The Very Best Dog Breeds, Ranked

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List of favorite dog breeds, mainly gauged by the animals’ suitability as pets in homes and apartments. Because of thousands of years of selective breeding by humans, dogs come in a tremendous variety of sizes, shapes, colors, temperaments and behaviors. They are the only animal to have so much variation in appearance without branching into a separate species.

Though groups like the American Kennel Club make very specific designations about breeds and breed hybrids, there continue to be new breeds and breed variants developed all the time, as well as "up and coming breeds" not officially recognized by kennel clubs and experts. (Many dogs not purchased directly from breeders are also mixed-breeds of some kind, or have less than purebred ancestry.)

Dog breeds are typically divided into a few basic categories: companion dogs, guard dogs, hunting dogs, herding dogs and working dogs. The top dog breeds for every purpose are represented here. Despite the names, in contemporary America, most breeds – even hunting or herding dogs – service as companies for individuals and families.

Pick your favorite dog breeds from the list below and vote them up, and if your favorite breed or hybrid dog is not currently listed, make your own version of the list and add it there yourself!

The Very Best Dog Breeds, Ranked

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