How Many Dog Breeds Are There in the USA: Celebrating the Canines

How Many Dog Breeds Are There in the USA: Celebrating the Canines | StreetBreeds

You know that dogs are the best friends you can have. I can’t help agree with the words of Elizabeth Taylor, “Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.” So, the enormous growth in the dog ownership in the USA is quite natural. According to the American Pet Products Association, around 64 million US households has pet dogs. Many of these canine buddies are originated in other countries, while some are bred in America. Well, it’s difficult to give an exact answer to your question, “how many dog breeds are there in USA” because there are plenty of variations. Also, the American Kennel Club keeps making an addition to the list of dog breeds in USA every year.  Still, we will try to talk about some species which you will find adorable.

The governing body of dog breeds in the USA is American Kennel Club. It is responsible for creating a “breed standard,” which is a document for highlighting the physical traits of all the dog breeds in USA. So, if we go by the data prepared by AKC, there are around one ninety seven different dog breeds in USA. Hopefully, you will find a more comprehensive revert on your question of how many dog breeds are there in USA and their unique qualities in the upcoming sections. On the other hand, if you ask me how many dog breeds are there in the world, it’s 340 according to the AKC.

How Many Dog Breeds are There in the USA? How does AKC Prepare the List?

Well, the process of adding a new type of dog to the list of dog breeds in USA is quite lengthy. AKC assesses the factors such as the population of a particular type of species and how recognizing it as a new breed can serve the nation’s interests. While adding to the dog breeds in USA list, they also make sure that all their associate breeders or Parent Clubs are procreating healthy babies ethically. Besides, AKC considers adding a name to the dog breeds in USA only it has a population of around 300-400 dogs, which span at least three generations.

  • The Role of National Kennel Club in Determining How Many Dog Breeds are There in USA

As mentioned earlier, the national kennel club plays an important role in determining how many dog breeds are there in USA at a particular time. It ought to possess a set up of guidelines and qualifications to consider a dog as a part of any particular breed. Only after a breed meets all the qualifications, the national club can apply to the AKC for approval. Oh! the process is not over yet. Once the breed gets approval from AKC, it has to take part in the “miscellaneous” classes in AKC-affiliated dog shows for minimum 3 years. At last, the AKC board of directors reviews the eligibilities and takes the final decision on adding or not adding the breed to the list of dog breeds in USA.

Hopefully, you will now understand why it is impossible to give a comprehensive answer to your question of how many dog breeds are there in USA.

How Many Dog Breeds are There in USA: The Classifications

The USA has a large variety of small dog breeds and big dog breeds. The major governing bodies divide the dog breeds in USA into groups based on the purpose of breeding. And, that means the job expected from the dogs when they were first bred. As per AKC, all dog breeds in USA are classified into 7 categories.

  • How Many Dog Breeds are There in USA in Sporting Category?


These canine friends were bred for hunting purposes. Also called “gundogs,” this group comprises labradors, spaniels and the Irish setters or other setter breeds.

  • The Hound Dog Breeds in USA

Irish wolfhound

These large dog breeds were created for taking part in some really serious activities. This group includes sighthounds (Example: Irish wolfhound and  Afghan hound) and scenthounds (Example: Beagle and bloodhound). Nowadays, they are quite popular in the police force and they also are a great help during disaster rescue operations. Even, they are believed to possess the ability to smell the insects that cause damages to any painting.

  • Small and Large Terriers:

The primary job of this breed is to control rodents. The dogs in this group are energetic in nature and they have a stout feature.

  • Herding, the Smartest Dog Breeds in USA:

German Shepherd

These can be easily trained and they quickly respond to human commands. Earlier, they used to maintain sheep and cattle. But, now, they are popular as military, police, search and rescue dogs. Want to know the most popular name among these dog breeds in USA? It’s the German Shepherd.  

  • Working Dog Breeds in USA


Dogs in this group were procreated for performing some specific  jobs apart from herding and hunting. Some adored names in this group are St. Bernard, the Siberian Husky and the Rottweiler.

  • Non-Sporting Dog Breeds in USA

These are probably the cutest dog breeds. They are perfect as your companions as they will cheer up your mood after a long day. The adorable dalmatian, the poodle and the chow chow are some commonly known names in this category.

  • Toy Dog Breeds in USA

Poodle Dog Breed
They are the tiniest and oh so adorable. They are like bundles of joy. Usually, they weigh less than 10 pounds and perfectly fit into your lap like a tiny baby. How about getting a Yorkshire terrier or a toy poodle as a perfect companion?

How Many Dog Breeds are There in USA? It’s Time to Know the Names:

Feeling bogged down with too much info to know how many dog breeds are there in the United States? It’s time to know the names. Let’s start.

