Popular pedigree dog breeds - is your pup top of the list?

dog breeds -

Popular pedigree dog breeds - is your pup top of the list?

As we’ve talked about a few times over the last year, there has been a huge increase in people getting dogs in the UK during the pandemic, but despite this some breeds have become very rare. Recent research from Millets has revealed that some types of pup are in danger of disappearing all together. The findings are based on figures from the Kennel Club who only register pedigree dogs, so it does not include any of the popular mixed breeds such as cockapoos or labradoodles, or well-bred pups that are not registered - but it does give a good idea as to what types of dog are popular at the moment – and more importantly, which ones need saving. So if you’re still thinking about getting a dog right now, you might want to consider a rarer breed to save them from extinction – providing that their type and temperament is right for you and your home.

More pedigrees were registered in 2020

According to the Kennel Club, dog registrations in 2020 were up by 7.8% from the previous year and some 250,000 dogs were registered in total last year.

The most popular pedigree breed was the Labrador Retriever which experienced a 13% surge in popularity since 2019. Labradors make excellent family pets and it is no surprise that this dog has experienced continuing popularity to remain man’s best friend during the pandemic.

French Bulldog pic by Megan Markham on Pexels

2019’s most popular breed, the French Bulldog (pictured above) dropped down into second place in 2020. These dogs also have a fantastic temperament, although as we reported earlier in the year on the blog, due to selective breeding they have very flat faces which can cause breathing difficulties and increase their susceptibility to things like heatstroke so this is something that you might want to consider if you are thinking about getting a ‘Frenchie.’

Cocker Spaniel pic by German Suarez on Pexels

One half of the ingredients used to make the hugely popular Cockapoo, mixed breed, the Cocker Spaniel (above) has jumped in popularity to take third place in 2020. These sweet and friendly dogs make excellent family pets and companions.

English Bulldog pic by Creative Workshop on Pexels

Although interest in French Bulldogs appears to have peaked, English Bulldogs (like the one pictured above) have surged in popularity. Last year more than 11,000 were registered in the UK, up by 17% compared to 2019

There are now more than twice as many pedigree English Bulldogs in the UK than there were a decade ago and this upward trend shows no signs of stopping, despite the breathing difficulties experienced by this breed – they do make loyal and loving pets.

Dachshund pic by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels

Due in part to their role on the TV series Goggle box where ‘sausage dogs’ shared a sofa with several of the families involved, Miniature Smooth Haired Dachshunds have experienced 10 years of steady increase in popularity, which means that the UK now had five times as many of this breed than it did ten years ago. Although they don't always make great pets - these dogs can be more stubborn than other small breeds. Full sized sausage dogs were originally bred for hunting badgers (Dachs is German for badger) and the smaller versions carry some of this attitude with them. They’re not just a pretty face – but they were the fifth most popular pedigree breed in the UK in 2020. Here's the list in full:

The top 10 most popular dog breeds in the UK in 2020

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. French Bulldog
  3. Cocker Spaniel
  4. Bulldog
  5. Miniature Smooth Haired Dachshund
  6. Springer Spaniel
  7. Golden Retriever
  8. German Shepherd
  9. Pug
  10. Staffordshire Bull Terrie

So we’ve looked at the top five, now lets see who is in danger of disappearing...

Although they’re still at number nine on the list, Pugs have experienced 5,000 less registrations since 2017. Like French Bulldogs, Pugs went through a period of intense popularity – peaking at 11,000 registrations 4 years ago, down to just 6,000 in 2020. Despite being less ‘fashionable’ now, Pugs do make excellent pets and are full of character, they are certainly worth considering if you’re after a smaller breed. 

German Shepherd pic by Kelly Lacy on Pexels

Two very traditional English breeds have experienced a slightly slower decline. German Shepherd registrations have dropped by 30% over the last 10 years, down from 10,000 in 2010 to 7,000 in 2020. The English Springer Spaniel has also declined by 30% too. Although these dogs make good pets they do need a lot of training and exercise which don’t always fit in with busy lifestyles.

Talking about the decline, Kiera Baxter Marketing Exec at Millets, who commissioned the survey said:

“It is interesting to see how the popularity of certain dog breeds can change over time, for example the pedigree Bulldog and the Miniature Smooth Haired Dachshund have both seen an increase in popularity since 2011. 

“It is also a worrying trend that many native British dog breeds, such as the King Charles, are now deemed as vulnerable due to the demand of fashionable breeds like the French Bulldog.”

The Kennel Club has a full list of Vulnerable breeds on their website and we’ll be writing more about these and whether they make good pets in a few weeks – here’s our top ten of the most vulnerable breeds in the UK right now:

The top 10 least popular dog breeds in the UK in 2020

  1. Otterhound 7 registrations in 2020
  2. Skye terrier 27 registrations in 2020
  3. Bloodhound 32 registrations in 2020
  4. Glen of Imaal Terrier 36 registrations in 2020
  5. Sussex Spaniel 44 registrations in 2020
  6. Curly Coated Retriever 55 registrations in 2020
  7. King Charles Spaniel 56 registrations in 2020
  8. Irish Water Spaniel 57 registrations in 2020
  9. Field Spaniel 69 registrations in 2020
  10. Smooth Collie 72 registrations in 2020 

The rest of the danger list includes some very well known breeds such as the Old English Sheepdog (Dulux dog), Deerhound and Welsh Corgi. You can see the full list on the Kennel Club website. 

Welsh Corgi pic by Pixabay on Pexels

There are a lot of breeds out there that are rarer than we think – and of course a lot of pedigree type dogs that are not officially registered with the Kennel Club – but some of the dogs on the list are surprising, which is why we’ll be writing a separate article abut some of these breeds and why they are worth saving.

Is your dog on the danger-of-disappearing list? We’d love to hear more about it. As always, let us know in the comments section below! 

Main pic by Cottonbro on Pexels


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