Top 10 most popular pedigree dog breeds in the UK

Find out which are the most numerous pooches across the country.

Most popular UK pedigree dogs

Mixed breeds are the most popular dogs in the UK, but let’s take a look at the most popular pedigree dogs.

Labrador with stick


Number of Labradors in the UK: 39,905

Labradors are the nations favourite dogs and have always featured highly in these lists year after year. They were pipped to the number one spot in 2019 by the second breed on our list, the French Bulldog, but have reclaimed top spot since then.

They are particularly easy to train, great around people and children, affectionate and loyal – all characteristics that make them so popular with dog lovers. They are also known as one of the most intelligent dog breeds around, but due to this you’ll need to make sure that you keep them both physically and mentally stimulated.

French Bulldog

Number of French Bulldogs in the UK: 39,266

Briefly, in 2019, Frenchies became the most popular dog in the UK, but no more! However they still remain remarkably common across the country. Their popularity has been caused – at least in some parts – due to fashion with celebrity owners including Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Jackman Chrissy Teigan and John Legend, and Lady Gaga.

With people looking to emulate their favourite celebs and purchasing French Bulldogs because of their distinctive look, many people overlook the health issues that this breed can have. Due to their flat faces, Frenchies are highly prone to breathing and overheating issues whilst their distinctive eyes also make them susceptible to corneal ulcers, dry eye and other serious conditions. Due to their number of health issues and the cost of associated treatment they are the most expensive breed to insure.

Having said that, it’s easy to see why the nation has so much affection for Frenchies, they’re very playful and their personality dwarfs their size. Another great choice for family life they are fun loving, but may require a little more hands-on training than other breeds on this list.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel

Number of Cocker Spaniels in the UK: 25,565

We love Cocker Spaniels here at Gather, they are so energetic, obedient and always looking to impress their owners that they make great companions. They’ll make close relationships quickly with owners and they’re great around less familiar faces too.

They have bundles of energy so you’ll need to be able to match that with physical exercise and games to keep them mentally stimulated too whilst socialising them well early on should help alleviate any issues particularly in busy households.

Cocker Spaniels are a fairly healthy breed, but it’s worth monitoring any orthopedic issues and eye conditions like dry eye and conditions like otitis, plus haematoma which can affect their ears.


Number of Bulldogs in the UK: 11,594

Despite their rather tough appearance and unfair reputation, Bulldogs are placid and friendly dogs who are very loyal to their owners. Their reputation comes from their original purpose which was for herding cattle and fighting, but times have changed a lot and so has the Bulldog’s temperament.

Now they’re known for their relaxed nature and in many cases they need some real encouragement to get the right level of exercise. They can be a bit stubborn at times but in general they make great family pets and are particularly good if you live in an apartment or flat, to which they adjust better than most breeds.

Whilst they aren’t massive fans of running around in any case, over-exercising is a consideration just 30 minutes a day is all that’s required, however that should be split up to avoid exhaustion and overheating given their flat faces.

Adult Brown Dachshund


Number of Dachshunds in the UK: 10,369

Dachshund’s popularity has grown greatly in the past few years as they’ve been used in TV adverts and all sorts. There are different types of dachshund from short-haired, wire-haired and long-haired but whichever you have or choose you’ll find a feisty character who can certainly make a their presence known in your home.

Dachshunds are very loyal dogs, but do require a little more socialisation if you have other animals already in the house or you have young children, and be prepared for barking.

Due to their small size, ensuring that they are not putting on excess weight is key, commons conditions in Dachshunds concern their spine with IVDD a regular occurrence for which the treatment can be very expensive.

English Springer Spaniels

Number of English Springer Spaniels in the UK: 9,847

An energetic, friendly and affectionate breed that loves attention, making them a fantastic family pet. They are also great with children and other dogs and cats. In order to ensure that English Springer Spaniels maintain their happy-go-lucky outlook owners need to ensure that they enough exercise, mental stimulation and companionship.

Owners should beware of ear conditions, like otitis, and joint problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia which are common in English Springer Spaniels.

Golden Retrievers

Number of Golden Retrievers in the UK: 9,601

A true family favourite, Golden Retrievers are gentle giants. Their intelligence and their kind-hearted nature with everyone they meet is why they’re so popular as guide dogs and search and rescue dogs. They are easy to train which makes them the perfect pet for first time dog owners and they are fantastic for families with children and other pets.

They may be susceptible to health conditions such as joint pain and cruciate ligament problems which can be chronic conditions and expensive to treat.



Number of Pugs in the UK: 7,696

Similar to French Bulldogs, Pugs have grown hugely in popularity over the past few years. Known for their loyal and attention-seeking personalities they are great companions for the whole family.

Their health conditions are similar to their brachycephalic friends – meaning look out for breathing difficulties and eye conditions – they can also suffer from seizures too. Importantly, monitor their food intake closely as they do have a serious love of food which needs to be tempered.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds

Number of German Shepherds in the UK: 7,067

German Shepherds require a lot of time investment from owners, but show them the love that they deserve and they will reward you. They are loyal, energetic and highly intelligent dogs but socialisation, training and adequate exercise is key to ensure that they do not suffer from separation anxiety and other behavioural conditions.

They are wonderful dogs, whose reputation is one that is a little unfair, like any dog trained well they will be great with family, visitors and children.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier on Walk

Staffordshire Bull Terriers

Number of Staffordshire Bull Terriers in the UK: 5,077

If ever there is a dog breed that has a reputation that is unfair, it is the Staffy. They tend to be highly misunderstood, but in reality are loyal, intelligent and playful dogs that need time, companionship, proper training and socialisation. Without those enforced rules and training in place, some Staffies can become competitive and even aggressive.

With proper training Staffies are affectionate and loving, just ensure that you have the right training in place from a young age.

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