The 20 Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2021!

It comes as no surprise that UK families invested in furry friends to keep them company at home during the pandemic. Thanks to a fascinating new report from our friends at Pets4Homes.co.uk, we can announce the 20 most popular dog breeds Brits couldn’t get enough of in lockdown.

This table from the report gives a comparison of June 2021 ranking versus a year ago, based on demand per dog breed by measuring the number of buyers looking for that breed against the availability of dogs and puppies.

The most popular dog breeds in the UK during Lockdown

Why planning ahead on choosing the right dog breed is important

Before making a final decision, it is crucial to pick the right dog for your household and family circumstances. Smaller dogs are more likely to be suitable for houses with smaller gardens or flats, while larger dogs will enjoy homes with more spacious gardens. Equally, it is important to do your research on which breeds are family friendly and adore small children, as well as which breeds are friendly towards strangers, if you often have family and friends around.

Consider the amount of time you have available to look after the dog, as some breeds need lots of grooming, or need quality time with you to avoid dog separation anxiety. All of this is up to you and your circumstances. Based on the data from Pets4Homes, we have come up with key characteristics of the 20 most popular dog breeds to help you make the right choice.

20) Boxer

Originally used as a guide dog, Boxers are easily trained and intelligent

The Boxer was originally bred to be a guide dog, as they are intelligent and able to be trained easily, if training is consistent. They are insanely energetic, and need plenty of exercise. Although Boxers are boisterous, they are affectionate with family, children and strangers. Boxers can be prone to poor general health, so trips to the vet might be more regular than you would like. They are somewhat sensitive to hot weather and loneliness. Read more about insuring your Boxer dog here.

Life Expectancy

10-12 years

Friendliness

4/5

Energy level

5/5

Grooming intensity

0/5

Intelligence

4/5

19) German Shepherd

German Shepherds are highly energetic and are often used by the police and armed forces

Often used by the police and armed forces, German Shepherd dogs evoke respect and authority. They are trained to do so due to their intelligence, courage and strength – but they have their soft side too. German Shepherds are affectionate with family and children and very sensitive. They tend to bark to maintain respect in front of other dogs. A breed with high physical needs, a spacious garden is recommended to keep them happy. Confident and calm, German Shepherds are easy to groom. Read more about German Shepherd dogs here.

Life Expectancy

10-14 years

Friendliness

4/5

Energy level

5/5

Grooming intensity

0/5

Intelligence

5/5

18) Chow Chow

Chow Chows are a Chinese breed who are fiercely loyal and good with children

Chow Chows are an unusual dog breed originally from China. They tend to be protective, independent and reserved. Chow Chows can be loyal and good with children, however not getting lots of affection or cuddles or being alone doesn’t bother them. Just be patient with your Chow Chow and they will love you. If you are looking for quiet, distinctive dog that doesn’t require lots of exercise, a Chow Chow is for you. However, Chow Chows shed a lot and require intense grooming. You can discover more about this unique breed, and how to insure them, here.

Life Expectancy

12-15 years

Friendliness

1/5

Energy level

2/5

Grooming intensity

4/5

Intelligence

1/5

17) Dachshund

Dachshunds are more commonly known as sausage dogs who like their own company

Dachshunds, also known as sausage dogs, are very cute, friendly and playful and like to snuggle up on the sofa with the whole family. Interestingly, they tolerate being alone very well too. Dachshunds are extremely vocal and protective, therefore high tendency to bark is no surprise, even if they are friendly towards other dogs. The Dachshund’s smooth short coat is likely to shed, but when it comes to grooming, they are low maintenance. They are very independent, which makes them hard to train. Unfortunately, their overall health is poor, and they can very easily put extra weight on if not careful. Find more about insuring your Dachshund.

Life Expectancy

12-15 years

Friendliness

3/5

Energy level

3/5

Grooming intensity

2/5

Intelligence

4/5

16) Hungarian Vizsla

Hungarian Viszla's are a stunning breed who need plenty of exercise and easy to groom

Hungarian Vizslas are gorgeous gold-coloured dogs that are very active and require a minimum of 2 hours of exercise a day. It is also sensible to have a bigger garden, as they are likely to bark and need to use up all their energy. They tend to learn quickly, which makes them easy to train. Vizslas are likely to shed but are easy to groom. These dogs can be friendly and social, if trained from a young age.

Life Expectancy

12-14 years

Friendliness

4/5

Energy level

5/5

Grooming intensity

0/5

Intelligence

5/5

15) Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels are adaptable and easy to train with great general health

Cocker Spaniels tend to be friendly, adaptable and easy to train. They are sensitive and sociable, which makes leaving your dog at home for the day a lot more complicated. The good news is that they have overall great general health, which can save you multiple trips to the vet. On the other hand, a Cocker Spaniel’s long coat requires intense grooming. Explore more about Cocker Spaniels here.

