Not everyone who aspires to owning a very large dog is able to do so, because large dogs need plenty of room, which is something that is usually in short supply in smaller homes! However, if you have the room to welcome a large dog breed into your life and are keen to make the right choice, there are a lot of options available in terms of different breeds that fall within the category of large dogs, each with their own unique traits and pros and cons.
If you’ve decided that a larger dog is the right fit for you and are trying to narrow down your options to a shortlist of dogs that suit your living situation and lifestyle, you might want to check out some of the UK’s most popular large dog breeds – and find out why they’re the nation’s favourites.
In this article we will give you a rundown of the five most popular large pedigree dog breeds in the UK based on user adverts and searches here on Pets4Homes, and look at what their appeal is to their owners and enthusiasts. Read on to learn more.
The boxer dog breed is the fifth most popular pedigree dog breed in the UK, and the thirty second most popular breed across all of the size categories. Boxers can stand up to 63cm tall for males and 59cm for females, and they’re recognised by The Kennel Club within the working dog group.
They were first developed as a breed in Germany, but quickly became popular in the UK as well. Their name comes from their propensity to “box” with their front paws, and not, as some people assume, because of their rather squashed noses and flat faces!
Boxer dogs tend to be lean and muscular with a deep chest, and until tail docking became illegal in the UK, it was common practice to dock their tails quite short soon after birth.
Boxers tend to be playful, fun loving and very affectionate, as well as quiet and well behaved within the home. These traits, combined with their distinctive looks, help to make the boxer one of our most popular large dog breeds in the UK.
The Rottweiler is another breed with German origins, which again falls into The Kennel Club’s working dog group. They stand up to 69cm tall for males and 63cm for females, and they are also very muscular and tend to be quite stocky.
Historically used as watchdogs and guard dogs as well as for livestock guarding and protection, perhaps their best-known breed trait is their protective nature and willingness to defend their homes and the people that they love from threats. However, despite pop culture references to the contrary, they are not aggressive dogs and whilst they can be rather speculative with people they don’t know, they have kind, loving natures and are usually very good with children.
The Rottweiler is the UK’s fourth most popular large-breed dog, and the twenty fourth most popular breed overall.
The Golden retriever is a large longhaired dog breed with a distinctive flowing golden coat, which requires a lot of grooming and attention to keep it in good condition.
Males of the breed can reach a height up to 61cm tall, whilst females range between 51-56cm at the withers.
They fall into The Kennel Club’s gundog grouping, and were originally used for retrieving game both on land and in the water. They are also one of the most popular breeds of dog that are trained for assistance dog roles, being intelligent, very personable and pleasant to train.
They are lively and active dogs that need lots of exercise, and they are also good all-rounders, getting on well with other dogs, children, and strangers equally well. Golden retrievers are the third most popular large dog breed, and the twenty third most popular breed overall.
The German shepherd is the third dog with German origins to fall within the top five large dog breeds, and this versatile, good looking dog can stand up to 65cm tall for males, and 60cm for females. They are the UK’s second most popular large dog breed, and the ninth most popular overall.
German shepherds have performed a lot of working roles over the course of their recorded history, including livestock herding and guarding, assistance roles, and work with the police and military. They are often the dog of choice for guarding and watchdog roles today, but they are also hugely popular pets that are great at canine sport as well as a good fit for domestic life.
German shepherds are watchful, very loyal, and highly intelligent, and they form very strong bonds with their families. They also have a very traditional appearance and are what many people think of as a good average representation of what a dog should look like.
Their coats can be long or short and require a reasonable amount of grooming and care, and they are fairly active too, and need a lot of exercise.
It’s no surprise that the loving, handsome and very versatile Labrador retriever is the UK’s most popular large dog breed, and they’re also the fifth most popular breed in the UK overall as well.
Labrador retrievers are highly adaptable and very versatile, originally being used as retrieving dogs on land and in the water, later being prized for their temperaments and intelligence and seeing plenty of use as assistance dogs too. When it comes to canine sport, Labradors tend to be amongst the most commonly seen breeds across disciplines as diverse as heelwork, obedience and agility, and they really are good all-rounders that can turn their paws to most things.
They are very active dogs with high intelligence and so they need lots of mental stimulation as well as physical exercise, and they are hugely loving and gentle as well as tending to be calm and friendly with other dogs and people that they don’t know as well.