Dog Breeds
most popular dog breeds twenty four

Most Popular Dog Breeds in the UK 2024 - Waggel's Dog Guide

Written by Ryan Gliozzo


Take a look at the canine companions that we're sure will steal your hearts in 2024. Uncover the top 10 dog breeds making waves with their charm, intelligence, and unique traits. From loyal guardians to playful pals, explore the perfect furry match for your lifestyle in our latest roundup of the most beloved breeds this year.
4 different dog breeds standing in a row

Our favourite dog breeds: the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the UK

Welcome to our guide on the most popular dog breeds in the UK! Dogs have always been a beloved part of British households, bringing joy, companionship, and endless wagging tails into our lives. In this article, we will explore the top ten most popular dog breeds that have captured the hearts of millions across the country. Whether you're a dog enthusiast or considering adding a furry friend to your family, read on to discover the most popular breeds and why they hold a special place in our hearts.

Dog breed popularity in the UK

Dog breed popularity in the UK is a fascinating topic that reflects the preferences and lifestyles of dog owners. It's no surprise that some breeds have gained immense popularity for their unique traits, charming personalities, and suitability for various lifestyles.

Understanding the popularity of dog breeds can help us make informed decisions about finding the perfect companion for our families. Let's delve into the world of popular dog breeds and the factors that contribute to their widespread appeal in the UK.

Labrador Retriever: the UK's beloved family dog

a labrador sitting in a meadow

The Labrador Retriever, often referred to as the Lab, is one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK. Known for their friendly nature and trainability, the Lab has won the hearts of countless families across the country.

The Lab's friendly nature and trainability

The Labrador Retriever's friendly and outgoing nature makes them an ideal choice for families. Their love for people and their eagerness to please make them excellent companions. Labs are known for their patience, which makes them great with children and other pets. Their gentle and kind temperament sets them apart as a top family dog breed.

Moreover, Labs are highly trainable due to their intelligence and willingness to learn. They are quick to understand and respond to commands, making them an excellent choice for obedience training. Whether it's basic commands or complex tasks, Labs thrive on mental stimulation and enjoy the challenge of learning new things.

Why Labradors continue to top the popularity charts

The Lab's popularity shows no signs of waning, and for good reason. Their loving nature, versatility, and adaptability make them a favourite choice for families of all sizes. Labs are equally comfortable in city apartments or rural settings, as long as they receive regular exercise and mental stimulation.

Labradors also excel in various roles, including search and rescue, therapy work, and assistance jobs. Their intelligence, versatility, and trainability make them highly suitable for these tasks, and their friendly disposition allows them to interact well with people of all ages.

In addition to their exceptional personality traits, Labs are also renowned for their physical abilities. With their webbed paws, sturdy build, and love for water, they are natural-born swimmers and retrievers. Their retrieving skills, combined with their gentle mouth, have made them invaluable as working dogs and popular participants in events such as dock diving competitions.

In conclusion, the Labrador Retriever's friendly nature, trainability, and adaptability have cemented its position as the UK's beloved family dog.

Their ability to form strong bonds with their families, combined with their versatile skills, make them an exceptional choice for households seeking a loyal and loving companion.

Border Collie: highly intelligent and eager to please

a border collie looking up against a mountain backdrop

The Border Collie is widely recognised as one of the most intelligent dog breeds, making them a popular choice among dog enthusiasts. Known for their remarkable intelligence and eager-to-please nature, Border Collies have earned a reputation as top contenders in various dog sports and competitions.

This highly intelligent breed excels in obedience training, agility, and herding trials. Their ability to quickly learn and follow commands is unmatched, making them a delight to train and work with.

Border Collies thrive on mental stimulation, so keeping them engaged with challenging activities and puzzles is essential to their overall well-being.

Border Collies are known for their strong work ethic and desire to please their owners. This makes them excellent working dogs for tasks such as herding livestock or assisting in search and rescue operations. Their incredible focus and dedication to their tasks are truly impressive.

In addition to their intelligence, Border Collies are also highly energetic. They require regular exercise to keep both their mind and body active. A tired Border Collie is a contented one, and they make wonderful companions for individuals and families who lead an active lifestyle.

