Best Dog Breeds Around the World
When you think of the most popular dog in the U.S., do you immediately think of a Labrador Retriever? You'd be right. But what about the most popular dog in France, Japan or Argentina?
Every country has its taste in pets, and although a nation's dogs are as diverse as its people, there are still some breeds that are more widely beloved than others.
Using Google search results analyzed by Finder.com and Highland K9, as well as American Kennel Club (AKC) rankings, we've rounded up the most popular dogs in the world. Plus, we're sharing the three countries where each breed is the most searched for. Some of the results might surprise you!
45. Rhodesian Ridgeback
Originally referred to as an African Lion Hound, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was used to hunt lions and other big game of Africa. Does that make them aggressive dogs? Definitely not! Consider them like other hounds who are loyal to owners and good at hunting.
Although not popular in the United States, actor Errol Flynn was known to have multiple Ridgebacks on his 1930s Hollywood ranch.
Top 3 Countries for Rhodesian Ridgebacks: Czech Republic, Germany, Sri Lanka
While they can be as large and as hairy as a small bear, Newfoundlands are utter sweethearts who dote on their owners. As the name implies, the dogs come from Newfoundland and were used as working dogs to help islands haul wood and pull fishing nets. Yes, this means they are very strong!
Weighing up to 150 pounds and standing as tall as 2 feet, these gentle giants are considered one of the best breeds for families.
Top 3 Countries for Newfoundlands: Canada, Ireland, Poland
43. Miniature Pinscher
On the flip side is the teeny tiny Miniature Pinscher, weighing in at about 10 pounds and standing just under a foot, on average. Also called the Min Pin, for short, these feisty pups were bred for hunting mice and rats in homes of Germany.
Min Pins are known for being highly energetic, very alert and utterly fearless. They make perfect companion dogs and are even small enough to fit in some fashionable purses.
Top 3 Countries for Miniature Pinschers: Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay
42. St. Bernard
The image of the St. Bernard with a barrel around its neck harkens back to its days as a hospice dog in the Swiss and Italian Alps. Named for the Great St. Bernard Hospice, which was located on the Great St. Bernard Pass between Italy and Switzerland, the dogs and hospice moniker honored the Italian monk Bernard of Menthon, who created the safe haven.
Coated in heavy fur and weighing up to 180 pounds, the dogs helped rescue people from the mountains, containing medical needs within their barrels. (Although most hint the barrels were used just for alcoholic spirits.) The dogs can reach 2 feet in height, and as their nature is to help, they make excellent pets for the same loving, caring, loyalty in which they were first bred.
Top 3 Countries for St. Bernards: Argentina, Chile, Switzerland
41. Bernese Mountain Dog
Another towering work dog also hailing from Switzerland is the Bernese Mountain Dog. Instead of working in the mountains to assist with rescues, these beautiful giants were bred to herd cattle, serve as watchdogs for farms and pull carts in the place of horses.
Not as large as St. Bernards, Bernese top out at about 115 pounds, although they can reach just over 2 feet in height. Their long silky coat keeps them warm and is best suited for colder climates, such as Bern, Switzerland, for which they are named.
Top 3 Countries for Bernese Mountain Dogs: Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic
These sweet and innocent doggies were also initially bred to hunt. With their all-white fur, they were camouflaged in the snows of Siberia. Also used as work dogs, Samoyeds would haul sleds and even wrangle reindeer.
Pack dogs, they love families and playmates. And seriously, who can resist wanting to snuggle with that much fluff?
Top 3 Countries for Samoyeds: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia
Named for its home in Dalmatia, Croatia, the spotted Dalmatian has been popular before Cruella de Vil wanted 101 of them in the Disney cartoon.
Active, smart and strong, Dalmatians have also been iconic firehouse dogs, as well as coach dogs, riding with people to stay alert and protective. For that, they make great guard dogs.
Top 3 Countries for Dalmations: Croatia, Slovenia, United Kingdom
38. Alaskan Malamute
The epitome of Alaskan sled dogs, these large dogs are renowned not only for strength but endurance, both necessary for hauling heavy loads during Alaskan winters.
Nordic dogs with tons of hair, Malamutes prefer colder weather and need very active owners as they are extremely high-energy.
