherds need a lot of attention and exercise. They are very athletic and benefit from activities ranging from casual daily walks to rigorous agility training.

Common Health Problems

While they are generally healthy dogs, German Shepherds can suffer from elbow and hip dysplasia, as well as bloat

Average Life Span

7-10 years

How Hounds Lounge Can Help Top Dog Breeds

German Shepherds prefer to be with their family more than anyone else, but Doggie Daycare is a good place for them to flex their social muscles. 

Grooming a German Shepherd at Hounds Lounge

All that working and playing can lead to a dirty GSD. Our raised Self-Serve Dog Wash stations are grrreat for bathing larger breeds like German Shepherds, because the furry mess stays at Hounds Lounge instead of the bathtub at home. Plus, dog moms and dads don’t have to break their backs from bending over. We provide all the products and tools you need, and no appointment is needed. Get the full scoop on our DIY Dog Wash!

Fifth most popular dog breed, The Poodle

#5 Poodle

Poodles are known for being showdogs, but they also make wonderful family pets. Ranging in size from Standard to Miniature to Toy, and with coats of many colors, there’s a poodle for everyone. They are surprisingly athletic, intelligent and loving, which are big reasons why they’re one of the most popular dog breeds of 2021.

Grooming

Poodles are known for their non-shedding coat, which makes them a pawfect pet for people with allergies and one of the top dog breeds. However, this coat does require daily maintenance. Poodle owners should brush and comb their full-coated Poodle to the skin every day to avoid matting. It’s easiest to care for Poodles with shorter haircuts. Although owners can DIY their Poodles ‘dos, many owners opt to take FiFi to a professional groomer every four to six weeks.

Poodle enjoying the playground at Hounds Lounge

Activity Level

Despite their reputation for being “froufrou,” Poodles love to play outside and even get dirty! They are very active dogs who enjoy swimming, retrieving and running. Poodles of all sizes require daily exercise – even the tiniest of Toys.

Common Health Problems

While Poodles can live up to 18 years, they still face a few health concerns, including hip dysplasia and eye disorders. As with all dogs, it’s important for owners to have a good vet for their Poodle. Check out our blog, How to Find a Good Vet for Your Dog, to learn more!

Average Life Span

10-18 years

Poodle excited for a hounds lounge staycation

How Hounds Lounge Can Help Top Dog Breeds

Hounds Lounge Doggie Daycare is a fabulous place for active top dog breeds like Poodles to play and burn their energy. Poodles can also grrreatly benefit from our Dog Grooming Services! No matter the cut, our professionally-trained, award-winning grooming staff will have FiFi looking best in show.

If you’re looking to add a new pooch to your pack, we recommend visiting one of the many dog rescues in Arkansas. Dog rescues are ethical places to look for the most popular dog breeds, as well as loveable mixed breeds. About 50% of our frequent Hounds Lounge campers are rescues, and they are incredible, loving dogs.

Sixth most popular dog breed Bulldog

#6 Bulldog

The adaptable bulldog can thrive in the city or the country, enjoying brisk walks and moderate exercise to help them stay trim. These wrinkly woofs are one of the most popular dog breeds because of their sweet and easygoing nature. However, Bulldogs can be a bit stubborn, so training should start early into puppyhood and sessions should be kept short and positive.

Grooming

Thorough brushing a few times a week will keep this top breed looking top-notch. Like other wrinkly dogs, it’s impawtant to check and clean the folds on a Bulldog’s face. Owners can use a cotton ball dipped in peroxide to clean the crevices, while cornstarch can be applied as a drying aid. Just don’t get these products near Fido’s eyes!

Activity Level

Bulldogs enjoy play and need moderate exercise to avoid getting chubby. However, their temperament is rather relaxed, and they are very content to cuddle up with their owner in the house. Let it be known that they are heavy breathers and snorers, so napping together can get a little noisy.

Two bulldogs in a buggy

Common Health Problems

Bulldogs do not do well in the Arkansas heat, as their short muzzles make breathing difficult in high temperatures and humidity. Owners should watch for signs of overheating and use tips from our blog, How to Keep Dogs Cool in Summer. Since they are short and stout, Bulldogs should never be allowed in water that’s more than elbow deep.

Average Life Span

8-10 years

How Hounds Lounge Can Help Top Dog Breeds

Due to their stubborn nature, early socialization is important for Bulldogs! Hounds Lounge Doggie Daycare is a good place for these most popular dogs to come interact with hoomans and other woofs. Our 24/7 on-site staff is always watching to make sure Bulldogs stay cool. We offer both outdoor and indoor play yards and have fans and water bowls available to pooches.

Beagle the seventh most popular breed

#7 Beagle

Bred to hunt in packs, Beagles enjoy the company of other dogs and also love their hoomans. Beagles are very cheerful, friendly dogs, but they are often distracted by their very strong sniffers. For this top breed, hunting is the top priority.

Grooming

A Beagle’s coat gets heavier in the winter, so they shed a lot in the spring. Weekly brushing and occasional bathing is key! For those extra hairy months, check out our Essential House Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners.