Due to their intelligence and energy levels, Border Collies thrive best in homes where they receive ample mental and physical stimulation. They excel in environments where they have a job to do or are involved in various activities such as agility training, flyball, or advanced obedience.

With their intelligence, eagerness to please their owners, and remarkable skills, it's no wonder that Border Collies have consistently ranked among the top dog breeds worldwide. Their popularity continues to grow, as more dog lovers recognise the incredible talents and loyalty that Border Collies possess.

The adorable Cockapoo: a mixed breed on the rise

an apricot cockapoo

Personality and compatibility with families

The Cockapoo, a charming mixed breed, is gaining popularity among dog lovers. Known for their friendly and affectionate nature, Cockapoos make excellent family pets. They are social creatures that thrive on human companionship, making them the perfect addition to any household.

Cockapoos are highly adaptable and can easily adjust to different living situations. Whether you live in a spacious house or a cosy apartment, this mixed breed will feel right at home. They are known to be good with children, making them an ideal choice for families with young kids.

Cockapoos are intelligent and easy to train, which is another reason why they are loved by families. They pick up commands quickly and enjoy learning new tricks. Their intelligence also makes them adaptable to various training methods, making your life as a pet owner much easier.

When it comes to exercise, Cockapoos require regular physical activity to keep them happy and healthy. Daily walks, play sessions, and mental stimulation are essential to prevent boredom and maintain their overall well-being.

The benefits of owning a mixed breed like the Cockapoo

Owning a mixed breed like the Cockapoo comes with numerous benefits. Here are a few advantages of having this lovable companion:

  • Versatility: Cockapoos inherit the best traits from both the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle breeds, resulting in a versatile companion that excels in various activities, from obedience training to agility competitions.

  • Diverse coat types: Cockapoos come in different coat types, such as curly, wavy, or straight, giving you the opportunity to choose a coat that suits your personal preference.

  • Hypoallergenic qualities: Many Cockapoos have low-shedding coats, making them a great choice for individuals with allergies or sensitivities to pet dander.

  • Lifespan: Mixed breeds like the Cockapoo tend to have a longer lifespan compared to purebred dogs, which means more years of companionship and joy.

French Bulldog: the charming companion with a playful attitude

two french bulldogs standing on a rock

French Bulldogs, often referred to as "Frenchies," have surged in popularity as one of the most sought-after companion dogs. With their adorable appearance and delightful personality, these little bundles of joy have captured the hearts of many dog lovers.

The growing trend of French Bulldogs in urban living

French Bulldogs are particularly well-suited for urban living, making them a favourite choice among city dwellers.

Their compact size and low exercise requirements make them the perfect companion for apartment living. Unlike larger breeds, they don't need a lot of space to thrive, making them ideal for those residing in smaller homes.

French Bulldogs have a calm and easygoing temperament, which makes them well-suited for the bustling environment of a city. Their adaptability and friendly nature enable them to socialise well with people and other animals, making them popular in urban communities.

Understanding the French Bulldog's health and lifestyle needs

When considering a French Bulldog as a pet, it's essential to understand their unique health and lifestyle needs.

Due to their brachycephalic (flat-faced) structure, French Bulldogs can be prone to certain health issues, such as breathing difficulties and overheating. It's crucial to provide them with proper care and attention to ensure their overall well-being.

Regular exercise and mental stimulation are vital for French Bulldogs to maintain a healthy weight and prevent boredom.

While they don't require intense physical activity, daily walks and playtime should be incorporated into their routine. It's important to monitor their diet and avoid overfeeding, as obesity can exacerbate their health issues.

French Bulldogs also appreciate a comfortable and cool environment, especially during hot weather. They should be protected from extreme temperatures and given access to shade and water at all times.

The French Bulldog's popularity as a charming companion continues to rise, particularly in urban settings. Their playful attitude, adaptability to city living, and unique health and lifestyle needs make them a beloved choice among dog enthusiasts.

Another similar and popular breed across the UK for decades has been the English Bulldog, however, this breed has been falling out of favour in recent years.

German Shepherd: the versatile and loyal protector

a german shepherd tilting her head

The German Shepherd, also known as the GSD, is undeniably one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide. Renowned for their intelligence, strength, and versatility, German Shepherds have rightfully earned their place as a top choice for various roles, including as family pets, working dogs, and loyal protectors.

