15 Most Popular Dog Breeds In The UK

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If you had to ask me to pick my most favorite dog, I’m not quite sure I could do it — there are so many breeds that I absolutely love. The truth is, we all have our favorites, but is yours one of the most popular in the UK as well?

The most popular dog breeds are the ones that people adopt over and over again — kind of like me with Labrador Retrievers. The most popular dog breeds in the UK usually have the best traits, such as they’re great companions, awesome family dogs, and easy to train. Though, truth be told, we all love our stubborn pups just as much. 

According to statistics about the most popular pets in the UK, dogs are number one! In fact, according to dog population stats, there are 12 million pups in the country! Are we really surprised, though? Whether you have them for work, play, or companionship, there’s a dog for everyone. 

Most Popular Dogs in the UK

Every country has its own list of the most popular dog breeds, and it’s based on what pups are getting adopted the most by dog owners and which ones are registered the most. Let’s take a look at the UK favorites!

1. Labrador Retriever 

The Labrador Retriever is my go-to. I have owned three of them in my life, and I must always have one, even if I have other dogs. They’re just that great, and many other dog owners agree. 

That said, they are one of the most popular for a good reason. This pup is often billed as the top dog and is a lovebug through and through. It’s a family dog that’s easy to train and will happily go along with whatever you want to do for the day. 

Labradors come in three colors: yellow, black, and chocolate. They have double coats that are short and smooth, but they do shed quite a bit, especially when the seasons change.

And … hey, did you know there are different types of Labradors?

2. German Shepherd Dog 

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The German Shepherd is one of the top working dog breeds in the UK, and they were originally bred for herding sheep. They are often used as military and police dogs, though they excel in search and rescue missions, too.

Another fun fact? German Shepherds are among the most intelligent in the world. That means they will pick up tasks and commands very quickly, but it also means they get bored quickly, too. 

However, it’s a courageous pup that’s loyal to the bone. It will serve as your companion and your guardian. This big dog is one of those dog breeds that’s high energy, so make sure you have time to devote to its physical and mental stimulation needs. 

Have you ever seen a White German Shepherd?

3. Golden Retriever

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If there ever was a cinnamon roll of a dog, it’s the Golden Retriever. This popular dog has a highly affectionate nature and truly loves its people from the moment you meet them. The Golden Retriever is also a very devoted dog and does tend to suffer from separation anxiety. 

Golden Retrievers vary in color from light yellow to deep mahogany, with flowing fur that looks graceful as they run. These friendly dogs were originally bred as gundogs, and some people still use them for that purpose.

4. Boxer 

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If you’re looking for a goofy, fun-loving companion with boundless amounts of energy, you’ll appreciate everything a Boxer brings to the table. Though they are undoubtedly clowns, don’t go thinking a Boxer is a dummy.

It’s a very smart dog that picks up on tasks and learns quickly. This means you need to engage it; otherwise, you’ll find your pup seeking another way to entertain itself and very likely, it won’t make you happy. 

5. French Bulldog

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The French Bulldog is proof great things come in small packages, and boy, are they happy pups — their smiles say it all. French Bulldogs have quite the character about them, and they can easily charm you into handing over just one more treat. 

One thing you’ll notice about the French Bulldog is that it’s a very independent thinker, but that’s okay! The French Bulldog will be more than happy to spend the day pal-ing around with you, and it has a loving nature. Just be careful not to overexert this dog breed because their flat noses can cause breathing difficulties. 

6. Border Collie 

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The Border Collie is another fan favorite. This pup is high on the list of everything – high energy, high intelligence, and extremely motivated to work. They are natural-born herders, and they will even try to corral their people — consider yourself warned! 

You will need to keep this pup busy, whether with agility training or a job on a ranch or farm. Border Collies benefit from early training, especially if you plan to keep it as a house pet. 

7. Cockapoo 

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Looking to add a little ball of fluff to your family? Enter the Cockapoo. This popular dog breed is a cross between a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel, which means you’re getting a heck of a dog when you adopt one.

Cockapoos may be small or large, depending on the Poodle’s size (they come in toy, miniature, and standard), and they are very low-shed pooches. 

The Cockapoo is often a very energetic pup, but it does have the affectionate personality of both the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel. This mixed breed does love attention, so be prepared to spend a lot of your time on them! They come in a variety of colors, as well!

8. English Cocker Spaniel 

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The English Cocker Spaniel is one of the top English dog breeds on our list. It’s almost like its American counterpart, but there are no docked tails. English Cocker Spaniels are also a bit taller and heavier. However, they retain the same affectionate nature and complete devotion to their people. 

You’re very likely to find your English Cocker Spaniel chasing birds and tracking scents as they are part of the gundog family. Training is essential if you want your English Cocker Spaniel to listen to you.