Life Expectancy

12-15 years

Friendliness

4/5

Energy level

4/5

Grooming intensity

4/5

Intelligence

4/5

14) Rottweiler

Rottweilers are highly intelligent and strong. Rottweilers are best handled by experienced dog owners.

Rottweilers are often chosen by police forces and security firms, due to their protective nature and intelligence. They are strong and require high levels of training, which makes them better suited for experienced owners. Rottweilers appreciate plenty of long daily walks to burn those high levels of energy. Be careful around other dogs and animals though, as Rottweilers will often see them as a threat. Even if Rottweilers look strong, they are sensitive and need family affection. Their short smooth coat is easy to maintain. Discover more about insuring your Rottweiler here.

Life Expectancy

9-10 years

Friendliness

4/5

Energy level

4/5

Grooming intensity

0/5

Intelligence

5/5

13) Maltipoo

A mixed breed, the Maltipoo is a cross between a Maltese and a Poodle. Maltipoo's are very sensitive and can get anxious when left alone.

Maltipoo is a cross between Maltese and Poodle, my personal favourite. They are extremely loving and fun, which makes them a perfect addition to any family. Maltipoos are very sensitive, can get separation anxiety if they crave human affection. They often bark for attention, as they are smart and know what they are doing, however you can change this with some simple training. The Maltipoo’s hypoallergenic curly coat rarely sheds, which makes them suitable even if you suffer with allergies, but it needs high maintenance.

Life Expectancy

10-13 years

Friendliness

5/5

Energy level

3/5

Grooming intensity

2/5

Intelligence

4/5

12) Border Collie

Border Collies are a highly intelligent breed, often used in agricultural work

Border Collies are still the farmer’s choice of working dog for gathering sheep in the UK, which explains their high physical needs, energy and stamina, and why they bark a lot. On the other hand, Border Collies are very friendly, even towards children and strangers. If you are looking for an affectionate, adaptable and tolerant dog, a Border Collie could be for you. The Collie’s high intelligence allows easy training, but they need plenty of grooming. You can read more about Border Collies and insuring them here.

Life Expectancy

12-15 years

Friendliness

4/5

Energy level

5/5

Grooming intensity

3/5

Intelligence

5/5

11) Cockapoo

Cockapoos are often used as therapy dogs or support dogs

This small intelligent furry friend is a mix between Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. Although Cockapoos have medium levels of energy, they are happiest when running around. You can keep their playful personality in check easily with training or by giving them affection. Their low tendency to bark makes Cockapoos a cat friendly breed. Interestingly, Cockapoos are even used as therapy dogs. Before choosing a Cockapoo though, make sure you have the patience to often groom their long curly coat.

Life Expectancy

12-15 years

Friendliness

5/5

Energy level

3/5

Grooming intensity

4/5

Intelligence

4/5

10) Belgian Shepherd

Belgian Shepherds are also known as Belgian Sheepdogs

Belgian Shepherds, also known as Belgian Sheepdogs, are a breed of herding dog often used as assistance and guard dogs. If you want to keep your Belgian Shepherd happy, give it a large garden where it can enjoy its daily dose of exercise. These dogs are fast and playful by nature, but their smart personality means they are easily trained. Belgian Shepherds are very sensitive, yet tolerant and friendly, especially towards children and dogs of any kind.

Life Expectancy

10-12 years

Friendliness

5/5

Energy level

5/5

Grooming intensity

2/5

Intelligence

5/5

9) Beagle

Beagles are high-energy dogs who love affection

The Beagle’s need for love and affection makes them a perfect family dog, equally friendly to children, strangers and other dogs around them. Beagles are likely to be brave, tolerant and compensate their high energy level through playfulness. In contrast, their stubborn nature makes training more difficult, which requires patience and creativity. Due to their small size, Beagles could be the breed for you even if you live in a flat. However they do not deal well with being lonely and can gain weight easily if unhappy.

Life Expectancy

10-15 years

Friendliness

5/5

Energy level

4/5

Grooming intensity

1/5

Intelligence

4/5

8) Labradoodle

Great for a family dog or a guide dog, Labradoodles are affectionate and sociable

Labradoodles are a cross between a Poodle and a Labrador. Labradoodles are very affectionate, friendly and sociable, making them ideal as a guide dog or family dog. Labradoodles adore both people and dogs and are likely to tolerate cats too. Their curly coat is suitable for people with allergies, but requires lots of maintenance. The Labradoodle’s intelligent, active, energetic personality makes them easy to train. Their low level of sensitivity makes them more independent and less likely to suffer from separation anxiety.