German Shepherds are highly adaptable and excel in a wide range of activities. Whether it's obedience training, search and rescue operations, herding livestock, or serving as police or military dogs, these versatile canines consistently demonstrate their exceptional abilities.

As a family dog, the German Shepherd's loyalty and protective instincts shine through. They form strong bonds with their human companions, making them excellent protectors and reliable guardians. Their watchful nature and keen intelligence make them quick to detect potential threats, ensuring the safety of their loved ones.

In addition to their protective nature, German Shepherds are also known for their incredible work ethic and trainability. They thrive on mental and physical challenges, making them eager students who excel in various training programs. This intelligent breed is highly responsive to commands and excels in tasks that require problem-solving and critical thinking.

Moreover, German Shepherds possess a strong sense of loyalty and devotion to their families. They are known to form deep bonds and will go to great lengths to protect and serve those they care for. This unwavering loyalty is one of the reasons why German Shepherds have remained a popular choice for families and individuals seeking a faithful companion and protector.

Overall, the German Shepherd is a versatile and loyal breed that continues to captivate dog lovers around the world. Their exceptional intelligence, adaptability, and protective instincts make them an ideal choice for various roles and lifestyles. Whether as a working dog or a devoted family companion, the German Shepherd is a breed that consistently proves itself as a reliable and trusted partner.

The friendly Staffordshire Bull Terrier: misunderstood by many

staffordshire bull terrier in a field of poppies

Staffy's family-friendly qualities

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, often affectionately referred to as a Staffy, is a breed that is known for its love and loyalty towards families. These dogs have a friendly and affectionate nature, making them excellent companions for households with children.

Staffies are known to be patient and tolerant, making them great with kids. They are energetic and playful, always ready for a game or a fun adventure with their human family members. With proper socialisation and training, Staffordshire Bull Terriers can form strong bonds with children, providing them with endless love and joy.

Combatting the myths: the truth about Staffordshire Bull Terriers

Unfortunately, Staffordshire Bull Terriers have been subject to unfair stereotypes and misconceptions that have led to their misunderstanding. One common myth is that Staffies are aggressive and dangerous dogs.

However, when raised in a loving and positive environment, Staffies are gentle and friendly animals. According to
the Kennel Club, there is no scientific evidence that suggests the breed is any more dangerous than any other type of dog.

Another misconception is that Staffies are not suitable for families. In reality, these dogs thrive in a family setting and are highly devoted to their human pack. With the right training and socialisation, they can coexist harmoniously with other pets and children.

It is important to combat these myths and promote the true qualities of Staffordshire Bull Terriers. These dogs bring joy, love, and companionship to families, and with responsible ownership, they can be wonderful additions to any household.

Pugs: small in size but big in personality

a pug laying down in dandelions

Pugs are known for their adorable and distinctive appearance, with their wrinkled faces, curly tails, and expressive eyes. But what really sets them apart is their larger-than-life personality. Despite their small stature, Pugs have a big personality, full of love, charm, and quirkiness.

Pug's personality traits and adorable quirks

Pugs are affectionate and loyal companions, making them great family pets and a popular breed of dog. They thrive on human interaction and love to be the centre of attention. Pugs are known for their playful nature and will always keep you entertained with their silly antics. They have a knack for making people smile with their comical expressions and endearing snorts.

One of the most notable personality traits of Pugs is their friendly and sociable nature. They get along well with children, other pets, and even strangers. Pugs are not known for being aggressive or territorial, making them a suitable choice for households with multiple pets or young children.

Pugs also have a mischievous side, and their curiosity often leads them into hilarious situations. They love exploring their surroundings and can be quite inquisitive. Pugs are also known for their stubbornness, which can make training a bit challenging. However, with patience and positive reinforcement techniques, Pugs can be successfully trained.

Caring for your Pug: health considerations and tips

While Pugs are generally healthy dogs, they are prone to certain health issues due to their unique anatomy. Their short snouts can cause breathing difficulties, especially in hot or humid weather. Pugs may also have eye problems, such as corneal ulcers or dry eyes. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper grooming are essential for maintaining your Pug's health.

