To celebrate National Dog Day on Aug. 26, Camp Bow Wow, North America’s largest doggy day care and boarding franchise, is sharing the top five large and top five small dog breeds for 2023 based on its database of nearly 400,000 campers across the US and Canada.
Unlike kennel clubs that share annual lists based on purebred dog registrations, Camp Bow Wow’s list includes a range of purebreds, mixed-breed dogs (listed by their primary breed) and popular crossbreeds, including doodles.
In the big-dog category, the ever-popular Labrador Retriever (including Lab mixes) tops the list for the sixth year in a row. The Goldendoodle comes in second, followed by mixed and purebred Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Australian Shepherds — rounding out the top five large-dog and top five overall breeds at Camp Bow Wow.
The most popular small-dog breeds based on Camp Bow Wow’s data are, in order, the Miniature Poodle, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Beagle and Yorkshire Terrier. Of the small-dog list, only the Miniature Poodle (7th) and Chihuahua (8th) appear in the top 10 overall breeds, which is rounded out by the Pit Bull Terrier (6th), Labradoodle (9th) and Siberian Husky (10th).
For people who are deciding what size and breed of dog to adopt, Camp Bow Wow’s Animal Health and Behavioral Expert, Erin Askeland, MSc, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, says family, lifestyle and daily routine are some of the most important factors to consider before adopting. Small breeds, for example, are typically more suitable for apartment living and tend to have lower energy demands, while larger breeds are typically more active and need more space — but there are exceptions.
“Some small breeds are big dogs at heart — for example, even the smallest terriers tend to be high-energy and need lots of attention and exercise, while a large dog breed like a Great Dane is known to be fairly calm and lower-energy,” Askeland said. “Even though a dog’s breed may influence certain tendencies and behaviors, the breed alone should not determine whether to bring a specific dog into your home. At Camp Bow Wow, we love all breeds and believe every dog deserves a loving home.”
Lifespan is another differentiator between small and large dogs. Small dogs tend to have longer lifespans, usually 12–15 years or more, while large dogs typically have lifespans around 8–12 years.
Regardless of the breed, all dogs benefit from playtime, social activity and enrichment.
Camp Bow Wow suggests treating your dog to a fun day at camp is a great way to celebrate National Dog Day. For more information, visit Camp Bow Wow.