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The 15 Most Popular Large Dog Breeds of 2020

Newsweek logo Newsweek 4/15/2021 Lydia Smith
a dog looking at the camera: A bloodhound in Washington, D.C., on August 29, 2013. Bloodhounds should be bathed regularly to keep them from getting smelly, but only need to be brushed once a week. © Saul Loeb/AFP A bloodhound in Washington, D.C., on August 29, 2013. Bloodhounds should be bathed regularly to keep them from getting smelly, but only need to be brushed once a week.

There's a reason why dogs are called man's best friend. Not only do they provide company, they're entertaining, loving and bring us joy when times are difficult.

When lockdowns were brought in last March, many people started working from home, sparking an increase in puppy purchases and adoptions. A total of 3.2 million households in the U.K. have acquired a pet since the start of the pandemic, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association.

In the U.S., animal rescue centers across the country saw a spike in adoptions and foster applications at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as sales. So which are the most popular large breeds of dog in 2020? Here's the rundown according to the American Kennel Club.

Labrador Retriever

The most popular breed of dog in the U.S. since the early 1990s, the humble labrador retriever remains the most popular of all dogs, big and small. Labs are known for being friendly, easy-going, obedient and make great family pets.

a dog that is lying down and looking at the camera: A labrador retriever at the Crufts dog show in Birmingham, England of the U.K. on March 11, 2018. Getty Images © Getty Images A labrador retriever at the Crufts dog show in Birmingham, England of the U.K. on March 11, 2018. Getty Images

German Shepherd

German Shepherds may look intimidating, but they make loving, faithful companions and excel in working roles. They carry out assistance work within the police and military, work on farms and assist with search and rescue and drug detection.

a large brown dog lying on the ground: A German shepherd seen at the American Kennel Club Top Breeds of 2014 event in New York City on February 26, 2015. Getty Images © Getty Images A German shepherd seen at the American Kennel Club Top Breeds of 2014 event in New York City on February 26, 2015. Getty Images

Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers are easily recognisable because of their long, golden coats. They are popular as disability assistance and search and rescue dogs, but they were originally bred to assist hunters and retrieve shot waterfowl such as ducks.

a close up of a dog: Golden Retrievers are friendly and gentle dogs. Jamie McCarthy/Getty © Jamie McCarthy/Getty Golden Retrievers are friendly and gentle dogs. Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Poodle

When we think of Poodles, many of us picture the tiny, toy Poodles that are increasingly popular with dog owners. However, the standard poodle can weigh anywhere from 45 to 70 pounds, with females averaging between 45 to 60 pounds and males averaging 45 to 70 pounds. These athletic, attractive dogs are smart and love to learn, so training is a must.

a bear that is standing in front of a building: A standard poodle poses for a photo on May 15, 2020 in New York City. Cindy Ord/Getty Images © Cindy Ord/Getty Images A standard poodle poses for a photo on May 15, 2020 in New York City. Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Rottweiler

These large, robust dogs were originally bred to accompany Romans through Germany, driving their cattle and guarding outposts. The breed is named after the town of Rottweil in southern Germany, where many of the dogs were left. Rottweilers aren't suitable for inexperienced dog owners, but they make great pets and working dogs with the right training.

a close up of a dog: A Rottweiler seen at the Ankara National Breed Standards Competition in Ankara, Turkey on August 25, 2019. Getty Images © Getty Images A Rottweiler seen at the Ankara National Breed Standards Competition in Ankara, Turkey on August 25, 2019. Getty Images

Great Dane

One of the largest dog breeds in the world, the Great Dane can reach up to 86cm in height and descends from hunting dogs in the Middle Ages. These giants were used for hunting large wildlife such as bears, boars and deer.

a close up of an animal: A Great Dane at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden, February 14, 2017, in New York City. Great Danes should be brushed once a week. Drew Angerer © Drew Angerer A Great Dane at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden, February 14, 2017, in New York City. Great Danes should be brushed once a week. Drew Angerer

Siberian Husky

These working sled dogs have wonderful thick coats and were developed to work in packs, pulling light loads across frozen environments. Siberian Huskies are intelligent and love human company, but can be stubborn.