  • Alaskan Malamute:

    Alaskan Malamute
    These dogs are the strongest among all the breeds. They are also known as the oldest Arctic sled dogs. Besides, it’s fascinating how they took part in the exploration of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. They served as the perfect aids to the explorers such as Peary, Cook Mcmillan and Byrd. Moreover, they offered valuable services to the Eskimos by delivering goods and mails. Further, these really helpful dogs were recognized and registered as a breed by AKC  in 1935.
  • American Eskimo Dog or American Spitz:

    American Eskimo
    Registered with AKC, they belong to the non-sporting group of dogs. These dogs are agile and their furry white coat will immediately catch your attention.
  • American Foxhound:

    American Foxhound
    American Foxhound dogs were created from the strains of foxhounds, originally from England, Ireland and France. These scent hounds were perfect for hunting, and hence were quite popular in colonial America. These breeds are high in energy and easy to train.
  • Affenpinscher:

    These adorable dogs are not for training but for making friends. Besides, their neat and shaggy coats available in various colors make them all the more adorable. Also, the curious and amusing nature has made them quite popular among the dog lovers. This dog breed was registered in AKC in 1936 and these canines need regular exercises to avoid obesity.
  • Airedale Terrier:

    Airedale Terrier
    They are known as  “The King of Terriers” owing to their strength, stamina and indomitable spirit. Besides, they will probably come first in my mind if you ask me how many dog breeds are there in USA for hunting. Moreover, they are great athletes and the ideal companions for you. Standing 23 inches tall at the shoulders, they were also quite popular among American presidents such as Woodrow Wilson, Warren G Harding and Calvin Coolidge.
  • Akita:

    The adjectives fall short while describing these muscular but adorable dogs. These double-coated canines are known for their dignified and loyal nature. Besides, they are known to be great protectors and symbolize sound health and happiness. Moreover, if anyone wants to know how many dog breeds are there in USA with an imposing stature, he/she will surely find Akitas as the most befitting companions. They have a height of 24-28 inches at the shoulder.
    Usually quiet in nature, they are intolerant of strangers and other animals. Above all, they can go to any extent to protect the loved ones.
  • American Bulldog:

    American Bulldog
    Want to know how many dog breeds are there in USA for athletics? Choose American Bulldogs. They are strong and they are agile. Moreover, they come with a matchless endurance level. What’s more? They are easy to groom and need bathing occasionally. Also, regular brushing is enough for keeping their coat shiny and tidy. They serve the best as a protector of personal properties as they have a dense muscular structure.
  • American Water Spaniel:

    American Water Spaniel
    These adorable dogs come with a wavy and thick coat so that they can withstand water and cold weather. Their movement is swift and they are easily trainable. They also possess a charming personality though they are not very comfortable with strangers. Besides, these medium dog breeds of gundogs come with a shiny brown coat, which lends them a stylish appearance.
    These friendly canines seek companionship. So, you should adopt them only at least one family member is present in the house throughout the day.
  • Basset Hound:

    Basset Hound
    You will find the answer to your question of how many dog breeds are there in USA with the Basset hounds. They have a powerful smelling ability and they are a very close runner-up of the Bloodhounds in excellence. But, they have a low-key personality and are charming in nature. So, the dog lovers across the globe absolutely drool over this breed. Besides, they are the perfect couch potatoes like you and need moderate exercises regularly to avoid gaining extra weight.
    Unlike many other canine breeds, Bassets get along well with dogs from other species. They are quite playful but they enjoy a good nap once they are done with their share of playing.
  • Beagle:

    Beagle Dog Breed
    Need some idea about how many dog breeds are there in USA with a funny and happy-go-lucky nature? You can think of adopting a beagle. They are great hunters and come in a variety of color options. Besides, they are ideal for families owing to their companionable and loving nature. These energetic pets need to exercise at least one hour a day for staying fit and they are extremely playful in the company of other dogs.
  • Cane Corso:

    Cane Corso
    Cane Corsos are known as the protectors. They are intelligent and have an intimidating appearance to make the intruders afraid. However, their competence to protect comes with a sophisticated demeanor which makes them the ultimate nobles among other dogs.
    Remember, these four-legged friends need constant mental and physical stimulation. They perform the best when you assign them a task or ask them to accompany you on a long walk, biking and hiking.
  • Chihuahua:

    Chihuahua Dog Breeds
    Chihuahua will surely be at the top of the list if you want to know how many purebred dog breeds are there. They have an adorable face which will make you fall in love with them instantly. Besides, their expressive eyes are always twinkling to attract your attention. Moreover, they have a great historical connection as their origin goes back to the pre-Columbian era.

    No doubt, they possess a personality which is much bigger than their appearance. They are known to be loyal companions and they ooze tremendous confidence. Though these darlings are a little delicate in nature and need proper care during winter as they tend to catch cold.
    Strenuous exercise is not recommended for Chihuahua dogs as they can start panting. Petite in structure, moderate exercises regularly is enough for them to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Dalmatian:

    Featuring a spotted coat, Dalmatians have a unique appearance. These muscular dogs were originally procreated to protect the horses and nobles as well as to accompany the firefighters. Even today, they perform excellently as the ideal watchdogs. Besides, they have a strong structure and are very energetic. So, they need to exercise on a regular basis to stay healthy and happy.


The list of how many dog breeds are there in USA is practically never ending. I know that this article may have missed some of your favorite breeds, but the chances of getting familiar with new species are also quite high. So, how about bringing home a furry friend today?

P.S. - Here's a cool video by ViralBe on the different dog breeds around the world: