As a nation, we love dogs. Whatever their shape, size, colour or personality, they have been popular since records began and will continue to be loved by all far, far into the future.
That said, there are some breeds that we just can’t get enough of, and the Kennel Club keeps track of these popularity trends year on year, based on the number of breeds we are choosing to own. Crossed and mixed breeds aren’t included but we all know how amazing they are! In fact, it’s likely they would take top spot in the leader board if included.
1) Labrador Retriever – despite being challenged to the top spot many times over recent years, with breeds like the Frenchie and Dachshund moving up the popularity rankings, the faithful Labrador Retriever maintains its crown as the nation’s favourite breed for another year running. When it’s been countlessly described as ‘the best all-round dog’, it is hardly surprising.
Developed in England in the 19th century, this traditional working breed is both gentle and intelligent, and has been trained in a number of roles from hunting and retrieving, to search and rescue, police work, and as a guide dog to the blind – perhaps the truest indication of the breed’s unbeatable qualities.
2) French Bulldog – ranking 8th in 2013, 4th in 2014 and 3rd in 2016, the Frenchie has been edging up the leader board for a number of years, with more and more of us choosing one as our companion.
Characteristic in their looks and build, the French Bulldog first made an appearance in Nottingham, where it was the breed of choice with craftsmen and lace makers. When they moved to France in search of work following the Industrial Revolution, these small dogs went with them.
3) Cocker Spaniel – ranked the 2nd most popular dog in 2016, the Cocker’s popularity has dipped slightly, but not enough to push it further down the rankings. Highly trainable as a domestic or working dog, the breed is likely to never lose its popularity due to the sweet nature, intelligence and versatility it has come to be recognised for.
4) Bulldog – often used as a symbol of Great Britain, the Bulldog is considered our ‘national dog.’ It’s unsurprising we find it 4th in the rankings this year, and consistently in the top 10 year on year. Mellow and well-mannered when trained from an early age, this lovable dog is a firm British favourite.
5) English Springer Spaniel – popular since the Renaissance period, the English Springer Spaniel is the breed choice of many and for good reason. Lively and full of character, it’s placing in the leader board has fluctuated over the years, with its cousin the Cocker Spaniel typically appearing higher. That said, it has remained in the top 10 for a while now – something which seems unlikely to change.
The English springer spaniel is closely followed by the Golden Retriever which comes in in 6th position, the Miniature Smooth-haired Dachshund in 7th, the Pug in 8th, the German Shepherd in 9th and the Miniature Schnauzer in 10th.
If you're a lucky owner to any of these wonderful breeds, we'd love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below and tell us what led you to choose your breed :)
Written by: Hannah