top 10 breeds dog uk

Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK

What Is The Most Popular Dog Breed In The UK?

Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK
Image by Huoadg5888

What are the Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK?

Did you know there are over 10 million dogs in the UK? Over 25% of the adult population owns one.

Although dogs are a species, there are hundreds of different breeds within them. Throughout history, they have bred together dogs through a selection process, creating new breeds. Take the Labrador and Poodle, which came together, giving us the adorable Labradoodle. 

The World Canine Organisation (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) recognises over 350 dog breeds worldwide. Their long list doesn’t even include the United States or Australia!

More mixed breeds (mongrels) are owned in the UK than any other kind.

So, let’s get to the top 10 dog breeds in the UK.

1. Labrador Retriever

Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK
Image by Chiemesee

The friendly nature of this breed, with its abundance of playful energy, is ideal for family life. Bred as working dogs, they also excel as therapy and police dogs. They are loyal, hard-working and love the time spent outdoors, spending some of their energy. It’s not surprising they often top the list of the 10 most popular breeds in the UK.

Labradors are also great socialisers, and are fine around animals and children, so perfect for young families. They should live up to around 10-12 years.

2. Cockapoo

Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK
Image by Sally Wynn

This fellow came from breeding the popular Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. Playful and friendly, the Cockapoo makes an ideal family pet. Their coat needs regular grooming, as it’s prone to matting. They are intelligent, love learning new tricks, and are people pleasers – making them easy to train. 

Cockapoos have lots of energy, and they need to exercise daily for around an hour. They suit an active, social family who will take them hiking or to the beach. They can live up to 12-15 years.

3. French Bulldog

Image by Mylene

Cute and loving, these companion dogs make popular family pets. French Bulldogs are full of energy, but also love to snuggle up on your lap for a good petting session. Many are prone to separation anxiety, which may need managing.

Although small, they have huge personalities and love to be around children. They are one of the most affectionate breeds and are very gentle. Their lifespan is around 11-14 years.

4. Cocker Spaniel

Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK
Adriana Morales

This family favourite always tops the top 10 dog breeds in the UK. With their long, floppy ears and soft silky coat – what’s not to love? 

First bred as gun dogs, they are popular with the police as sniffer dogs and for bomb detection. They have keen noses and are hard-working and loyal. Cocker Spaniels are energetic and will need a moderate amount of exercise. A good 30-minute walk twice a day should keep them healthy and happy. Their lifespan is around 12-15 years.

5. Dachshund

Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK
Image by Congerdesign

One of my personal favourites – is the sausage dog. It’s so cute it had to make the list of the top 10 dog breeds in the UK!

Dachshunds make loyal companions and good watchdogs. They are a playful breed and very affectionate, making them great for young families. They form a bond with one person and can be a little jealous. Dachshunds should have around 50 minutes of exercise spread over a few walks, ensuring they stay mentally stimulated and healthy. 

With their long bodies and relatively short legs, they are prone to back injuries. Dachshunds should be careful about jumping from furniture and not become overweight. Their lifespan is around 12-16 years.

6. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK
Image by Charlotte Yealey

Staffies, in the past, have had a bad rap. Poor owners and lack of training have given this lovely breed a poor reputation. They are, in fact, one of the most affectionate breeds. Full of energy and joy, they are eager to please – but can be stubborn.

They need lots of exercise and can pull on a lead, as they are very muscular and strong. Staffies are prone to hip problems and arthritis, Cushing’s disease and skin irritations. They should live around 12-14 years.

7. Jack Russell Terrier

Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK
Image by Ri Butov

As part of the terrier family, the Jack Russell is feisty and energetic. They have a strong prey drive and love to chase things – especially cars. You’ll need to protect your lawn with a Jack Russell around, as they love to dig. Keep an eye on your fences – they are known as escape artists extraordinaire.

They are very vocal and yappy, something you may need to consider if you have thin walls! Active through to old age, they are the Peter pan of the dog world and would suit an active and adventurous family. Jack Russell’s have a lifespan of 13-16 years.  

8. Border Collie

Image by Anna Olly

As a past Collie owner, I can attest to their loyal, loving natures. They are working dogs and need heaps of exercise and mental stimulation, or can become easily bored and destructive. Need a hiking buddy? a Border Collie’s your man.

Collies are whip-smart (considered the most intelligent breed) and are easily trained. They have a strong herding instinct, making them great working dogs on farms. Typically, they are a healthy breed but may suffer from joint problems and eye conditions later in life. Their lifespan is around 12-15 years.

9. Chihuahua

Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK
Image by Herbert

These pocket rockets are one of the smallest dog breeds in the world. Chihuahuas originated from Mexico and were brought to England in the 1800s. They are caring, loyal, and love to be around their people, making them perfect for first-time owners. They can be a little yappy, though.

Healthwise Chihuahuas can be prone to luxating patella which affects their kneecaps, dental problems and heart conditions. They have one of the longest lifespans of around 14-18 years.

10. German Shepherd

Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK
Image by Anja

Rounding up our Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK are the beautiful German Shepherds. Hardworking, agile and highly intelligent, they are excellent working dogs used by the Military and Police. They need a lot of exercise – up to two hours a day – or they can become ‘diggers’. Fiercely loyal and loving, with training and socialising, they make great family pets. 

German Shepherds have deep chests and can suffer from bloat – as a precaution, ensure any exercise is not within one hour of feeding. They can also have problems with their hips (Hip Dysplasia) but should have a lifespan of up to 10-14 years.


When choosing a dog, it is important to think about your family’s needs and circumstances. It’s no good choosing a Border Collie if you love to spend your weekends on the sofa bingeing on Netflix (no shame in that!) I’m a huge advocate for re-homing from a rescue centre too.

If you enjoyed Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK, please leave a comment – we’d love to hear from you.

If you’re a Greyhound or other Sighthound lover – see our sister blog – Happy Greys

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