Dogs may be one of the few groups that benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic. When lockdowns went into effect in 2020, many people used the opportunity to welcome a new pet into their lives. In a year when dog sales and adoptions reached impressive heights, these were the country's most sought-after breeds.

The list below comes from the American Kennel Club's annual round-up of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. A lot changed last year, but the Labrador retriever held on to its title as America's favorite dog breed for the 30th year in a row. The biggest change to the list is the French bulldog in the No.2 slot. The pint-sized breed dethroned the German shepherd, which fell from No.2 in 2019 to No.3 in 2020. Other notable changes include the appearance of the Dachshund at No.10—the breed's highest ranking in seven years.

When looking for a dog to keep them company in isolation, many new pet owners chose adoption. Rescuing a pet from a shelter doesn't mean giving up hopes of owning a certain breed; there are even breed-specific rescues out there that make it easy to bring home the dog of your dreams. Shelter dogs also offer many benefits that owners don't get when buying from a breeder.

After reading the list of most popular dog breeds below, check out these underrated breeds you should know about.

  1. Labrador retriever
  2. French bulldog
  3. German shepherd
  4. Golden retriever
  5. Bulldog
  6. Poodle
  7. Beagle
  8. Rottweiler
  9. German shorthaired pointer
  10. Dachshund