Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are two of the most popular dog breeds in North America. Each year, the American Kennel Club releases its top breeds. In 2021, the Lab and Golden held the first and third spots, respectively (the French Bulldog was second).
Why are people drawn to certain dog breeds more than others? The reasons may vary, and include anything from familiarity with a certain breed to the desire to have a dog that performs a certain role – like a herding dog for livestock. Some simply may like the way a dog looks.
Many people select dogs based on perceived personality traits, which are believed to be breed-specific. Although genetics can go a long way toward a dog’s disposition, how the animal was bred and raised also affects its personality. That said, the following are traits that tend to be common among some specific breeds, courtesy of the AKC.
The Labrador is one of the most popular dogs and often recommended for families. It’s known to be active, friendly and outgoing. Labs have high energy, so they’re not going to be content to sit indoors all day. They also are eager to please their owners, which makes them easy to train.
The French bulldog is playful, smart and adaptable. It tends to be affectionate with family and good with other dogs and young children. The dog has moderate energy levels and is more happy to lounge than a Lab. A French bulldog tends to be open to strangers.
Beagles are merry, friendly and curious. While not completely independent, they don’t need to be constantly tended to in order to be content. Good with other dogs and children, beagles also make fine family pets. One thing to consider is beagles can be quite vocal, so howling and barking can become an issue.
Fun-loving and bright, Boxers have gained popularity in recent years. Good with kids and affectionate, boxers are a little more skeptical of other dogs. Although they are open to strangers, they tend to be watchdogs and protective in nature.
Loyal and courageous are traits assigned to the dignified Akita. Akitas are large animals that require ample training. Akitas can adapt to family life and are moderately affectionate with family and kids, but are often best-suited to being the only dog in the house. They’re quite reserved and vigilant watchdogs.
You’ll find an English Setter to be friendly and mellow. They’re very loving dogs that make good family pets. They prefer a job for mental stimulation and need moderate activity to get their energy out. Setters can be trained well, but prefer positive reinforcement, as their feelings can get hurt.