The 20 Hottest Dog Breeds and Mixes

Some breeds, like Labrador Retrievers, have been popular pets for years, but other breeds (and popular mixed breeds) have moved steadily up the list over the past decade. For example, 10 years ago you might not have even heard of a Cane Corso, but these days you're likely to cross paths with at least one at your dog park or vet's office.

To determine which breeds and hybrids are truly the hottest ones, we searched Vetstreet's data and looked at how many places each breed climbed between 2002 and 2012. The results included a plethora of designer mixes and about 800 pounds of giant breeds, plus a few surprises. Did your favorite breed make the list?

And on the other side of the coin, check out our gallery of 20 breeds and mixes that are losing popularity, from the Schipperke to the Dalmatian.

Hottest Dog Breeds


Barbara O'Brien, Animal Photography

No. 1: Goldendoodle

No. 159 most popular breed in 2002, No. 31 in 2012

The Goldendoodle tops our list of hottest dog breeds with a meteoric rise of 128 places over the past decade. This lovable and intelligent cross between the Golden Retriever and the Poodle is a perfect example of how popular designer mixes have become.


Tara Gregg, Animal Photography

No. 2: Puggle

No. 157 in 2002, No. 69 in 2012

Another designer mix, the Puggle is a cross between a Pug and a Beagle and has certainly wiggled his way into dog lovers’ hearts, moving up 88 places since 2002. This dog is robust and playful but can also be stubborn and uncooperative.


Vidar Skauen, Animal Photography

No. 3: Labradoodle

No. 117 in 2002, No. 38 in 2012

Sensing a trend? The third hottest dog breed is yet another designer mix, this time between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. The ideal Labradoodle has the friendliness and trainability of a Lab and the low-shedding coat of a Poodle.

Cane Corso

Eva Maria Kramer, Animal Photography

No. 4: Cane Corso

No. 143 in 2002, No. 73 in 2012

The Cane Corso is an Italian Mastiff bred to hunt wild boar. While that’s not normally the duty assigned to this large dog these days, he’s still a good guard dog and known to be more athletic than other Mastiffs.


Robin Burkett, Animal Photography

No. 5: Maltipoo

No. 116 in 2002, No. 48 in 2012

The Maltipoo, a mix between a Maltese and a Miniature or Toy Poodle, is a playful, affectionate and clever companion who will still look (and act) like a puppy into his golden years. No wonder the breed climbed 68 spots in a decade!

French Bulldog

Robin Burkett, Animal Photography

No. 6: French Bulldog

No. 97 in 2002, No. 37 in 2012

Affectionate and adaptable, the French Bulldog is one happy-go-lucky pup who can live with nearly anyone, in just about any home environment, so long as there’s air conditioning. Between that and his small size, he’s a popular pick for city folk.


Robin Burkett, Animal Photography

No. 7: Yorkipoo

No. 107 in 2002, No. 54 in 2012

This cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Miniature or Toy Poodle is friendly, smart and playful. The Yorkipoo is very small at just 8 to 15 pounds and therefore is best suited for a home with adults or older children who understand how to gently handle him.



No. 8: Shihpoo

No. 121 in 2002, No. 76 in 2012

Crossed between a Shih Tzu and a Miniature or Toy Poodle, the Shihpoo can have either a curly Poodle coat or a straight, long coat like a Shih Tzu. His sturdy body and adorably alert expression make him a hit with dog lovers.

Dogue de Bordeaux Dog Breed

Nick Ridley, Animal Photography

No. 9: Dogue de Bordeaux

No. 160 in 2002, No. 118 in 2012

The Cane Corso isn’t the only big dog in the top 10! The wrinkled Dogue de Bordeaux can weigh up to 160 pounds, which means he’s likely to turn heads, but he’s calm and gentle (if a bit stubborn) enough to handle the attention. He’s a great family pet, which is likely why he has jumped 42 places since 2002, but his drooling, snoring, shedding and sensitivity to temperature mean he’s not right for every home.


Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

No. 10: Havanese

No. 84 in 2002, No. 43 in 2012

The Havanese is a bright and lively little dog who’s always ready to play, especially when it’s a game he has created. He’s trainable and loves to be pampered, and clearly, his people are happy to do so since he’s No. 10 on this list.

Coton de Tulear dog breed


No. 11: Coton de Tulear

No. 130 in 2002, No. 93 in 2012

The small, white, fluffy Coton de Tulear is very sociable and friendly but also makes a good watchdog. He’s originally from Madagascar and has been portrayed on a postage stamp there, and considering he has risen 37 spots in the last decade, perhaps we’ll be seeing a U.S. stamp devoted to him, too.

Blackmouth Cur dog breed


No. 12: Blackmouth Cur

No. 165 in 2002, No. 133 in 2012

The Blackmouth Cur is a resilient hunting dog, but don’t let that tough exterior fool you. He’s also a loving member of the family.



No. 13: Cur (Unknown/Mix)

No. 140 in 2002, No. 112 in 2012

There are four types of Curs acknowledged by the United Kennel Club: Blackmouth, as seen previously, Mountain, Stephens’ and Treeing. They’re known as excellent tree dogs and hunt a variety of animals of all sizes.

Mastiff dog breed

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

No. 14: Mastiff

No. 61 in 2002, No. 35 in 2012

He’s a classic gentle giant, but the imposing Mastiff can also have a stubborn streak, which can be troublesome with a dog his size. He’s a lover, not a fighter, but he will step in to protect his family if needed.

American Bulldog Smiling in Grass

Sam Clark, Animal Photography

No. 15 (tie): American Bulldog

No. 63 in 2002, No. 39 in 2012

His origins as a farm utility dog don't deter the American Bulldog from being a devoted family pet. This is an alert and powerful breed that can also be a protective guard dog.


Barbara O'Brien, Animal Photography

No. 15 (tie): Bulldog

No. 38 in 2002, No. 14 in 2012

Tied with American Bulldog, the Bulldog is a family favorite who makes friends with everyone he meets. His flat, wrinkled face and heavy build make him very sensitive to heat, though, so this is one dog who should be kept indoors.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

No. 17 (tie): Bernese Mountain Dog

No. 79 in 2002, No. 56 in 2012

The Bernese Mountain Dog may have started out as a farm dog, but these days, he’s mainly kept as a loving companion. He can weigh up to 120 pounds, but his calm temperament and generally moderate activity level make him a great family dog. The biggest downside: a heartbreakingly short lifespan.

Great Dane

Barbara O'Brien, Animal Photography

No. 17 (tie): Great Dane

No. 51 in 2002, No. 28 in 2012

Tied with Bernese Mountain Dog at No. 17, the Great Dane cuts a truly great figure with a potential weight of 190 pounds and height of 32 inches (or more!) at the shoulder. Like many of the other giant breeds on this list, his looks tend to be far more intimidating than his sweet disposition.

Mountain Cur


No. 19 (tie): Mountain Cur

No. 161 in 2002, No. 139 in 2012

Like the other Curs on this list, the Mountain Cur is an athletic treeing dog of medium size. He’s powerful and agile and is used for hunting squirrel, raccoon and big game.

Anatolian Shepherd dog breed

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

No. 19 (tie): Anatolian Shepherd

No. 151 in 2002, No. 129 in 2012

Tied with the Mountain Cur, the Anatolian Shepherd is a giant breed originally used to guard livestock in Turkey. He’s very protective, wary of strangers and aggressive toward unknown dogs, so while he’s certainly big and beautiful, he’s best matched with an experienced and prepared owner.

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