The top UK dog breeds and their attributes

by Bronwyn Hall

The top UK dog breeds are decided by the number of breeds in registration with The Kennel Club. From there they list the top 20, along with how many dogs of that breed are registered.

They are as follows: 



No. in registration with KC
1 Retriever (Labrador) 35,026
2 Spaniel (Cocker) 22,943
3 Spaniel (English Springer) 11,316
4 Pug 8,071
5 German Shepherd 7,954
6 Golden Retriever 7,117
7 French Bulldog 6,990
8 Border Terrier 6,390
9 Bulldog 5,769
10 Staffordshire Bull Terrier 5,767
11 Miniature Schnauzer 5,584
12 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 5,145
13 Shih Tzu 4,319
14 Boxer 4,003
15 Lhasa Apso 3,923
16 Chihuahua (smooth coat) 3,845
17 Whippet 3,226
18 West Highland White Terrier 3,174
19 Dachshund (Miniature Smooth-Haired) 2,871
20 Chihuahua (long coat) 2,378


However, as any dog owner or sane human being knows – no two dogs are the same! 

So here I’ve compiled a basic list of the attributes of our top 10 most loved breeds in the UK:                                                                                           

The Labrador Retriever tends to be easy to train and eager to please. They love to be around humans and have sweet and affectionate temperaments. Lively and full of energy, this gorgeous dog needs sufficient exercise to keep him happy!

The Cocker Spaniel is another intelligent dog who is easy to train. The Cocker tends to be loving, loyal and lively! This energetic little dog can make a great family pet or working dog who will always be up to something.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The English Springer Spaniel tends to reflect the temperament of his counter parts in being active and alert. Again, they can make excellent family dogs as long as you take in to consideration their lively and excitable personalities. The Springer is an attentive and loving breed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

The Pug has become extremely popular recently and it’s easy to see why. This gorgeous little dog is clever, playful and sociable. However, it’s these clever personalities paired with their stubborn demeanour that can make training a little tricky. The pug needs to be kept engaged in activities that make them work and think.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The German Shepherd is commonly used as a police dog due to his alert, brave and loyal personality. Easy train and extremely protective; this dog proves faithful to its handler. However, the GSD needs to be kept active and his mind stimulated due to his insatiable intelligence and energy.                   


The Golden Retriever, though bred as gundogs, can make excellent family pets. They are clever, kind and reliable, which makes them a easy to train and a joy to live with. However, this beautiful dog will need plenty of walks and exercise to keep him happy and stimulated.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

The French Bulldog has been another up and coming breed recently. This may be due to the wealth of personality that inhabits their little selves! The Frenchie is a sociable and affectionate little dog who loves to play and is keen to learn.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

The Border Terrier was originally bred to chase vermin, thanks to their alert and fearless personalities. However, this spritely dog makes an excellent pet too. In contrast to other terriers, the Border Terrier can be a laid back and sensitive soul who responds well to food based training.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

The Bulldog is otherwise known as the English Bulldog or British Bulldog. This docile breed is not ideal if you are looking for a running companion. However, if you want a dog who is friendly, patient and likes to clown around then this is the guy for you!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier often gets a bad rap and is painted pretty badly in the media. However – if bred and trained well – this breed can be an excellent companion. Intelligent and affectionate, the Staffy loves to be around its handler. Their fearless loyalty can also make them great family pets.

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