Pugs have a tendency to gain weight easily, so it's important to provide them with a balanced diet and regular exercise to prevent obesity. Be mindful of their exercise limitations due to their brachycephalic (short-muzzled) faces, as intense exercise or exposure to extreme temperatures can be harmful to them.

Another important aspect of caring for Pugs is maintaining their skin and coat health. Pugs have wrinkles on their faces and bodies that require regular cleaning to prevent infections. Regular brushing will help keep their coat healthy and reduce shedding.

Lastly, Pugs are sensitive to extreme temperatures. They are more susceptible to heatstroke, so it's important to keep them cool and hydrated during hot weather. In colder temperatures, it's advisable to provide them with a warm and cosy environment.

The Golden Retriever: your ultimate family companion


Golden Retrievers are renowned for their friendly and sociable nature, making them the ultimate family companions. With their beautiful golden coats and warm personalities, they have captured the hearts of dog lovers worldwide.

Golden Retrievers are known for their loving and gentle disposition, which makes them excellent choices for families with children.

Their patience and tolerance make them ideal playmates for kids, and they often form strong bonds with each family member. These dogs thrive on human interaction and are happiest when surrounded by their loved ones.

One of the standout features of Golden Retrievers is their intelligence and eagerness to please. They are highly trainable and excel in obedience training, agility, and various canine sports.

This combination of intelligence and willingness to learn makes them an excellent choice for first-time dog owners and families looking for a well-behaved pet.

In terms of exercise, Golden Retrievers are active dogs that enjoy outdoor activities. Regular exercise is essential to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. They love going on walks, playing fetch, and participating in activities that allow them to use their boundless energy.

Owning a Golden Retriever comes with numerous benefits for your family:

  • Loving and affectionate: Golden Retrievers are known for their loving and affectionate nature, creating strong bonds with their owners.

  • Intelligent and easy to train: Their intelligence and eagerness to please make them quick learners and obedient companions.

  • Great with kids and other pets: They have a gentle temperament and get along well with children and other animals.

  • Versatile: Golden Retrievers excel in various activities, from therapy work to competitive obedience. Beautiful appearance: Their golden coats and friendly faces are sure to bring joy to your family and those you meet.

The Jack Russell Terrier: a spirited and energetic companion

a jack russell standing on grass

Jack Russell Terriers, often referred to as "Jack Russells," are spirited and energetic dogs known for their small stature and big personalities. These lively canines are a popular choice for active individuals and families who appreciate a feisty and fun-loving companion.

Jack Russells thrive on activity and playtime, making them a great choice for families with an active lifestyle. They have boundless energy and enjoy outdoor adventures, such as hiking, running, and playing fetch. Providing them with regular exercise and mental stimulation is essential to keep them happy and prevent boredom-related behaviours.

These terriers are intelligent and quick learners, but their independent streak can make training a bit challenging.

Consistent and positive reinforcement training methods work best with Jack Russells. Their intelligence can be harnessed in various dog sports and agility training, allowing them to showcase their skills.

Jack Russells are known for their bold and confident nature, which can make them fearless protectors of their families.

Despite their small size, they are not afraid to stand up to bigger foes if they perceive a threat. Their loyalty and protective instincts make them excellent watchdogs, always ready to alert you to any potential danger.

In summary, the Jack Russell Terrier is a spirited and energetic breed that brings excitement and energy to any household. Their lively personalities, love for outdoor activities, and protective instincts make them a cherished companion for active families and individuals.

Cocker Spaniel: The friendly and elegant companion

a cocker spaniel holding a stick

Cocker Spaniels are beloved for their friendly and elegant nature, making them wonderful companions for families and individuals alike. With their beautiful flowing coats and charming personalities, they have remained a popular choice among dog enthusiasts.

Cocker Spaniels are known for their gentle and affectionate disposition, which makes them excellent family pets. They thrive on human companionship and enjoy being a part of family activities. Their friendly nature extends to other pets, making them great additions to households with other animals.

One of the notable qualities of Cocker Spaniels is their intelligence and trainability. They are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods.

