A friendly gray and white Pit Bull Terrier mixed breed dog with floppy ears and a happy expression

10 Most Popular Breeds Being Adopted From Local Shelters


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Dogs are man's best friend, and the most popular dog breeds to adopt shine light onto many dog owner's breed preferences.

Some pet owners can be particular about what breed they bring home, while others are looking for a furry friend to love no matter their breed. However, size and personal history do matter, especially when it comes to the most popular dog breeds to adopt from the shelter. Dogs that are adopted need to match the energy and needs of their potential family. A couple with young children looking for a family pet may not want a high-energy dog, while an older couple may be more interested in a small dog -- Most potential dog owners just want a pup to love. Among the most popular breeds that are adopted, you'll find many regulars included in the AKC's most popular breeds list, as well as a few surprises.

10 Most Popular Breeds To Adopt

1. Golden Retrievers

Golden retriever sits in field

Golden Retrievers have a wonderful temperament and goofy personality, creating their well-known reputation as great family pets. These pups provide a moderate energy level and are easy to manage for most family members. While they may not be readily available at shelters, you usually do not have to go through a breeder to get one. There are dog rescues dedicated to the breed, and you can search by breed and area on sites like Petfinder to find available pups in your area.

2. German Shepherd

German shepherd runs through a field

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German Shepherds are often found at pet shelters. These loyal pups have a high energy level and do well when trained for a specific job, which is why many become great police dogs. If you are looking for a new pet that is content with sitting in the corner, a young German Shepherd pup probably isn't a great choice. However, some of these shelter dogs are older and a little calmer, with plenty of senior German Shepherds looking for loving homes to spend their last couple of years.

3. American Staffordshire Terrier/ Pit Bull

american Staffordshire terrier

Sometimes, dog adoptions come down to availability. One dog that is easy to find at your local shelter is the American Staffordshire Terrier, or Pit Bull, as the breed is most commonly known. Usually, these pups are abundant and can be readily adopted into homes. While this breed does have a rough reputation, many Pit Bulls double as oversized lap dogs looking for a new friend to keep close at all times.

4. Poodle

poodle stands in front of leaves

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Poodles are popular breeds due to their hypoallergenic fur. These pups come in standard, miniature, and toy sizes and have popularly been mixed with other family breeds over the years to create blends like the Goldendoodle or Labradoodle.

5. Chihuahua 

Chihuahua sits in a field

RELATED: 10 Loyal Dog Breeds Who Will Always Have Your Back

These small dogs are great companion pets and can be the perfect best friend for a dog owner not looking to handle a bigger dogs. Chihuahuas are also easy to find at local shelters. However, due to their small size and often very particular personality, they are not always the best fit for younger children. These little pups either prefer their personal space or stick closely to one person in the family.

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6. Border Collie

border collie

Border Collies are working dogs by nature, so they need room to run and a job to do. Much like the Australian Cattle Dog, these herding dogs have plenty of energy and need a lifestyle that provides them with lots of exercise. If you live in a city or urban area lacking a ton of open space, it's best to avoid Border Collies so they don't become potentially destructive or hard to maintain.

7.  Labrador Retriever

chocolate and yellow lab sit on green grass

When families research a potential new dog, labs are often the first breed that comes to mind. These pups are the best dog companions. They get along with children, other pets and can do well in multi-dog households. According to the AKC, they are the most popular dog breed by registration and make great service dogs. These easy-to-train, outgoing pups are just so lovable!

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8. Great Dane

Great Dane sits on lawn

Don't let their large size fool you: Great Danes are known as gentle giants for a reason. These big dogs are fairly low energy for their large size, and they are recognized as being relatively low-maintenance. However, since they are a larger breed, they will have a shorter lifespan than small dogs like a Maltese.

9. Yorkshire Terrier

yorkie puppy

Yorkies are incredibly popular little pups and travel everywhere with their owners. They have great personalities and are the perfect size for an apartment, townhome, or condo. They max out around seven pounds and typically live to around 16 years old.

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10. Mutts

close up shot of a mutts face

While purebred dogs are some people's preference, you can find adorable mixed-breed dogs readily available at almost every shelter in America. Mutts have great personalities, and sometimes you can get some wild and wacky puppy blends that creates a really beautiful breed. While you may not know the exact genetic makeup of your mutt, they can still make for great family dogs. Even better, you can get an at-home pet DNA test for a peek into your new dog's family history.

What kind of pup is your shelter dog? Tell us on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page. 

READ MORE: 6 Important Tips for Training a Rescue Dog

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