Top 3 Countries for Alaskan Malamutes: Croatia, Norway, Slovenia
37. Australian Cattle Dog
A relative of the wild dingo of Australia, the Cattle Herders, also known as Blue Heelers, were bred to do as the name suggests: herd cattle on hundred-acre ranches in the Australian Outback.
Not weighing more than 50 pounds, they make a good medium-sized pet — only if you keep him active. These herding dogs want a job to do, so be prepared to give them one to get out all of that energy.
Top 3 Countries for Australian Cattle Dogs: Australia, Costa Rica, United States
36. Cocker Spaniel
The smallest of the spaniels that were bred as sporting dogs, these long-eared dogs have appeared in the works of Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer. Used to chasing birds from the brush, these spaniels are extremely loyal and loving dogs, especially tight with their owners.
In fact, cocker spaniels are one of the most recommended dogs for families with young kids for their big hearts. Plus, they only weigh about 25 pounds and stand about a foot tall.
Top 3 Countries for Cocker Spaniels: Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom
35. Shar Pei
Chinese Shar-Peis have received a bad rap in recent years when they were trained to be fighting dogs in Western nations. However, these wrinkly pups date back to 200 B.C. and the Han Dynasty, where they were meant to be hunting and guard dogs.
Thankfully, the fighting use is diminishing and the loyal dogs, with the proper training, are making a comeback as sweet-natured pets.
Top 3 Countries for Shar Peis: Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay
34. Bichon Frise
The Bichon began in France, Belgium and Italy before growing in popularity and expanding across Europe and the world. A decedent of the Poodle and Maltese, there were once four different Bichons — Bichon Bolognese, Bichon Havanese, Bichon Maltese and Bichon Tenerfife — which all make up today's Bichon Frise.
Considered a mischievous breed, these playful little dogs live long lives and can be high maintenance to keep groomed. Still, they are great companions and lap dogs and do best with adult owners.
Top 3 Countries for Bichon Frises: Lithuania, Romania, Serbia
33. Basset Hound
Oh, the unmistakable long, droopy ears of a Basset Hound! These beloved dogs, with their low noses to the ground, have an excellent sense of smell and were used often to hunt when originally bred in France.
The AKC finds Basset Hounds to be one of the most popular pet breeds, especially because they are very social, peaceful and good-natured, albeit sometimes a little stubborn.
Top 3 Countries for Basset Hounds: Denmark, Sweden, United States
32. Boston Terrier
This photo says it all: Boston Terriers are intelligent dogs with a knack for doing tricks. Although they were bred over a century ago to be fighting dogs (like the Boston fighting Irish), they have morphed into gentle and loving little listeners.
Weighing between 10 to 25 pounds and standing at only a foot, Boston Terriers make great apartment dogs and live a long life. Their black and white coloring resembling a tuxedo also adds a sense of style, which is why the breed has earned the nickname: "American Gentleman."
Top 3 Countries for Boston Terriers: Canada, Puerto Rico, United States
31. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
These affectionate toy dogs were bred in Britain to be as energetic and loyal as a spaniel but serve as a lap dog to the noble families of the country. King Charles I and his son loved the dogs so much they allowed them in all buildings, including Parliament.
Although the spaniels date back to the 17th century, the AKC did not officially recognize the breed until 1995.
Top 3 Countries for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels: Australia, Belgium, Denmark
30. English Mastiff
The Mastiff breed is known for having a great sense of humor as well as exuding extraordinary patience and kindness.
With their size, Mastiffs provide protection to their owners. Popular in England as guardians of castles and estates, they declined in popularity in Britain during the World Wars because they required so much food to keep them fed. Happily, they've since become popular and prolific again. Dating back 4,500 years, these dogs never go out of style.
Top 3 Countries for English Mastiffs: Australia, Russia, United States
29. Australian Shepherd
Adorable cannot begin to describe these fluffy pups that often have one blue eye and one black eye. Australian Shepherds are cowboy companions who make excellent herding dogs and have a strong work ethic. Translation: Give these guys lots of space and exercise or they may destroy everything in their boredom.
Related to Bernese Mountain Dogs (thus the similar yet mottled coloring), Australian Shepherds are actually from the Pyrenees Mountains. They then made their way to the Wild West of America before becoming the shepherds of Australia.
