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Top 15 Most Popular Dog Breeds of the United Kingdom

Let’s take a look at the Top 15 Most Popular dogs of the UK. The research has been done, and we have come up with the 15 most popular dog breeds of the United Kingdom.

There are many popular dog breeds in the UK. These dog breeds range from Boxers, Cocker Spaniels, English Bulldog, and German Shepherd to name a few. The dogs come in many different shapes, sizes, and personalities to choose from. The article has a brief description and general statistics of each breed to give you a look into the breed.

Border Collie

Border Collie- Popular Dog Breed in the UK.
Border Collie

The Border Collie is energetic, affectionate, and smart.  This breed is prevalent in the UK and is from Scotland. Border Collies like to eat holes in walls and furniture out of boredom.

With that in mind, anyone looking for a Border Collie as a family pet should be ready to take care of its active physical needs, or they may find themselves with a dog that has bad behavior issues that will be hard to correct. 

Life Expectancy and Health 

The life expectancy of a Corder Collie is 12-15 years, and they are a generally healthy breed.


This breed has two coats, a rough medium coat, as well as a smooth short one.  Both layers require weekly brushing with a pin brush to keep it clean and looking its best. During the shedding season, they tend to shed a lot, so you will have to brush more often to avoid tangles and mats. 

Famous and Popular Border Collie in the UK

Shep was a famous Blue Peter Dog who was bought by the BBC and helped the breed become one of the most popular dog breeds of the United Kingdom.


Boxer begging for a treat.

The Boxer is fun-loving, active, and bright.  They are one of the UK’s most popular breeds and are known to be great protectors, excellent and patient with children, therefore, making them a perfect family dog for those looking for a medium-sized dog. 

Life Expectancy and Health

10-12 years for a Boxer and they are generally healthy. The Boxer does not do well in extreme hot or cold and, therefore, should not be left outside for long periods.  A good breeder will screen their stock for health issues such as hip dysplasia and heart conditions.


Boxers do not need a lot of grooming because they are generally clean dogs.  Brushing once or twice a week will help keep their coat shiny and clean and remove any dead hair.

Famous and Popular Boxers in the UK

Punch and Judy were two boxers who were given a Dickin Medal from the People’s Dispensary For Sick Animals for their bravery in Israel in 1946.  They saved the lives of two British Soldiers by warning them and attacking an armed terrorist who was stealing from them. 


Cockapoo in garden
Cockapoo-Popular Dog Breed in the UK.

Outgoing, loving, and agile, the Cockapoo is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle.  These little guys will suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long, so they are best suited for families with children. They are great with retrieve game and are excellent swimmers, which are fun activities for the entire family!

Life Expectancy and Health

A Cockapoo can live between 12-18 years. Some have even lived to 22, and are generally healthy breed, although they can suffer from “Loose Knees,” which can be inherited by their puppies.  A good breeder will check their stock for health issues.


  • Straight hair: it is recommended to brush the coat at least twice a week to keep it clean and healthy.
  • Wavy and Curly:  Brush at least two to three times a week to keep the coat from tangles and mats.
  • Tight Curls:  Daily brushing is required because this prevents the coat from getting mats and tangles.

Cocker Spaniel 

Cocker Spaniel posing for a picture
Very popular in the UK- Cocker Spaniel

Happy, smart, and gentle, the Cocker Spaniel is a sweet loving dog.  They are known as one of the world’s most famous and popular dogs, and that goes for the UK as well!  Bred originally as hunting dogs in the UK, this breed has come a long way and are now fun-loving companions.

Great pets for a family and will get along with everyone and are easy to train. Cocker Spaniels can suffer from separation anxiety. They are best suited for a family that wants an indoor dog and lots of love and affection.

Life Expectancy and Health

The Cocker Spaniel can live up to 14 years old. Health issues include ear and eye infections. Due to the dog’s long lifespan, it makes the breed one of the most popular dog breeds of the United Kingdom.


It is very crucial for this breed that it receives daily brushing.  If you miss a day grooming this breed, you will find that it will be hard to catch up. They have long curly hair, and can easily get tangled and matted. 

