The ten most popular dog breeds of 2021

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The ten most popular dog breeds of 2021

Research from dog care website, has revealed some of the nation’s favourite breeds of dog and identified which are becoming more popular. At the top of the list were mixed breeds, closely followed by Labrador Retrievers – which are still the country’s favourite pedigree dog breed. Jack Russell terriers and Cocker Spaniels are also becoming more popular. For the latter, this may be due to the popularity of crossbreeds bred from two pedigree dogs. One of which also made the list – the Cockapoo, which is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Miniature Poodle.

Talking about the research, Trends Expert at, Kate Jaffe said: 

"With the pandemic, people are spending more time at home and are more likely than ever to be craving companionship.

"As a result, we've seen a surge in pet adoption in 2020. As we head into the New Year, and many people are still working remotely, we expect that the pet adoption trend will continue well into 2021.

"When it comes to the most popular dog breeds in 2021, we anticipate that the surge in adoption will lead to beloved mixed breed dogs continuing to rise to the top of the list. We also expect to see the following breeds remain popular as we head into next year."

Here's our lowdown on the top ten – is yours on the list?

1. Mixed Breed

This could be anything from a Heinz 57 variety to a deliberate cross, such as a lurcher, which are bred using a mixture of Greyhound, Whippet and sometimes Bedlington stock.

Mixed breed dog photo by Ben Hanson on UnsplashMixed breed dog photo by Ben Hanson on Unsplash

2. Labrador Retrievers

Always ranking high on the list, Labradors remain very popular with Brits despite the soaring price of pedigree puppies with some changing hands for thousands of pounds.

Labrador photo by Ivan Louis on UnsplashLabrador photo by Ivan Louis on Unsplash

3. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker spaniels make wonderful pets, full of character and great with children, this is why they are such a popular choice for making crossbreeds with pedigrees - such as the Cockapoo (crossed with a  miniature Poodle) Cockeranian (crossed with a Pomeranian) and Cock-a-Tzu (crossed with a Shih Tzu).

Cocker Spaniel photo by Anh Hoang on UnsplashCocker Spaniel photo by Anh Hoang on Unsplash

4. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russells are courageous and fun. Good working dogs they also make decent family pets - ideally with older children - guard dogs and ratters.

Jack Russell terrier photo by TA-WEI LIN on UnsplashJack Russell terrier photo by TA-WEI LIN on Unsplash

5. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffies have been topping the popularity list in the UK for quite some time now but this has started to wane in recent years as they have gained a bit of a reputation for being difficult to train, with many ending up in shelters. Sadly this is generally always down to their owners not putting in enough time and effort, or giving up too soon. They are wonderfully loyal and fun pets.

Staffie photo by Victor Grabarczyk on UnsplashStaffie photo by Victor Grabarczyk on Unsplash

6. Cockapoo

Since the initial craze of crossing a Labrador with a Standard Poodle gave rise to the ‘strangely named pedigree crossbreed’ trend, Cockapoos have experienced a surge in popularity and have overtaken Labradoodles as a great choice of family pet. The man that ‘invented’ the labradoodle has actually said he wished he’d never started it as they don’t always make great companions – but the same can’t be said for Cocakapoos. This cross between a miniature Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel is playful, bouncy and full of fun and makes a great pet for young and old alike.

Cockapoo photo by Joe Caione on UnsplashCockapoo photo by Joe Caione on Unsplash

7. French Bulldog 

The sheer elegance and cheeky nature of these dogs makes them a popular choice with Millennials and the Instagram generation. Beautiful, photogenic and full of character, their sleek coats come in an array of gorgeous colours and they are wonderfully cuddly and full of character.

French bulldog by photo by Ben Hanson on UnsplashFrench bulldog by photo by Ben Hanson on Unsplash

8. Border Collie

Another popular choice that always appears in the top ten. Border collies are of course, originally trained to herd sheep and they need to keep busy with lots of exercise and mental stimulation or they will start climbing the walls (quite literally). A great pet for an energetic, outdoorsy family that likes walking often!

Border collie photo by Ivan Calderon on UnsplashBorder collie photo by Ivan Calderon on Unsplash

9. Shih Tzu

The name ‘Shih Tzu' means ‘little lion', but unlike some other smaller 'toy' dog breeds who can tend to exhibit a bit of ‘small man syndrome’ the Shih Tzu is a lover, not a fighter! The name probably refers to their flowing mane of hair. They make great pets but you do need to factor in grooming costs if you’re thinking of getting your own little lion.

Shih Tzu photo by Nikolay Tchaouchev on UnsplashShih Tzu photo by Nikolay Tchaouchev on Unsplash

10. Chihuahua

Did someone say ‘small man syndrome?’ Chihuahuas be little, but fierce. They may be small but they don’t actually seem to realise that. Experts recommend them as one of the top ten choices for a guard dog and they’re quite happy competing in agility and obedience tests. It is probably time they stepped out of the handbag and were allowed to show us what they can really do! 

Chihuahua photo by Indi Friday on UnsplashChihuahua photo by Indi Friday on Unsplash

So that’s our lowdown on popular dog breeds for 2021 – did yours make the list? Let us know in the comments section below!


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