Their desire to please their owners makes them excellent candidates for obedience training and other canine sports.
When it comes to exercise, Cocker Spaniels enjoy a balance of playtime and walks. They have moderate energy levels and are adaptable to different living situations, whether you have a spacious yard or live in an apartment. Regular physical activity is essential to keep them mentally and physically healthy.

Owning a Cocker Spaniel offers numerous benefits:

  • Friendly and affectionate: Cocker Spaniels are known for their loving and sociable nature, forming strong bonds with their families.

  • Intelligent and trainable: Their intelligence and desire to please make them easy to train for various activities and commands

  • Adaptable to different living situations: They are versatile dogs that can thrive in both large houses and smaller living spaces.

  • Good with children and other pets: Their gentle temperament makes them excellent companions for kids and other animals.

  • Elegant appearance: Their beautiful coats and refined appearance make them a stylish and elegant addition to your household.

In conclusion, Cocker Spaniels are friendly and elegant companions that bring joy and warmth to any home. Their loving nature, intelligence, and adaptability make them a delightful choice for families and individuals seeking a loyal and charming pet.


After exploring the fascinating world of dog breeds, it is clear that certain breeds have captured the hearts of the UK population. The top 10 most popular dog breeds in the UK, as detailed in this comprehensive list, are a diverse mix, each with their unique qualities and characteristics.

From the friendly and trainable Labrador Retriever to the intelligent and eager-to-please Border Collie, these breeds have earned their popularity through their loyalty, adaptability, and compatibility with families. In fact, you can explore some of the top names for Border Collies to get a sense of their popularity and the affection owners have for them.

Other breeds, such as the adorable Cockapoo, known for their variety of colours and coat types, and the charming French Bulldog, with their top 20 names, have seen a rise in popularity due to their compatibility with urban living and their playful personalities. It is important to consider each breed's specific needs and requirements to ensure a happy and healthy life together.

In conclusion, the popularity of dog breeds in the UK is a reflection of the diverse preferences and lifestyles of its people. Whether you prefer a large breed or a small one, a playful companion or a loyal protector, there is a dog breed that is perfect for you. Take the time to research and understand the specific traits and needs of each breed to make an informed and responsible choice.


What are the most popular dog breeds in the UK?

The top 10 most popular dog breeds in the UK are Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, French Bulldog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Dachshund, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Pug, Border Collie, and Jack Russell Terrier.

Why are Labradors so popular in the UK?

Labradors are popular in the UK due to their friendly nature, trainability, and suitability as a family dog.

What makes Border Collies highly intelligent and eager to please?

Border Collies are known for their intelligence and eagerness to please their owners, making them highly trainable and versatile in various activities and sports.

What are the personality traits and benefits of owning a Cockapoo?

Cockapoos are known for their affectionate and playful personalities, making them a great choice for families. Being a mixed breed, they often inherit the best traits from their parent breeds and don't require as much grooming as some other breeds.

Why have French Bulldogs become more popular in urban living?

French Bulldogs are gaining popularity in urban areas due to their small size, friendly and adaptable nature, and not requiring a large living space.

What are the health and lifestyle needs of a French Bulldog?

French Bulldogs have specific health considerations such as heat sensitivity, potential breathing problems, and the need for regular exercise and mental stimulation.

What makes German Shepherds a versatile and loyal protector?

German Shepherds are highly intelligent and capable of performing various roles such as working dogs, search and rescue, and service dogs. They are known for their loyalty and protective instincts.

What are the family-friendly qualities of Staffordshire Bull Terriers?

Staffordshire Bull Terriers, or Staffies, are known to be affectionate, loyal, and good with children, making them a popular choice for families. They often have a friendly nature and get along well with other pets.

What are the personality traits and care considerations for owning a Pug?

Pugs are small in size but have big personalities. They are known to be loving, affectionate, and playful. However, they may have certain health considerations such as breathing difficulties and the need for regular exercise and a balanced diet.

Are mixed-breed dogs a popular choice among UK dog owners?

Yes, mixed-breed dogs are becoming increasingly popular among UK dog lovers. Many people appreciate the unique characteristics and varied personalities that mixed breeds often exhibit.

What are the grooming needs of a Cocker Spaniel?

Cocker Spaniels require regular grooming to maintain their beautiful coats, as detailed in this guide on how to groom a Cocker Spaniel.

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