A metal, professional-quality dog comb with fine and medium spacing for the teeth is needed to keep their coat in good condition. 

Famous and Popular Cocker Spaniels in the UK 

Charkie is Cocker Spaniel featured in Curious George.  The UK named him George Zozo in 1941 to avoid using that name on an ape while King George VI was ruling.


A Dachshund waiting for a command
Extremely popular in the UK- The Dachshund

The Dachshund is spunky, friendly, and curious.  The breed is also known as the “Weiner Dog” and for its short stubby legs and long torso. Dachshunds are genuinely affectionate and always ready for snuggles. 

They are very protective of their family and will even go up against a bigger dog if he/she thinks the family is in danger. 

If you are looking for a smaller affectionate dog breed that is playful, smart and keeps you warm at night, then the Dachshund is the way to go for you and your family.

Life Expectancy and Health

The Dachshund can live to 16 years old and are generally healthy.


There are three different coats for this breed.

  1. Smooth coat: Most comfortable to deal with as you do not need to brush them, and you can just wash and let air dry.
  2. Longhaired: Requires weekly brushing to avoid tangles and mats
  3. Wirehaired: Requires to be brushed at least twice a week, as well as having the coat  plucked or hand-stripped several times a year

Famous and Popular Dachshund in the UK

Stanley and Boodgie were the Dachshunds of David Hockney, who is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. 

Doberman Pinscher

A Doberman Pinscher smiling for the camera.
Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher is an alert, loyal, fearless, great companion, and very popular in the UK.  They can be easily trained and are quick learners.  They can be a great family dog if trained.

However, this dog breed is not suitable for more than two owners. If you are looking for a loyal guard dog, this is the one for you.

Life Expectancy and Health 

The life of a Doberman Pinscher is typically between 10-14 years old. They can suffer from bloat, which can be life-threatening.  Make sure you know the signs and get to a vet is this occurs.

A good breeder will screen for any health issues like

  • hip dysplasia
  • dilated cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart),
  • von Willebrand’s disease (a clotting disorder)
  • progressive retinal atrophy
  • albinism
  • hypothyroidism


Occasional bathing is suggested for the Doberman as they usually are pretty clean and do not get into much dirt. Daily brushing is required for this breed to keep it’s coat shiny and healthy. A short-bristled brush or a grooming mitt works best on this breed. 

Famous and Popular Dobermann Pinscher of the UK 

Rancho Dobe’s Storm- also known as Storm or Stormie was a two time Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Dog Club in 1952 and 1953.  Royal Doulton released a ceramic figurine of Stormie.

English Bulldog

An English Bulldog waiting for a snack.
The English Bulldog- Dog of the UK!

A Britain favorite, the English Bulldog, is calm, friendly, and courageous.   They are great as a family dog with children. The English Bulldogs require moderate exercise to stay fit and not gain weight.  

Life Expectancy and Health

The life of English Bulldog is typically 8-10 years. They do not do well in sweltering weather.  This breed should be kept indoors on hot and humid days. If the Bulldog gets overexcited or is breathing too hard, the tongue will stick out far and have a bluish color to it.  If you see this, give the dog cold water or ice right away. 


Ten minutes two to three times a week with a soft brush, will help the Bulldog look its best.

Famous and Popular Bulldog of the UK

The English Bulldog is used to represent the United Kingdom. And that’s one of the reasons why it is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United Kingdom.

English Springer Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel is a popular dog in the United Kingdom

The English Springer Spaniel is an obedient, friendly, and playful popular dog breed in the UK. They are an amiable breed that likes the company of children and other animals. 

It can make a great family dog, but it will favor one family member over the rest and stay close to that person. An excellent exercise for them is swimming, they are good at it and enjoy it.

Don’t Leave Them Alone

They tend to get bored if left alone for an extended period and may make their own fun, which may end up with you doing a lot of cleaning and perhaps replacing some items.  In other words, make sure your dog is not left alone for long periods to avoid any adverse reactions from the dog that may cause you to get upset.

Life Expectancy and Health

The Spaniel is generally a healthy breed and can live between 10.5 -15 years. However, they tend to have hip dysplasia and eye conditions. A good breeder will screen for these health issues. Their ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to avoid getting infections since they have long ears.  