Top 3 Countries for Australian Shepherds: Belgium, France, United States
These tiny pups actually grow to be 2 feet tall and are the Belgian version of a German Shepherd. (The name comes from the Flemish city of Mechelen, or "Malines" in French.) Working and herding dogs, Malinois are tough and highly active. They need lots of exercise and even more obedience training to be the perfect pet, as they can be quite stubborn.
Like Shepherds, Malinois often are trained to be police and military dogs, such as the Mal known as Cairo, the Navy SEAL dog with his own body armor and night-vision goggles who helped take down Osama bin Laden.
Top 3 Countries for Malinois: Montenegro, Serbia, Tunisia
27. Great Dane
The "Apollo of Dogs" stands 3 feet tall and weighs up to 175 pounds, much of which is pure muscle. These gentle giants are patient and sweet in nature, even as they tower over other dogs. They are, in other words, truly great.
Don't let the Dane name fool you, though: This breed is from Germany and was always meant to be a domestic companion dog. It is thought that Danes are a combination of Irish Wolfhounds and English Mastiffs, but there are images of similar giant dogs dating back to the Egyptian era.
One famous Great Dane is the lovable cartoon character Scooby Doo. It is said Danes can ward away ghosts, so despite Scooby's fear, he made the perfect companion to the Mystery Incorporated gang.
Top 3 Countries for Great Danes: Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia
26. Bull Terrier
With its distinctive oval-shaped head, the playful Bull Terrier is an "egghead" who can be mischievous and exuberant.
Unfortunately, Bull Terriers were bred to be fighting dogs and can still be today, like their Pit Bull cousins. With proper training, however, they are jokesters and gentle.
During the 1980s, one Bull Terrier in particular became a star: Spuds Mackenzie in Budweiser commercials. Due to its bullseye coloring, the Bull Terrier is also Target's mascot.
Top 3 Countries for Bull Terriers: Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway
25. Chow Chow
An ancient breed of China, the Chow Chow may look like a giant teddy bear, but it can tackle you like a real bear thanks to its surprisingly muscular strength. Actually, its name means "puffy lion dog," due to its mane-like facial hair, which can be red, cream, cinnamon, black or even blue. It also has a tongue that turns blue-black as it becomes full grown, similar to the Chinese Shar Pei, its cousin.
Deep-set eyes give this breed a scowl of an expression, which just adds to its regal authority. These dogs are definitely very refined, which explains why statues of them have served as guardians to Buddhist temples, and why their nickname is "Dogs of the Tang Empire."
Top 3 Countries for Chow Chows: Brazil, Paraguay, Philippines
24. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are both excellent household companion dogs and herders in the fields. Extremely intelligent, the pint-sized pups are actually full-sized dogs with small, yet fast, feet. The name Corgi means "dwarf dog" in Welsh, in fact.
In Wales, Corgis are considered "enchanted" and date back to the 10th century. Most famously, they are the beloved pets of Queen Elizabeth II, who has owned numerous Corgi companions since her childhood.
Top 3 Countries for Pembroke Welsh Corgis: Estonia, Singapore, United States
Notorious for their strength and loyalty, Dobermanns have often served as security, police and military dogs, and may strike fear in those who are unfamiliar with them. If trained properly, however, their companionship and intelligence can carry over into them being loving and joyful pets.
Dobermanns are related to their German cousins, Rottweilers and the Weimaraners. They originally went by the name Dobermann Pinscher, but the Pinscher (which means "terrier") was dropped. Miniature Pinschers are not related to Dobermanns.
Top 3 Countries for Dobermanns: Costa Rica, Iran, Serbia
Similar to Shiba Inus, Akitas descended from ancient Japanese royal dogs. Extremely affectionate, Akitas need lots of people interaction and companionship, although they tend to be quiet.
This breed's signature feature is its curled tail that is as fluffy as the rest of it. A large breed, Akitas stand between 2 and 3 feet in height.
Top 3 Countries for Akitas: Croatia, Lithuania, Montenegro
21. Cane Corso
Also called an Italian Mastiff and related to the English Mastiff, the Cane Corso dates back to Roman times with a name that translates into "bodyguard dog."
The name fits: The Cane Corso is a loyal guard dog who will use all of its 100+ pounds to confidently defend its family. This means it does need proper training and socialization, however.
Top 3 Countries for Cane Corsos: Mauritius, Romania, Serbia
20. Shiba Inu
Often mistaken for the Akita, which is darker and larger, this regal Japanese hunting dog is smaller in stature but amazingly agile. The AKC calls the breed foxlike in both movement and coloring.
