Imagine a world without the gleaming golden coat of Shadow in The Incredible Journey. What would life be like without the yellow Lab who stars in Marley and Me? Who would keep Will Smith’s character company in I Am Legend if he didn’t have his German Shepherd, Sam?

Dog ownership in the U.S.

Between one-third and one-half of Americans own dogs. Have you been considering buying a dog, but wondering what breed would be best? According to the American Kennel Club, the most popular dogs in America last year were Labradors, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. Although purebreds such as these are family favorites, some people prefer to find their next best friend through shelters that have dogs for adoption or rescue.

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Labrador Retrievers have been a recognized breed since 1917. You can find them in three different colors: yellow, chocolate (brown,) and black. Labs are known for their hunting skills, probably because they are so energetic and active. Despite their high energy levels, Labradors have an excellent temperament that makes them perfect for a family. They are friendly and outgoing, always ready to take a walk or chase the ball.

Relatively big breeds are favored.

Though the breed is a bit larger than Labs, a German Shepherd would also make a great addition to the family. They’re notoriously courageous and intelligent, making them a top choice for people looking for protection. The AKC deemed German Shepherds a breed back in 1908, and they’ve grown in popularity ever since. German Shepherds are often used for police and military work because of their keen sense of smell and sharp minds.

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Unlike solid hues of Labradors, your German Shepherd can have a unique coat with different patterns in a range of 11 colors.

Everyone loves a good Golden Retriever video. These smiley, fluffy pups love to play outside with the family, but won’t say no to a nap on a comfy rug either. Some Goldens have light coats like yellow Labs, others have sleek dark red fur and many fall somewhere between. They’re quite a friendly breed and you can always count on your Golden to stay loyal. It may be impossible to own at Golden Retriever and not form a special bond with the dog.

Choose the right dog breed for you.

So what’s it going to be? Are you interested in one of these popular pups, or does a different breed strike your fancy? Perhaps you’re drawn to the little legs and smiling faces of corgis or maybe you have a soft spot for large, shaggy sheepdogs. No matter which breed you opt for, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research ahead of time. Some dogs are better for noisy homes with little kids and others prefer a more relaxed environment. Certain breeds need lots of walks and exercise while some have less energy. Regardless, get excited for a new best friend who will keep you safe, provide you with company and remind you how to love deeply. #Animals