Life Expectancy

12-14 years

Friendliness

5/5

Energy level

5/5

Grooming intensity

1/5

Intelligence

4/5

7) Lurcher

Lurchers are adaptable, easy to train and like their own company. They also need plenty of physical exercise.

Lurchers originate from Britain and are a cross between sighthounds and rural working breeds like Collies or Terriers. Highly intelligent, these dogs are adaptable to training or being left alone, if gradually eased into it. The Lurcher’s hunting dog nature means they need lots of exercise and love to run. Lurchers are not usually good with other animals and wildlife, but they are good with people, and very trainable.

Life Expectancy

13-15 years

Friendliness

2/5

Energy level

5/5

Grooming intensity

2/5

Intelligence

5/5

6) Cane Corso

Cane Corso are an Italian breed who are protective in their nature

Cane Corso's were used as working dogs and originated in Italy. A protective nature and powerful build make the Cane Corso more suitable for experienced dog owners. These dogs are very energetic and need high levels of exercise. If a Cane Corso is bored, the owners are risking destructive behaviour. But if good training is in place, their high intelligence makes training an easier process.

Please note: We are unable to insure Cane Corso's on our optional Third Party Liability cover. You can find out more about our eligibility requirements here

Life Expectancy

10-12 years

Friendliness

3/5

Energy level

4/5

Grooming intensity

0/5

Intelligence

5/5

5) Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are popular family dogs, owing to being friendly and affectionate

The Golden Retriever’s tolerant personality made them a popular choice in the Pets4Homes top 20 breeds. Golden Retrievers are a perfect family dog - playful, friendly and affectionate to the family, children, strangers and other dogs. This breed is extremely sensitive, therefore leaving them alone is not the best idea. On the other hand, taking them on walks, where they can run, play and use up their boundless energy is perfect for any Golden Retriever. Training them, with patience, should be easy, as they are smart and catch on quickly. Unfortunately, they shed a lot, however if you are not allergic, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Life Expectancy

10-12 years

Friendliness

5/5

Energy level

5/5

Grooming intensity

3/5

Intelligence

5/5

4) Goldendoodle

Goldendoodles are a mixed breed who are hypoallergenic and playful

Goldendoodles first appeared in the 1990s, as a mixed breed of Golden Retriever and Poodle. They come in various colours and sizes, and they all have hypoallergenic coats that don’t shed. Combined with their friendly playful personality, they make the perfect family dog. Goldendoodles are energetic and need plenty of exercise, so they suit households with gardens. But they will accept staying alone indoors or outdoors from time to time if you ease them into the process. Just be prepared for their tendency to bark.

Life Expectancy

10-15 years

Friendliness

5/5

Energy level

4/5

Grooming intensity

1/5

Intelligence

5/5

3) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a sensitive breed who struggle being on their own for long periods

Like all spaniels, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is very sporty and playful, which means they need a lot of exercise. Despite the Cavalier’s fun-loving personality, training is fairly easy because of their high level of intelligence. Cavaliers are very sensitive and can’t stand being alone - they prefer to have the attention of the whole family, strangers or even other dogs. Learn more about King Charles Spaniels and insuring them here.

Life Expectancy

9-15 years

Friendliness

5/5

Energy level

3/5

Grooming intensity

1/5

Intelligence

4/5

2) Dobermann

Dobermans are a German breed who are intelligent, affectionate and easy to train

This energetic, muscular dog breed originated in Germany. Intelligent, loyal and receptive to training, its affectionate personality makes the Dobermann suitable as a family dog and house guardian. Dobermanns are great with children, but take extra care when it comes across strangers or other dogs. Find out more about the breed and insuring it here.

Life Expectancy

10-13 years

Friendliness

3/5

Energy level

3/5

Grooming intensity

0/5

Intelligence

5/5

1) Cavapoo

Cavapoo's were the most popular dog breed during lockdown

Which one of these dog breeds has tickled your fancy? It is very important to consider the dog’s needs in terms of space, surroundings, family, small children, and take plenty of time before making your final decision on the right breed for you and your family. There is no point buying a Rottweiler for a small flat, as it needs lots of space to exercise. Similarly, reconsider buying a Chow Chow if you don’t have time to regularly groom it.

Life Expectancy

12-15 years

Friendliness

5/5

Energy level

3/5

Grooming intensity

2/5

Intelligence

4/5

At petGuard, we’ve been insuring cats and dogs for 37 years. Find out more about our dog insurance and get 20% off your first year of cover right here!

Not only that, but if you’re thinking of getting your chosen dog breed as a puppy, there’s plenty of great advice in our Complete Puppy Guide. Everything you need to know to help you get started, from what health issues to look for, puppy proofing your house, training and feeding your puppy, all in one easy-to-read guide.


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