You’ll find these beautiful dogs in a variety of colors such as black, roan, black and tan, golden, lemon, liver, and a mix of others. 

9. Springer Spaniel 

Springer Spaniel 

The Springer Spaniel is a gundog that is recognized by the United Kennel Club. It has an obedient nature and is very eager to please its owner. They often tag along with hunters and retrieve game. They love water, so don’t be surprised if they splash around in a lake or even a puddle. 

Springer Spaniels are happy pups that are loyal and affectionate, though they are chock full of enthusiasm. You’ll want to keep this intelligent breed mentally stimulated and ensure there are a lot of long walks in their daily schedule.

10. Staffordshire Bull Terrier 

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The Staffordshire Bull Terrier called a staffie for short, is one of the most devoted of the popular breeds on this list. They are so caring and loving that they are actually nicknamed nanny dogs. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are very muscular looking, but they are truly gentle dogs that love their people. 

In order to make your Staffordshire Bull Terrier shine, early socialization and training are key. Definitely socialize them with other pets and raise them along with other dogs if you plan to have them in the future. They also have a strong prey drive, which is something to be cautious of if you have small animals in the home.

11. Border Terrier 

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If you’re looking for a pup that’s on the smaller side — in size, definitely not personality — a Border Terrier might just be what you need. These pups are so gentle-natured and have a great temperament that makes them a fit for just about every home. 

Border Terriers are tough little guys who love to play — that means shredding toys and playing tug of war, but watch your garden! These pups love to dig, dig, and dig some more. However, when it comes to love and affection, you’ll get it in spades with the Border Terrier, which is one of the reasons it is considered a most popular dog. 

12. Jack Russell Terrier

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If there was ever a British word to describe a dog, particularly a Jack Russell Terrier, it’d be plucky. This pup is daring, to say the least. Jack Russell Terriers were originally bred to hunt foxes, so they are not only fast, but they are also one breed you have to be careful with around other animals because of their prey drive. 

However, the Jack Russell Terrier is a hardy dog that’s full of enthusiasm and a whole lot of fun. They are also lovable dogs. Trust me when I say you won’t be bored with Jack Russell Terriers in your home. 

13. Labradoodle

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The Labradoodle, a mixed breed, definitely deserves a spot on this list. A perfect blend of a Labrador, one of the most popular breeds, and a Poodle, this pup is highly intelligent and high energy, garnering the best of both worlds. Labradoodles can come in a variety of colors, depending on their genetics, as well. 

One of the reasons many people adopt the Labradoodle — other than its incredible personality — is because of its low-shed tendencies. This is where the Poodle’s genetics come into play. And speaking of play, be prepared to do lots of it with this popular breed! 

14. Whippet

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One look at the Whippet, and you might flash back to “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!” Nope, this isn’t a miniature Greyhound; it’s an entirely different breed. What they do have in common though, is a similar build — just smaller in size, obviously — and their speed. Whippets are fast. Let that be a warning to train them early on so they don’t run out on you. 

Despite their speed, they aren’t necessarily high-energy dogs. They do well with a typical 30 minutes of exercise a day, and because they’re smaller, they can do it indoors! They do have a very high prey drive, but Whippets are one dog breed that loves to snuggle when they are done being playful.

15. Miniature Schnauzer

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One look at the Miniature Schnauzer, and you think .. distinguished. All it’s missing is a top hat and a “top o’ the morning to ya” greeting. Miniature Schnauzers might be small, but their personalities are anything but.

They can be notoriously stubborn with an independent streak a mile wide, but it does adapt very well to any circumstance.

The Miniature Schnauzer is also a dog bred to hunt pests, so socialization with smaller animals is a must.

FAQs

What Is the Most Popular Dog 2023 UK?

The most popular dog breeds in the UK in 2023, believe it or not, depends on who you ask. However, there are three major contenders that get mentioned — the Labrador Retriever, the Goldendoodle, and the mixed breeds. 

Many people are leaning towards mixed dog breeds, what they refer to as mongrels, because they are available everywhere, including in shelters, and typically, they tend to have fewer health issues. 

What Is the Most Popular Dog for Sale in the UK?

The top spot for the pupperoo for sale in the UK happens to be the Labrador! 

What Is England’s Favorite Dog?

It looks like we’re going for a full sweep because the UK’s most popular dog, the Labrador Retriever, happens to also be England’s favorite dog.

Conclusion

What do you think about the dog breeds on our most popular UK list? Some of these popular breeds are just universally popular no matter what country you live in.

As with any dog, make sure when you adopt, you find one that fits into your lifestyle. Just because it’s billed as a top dog doesn’t mean it’s a good fit. Sometimes, the average dogs are best.

If you want to check out some more English dogs, you’ll find some on our list of 22 rare dog breeds!

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