They can gain weight very quickly, so owners need to be careful about what their dog is eating. So, this dog should stay away from fatty foods. See our list of food dogs can and can’t eat because we need to be vigilant as to what we are feeding our dogs, as we do not want to feed them something that could be fatal to them.


Weekly brushing is essential to remove loose hair and dirt. Doing this will keep the dog’s coat healthy, shiny, and free of mats. A slicker brush or metal dog comb will help take out any tangles the dog may get. 

Famous and Popular English Springer Spaniel in the UK 

Buster was an English Springer Spaniel and a military detection dog that was active during the Iraq War. He served with the Duke’s Of Wellington  Regiment and discovered an extremist group’s hidden arsenal of weapons and explosives.

Buster received a Dickin Medal. These dogs are highly intelligent, making it one of the most popular dog breeds in the United Kingdom.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd looking to its owner for a command.
German Shepherd

 Very popular in the UK, The German Shepherd is courageous, smart, and confident.   They are brilliant, and so they are used as police dogs and in the military. Eager to learn and please, they are a popular choice for a guard or family dog as well.  

Life Expectancy and Health 

Typically a healthy breed, the German Shepherd’s life expectancy is 7-10 years. A good breeder will screen for health issues like hip dysplasia. 


They have a medium-length double coat consisting of a harsh and dense outer coat with a  softer undercoat. Weekly brushing is crucial to remove dead hair and to avoid mats. During shedding season, brushing is essential every other day to keep fur off your furniture. 

Famous and Popular German Shepherd in the UK

Jet was a German Shepherd and was born in Liverpool.  He serviced with the Civil Defence Services of Longs and assisted in saving 150 people in bombed buildings. Jet was awarded a Dicken Medal and the RSPCA’s Medallion of Valor for his rescue efforts. 

Jack Russell

The Jack Russell is friendly, athletic, and clever
The Jack Russell is a friendly, and athletic dog that requires a lot of physical activity.

The Jack Russell is friendly, athletic, and intelligent.  This popular dog breed is also very energetic and requires a lot of exercise and stimulation.  Jack Russells do not do well in apartment or condo living unless you can give it the exercise it needs.

This terrier will make his own fun if left alone for long periods as they get bored very quickly, and you may come home to a mess and some items that may need replacing. So, if you want to bring a Jack Russell home, you need to be prepared and committed to the physical exercise it needs. Dog sports would be a great way to ensure this dog gets the proper exercise.

Small Dog, Big Bark

Barking at everything it sees, makes this breed makes an excellent guard dog for families, but you have to be okay with the barking. You could always sign up for training and obedience training if you cannot handle the excited barking.

Life Expectancy and Health

The Jack Russell is one of the healthiest dog breeds, and they live between thirteen and sixteen years. However, they can live longer than sixteen years. My jack russell did. He made it to eighteen.


Regular brushing is essential for both types of coats – Smooth, and Rough.   Monthly baths are to keep their coats clean. You may need to bathe more often as Jack Russells because they like to get down and dirty in the mud!

Famous and Popular Jack Russell of the UK  

A popular and famous UK dog was Chalky, who was the dog of Rick Stein, a restaurateur and chef.  Chalky was given an obituary from the BBC when he passed away in 2007.

I had the pleasure of growing up with a very healthy Jack Russell named Rocky.  He lived to eighteen and was a great companion. Rocky may have barked at everything and had a bit of an attitude, but he was a sweet and loving dog, and I wouldn’t have changed him for anything.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed
The Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed. In the UK they are also very popular. They are great with children and a very loyal pet.

America’s most popular and favorite dog is also the UK’s top breed. They are friendly, outgoing, and active, and most certainly have enough affection for the entire family.  If you are looking for a medium – to – sizeable affectionate dog, then look no further.   

Life Expectancy and Health

The Lab is known to live between the ages of 10-12 years and is generally healthy. They do like to eat a lot and have a risk of becoming obese if not given the proper exercise that they need, like swimming and running. The Labrador Retriever is a great active dog making it one of the most popular dog breeds of the United Kingdom.


