20 of the most Popular Dog Breeds and Their Origins

brown and white ceramic dog figurine


Looking for a companion any time soon? Check out this list of the top 20 most popular dog breeds and see what area of origin claims the most breeds in this list.

Table of Contents

Labrador Retriever

This beautiful breed is of Canadian descent and has long been considered an all-around family dog. It is an even-tempered, well-behaved breed often used to aid both the blind and autistic.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are relatively new breeds, having their origin date back to 1899. They are working breeds bred generally for herding and protecting cattle. We see them frequently used as K-9 officers, which Jay-Z openly seems to have no problems with.

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is one of a few Scottish breeds on this list. They were historically developed as gundogs to retrieve shot waterfowl such as ducks and upland game birds during hunting and shooting parties.


Is it just me, or does Snoopy look nothing like a real Beagle? Who are they trying to fool anyway? The Beagle is an English breed with its origins in Great Britain.


This German breed is one of my brother’s favorite breeds, and for good reason. Check out this excerpt from the AKC Breed Standard:

The character of the Boxer is of the greatest importance and demands the most solicitous attention. He is renowned from olden times for his great love and faithfulness to his master and household. He is harmless in the family, but distrustful of strangers, bright and friendly of temperament at play, but brave and determined when aroused. His intelligence and willing tractability, his modesty and cleanliness make him a highly desirable family dog and cheerful companion. He is the soul of honesty and loyalty, and is never false or treacherous even in his old age.

1938 AKC Boxer breed standard

The Boxer is part of the Molosser dog group, developed in Germany in the late 19th century from the now-extinct Bullenbeisser, a dog of Mastiff descent, and Bulldogs from Great Britain.


The most obnoxiously cocky breed of dog there is. This little punk is another breed from Germany. It is often referred to as ‘Wiener Dog’ or ‘Hotdog’ due to its short legs and long torso. This breed gives good meaning to the term ‘Napoleon Complex’.


Dog World’s likable big guy. The Bulldog is a muscular, heavy dog with a wrinkled face and a distinctive pushed-in nose. Not to be at all confused with the pug, the bulldog is a blue-collar canine. Check out this brief historical tidbit:

The name “bull” was applied because of the dog’s use in bull baiting. This entailed setting dogs (after placing wagers on each dog) onto a tethered bull. The dog that grabbed the bull by the nose and pinned it to the ground would be the victor. It was common for a bull to maim or kill several dogs at such an event, either by goring, tossing, or trampling (Wikipedia).


I purposely refrained from putting one of those stupid-looking haircut pictures up. Owners should be euthanized for the crap ways they groom their dogs. Contrary to popular belief that the Poodle is strictly a French breed, it is believed to have originated in Germany, where it was referred to as the Pudelhund. It was only then standardized as a breed in France, where it was most commonly used as a water retriever.

Shih Tzu

The smaller they get, the more ferocious. This Chinese breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969. They are oddly enough said to be loyal, affectionate, outgoing, and alert. The catch is that training must start early for them to adhere and obey basic commands.

Miniature Schnauzer

Germany is the big winner in this list, with yet another breed originating inside its borders. This breed has to be my favorite breed on the list. Its highly recognizable snout (with the cool goatee) and square build make you want to give it a pipe and a reading chair.


No records exist for this breed prior to the 19th century, so it is unsure of the breed’s true descendants, but it is certain that it gets its origin from Mexico. “Yo quiero Taco Bell!” You knew I had to do it!


Doesn’t even seem fair for one dog to look this cool. The Pomeranian aka the Pom-Pom is a German breed and is mostly seen with longer more flowing locks. They are often characterized by their often ‘pompous’ owners who carry them sillily in their purses and side satchels.


The Rottweiler is one of the oldest dog breeds existing today. As if the breed name doesn’t give it away, the Rottweiler is a German breed and was originally bred, like many other breeds, for herding.


People like Pugs because they feel sorry for their unfortunate appearance. These sad creatures get their origin from China and are one of the worlds oldest breeds. They are easily recognized by their bulging eyes and wrinkled skin around on their heads.

Bichon Frisé

Again, this is another breed where owners do the dumbest things to their hair. Above is a Bichon Frisé pup. The Bichon is a Spanish breed and a descendant of the Water Spaniel and the Standard Poodle.

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier breed was bred in the good ole USA back in the 1860’s.

Doberman Pinscher

The Pinscher is dog world’s Snoop Dogg. The uncanny resemblance between this animal and the artist formally known as (presently known as Snoop Lion) is both remarkable and unfortunate. The Doberman breed gets its origin from Germany and is said to possess a proud, watchful, determined, and obedient temperament.

Shetland Sheepdog

Not to be confused with the Border Collie which is a breed originating from the United Kingdom, while the Shetland Sheepdog is more of a miniature breed originating from Scotland.


This old breed has been known by a handful of names throughout the years. It was originally called the Canis Melitaeus [Latin] and has also been known in English as the “ancient dog of Malta,” the “Roman Ladies’ Dog,” the “Maltese Lion Dog,” and “Melita”. This breed has also incorrectly been classified as the “Bichon”. The Kennel Club officially settled on the name “Maltese” for the breed in the 19th century.

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog breed of terrier type, developed in the 19th century in the county of Yorkshire, England, to catch rats in clothing mills, also used for rat-baiting. The defining features of the breed are its maximum size of 7 pounds (3.2 kg) and its gray, black, and tan coat.


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