These are the most popular dog breeds to buy in the UK in 2021

The top 10 dog breeds in the UK have been revealed by Rover, the world’s largest network of pet sitters and dog walkers – and mixed breeds have come top for the fourth year in a row.

By Brogan Maguire
Monday, 26th July 2021, 12:50 pm

The loyal Labrador Retriever proved the most popular purebred, while the Cockapoo French Bulldog and Cocker Spaniel made up the rest of the top five.

The survey also revealed the biggest surges in popularity, with the Dachshund topping the list with a 43 per cent increase in adoption since 2020. The French Bulldog was the second highest climber with a 29 per cent increase, and the Pomeranian snuck into the top 20 for the first time with a 22 per cent rise.

The breed which slipped its lead the most, nationally, was the Jack Russell Terrier, seeing a 23 per cent decrease in adoption. However, try telling that to pet-parents in London, Birmingham or Edinburgh – cities in which the Jack Russell Terrier came out top choice.

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Rover has revealed the most popular dog breeds in the UK for 2021, with the Labrador Retriever coming out on top. Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.

In contrast, a breed only going in one direction is the Cockapoo, favourite of pop-star Harry Styles, which was found to be the biggest favourite in Leeds, Bristol and Liverpool.

The data showed just how many pandemic pups have been taken on in the last year, with 42 per cent of respondents saying they had brought a new dog into the family since March 2020.

Brits have also spent the last year finding the perfect pup-partner for pets they already have, with 58 per cent saying they already had a dog before their most recent addition.

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With people having spent an increased amount of time inside over the last year, the biggest consideration when choosing a breed was it being family friendly (53 per cent). Other key factors included wanting a snuggle buddy (48 per cent), needing a breed that gets on with other pets (36 per cent), and desiring the perfect work from home colleague in a highly intelligent hound (32 per cent).

Here is the top 10 list in full:

Mixed breed Labrador Retriever Cockapoo French Bulldog Cocker spaniel Dachshund Staffordshire Bull Terrier Jack Russell Terrier Border Collie Chihuahua

Adem Fehmi, Canine Behaviourist for Rover, said: “Labradors have been popular pets for many years. With the right breeding they can be family friendly and their physiology makes them agile and perfect for joining owners on their modern day adventures, from coffee shop outings to dog friendly staycations. Couple this with their often laid back temperament and amenability, you can see why they’ve been a popular pandemic pup purchase.

"But when it comes to the top spot, it’s difficult to see the Mixed breed being knocked off the podium anytime soon. Mixed breeds can make wonderful pets and often have fewer health issues overall due to their out breeding and genetic diversity in comparison to some pure breeds. It is important however for people to look for the right individual dog for their home and lifestyle, rather than being set on a breed. I always advise people to consider the temperament of a dog they are thinking of purchasing or adopting, not just the way they look.”

Rover also categorised the most popular breeds by city – although Sheffield wasn’t featured, Leeds was. The Cockapoo came out on top in the Yorkshire city, followed by Whippet, French Bulldog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Labrador Retriever.