a group of stuffed animals sitting next to a dog: A team of Siberian Huskies pull a sledge during practice for the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally in Feshiebridge, Scotland, on January 23 of 2013. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty © Jeff J Mitchell/Getty A team of Siberian Huskies pull a sledge during practice for the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally in Feshiebridge, Scotland, on January 23 of 2013. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers originated in Germany during the late 19th century and were mostly bred as guard dogs. They are believed to be a mixture of various different dog breeds, including the Rottweiler and the German Pinscher. These dogs perform well in police and military work, but also make friendly family pets too.

a small dog on a leash: A doberman wears a baseball scarf as he walks the bases during "Bark at the Park" night after the game at Safeco Field on April 17, 2018, in Seattle, Washington. Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images/Getty © Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images/Getty A doberman wears a baseball scarf as he walks the bases during "Bark at the Park" night after the game at Safeco Field on April 17, 2018, in Seattle, Washington. Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images/Getty

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs are working dogs from the farmlands of Switzerland. They were developed to herd cattle, pull carts and guard buildings. As with many larger dogs, the breed sadly has a shorter lifespan of just six to eight years and are prone to illnesses such as cancer.

a person holding a dog: A Bernese mountain dog at the 140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 16, 2016, in New York City. Bernese mountain dogs are generally easy to train. Matthew Eisman/Getty © Matthew Eisman/Getty A Bernese mountain dog at the 140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 16, 2016, in New York City. Bernese mountain dogs are generally easy to train. Matthew Eisman/Getty

Mastiff

Mastiffs are among some of the largest dogs in the world and the breed dates back thousands of years. Fully grown males can weigh as much as 200 pounds and females can weigh around 150 pounds. Despite their imposing size, however, mastiffs are calm and affectionate if introduced to lots of situations as puppies.

a dog wearing a suit and tie: A Neapolitan mastiff competing at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 17, 2015 in New York City. Andrew Burton/Getty Images © Andrew Burton/Getty Images A Neapolitan mastiff competing at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 17, 2015 in New York City. Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Vizsla

Originally bred in Hungary to work as pointers and retrievers, Vizslas are red-coated gundogs which make great companions. These elegant dogs love being active so require owners who are happy to go on long walks and have time to exercise their dogs well.

a dog wearing a costume: A wirehaired vizsla competing at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 16, 2016. Matthew Eisman/Contributor via Getty Images © Matthew Eisman/Contributor via Getty Images A wirehaired vizsla competing at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 16, 2016. Matthew Eisman/Contributor via Getty Images

Newfoundland

Newfoundlands were originally used as working dogs to pull nets for fishermen and haul wood from the forest, which explains their huge size and strong build. These dogs are sweet-natured, but owners should be prepared to groom Newfoundlands regularly because of their thick coats.

a dog looking at the camera: A Newfoundland dog pictured at the Crufts dog show in Birmingham, England of the U.K. on March 8, 2018. Getty Images © Getty Images A Newfoundland dog pictured at the Crufts dog show in Birmingham, England of the U.K. on March 8, 2018. Getty Images

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback comes from southern Africa and is the product of several breeds, including Greyhounds and Great Danes. Originally, these large dogs hunted in the wild but they also protected families living in hostile environments, keeping intruders away from homes and land.

a dog sitting on the seat of a car: Rhodesian Ridgeback are not known for barking. Matt Cardy/Getty © Matt Cardy/Getty Rhodesian Ridgeback are not known for barking. Matt Cardy/Getty

Bloodhound

According to the Kennel Club, these large scent hounds are possibly descended from hounds once kept at the monastery of St Hubert in Belgium. Despite their giant size, they are gentle and calm, known for their incredible sense of smell and tenacious tracking instinct.

Akita

Akitas come from the mountainous regions of northern Japan, where they were used to guard households and track large game including deer, elk and bears. Although Akitas can make good pets, they prefer to be only animals and don't always get along with other dogs, unless trained very well.

a man holding a dog: An American Akita seen at the Budapest Fair Center on February 17, 2012. Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images © Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images An American Akita seen at the Budapest Fair Center on February 17, 2012. Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images

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