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Accepted in 1908, the German Shepherd Dog overtook the Boston Terrier in 1925 and became the number-one dog of the 1920s. The breed then disappeared from the top ten until after World War II, when it reemerged as the number-six dog of the 1950s and has remained among the most popular breeds to the present day. The 1920s also saw the Chow Chow as its number-two breed, the highest ranking the breed has achieved thus far.

1. German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherd puppy standing stacked outdoors in the park.
©Happy monkey -

Derived from the old breeds of herding and farm dogs, the German Shepherd Dogs has been subject to intensive development. For centuries, the breed has been considered a loyal servant and companion. The GSD is also distinguished for its courage and ability to assimilate and retain training for such special services as police work and as a guide for the blind.

2. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier running outdoors.
Tereza Jancikova/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

The Boston Terrier is a true American creation, bred as a cross between an English Bulldog and a white English Terrier. The new breed’s supporters established the Boston Terrier Club of America in 1891, changing the name of the breed from “Roundheads” or Bull Terriers to Boston Terriers, named after the city where the breed originated.

3. Chow Chow

Chow Chow standing outdoors in the grass.
VKarlov/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

The Chow Chow probably originated more than 2,000 years ago as a result of crossing the Mastiff of Tibet with the Samoyed, a breed originating from the northern parts of Siberia. The importation of Chow Chows into England began about 1880 and the breed got increasingly popular after Queen Victoria took an interest in this “Wild Dog of China,” as it was dubbed while on display at the London Zoo.

4. Pekingese

Pekingese sitting in the garden outdoors.
©Mariia -

The earliest known record of the “Lion Dog” is traced to the Tang Dynasty in China in the 6th century. Breeding of these little dogs reached a zenith during the Tao Kuang period (1821-1851). The oldest strains of the Pekingese were kept amazingly pure. Imperial Dog Books, illustrated with pictures of the most admired dogs, were used as the standards.

5. Fox Terriers (Wire)

Wire Fox Terrier playing with a toy outdoors.
©Dogs -

The Fox Terrier is an old English breed. For almost 100 years, they were registered and shown in the United States as one breed with two varieties, the Smooth and Wire. One of the first records of the breed was made in 1790, when Colonel Thomas Thornton’s “Pitch,” a smooth-coated white Fox Terrier, was immortalized in print and paintings.

6. Collie

Smooth Collie herding sheep in a pasture.
©American Kennel Club

The precise origin of the Collie remains an enigma, but the two varieties, the rough-coated and the smooth-coated, existed long ago in the unwritten history of the herding dogs of Scotland and northern England. Prior to the past two centuries, both varieties were strictly working dogs without written pedigrees.

7. Beagle

Beagle walking in the Fall with a woman.
©Lunja -

The actual origin of the Beagle seems to be obscure because of the absence of reliable documentation on the earliest days of development. The turning point for American Beagles came in the 1860s, when dogs from a well-bred strain in England were imported to inject a beautiful breed type.

8. Airedale Terrier


The Airedale Terrier is thought to have originated in the valley of the Aire in England and descended from the now-extinct black-and-tan terrier. The  looked completely different from how they appear today, and were known as Working, Waterside, and Bingley Terriers. The Airedale eventually became known as a dog that could do it all. They were used as wartime guards and messengers, as well as for rodent control and for hunting birds and game.

9. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel running in the yard.

The spaniel family is a large one of considerable antiquity. As far back as the 14th century, we have mention of the Spanyell, which came to be divided into water and land spaniels. Further divisions in land spaniels were based on size. “Cockers” were the smaller of the two types of spaniels and to this day the Cocker Spaniel is the smallest in the Sporting Group.

10. Bulldog

©Willee Cole -

The Bulldog, to the best of our knowledge, had its origin in the British Isles. The “bull” in its name referred to the dog’s use in the sport of bull baiting. The Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835 put an end to the sport, and subsequent generations of breeders have bred for the gentle temperament the Bulldog has today.

Related article: Get to Know the Spectacular Spitz Breeds
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