There are over 240 different dog breeds and types that are present in sufficient numbers to be recognisable and/or recognised as breeds somewhere in the world, and naturally, some of these are a lot more common and popular in the UK than others.
The popularity of different dog breeds can of course fluctuate significantly over time, and generally this is slow process that takes many years or even decades to see switches in position at the most popular end of the scale, albeit this is something that the French bulldog breed has broken all kinds of records for in the last decade!
However, if you were asked to guess the top five most popular dog breeds in the UK, most dog lovers could probably make a fair attempt and name five breeds that are at least within the top twenty if you’re fairly observant, as these breeds are a common sight all over the country.
Pets4Homes is the UK’s largest dedicated pet classifieds website, forum, and advice portal, and we like to think we know a thing or two about the most in-demand dog breeds a result of this! With this in mind, we’ve used data from Pets4Homes’ own records plus those published by The Kennel Club to share five fascinating comparisons of the UK’s five most popular dog breeds. Read on to learn more.
If you were asked to guess the UK’s most popular dog breeds, would you be right – or even in the right ballpark?
We’ve collated data on the number of adverts for dogs and litters for sale placed on Pets4Homes over the last year to rank the five most popular dog breeds in the UK, from one to five.
We’ve also shown how this matches up to the Kennel Club’s figures from 2018, which are based purely on the number of new pedigree puppies of each breed registered with them.
The Kennel Club’s first placed pedigree breed by puppy registrations: The French bulldog
As you can see, Pets4Homes and The Kennel Club both recognise the French bulldog as the UK’s most popular breed!
The Kennel Club’s second placed pedigree breed by puppy registrations: The Labrador retriever
Quite a difference here… Pets4Homes sees the Chihuahua as the second most commonly advertised dog breed, whilst the Kennel Club makes this the Labrador retriever, so our two second-placed breeds would really struggle to be more different from each other! Pets4Homes ranks the Labrador in 6th place, just outside of the top five.
The Kennel Club’s third placed breed by pedigree puppy registrations: The Cocker Spaniel
Third place is once more rather different… The companionable pug for Pets4Homes, and the workmanlike Cocker Spaniel for the Kennel Club!
The Kennel Club’s fourth placed pedigree breed by puppy registrations: The English Bulldog
The Cockapoo isn’t actually a pedigree dog breed and so, not eligible for Kennel Club registration… And so the Kennel Club’s fourth-placed breed is the English Bulldog, which is 7th in our own ranks.
The Kennel Club’s fifth placed breed by pedigree puppy registrations: The English Springer Spaniel
The Kennel Club’s third-placed dog is our firth; the Cocker Spaniel. The Kennel Club’s own fifth-placed English Springer falls right down in 17th place in our own rankings!
How do Pets4Homes’ top five most popular dog breeds compare in the size stakes, from largest to smallest?
The Cocker spaniel is the largest breed in our top five, with males measuring up to 41cm tall at the withers and weighing up to around 14.5kg.
The Cockapoo can vary considerably in size as their two parent breeds are rather different, but the Cockapoo averages up to around 38cm tall and 10.9kg in weight for males.
The French bulldog stands up to around 30cm tall at the withers and can weigh up to around 12.5kg for males.
The Pug and French bulldog’s respective breed standards mean that there is a reasonable amount of crossover in sizes, and some Pugs may be taller than Frenchies and in some cases, may weigh more – but generally this would make the Pug in question objectively overweight! The average male Pug stands between 25-35cm tall at the withers, and weighs up to 8.1kg.
The Chihuahua isn’t just the smallest breed in the top five list; it is also the smallest dog breed in the world! They have an average height at the withers of 15-25cm, and average weight just 1.8-2.7kg!
Based on the Coren scale of canine intelligence, here are the five most popular dog breeds in the UK ranked in intelligence order. As the Cockapoo isn’t included on the scale due to their hybrid status, we’ve averaged the difference between their two parent breeds to determine their position.
Based on the mid-ground between the Cocker spaniel and Poodle’s positions on the list, the Cockapoo is the most intelligent dog in our top five! Their theoretical position on the Coren scale would be around 13th place, out a total number of 138 different breeds.
The Cocker Spaniel, one of the Cockapoo’s two parent breeds is the second smartest on the list. They fall in 24th place on the Coren scale (all cocker variants) and for English Cocker Spaniels specifically, a step up in 21st place.
The pug is middle of the smarts pack in the top five, but their position on the wider Coren scale is a low one – 108th place, in fact!
And just as shade below them in 109th place comes the French Bulldog!
The tiny Chihuahua falls way down in 125th place on the Coren scale, placing them at the bottom of our list!
Which of the top five most popular dog breeds in the UK will cost you the most to buy? Let’s take a look at the average advertised prices from the last year.
Average price for pedigrees: £1,335
Average price for non-pedigrees: £1,155
The Cockapoo isn’t actually a pedigree breed, so we’ve based their second-place ranking based on their average price compared to the average for the non-pedigree specimens of the other breeds listed.
Average price for non-pedigrees: £801
Average price for pedigrees: £848
Average price for non-pedigrees: £672
Average price for pedigrees: £788
Average price for non-pedigrees: £594
Average price for pedigrees: £716
Average price for non-pedigrees: £516
So, how long lived and healthy are our top five breeds compared to each other? Here’s the ranking based on average longevity combined with propensity to robust good health.
With an average lifespan of a whopping 14-18 years, the healthiest breed on the list is a type, rather than a breed – which is the key to their longevity, in the form of hybrid vigour.
With an average lifespan of consistently over 12 years, the Cocker Spaniel is the second healthiest breed in our popularity list.
The Chihuahua’s average lifespan can be hugely variable, from 10-18 years; with the lower end of the spectrum more common.
The pug’s average lifespan is 12-14, which means that whilst few live above 14, the vast majority live until at least 12.
Last of all, the French Bulldog, with an average lifespan of 10-14, with an average of 10-11.