Top 8 Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2012

This sleeping cutie Dachshund is not worried about being popular, but did he make the list? This sleeping cutie Dachshund is not worried about being popular, but did he make the list? All of my furry children are rescues and adoptions. When I went to North Shore Animal League to pick out our last puppy, I did have a type in mind that I wanted, a black lab. Labs are wonderful and loving pet for families, but the real reason I wanted a black lab was because our previous dog, Roxy, passed away about a year before that. She was a black lab/shepherd mix and I adored her. I think in some ways, I was trying to bring her back to us which is, of course, impossible. Nevertheless, I will always have a deep fondness for black lab type.

Labs have been one of the most popular dogs for families for years because of their sweet nature and intelligence, and they are just one of the breeds that have stayed popular over the years. The 2012 list of the most popular dogs is composed of a nice combination of breeds, but some of them might surprise you.

ChihuahuaChihuahua1. Chihuahua
The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. Chihuahuas come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and shapes. We have a long-haired beige Chihuahua mix named Hayley.

Related: 3 pet-iquette tips for bringing your pup to work

Labrador RetrieverLabrador Retriever2. Labrador Retriever

Known as 'gun dogs', labs are widely used by police because they are so incredibly smart. Labradors are also athletic; their webbed feet aid them in being great swimmers. They love to run, play and are great with children. We have a lab mix named Django.

Shih TzuShih Tzu3. Shih Tzu

They say the Shih Tzu is the closest descendant of the Chinese wolf. They have long silky hair and weigh anywhere from 10-16 pounds. Shih Tzus require regular grooming.

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DachshundDachshund4. Dachshund

This guy's little legs get me every time. Dachshunds come from the hound family with their long body and short lil legs. They were bred to hunt out small dwelling animals like burrows and badgers. My goal is to have a Dachshund one day.

PugPug5. Pug

Like the Shih Tzu, the Pug also originally hails from China, but became popular in England and Ireland. Their short but muscular bodies are prone to certain conditions, including overheating, obesity, and pharyngeal reflex. Their cute, smushed faces naturally lend themselves to pretty cute expressions.

German ShepherdGerman Shepherd6. German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is probably the dog best known for working with police and the military. They have enormous strength and are incredibly obedient, loyal and intelligent. It's one of the reasons why they make excellent pets for families. I had three German Shephereds while growing up, and they were each brilliant and loving.

Related: Heroic Pets! 7 incredible stories of dog heroes

Yorkshire TerrierYorkshire Terrier7. Yorkshire Terrier

The adorable Yorkies were originally bred to kill rats but now they are an ideal pet for those who live in small quarters or apartments. They grow to be anywhere from 3-7 pounds, with a silky blue and tan coat. Their pint size lets owners take them almost everywhere.

Golden Retriever Golden Retriever 8. Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever was bred with a distinct ability to catch and retrieve game unharmed. Nowadays, they work as guide dogs for the blind and hearing dogs for the deaf. They also work in drug sniffing and search and rescue situations. Most of all, they have a sweet and loving nature with kids. They are friendly and eager to please their owners.

- By Danielle Sullivan
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