What makes a breed popular?

With so many different types of dogs available, what makes a breed popular? The Kennel Club discuss why some breeds continue to be the first choice for people in search of a pet. 

popular breeds

Despite there being 211 different dog breeds officially recognised in the UK, just ten breeds dominate the canine population in Britain, making up more than half of all pedigree dogs.

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The Labrador Retriever has been Britain’s most popular dog breed for more than 20 years and its popularity does not seem to be fading. In 2012, more than 36,000 puppies – 16% of all of the pedigree dogs registered in the UK – were Labradors.

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Previous Kennel Club research has found that one in five people’s choice of dog breed was influenced by celebrity dog owners, films and television, whilst more than half were influenced purely by the look of the dog.

popular breeds

British dog owners are missing out on a plethora of wonderful and interesting breeds. Breeds such as the Hovawart, Hungarian Puli, Russian Black Terrier, Sloughi, Schipperke and Cesky Terrier are being overlooked in favour of the Border Terrier, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Pug and just a handful of others.

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Unfortunately some of our native breeds are missing out due to fashion – the Otterhound, Skye Terrier and Sussex Spaniel, for example, only managed 153 registrations between them last year.

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Although the top ten are all wonderful breeds, there are many more dog breeds out there and everyone is different. The Kennel Club encourages people to look further, find out about why certain dog breeds are or are not suitable for the individual’s lifestyle, and gives people the tools to make informed choices that will lead to a happy relationship.

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1. Retriever (Labrador) 36,487

2. Spaniel (Cocker) 23,306

3. Spaniel (English Springer) 12,792

4. German Shepherd Dog 8,502

5. Pug 7,539

6. Golden Retriever 7,085

7. Border Terrier 6,577

8. Staffordshire Bull Terrier 6,235

9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 5,970

10. Miniature Schnauzer 5,797

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