Dating back to ancient times, Shiba Inus have been making their way West, but are still mainly popular in Asia. Yes, they are muscular dogs, but they are also great companions.
Cute fact: In the Nagasaki Prefecture of Japan, after three Shiba Inus started poking their heads out of a trio of holes in a garden wall and charming passerby, they became a popular tourist attraction.
Top 3 Countries for Shiba Inus: Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong
19. Shih Tzu
It's easy to see why this breed has a name that means "little lion." Hailing from China's Tibetan Plateau, these long-haired beauties stay under 20 pounds — and you may feel most of that is hair!
Thanks in part to their lustrous manes, these pups were once members of royal families and still get treated like princes and princesses today. Besides being extremely cute, they also have a fun personality, marked by freely given affection and plenty of spunk.
Top 3 Countries for Shih Tzus: Philippines, Poland, Brazil
Aww...the Snoopy dog! Yes, Snoopy is a Beagle, and this hound dog with short legs is just as charming and adorable as the beloved Peanuts character. It's also one of the most popular dogs in the world, thanks to its friendly and gentle nature.
Related to larger foxhounds, Beagles can be quite excitable and require lots of energy-burning activities. Try to keep up!
Top 3 Countries for Beagles: Ukraine, Serbia, Portugal
17. American Pit Bull Terrier
The American pit bull terrier is, like other terriers, a scrappy hunting dog. It's well-known that the breed has a bad reputation, so much so that many countries have implemented breeding restrictions or banned ownership of the dog outright.
But while these dogs can be independent and stubborn, and are indeed the most dangerous in terms of attacks on humans, if properly trained they are affectionate and devoted.
Top 3 Countries for American Pit Bull Terriers: Angola, Brazil, Turkey
With their long bodies, little legs and oft-brown coloring, Dachshunds have long been called wiener dogs for, well, their resemblance to a hot dog. The breed, which can have long or short hair, is similar to other small dogs in that its big bark makes up for its size.
Considered stubborn and sometimes difficult, Dachshunds require a lot of patience to train. Although the German dogs remain popular in the country they're from, its breeding there has been on the decline.
Top 3 Countries for Dachshunds: Hungary, United Kingdom, Australia
15. Yorkshire Terrier
As you may have guessed, Yorkshire Terriers are from Yorkshire, England (in the north), but did you know they are especially smart? Perhaps that is why you often see Yorkies in movies — they take direction well and understand commands.
These toy dogs have long, silky hair and resemble Shih Tzus. They were all the rage during the Victorian era, as they conveyed a look of daintiness even though, as terriers, they are actually pretty feisty.
Top 3 Countries for Yorkshire Terriers: Belarus, Bulgaria, Hungary
Standing tall and proud, like a fighter, Boxers were first bred in Germany. CBS once called these dogs "hunks with a sense of humor and an underlying sweetness," making them the "George Clooney of the dog world."
But these dogs are more than handsome and charming. They are also intelligent, hard-working, loyal and affectionate.
Top 3 Countries for Boxers: Denmark, Guatemala, Sweden
13. Golden Retriever
This large dog is popular in many countries and is one of the world's most beloved dogs. With good reason! These are happy pooches who love to please their owners.
Goldens, so-called because of their long blonde hair, were hunting dogs in Scotland in the early 1800s. Their desire to hunt and fetch makes a ball toss a game they adore.
Top 3 Countries for Golden Retrievers: United States, Canada, Lebanon
12. Labrador Retriever
The most popular dog in the United States according to the AKC hasn't yet reached its peak around the world, landing it just shy of the top 10.
Extremely loving dogs, Labrador Retrievers are known for being playful and very good with children. Colors range from black to yellow to chocolate in this breed that takes a few years to grow out of puppy antics. (Patience is required, but richly rewarded.)
Top 3 Countries for Labrador Retrievers: United States, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom
11. Siberian Husky
Work dogs, Huskies are very friendly and prefer to live in a pack. Their original homeland is the snow-covered Siberian tundra, and they have two coats of fur as a result.
Top 3 Countries for Siberian Huskies: Czech Republic, Armenia, Russia
10. Border Collie
Border Collies are generally considered to be one of the smartest, if not the smartest, of all dog breeds. Indeed, this year marked the passing of a Border Collie often described as the smartest of all time — a pooch named Chaser who knew the names of more than 1,000 dog toys.
