The 10 Most Popular Dogs In The UK

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uk's most popular dogs

If you’re thinking of buying a pedigree dog or are just fascinated about dogs in general, you may have wondered what the most common dog breeds in the UK are – and why!

The Kennel Club’s most recent statistics on dog breed popularity were published in 2010 and showed some changes to the list from previous years. The 2001 census looked quite different. Pugs ranked number 13 in the 2001 list and as number 9 in 2010, while Yorkshire Terrier and West Highland Terrier dropped out of the ranking entirely!

1. Labrador Retriever


The Labrador remains the UK ‘s favourite family companion and is regularly ranked close to the top of the list every year. Originally raised as a gun dog, they are now still highly regarded as loyal, caring and friendly family pets who are great with children as well as smart and quick to train, so it’s no wonder that Labs are still in great demand!

2. Cocker Spaniel

cocker spaniel

Cocker Spaniels are statistically the most probable dog to win the Best in Show award at Crufts, with the breed having won the title seven times since its formation! But the Cocker isn’t just a pretty face-like the Labrador, the Cocker gained his fame as a working gun dog and was called ‘Cocker’ because of his skill in hunting the Eurasian Woodcock.

3. English Springer Spaniel

springer spaniel

Gun dogs like Springer Spaniels currently hold all of the top three positions of popularity. Affectionate, loveable and incredibly good-natured, Springer Spaniel enjoys playing, chase and run, and is the ideal companion for active children!

4. Alsatian/German Shepherd

german shepherd

German Shepherd’s (also known as the Alsatian) is a big dog of Germanic origin, fairly young in dog terms, with a breed originating from about the end of the 19th century. The German Shepherd dog is admired for its fearlessness, loyalty and intelligence, and can often be seen working alongside the police or the army.

5. Staffies

staffordshire bull terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terriers come in at number five. However, if you include non-registered Staffies and Staffy cross breeds, you might find the Staffordshire Bull Terrier at number one! Squat, robust and businesslike, the Staffy is a faithful dog who maintains tight relations with his family and makes it the ideal companion for young and old alike.

6. Border Terrier

border terrier

The Border Terrier is a small, coarse-coated terrier hailing from the Scottish borders, and they are sweet, friendly, and lively little dogs that seem to be hardy and full of pluck! Although the Border Terriers usually have a good time with babies, they often do not have the same love for cats and other smaller pets-except for a snack!

7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

king charles spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, or ‘Cavvy,’ as they are also affectionately called, is the third spaniel to make this list. Sharing the characteristics of loyalty, cheerful disposition and friendly nature with the Springer and the Cocker, the Cavvy is one of the smallest spaniel breeds and is also common as a lap dog.

8. Golden Retriever

golden retriever

The Golden Retriever is a medium-sized, intelligent dog who enjoys the water! These are also known for their integrity and ability to communicate with people and can be used in many working positions, such as search and rescue, assistance to blind or deaf people, and sniffer dogs.

9. Pugs


Pugs are often referred to as the world’s funniest dog and is an intelligent, amusing and well-natured pup. It’s fair to say that their looks are distinct and unique, with their short, squat body, curled tails and squashed faces which are just adorable!

10. Boxer Dogs

boxer dog

Boxer dogs are named for the ‘boxing’ movements they make in battle or playing, the Boxer’s popularity has fallen in recent years, with the occurrence of newly registered puppies dropping by 40 percent in 2010 compared to the 2001 census. However, the Boxer is ranked tenth and enjoys a large following of fans who praise them for their ability to please, receptiveness to training and caring natures.

If you love dogs and other animals, you should take a look around at the rest of our blogs. Leave a comment below with the breed of dog you have or the breed of dog you would love to own. Always remember that a dog is for life, so if you’re considering buying one of the above dogs it would be a good idea to see if there are any of the above breeds in animal shelters first, before buying a dog as a puppy, consider giving an abandoned dog a home.

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