The top five most popular dog breeds in West Virginia

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The top five most popular dog breeds in West Virginia
Beagles are among the most popular dog breeds in West Virginia. (Photo courtesy Oliver)

There's no shortage of four-legged companions to fill our lives with love and joy here in West Virginia. There are lots of breeds that are perfect for families, young couples, singles, retirees who are active or just want a friend.

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Some breeds might be more particular than others about where they live and what kind of household they're in. Your full-time outdoor enthusiast lifestyle might not fit with the dog that wants to snuggle up inside on a cold winter's day, or your children being home all day long might be too much for a breed who does best when left alone for several hours at a time. While you should always consider temperament and requirements when choosing a breed of dog, there are also some breeds that are closer to number one because they're just so darned cute! Here are our top five most popular breeds,  as well as a little bit about each breed and what makes them so special.


Labrador Retriever

The lab is well-loved by humans of all ages due to its sweet, affable nature. They love people, labrador dog food—basically life in general. Labs are very adaptable dogs that will do well in many different homes, but if you have a busy household with small children and/or lots of activity going on, this might not be the breed for you. They're very sociable dogs that love being around people and get lonely easily when left alone all day. Trainability is another area that's important to consider. Labs can be notorious for selective hearing at times, so make sure you start training early!


German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a confident, courageous dog with a strong bond to its family pack. It needs a confident owner who is willing to put the time in to train this intelligent animal from puppyhood. A shepherd thrives best in an outdoor environment where they can protect their family from intruders, but they are equal parts family dog and working dog. They're ideal for someone who is active in the outdoors, whether that's hiking, jogging, or biking with their fur baby, but also make great indoor pets for families with older children five and older. Avoid homes where there's lots of activity going on constantly; if you work long hours, this might not be the breed for you. German shepherds are easy to feed and care for, as long as they have enough activity to spend their energy on!

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Beagle

Beagles were originally bred to hunt rabbits and hare in packs, making them very social dogs that thrive on surrounding themselves with family members of all ages. This may be one of the most kid-friendly breeds out there! They love spending time outside running around playing fetch, searching for Beagle dog food, or exploring new areas looking for rabbits to sniff out, but they're also great for an indoor family that spends lots of time relaxing at home. Beagles are good watchdogs but not guard dogs, so they'll bark to let you know something out of the ordinary is happening, but won't bite on instinct. They make ideal pets for families with children more than five years old, though due to their size and tendency to "wiggle" when someone comes around that they want to be near!


Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is an intelligent dog that thrives in a home where it has lots of human interaction every day. They're known as the "nanny dog" because they love spending time with kids, making them one of the best breeds for active homes with kids of all ages. They can be found in lots of different colors but are most commonly known for their sunny yellow fur, which has its own nickname—"golden." Golden Retrievers are another breed that was originally bred to work, so they need lots of physical and mental stimulation to stay happy. With the right kind of training from an early age, this is one breed that will never have a problem obeying commands. But they are especially sensitive to Golden Retriever-specific dietary concerns that may cause health issues, so you need to be careful with their food.


Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkie is no doubt the cutest of them all! These little dogs always come in number one or two on any list you find about small dog breeds; with long flowing hair and their ability to look like mini teddy bears, it's easy to see why! This tiny breed is very attached to its human family and loves spending time with them. They're one of the most adaptable small dogs out there, but they will need some kind of daily exercises like a game of fetch or even just an outdoor walk. Their big personalities are perfect for families that love activities together, but be aware that Yorkies can get lonely easily if left home alone for long periods.

If you're considering adopting any breed on this list (or any other dog!) it's important to research both the temperament of the dog as well as its specific requirements to make sure you're ready for a new furry member.

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