Energetic in nature, the Border Collie is a herding dog from the Scottish farmland. These canines like to work and if they don't, their pent-up energy has to get out in other ways. This is why you'll often find them doing tricks and jumping for Frisbees at festivals and fairs.
Top 3 Countries for Border Collies: Belgium, Czech Republic, Australia
The curly-haired poodle can come in a variety of sizes: standard-sized (medium), miniature-sized (small) and toy-sized (extra small, typically standing about 10 inches and weighing 15 to 17 pounds). Incredibly smart, poodles are considered aristocratic dogs by the AKC.
The hair of a poodle is actually hypoallergenic, making it a good pet for those with allergies to pet dander. Indeed, poodles make great pets all around, as they become companions to their owners and have a long life, typically living 12 to 15 years.
Top 3 Countries for Poodles: Argentina, Japan, Uruguay
8. German Shepherd
Though they're incredibly popular in some counties — including the U.S., where they're the No. 2 most-registered dog — German Shepherds are often feared, and there are restrictions on owning them in Ireland, Ukraine, Romania, Belarus and even some U.S. municipalities.
Yes, these dogs can be dangerous, but only if trained to be so, which is why police in the U.S. train German Shepherds as K9s. They are also obedient, intelligent and loyal.
Top 3 Countries for German Shepherds: Poland, United States, Slovenia
7. French Bulldog
This pint-sized dog has perky, triangular ears and is quiet and shy unless it's with loved ones.
A small stature makes the French Bulldog best suited for city life, and because it's relatively quiet, barking is kept to a minimum...unless there is trouble. If something seems amiss, the dog's bat ears pick up noises and it alerts its owners to the disturbance. Watch out, Mr. Postman!
Top 3 Countries for French Bulldogs: Hungary, United Kingdom, Czech Republic
6. English Bulldog
The English Bulldog is known for its frowns, but don't let that fool you — these are happy dogs!
Often compared to Winston Churchill, this thick-set pup likes the city or the country. It's high energy when awake and a perfect lap-warmer when tired.
Top 3 Countries for English Bulldogs: United Kingdom, Hungary, United States
This ball-of-fluff pooch is one of the most popular of the toy breeds, according to the AKC. Quite intelligent and boasting a winning smile, Poms were favorites of royal courts, where they fit right in perched on a pillow beside a throne.
The dogs are named for their Central European region of origin that covered parts of Poland and Germany. They are descendants of the German Spitz, a larger long-haired breed.
Top 3 Countries for Pomeranians: Bulgaria, Serbia, Israel
Chihuahuas are known as Mexican dogs, but when it comes to popularity, they are also beloved in Europe and the Caribbean. The short-haired breeds are most commonly recognized, but they also come with longer hair.
Called "purse dogs" by the AKC (perhaps Paris Hilton had a hand in that nickname?), Chihuahuas weigh less than 6 pounds. They love sitting on laps and once lived in ancient American kingdoms.
Top 3 Countries for Chihuahuas: Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico
Known for its "pug" nose — a short muzzle with plenty of wrinkles — this breed originated in China. Back in the day, Pug dogs served as the pups of emperors.
Small in size, yet surprisingly strong, Pugs are well-suited for cities and the country. They are also very loving and curious, making them popular the world over.
Top 3 Countries for Pugs: Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala
No surprise here: This toy dog has its origins on the island of Malta. "Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta," as the AKC cheekily put it, was once a favorite among royalty.
They may weigh under 10 pounds, but Maltese pooches make up for their size with big personalities and a playful energy. Their long, silky white hair is often adorned with a bow, especially when they are taken for a spin around the dog-show ring.
Basically, Maltese are the supermodels of the dog world, and they very much like it that way.
Top 3 Countries for Maltese: Malta, Romania, Serbia
As the most-searched-for dog in more than 100 countries, the Rottweiler is the clear popularity-contest winner.
Originating in Germany, Rottweilers are incredibly strong medium- to large-sized dogs. They were originally used as herding dogs, and their long history dates back to the Romans.
They may look intimidating, but the AKC considers them very devoted to their owners, calm and courageous yet not aggressive. The perfect mix.
Top 3 Countries for Rottweilers: Sri Lanka, Honduras, Guatemala