Activity Level

Beagles are very active and need a companion, either hooman or canine, to play with. Because they will follow a scent anywhere, Beagles must be kept on a leash or inside a fence at all times. It can be difficult for Beagles to focus on training, but they do well with interactive methods, games and positive reinforcement. 

Beagles are the most vocal of the most popular dog breeds, and they bark and howl often!

Common Health Problems

As is the case with most popular dog breeds, good breeders will screen their stock for health problems. Beagles are screened for hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, luxating patella (a dislocated kneecap) and eye disorders.

Average Life Span

10-15 years

Beagle Sleepover

How Hounds Lounge Can Help Top Dog Breeds

All dogs are pack animals, but Beagles are especially happy in a grrroup, so they adore Doggie Daycare. Overnight Dog Boarding is another good option for Beagles, as they tend to howl when they miss their owners. Our dog-loving staff stays with our guests overnight to comfort them when they feel blue and get barky.

Rottweilers coming in eighth for. most popular dog breeds

#8 Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is strong, smart and calm. Although they appear very tough, they are really just big sweeties… who are also very tough! They make excellent family dogs and are extremely loyal to their people. Like some of the other most popular dog breeds, Rottweilers are excellent watchdogs. 

This top breed is territorial, so early training and socialization is a must for a well-adjusted Rottie.

Grooming

Weekly brushing and regular bathing help keep a clean Rottie. Rottweilers are a bit more drooly than the other most popular dog breeds and shed moderately most of the year (and profusely in the spring and fall), so they can be messy. Aside from that, they are very well-behaved house dogs!

Activity Level

Rottweilers are extremely active, working dogs. They always need a job to do. Vigorous exercise is a must for this top breed.

Common Health Problems

Rotties can suffer from hip dysplasia, eye diseases and heart conditions.

Average Life Span

9-10 years

How Hounds Lounge Can Help Top Dog Breeds

Early socialization is good for Rottweilers, so Hounds Lounge Doggie Daycare is a great place for them to meet new dogs and people, as well as get some much-needed exercise. Rotties are very attached to their owners, so our Overnight Dog Boarding is a good option for when their pawrents have to leave town.

German Shorthaired Pointer is number nine

#9 German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointers make excellent family dogs, and they are also natural hunters. Of the most popular dog breeds, they’re one of the easiest to care for, but they do require a lot of exercise. They’re a wonderful dog for Arkansans who enjoy hunting, hiking, swimming, running or just being outdoors. 

Grooming

Despite their short coat, GSPs are shedders. Frequent brushing, occasional bathing and regular ear inspections should keep a GSP happy and healthy.

Activity Level

German Shorthaired Pointers are a bundle of energy and should burn it in the grrreat outdoors. They need a daily dose of play! Early obedience training is impawtant for GSPs, and they are an intelligent breed that learns quickly. 

Common Health Problems

The German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the healthiest dog breeds, but they can have hip dysplasia, eye conditions, heart diseases and bloat.

Average Life Span

10-12 years

How Hounds Lounge Can Help Top Dog Breeds

Our Dog Grooming Spa is a good spot for GSPs to get their teeth brushed, ears cleaned and nails trimmed. This top breed can also thrive at Doggie Daycare, where they get to play with furriends, including other most popular dog breeds of 2021.

Dachshunds are number ten for most popular breeds

#10 Dachshund

Rounding out the list of the top 10 most popular dog breeds is the Dachshund! Dachshunds are very smart and trainable, though they can be stubborn. Despite their short stature and hot dog-like bodies, Dachshunds are no weenies. They make excellent watchdogs – and, be warned, they love to bark.

Grooming

Dachshunds are moderate shedders, and they stay fairly clean with little to no body odor. Bow wow. Their main grooming need is a simple wipedown with a towel or hound glove

Activity Level

Dachshunds are relatively active and need daily exercise. While they shouldn’t partake in extensive exercise like swimming or distance running, they should go for two walks every day. Walks help them stay fit and also strengthen their muscles to support and protect their back.

Common Health Problems

Dachshunds can have back problems if they become overweight and/or do not exercise enough. They are also susceptible to ear infections, so owners should check and clean their ears periodically.

Average Life Span

12-16 years

Dachshund

How Hounds Lounge Can Help Top Dog Breeds

Dachshunds were bred to bark while hunting, so they are not afraid to raise their voice. When Dachshund owners go out of town, it’s a good idea for them to drop Fido off at Hounds Lounge Overnight Dog Boarding so he won’t wake up the neighbors at night. Dachshunds also have a lot of fun at Doggie Daycare, where they can run with a pack that’s their size. Our Professional Dog Groomers can also clean Fido’s ears for the low price of $6.

Hounds Lounge is Here for Every Breed

Whether you own one of the most popular dog breeds or a complete mystery mutt, Hounds Lounge is here to help with dog care and make your pooch’s life as happy and healthy as pawsible. Here, every breed is top dog! 

Happy pit wearing a hat

If you have any questions about our services and how they can benefit your woof, just give us a call or visit one of our locations in Arkansas. We look furrward to meeting you.

Grrrooming at hounds lounge