Live in California and Want a Dog Try These Breeds

Live in California and Want a Dog? Try These Breeds

Living in California has many perks, including the mostly mild weather, the abundance of available outdoor activities, and the multitude of cultural sights that the public can explore. It really is a wonderful place to make a home, but one thing that makes it even better is dog ownership. The warm and often dry climate means your dog can accompany you almost everywhere you go, which is the perfect example of the companionship that dogs are known to provide. But not every dog breed is well-suited for California. If you want to adopt the ideal puppy for your California life, check out and consider these helpful breed tips.

French Bulldog

French bulldog

Of all the dog breeds available, the French bulldog takes the top spot as the most popular breed in California. There are numerous reasons for this, but it really all boils down to the fact that the French bulldog is a friendly breed that loves to be around people, especially their human companions. They are just as happy taking a walk on the beach as they are cuddling with their owner at home on the couch or in a park on a bench. They’re small enough to carry around with you (fitting right in with the California purse dog craze) and don’t require a lot of living space, which can be at a premium in California cities.

This playful, affectionate, fun-loving breed can fit in the lifestyle of a single owner or of a bustling family and even though these dogs enjoy being around people and other animals (usually), they are also fine by themselves for at least some of the day. Another plus is that French bulldogs do not tend to be big barkers, but will still speak up if they feel a need to protect their human companions. They don’t require a lot of exercise, but will happily accompany you on a daily walk or take part in a spirited game of fetch.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador retriever

You knew this breed would make the list of most popular dogs in California. Labrador retrievers are a favorite breed of people all over the world, but especially of those who enjoy spending time in the great outdoors. This type of dog is known to be gentle and even-tempered, and can seem almost goofy at times. Labrador retriever puppies have to grow into their bodies, as their oversized paws and head tend to knock them off-balance when they’re playing or running. This makes them fun to watch as they grow and they love to entertain their owners, so when you laugh, they become even more excited.

Labs do have more energy than some of the other dogs on this list, which means you’ll want to take them on adventures to the beach or to dog parks where they can run free and play. Camping and hiking are other favorite activities of this outdoor-loving canine. But, when it comes time to rest and relax, Labrador retrievers can snooze with the best of them. Even better, they often think they’re smaller than they are and try to cuddle with you on your lap. Labs are extremely versatile and make excellent service and emotional support animals as well as family pets.

Pit Bull Terrier

Pit Bull Terrier

Despite the controversy that surrounds pit bull terriers with regard to their possibly aggressive nature, they are still the third-most popular dogs in California. This isn’t surprising considering this breed is extremely athletic and energetic, making it an ideal workout companion. In a state where fitness and a healthy lifestyle are prioritized, a dog that enjoys a lot of activity can be the perfect pet. This breed is also loyal and trustworthy, and is often chosen as a guard dog. With proper training, pit bull terriers can be obedient and docile, but this does depend heavily on how they are treated and trained in their early life.

Be aware that these dogs are restricted or even banned in certain jurisdictions. While this practice is controversial, you still have to abide by the laws in your city or town when it comes to owning a pit bull terrier. Read up on your local regulations and make sure you follow all licensing and registration guidelines to ensure you’re in compliance with the law. If you live in a place where pit bulls are banned, don’t flaunt the law and adopt one anyway. If you’re caught, you’ll not only have to pay a fine, but you also may be required to surrender your beloved companion.

German Shepherd

German shepherd

German shepherds are popular dogs all over the country, but especially in California, where they can spend a lot of time outside with their owners. These dogs are intensely loyal and brave, which is why they are often chosen for K9 police work and military operations. They are also infinitely trainable and can be taught how to do everything from sit and shake to sniffing out drugs and bombs in an airport or government facility. They love to perform and enjoy getting treats when they do well.

In Hollywood, German shepherds are often chosen for movie roles because of their striking appearance and superior training capabilities. They take direction well and make a strong impression on film. Not only that, but they are also friendly and playful, making them wonderful family pets. If you like to hike and camp, a German shepherd would be glad to go with you and will even cuddle up with you at night to keep you warm when there’s a chill in the air. Running on the beach and playing catch with a ball or Frisbee are other activities these dogs enjoy.

Standard Poodle

Standard Poodle

This breed might be a surprise to you, but it is one of the top dog breeds in California. Standard poodles, which grow to be rather tall (15 inches in height or more) are very graceful animals and they are favorites among people who don’t like dogs that shed or who struggle with allergies. This is because their fur is hypoallergenic so it does not produce the same amount of dander that other dogs do. Even though they seem to be aloof to strangers, they are actually very friendly to people and other animals as long as they are exposed to them frequently. Poodles can be very protective of their owners and will take some time to warm up to strangers.

Despite their often perfectly-coiffed appearance, poodles are actually natural hunters and have a lot of stamina for long hikes or runs on the beach. They can keep up with even the most ardent athlete and will do it in a strong and confident manner. It’s this stately appearance that makes poodles a popular choice for show dogs. You will need to groom a poodle regularly because their fur does not shed, so it will continue to grow until it becomes a nuisance to the animal.



This breed is a little more understandable as to why it made the top California dog breed list. This tiny animal has become the symbol of West Coast fashion as models and movie stars have frequently been photographed carrying a Chihuahua around in a purse. Chihuahuas represent the most registered dog breed in Los Angeles, which again, isn’t surprising given that Hollywood is in Los Angeles County. In fact, of the 121,198 dog registrations in Los Angeles, 15.5% of them are Chihuahuas. That doubles the percentage of the next dog on the list (German shepherds at 7.7%).

Chihuahuas are known to be loving and affectionate, but they also have a fiercely protective streak as well. They can be barkers and have a high-pitched bark that can be annoying to some ears. They require a lot of attention, but will reward you with cuddles and obedience. After all, not many dogs would be as content as Chihuahuas are to be carried around in a purse all-day. This little dog is also very intelligent and can learn tricks and training very quickly. Another plus is that these dogs love warm weather, making California a natural place for them to call home.

Mixed Breeds

Of course, if you’re not sold on any of these top California breeds, consider a mixed breed that is a combination of two or more dog breeds. For example, a labradoodle is a mix of two of the most popular types of dogs in California, the Labrador retriever and the standard poodle. These dogs are growing in popularity because they often have the temperament of a Labrador retriever but the fur of a poodle, which means someone who is normally allergic to a Labrador can finally get the dog of their dreams.


No matter which dog breed you eventually decide is right for you as a California resident, be sure to do your research to ensure the breed you select will fit in with your lifestyle. This critical step in the selection process is what will ensure that you and your companion are a perfect match in every way possible.

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