We've all heard the saying that dogs are man's best friend, but now new research is challenging this assertion - since it seems that it's women who are actually more keen on these furry friends.

Figures from the Kennel Club show that when it comes to canine ownership, although men may love dogs, you're far more likely to find women buying premium dog food or taking their pup out for a walk.

The numbers show that more than 40 per cent of all Kennel Club registered dogs are registered solely to women, while just 20 per cent are registered solely to men and 38 per cent are in joint ownership.

"Dogs have long been known as 'man's best friend' but it appears that this is no longer the case, with women now far more likely to own a dog according to our research," said Kennel Club Secretary Caroline Kisko.

"Different factors, such as the recent 'furkids' phenomenon and the trend for toy dogs, driven by celebrity culture, may explain why women are choosing to be in the company of dogs more so than men."

This rather bizarre 'furkids' phenomenon refers to women who put off having children by having a pet pooch, and satisfy their maternal instincts by lavishing love on their four-legged friend.

Kennel Club research has shown that two in five women believe owning a dog is a happy alternative to having kids, while a quarter say that although their children would always come first, they would actually prefer to do things with their pooch.

But it's not just babies who are being replaced by pups in women's hearts, as their partners also seem to be being relegated.

The Kennel Club survey revealed that only around half of women felt that their partner lavished them with love and attention when out and about, compared to 80 per cent who said that their dogs do.

Written by: Hannah