We love dogs.
There are an estimated 9 million dog owners in the UK. This figure is rising year on year as new generations become dog parents and our canine companions become our surrogate children. In a recent report commissioned by the RSPCA, it was found that The UK Kennel Club recognises 209 dog breeds out of over 400 breeds recognised worldwide. That’s not even counting our lovable mixes and designer breeds!
We decided to do a little bit of digging to see which are the UK’s 10 most popular breed of dogs. We’re sticking to general pure breeds for now, but a lot of the pups on our list are popular in crosses!
Who let the dogs out?
In no particular order, here are our 10 most popular breeds!
With a kind and outgoing personality, the Labrador Retriever makes it onto every popular dog breeds list. Labradors are known to be good with children, gentle and even tempered. They enjoy holding onto things in their mouths (ball, stick, arm etc), but generally do this very softly.
Labs are known to have a bit of an appetite so this could be seen as a flaw, but they’re also known as quite an intelligent breed that is easy to train.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
These dogs have had a bit of a bad reputation in the last few years, but when raised right they are known to be loyal and great with children. They were originally a mix of the English Bulldog and a Terrier, raised to be strong, intelligent and fearlessly protective of their family group.
Stafforshire Bull Terrier
Despite appearances, the Bulldog is known as a very gentle breed. They can be strong willed and do require a firm owner, but on the whole they are friendly, dignified and patient animals. Another breed that is good with children they are known as courageous and protective, especially of younger members of the family, for this reason they can be prone to separation anxiety.
If you’re considering a bulldog be sure to get one from a reputable breeder as a poorly bred bulldog will suffer from extra drool issues, and can suffer from breathing issues.
The Cocker Spaniel breed has been traced back as far as the 14th Century and was originally a good hunting dog. Cocker Spaniels are very popular at shows such as Crufts because of their easy to train attitudes. Don’t be fooled though, Cocker Spaniels are strong willed and need a strict owner to reach their full potential. They are friendly, affectionate, and intelligent. Not to mention cute!
Frenchies have been gaining in popularity again in the last few years. Their fun loving and outgoing personality makes them great family pets. They are also known to be genuinely well behaved and calm when required, making them an excellent choice for apartment or flat dwellers.
French Bulldogs are not known as one of the more intelligent breeds, and badly bred dogs can suffer from breathing difficulties due to their short noses, however female Frenchies in particular are known to be excellent with children and very protective.
English Springer Spaniel
English Springer Spaniels have been on popular breeds lists for decades, and this is because they are a genuinely lovely breed to have as a companion. They are known to choose one member of the family whom they see as “theirs” but they are genuinely quick to learn, intelligent and caring animals.
It should be noted that the Springer Spaniel was originally bred as a working dog and naturally loves water. If you’re considering an English Springer Spaniel, then be warned they will require a fair bit of exercise and probably not the best breed to be left alone for long periods.
The Pug has really shot up in popularity over the past 5 years or so. Please be aware that Pugs can suffer from serious breathing issues due to their short noses. Please only get a pug from a good breeder and ask about the parents’ health. Warnings aside, Pugs are gorgeous creatures! Not ranking very high on the intelligence tests, they make up for it by being loyal and loving dogs.
Pugs Can be a bit on the lazy side and will also suffer from separation anxiety, but they are known as one of the most lovable (and funny!) breeds!
These self assured dogs have always been popular in the UK. They are eager to please and take to training very well, which is why they are a popular choice for Police and other services dogs. They don’t always take to strangers but they are very protective of their family group, this can be a problem sometimes and will need a firm owner to keep in check.
Over all they are very loving and, once they have been given their purpose, will carry out tasks loyally and efficiently.
Another very popular breed, the Golden Retriever is known to be kind, friendly and confident. They have a very even temperament and suit many family units (such as those with children, couples or the elderly). They make poor guard dogs because their temperament is so gentle, but they are not timid and generally fairly intelligent.
Border Terriers are surprisingly popular amongst British dog owners. They are known to be stubborn and strong willed with a need for a small amount of exercise, but they are also known to be very trainable, rarely aggressive and very loyal dogs. Border Terriers are good with children, eager to please and driven by initiative! They are intelligent dogs that can have their own agenda when not handled with a considerate firm hand. Border terriers are, however, happiest when given a task or purpose!
Which dog is Top Dog?
Hopefully this article has helped you make up your mind which breeds to select. There are, of course, hundreds of other breeds, designer breeds, and crosses available both from breeders and from rescue centres. Most dogs are not naturally overly aggressive and we must state that some require a firm or experienced owner to keep them in line. Controversial breeds, such as Staffies and Bulldogs, can be fantastic family pets when raised with love!