The Labrador Retriever has a thick, water-repellant double coat that sheds a lot. Brushing their fur coat weekly is required to avoid tangles and mats. During the shedding season, brushing their coats will have to be done a few times a week to keep from mats, knots, and hair on the furniture. Occasional bathing is required to keep them clean.

Famous and Popular Lab In The UK 

Endal was a service dog in Britain and received a PDSA gold medal for Animal Gallantry and Devotion to Duty. He was also the first dog to ride the London Eye and the first dog to work a chip and pin ATM card successfully.  He died at the age of fourteen and is buried in the Ilford PDSA Cemetery.

Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is an adorable fun loving dog!
Mini Schnauzers make great family pets and are very affectionate.

A prevalent breed in the UK, the Miniature Schnauzer, is smart, friendly, and obedient.  They are affectionate and great family dogs as they get along well with children and other animals.  Highly trainable, the Schnauzer makes an excellent guard dog for you and your family.

Life Expectancy and Health 

Mini Schnauzers are a healthy breed and live between 12-15 years.


This breed has a double coat,  wiry topcoat, with a soft undercoat.  Regular brushing is key to keeping the coat healthy and only needs to be bathed once a month.  The Mini Schnauzer sheds very little, so you do not need to worry about fur getting all over your furniture.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier lounging  in the yard.  This breed is very popular in the UK.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a common pet in the United Kingdom

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK.  They are witty, brave, and tenacious. This breed is known to be loving, gentle, playful, and great with children, which will make them a great family dog, thanks to responsible breeding.

Life Expectancy and Health 

Staffordshire Bull Terrier can live between 12-14 years and are generally a healthy dog breed.


Brushing their coat on a weekly bases, with a horsehair mitt or hound glove to pull away dead hairs, is recommended to keep the coat healthy. Giving them occasional baths will keep your Staffie looking great.   

Famous and Popular Staffordshire Bull of the UK

The Staffordshire Police adopted Cooper for means of training as a Police Dog. In short, a professional working dog.


A beautiful light gray Weimaraner with light blue eyes. This breed is very popular in the UK
Weimaraner dog breeds are popular in the United Kingdom.

This breed is obedient, friendly, and fearless.  The breed loves exercise and a lot of it, in other words, this dog requires a lot of physical activity. Weimaraner are excellent with children, which makes them great family pets.

Life Expectancy and Health 

Weimaraners live for about 15 years and are incredibly active, which can result in accidental cuts, scrapes, sprains, and pulls because these guys are prone to accidents due to their high energy. They can get teeth and gum injuries due to their love of chewing on everything.

They are generally healthy, but a severe health condition with this breed is Gastric Torsion (bloat), where the stomach gets overstretched and twists shut.  Do your research on this condition so that you are aware of the signs and know what to do in case of an emergency.


In order to remove dead hair and keep their coat shiny and clean Weimaraners require weekly brushings.

Welsh Terriers

Welsh terriers are a popular dog breed in the UK
The Welsh terrier is a very popular and common pet in the United Kingdom.

Intelligent, friendly, and spirited, the Welsh Terrier loves being around children, therefore making them great family pets.

Life Expectancy and Health 

This breed has a life span of 12-15 years, so therefore, you can expect a tremendous long friendship with this breed. All Jack Russell dogs tend to be extremely healthy. Also, they have a stomach made of steel!


It is recommended that you brush the coat 2- 3 times per week in order to keep the coat shiny and healthy.

Famous and Popular Welsh Terriers in the UK 

Gwen a Welsh terrier was a pet of Edward, Prince of Wales and later King Edward VIII.

Most Popular Dog Breeds of the United Kingdom Conclusion

There you have it, my friends, a list of the 15 Most Popular dog breeds in the UK. If you are in the market for a dog, please do your research as you can see, dogs come in all different shapes and sizes and choosing a dog is not something to take lightly because dogs of any size are a lot of work and it takes a lot of love and patience to train your dog and create great bonds with them.

But let me tell you, it is worth it. To sum up, a dog can be a great companion, and they will love you with every fiber they have.


  1. Wikipedia
  2. American Kennel Club
  3. The Kennel Club UK
  4. The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds – D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D.
  5. Canadian Kennel Club

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