When it comes to dog owners and the type of dogs that individual owners prefer, opinions tend to be fairly polarised between those who like pedigrees and those who like mixed breed dogs or mongrels. There are pros and cons on both sides of the debate, of course – if you want a dog with specific traits in terms of their appearance and personality and/or want to take part in breed shows, you are likely to choose a pedigree dog.
If on the other hand you’re happy to choose a dog that looks good and has a nice personality without falling within the narrow remit of a certain breed – and also, if you are concerned about the spread of hereditary health issues among dogs from within a narrow breed gene pool – a mixed breed or mutt is likely to be the best choice for you.
However, there is also some middle ground to be found in the form of hybrid or cross-breed dogs, which, whilst they don’t have a set breed standard and cannot be registered with the UK Kennel Club, tend to offer more predictability in terms of core traits than random mixed breeds without falling within the remit of a formal breed standard.
Hybrid dog crosses are intended to combine the best traits of their parent breeds whilst also reducing some of the less desirable factors – such as the increased risk of hereditary health issues. This has made many specific hybrid crosses and dog types that aren’t recognised as breeds in their own right within the UK very popular, and in this article, we’re going to introduce the UK’s most popular non-pedigree and hybrid dog types.
None of these dogs are eligible for breed registration with the UK Kennel Club, but even so, they’re still really popular, beating out a lot of registered dog breeds in terms of the number of dogs of their respective types owned in the UK, and the amount of adverts and searches performed for them here on Pets4Homes.
Read on to find out the UK’s most popular mixed breed and non-pedigree dog types.
The Lurcher is one of the most ubiquitous dog types here in the UK, and they’ve been really popular for many decades. A lurcher is any dog whose parentage or ancestry involves a greyhound with any other dog breed, but this most commonly means a greyhound crossed with a terrier, collie or sheepdog.
The lurcher, like the greyhound, is classed as a sighthound which means that they have a strong prey drive and hunt by sight, and they also tend to have the lean bodies and long legs that we associate with the greyhound. Originally used for hunting rabbits and other small prey, the lurcher is also a popular pet.
The lurcher is the 6th most popular mixed breed dog in the UK, and is 35th overall in the rankings of all pedigree dog breeds and common hybrid dog types.
The Old Tyme bulldog is a relatively recent addition to the dog world, and dogs of this type are bred to possess all of the desirable traits of the English bulldog, which is their main ancestor, but without many of the associated health problems.
The Old Tyme bulldog is so-named because the goal of breeding them is to produce a bulldog that has a more traditional appearance than is popular among English bulldog enthusiasts – which are themselves very different in appearance to their ancestors from a century or so ago.
Old Tyme bulldogs tend to have longer legs, a leaner body and less exaggerated musculature, and a less flat face. They’re not recognised as a breed in their own right by The Kennel Club, but are still the UK’s fifth most popular non-pedigree dog type, and are 31st overall in our dog breed and type rankings.
Sticking with the bulldog theme, the fourth-place position goes to the American bulldog. American bulldogs are not recognised by the UK Kennel Club, nor by the American Kennel club – although they have a strong following of enthusiasts on both sides of the pond, and are recognised for registration by many other breed organisations.
American bulldogs also have the English bulldog as one of their main ancestors, and the other breeds that go into their makeup commonly include other bull-type breeds, mastiffs, and larger terriers.
The American bulldog is 26th in the UK in terms of popularity across the board.
The labradoodle was one of the first deliberate hybrid crossings, comprised of a mixture of poodle and Labrador retriever ancestry. Deliberate matings of dogs of this type are recorded as far back as the 1950’s, and the very first dogs of this type were bred in an attempt to produce an intelligent, personable dog with a low-shedding coat, for use as assistance dogs for people with allergies to pet dander.
They’re hugely popular as pets today too, and although their coats can be quite variable in texture, many if not most dogs of this type have the low-shedding coat that this hybrid crossing was designed to produce.
They’re also the 22nd most popular dog type in the UK overall, as well as being the third most popular non-pedigree.
A Cavapoo is the result of crossing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a poodle – usually a miniature poodle. Like the labradoodle, this crossing was originally intended to create a dog with a low shedding coat, but again, this can vary considerably from dog to dog.
Again, the Cavapoo has been around for longer than you might expect, with the first dogs of this type being bred in the USA in the 1950’s.
The Cavapoo is our second most popular mixed breed dog, and the 20th most popular overall.
The UK’s most popular hybrid or non-pedigree dog type overall is the cockapoo – and they are so popular that they’re actually the UK’s fourth most popular non-pedigree dog as well!
A cockapoo is the result of crossing a poodle with a cocker spaniel, and again, the first deliberate matings of this type took place back in the 1950’s in the USA, and it is only within the last decade or so that the cockapoo has really gained traction in the UK.
This makes it all the more notable that they’ve taken the number one spot, and even more so that they’re the 4th most popular dog type overall!
If your interested in finding out more useful dog breed information or up-to-date ranking statistics for dog breeds in the UK, then please visit the Pets4Homes Dog Breed Selector page.
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