What Are The Most Popular Breeds of Dog in the UK?


Ah, the UK’s favourite dog breeds. How often a Top 10, or Top 100 Dog Breeds list pops up in the media.

Britain’s Favourite Dogs in pictures: Top 100 most popular breeds in the UK voted the best by the public is one, courtesy of (now be careful, the following opens the Daily Mirror Website) The Daily Mirror. Or there’s Marie Claire’s: Can you guess what the UK’s most popular dog breed is? (opens in new tab)

Of course The Kennel Club chimes in with its own list of the top ten most registered breeds. That’s when it reluctantly wakes up, probably just in time for afternoon tea to be served in its bizarrely located Mayfair head office.

The Kennel Club's Head Office location is weird. WHY would The Kennel Club need to be so close to The Ritz, The Arts Club, The Connaught, The Royal Academy of Arts, Fortnum & Mason, Annabel's, Hakkasan? Why?!
The Kennel Club’s Head Office location is weird. WHY would The Kennel Club need to be so close to The Ritz, The Arts Club, The Connaught, The Royal Academy of Arts, Fortnum & Mason, Annabel’s, Hakkasan? Why?!

Now that we have a few years of Tagmastery behind us here at Ten Year Tags, something struck us about those ubiquitous lists of the UK’s most popular dogs.

The usual-suspect, published lists of the UK’s favourite dog breeds have little or no resemblance to reality!

How do we know? Well, we ask for our customer’s dog’s breed when they order a Ten Year Tag from us (it’s not mandatory, but 8 out of 10 customers do tell us) otherwise we would have been none-the-wiser. 

In 2023, many of the ‘top 10 dog breeds‘ lists you might read in different publications are, well, they’re all different and – based on the dogs we’re asked to tag here at Ten Year Tags – still look wrong. We know (for reasons we go into later) the Ten Year Tags list of top ten breeds isn’t representative either. The one thing consistent about these duff lists we see in the media is that they’re almost always: ‘based on a survey of 10,000 viewers of… / readers of / customers of…

I thought I’d sort this out once and for all by asking Google

Okay Google…

Google Home Misleading Everyone About Dog Popularity

If you ask Google Home what the top 10 dogs in the UK are, it starts reading to you from a Daily Telegraph advertorial by Royal Canin where Kennel Club registration statistics have been recycled. Hey! i know, let’s use Artificial Intelligence to sort out the answer and ask ChatGPT (The GPT part stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer). Oh, that’s disappointing…

The Kennel Club Top Ten Dog Breeds in the UK courtesy of ChatGPT
The Kennel Club Top Ten Dog Breeds in the UK courtesy of ChatGPT

Again, this looks (or sounds in this case) totally wrong to us based on the dog breeds Ten Year Tags orders come in for, but also because The Kennel Club excludes a load of breeds. Turn up at that swanky Mayfair office with a Cockapoo and you’ll risk being chased down the street by a (pedigree) doorman.

Anyway, the Kennel Club states 250,000 puppies a year are registered with it. 250K is a small 2.7% of the 9 million dogs in the UK. It would take 36 years to register them all at that rate. 

Where are the dogs? YOU SAID THERE’D BE DOGS

Okay okay, I will go on in extensive nerdy detail about the research process below. By all means come back AFTER the dogs.

DO remember though:

  • Search is key here and search itself – remarkably – is still often overlooked as a source of truth by businesses large and small all round the world. I’ve worked in search with major, global consumer-facing businesses in as recently as 2022 that had little or no time for search, paid or natural.
  • Those silly ‘We asked 10,000 ITV viewers…‘ type of surveys are just a wee bit pointless, as they’re skewed by particular demographics of the viewer, listener or readership of the particular media owner touting the survey.
  • All dogs are the best dog in the world no matter where they feature on any lists.

Show me the most popular dogs in the uk now


WAIT! Let’s Not Throw Away Our Spot

My first dog, when I was but a boy, finding her in a dog rescue center in Warrington** circa 1980, was a combination of unknown dogs. Those dogs were almost certainly from equally unheralded parentage themselves. She was mostly black, except for brown legs and a white chest. I called her Spot.

That was back in the day though. Our current dog BUNNY, is a young New Zealand Huntaway. A stylish girl she is too and, coincidentally, has the look of Spot. Another thing they both have in common is that, like Spot, Bunny would not wish to belong to any club that would have her as a member.

She is not registered with The Kennel Club, not least because it does not recognise the New Zealand Huntaway – with it’s in excess of 100 years of history – as a breed. Charming.

A Young New Zealand Huntaway, Bunny

This is BUNNY, the Ten Year Tags official dog, along with DWEEZIL, our Head of Security. She’s a New Zealand Huntaway whose parents herd cattle on a farm in the Brecon Beacons area of Wales (Llandovery to be specific, seeing as how you ask). 

The New Zealand Huntaway is definitely NOT in the top ten favourite dog breeds in the UK list. Too much barking. 

There are 8.9 Million Dogs in The UK, But…

8.9 million dogs, let’s just call it 9 million shall we? The ‘But…’ is that there are not not 9 million owners.

With the UK population being circa 66 million and 24% owning a dog or dogs, that makes roughly 1.76 dogs per person. One Ten Year Tags customer has 21 dogs! Everyone a rescue. 

Thanks to PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals – Saving Pets Changing Lives) for the 8.9 million dogs and 24% ownership numbers. 

Ah, a public vote, we all know how well…
(JUST LEAVE IT  Tagmaster. This is all about the dogs...)

Asking 10,000 people to vote for their favourite dog and inferring the results are a definitive list is akin to being in a theater with 500 people in the audience and asking JUST ONE OF THEM what their view on the top ten most popular musicals in the UK is and publishing what they vote for as a definitive list.

Incidentally, I’d go with

West Side Story (NOT the awful 2021 movie remake)


Jesus Christ Superstar

…maybe not in that order. Actually, yes, in precisely that order.


We’re big fans here at Tagmaster Towers. Get yourself in the ticket lottery if you’re not already. Get the app!

The Truth Is Out There

Remember how search is a good old barometer of health of a business? In this case, of a dog breed and just how popular it is.

This isn’t about us (Ten Year Tags) deciding which are the most popular dogs based on who buys our Dog ID Tags. See: ‘It’s not all about Ten Year Tags You Know‘ (below) because it’s not all about Ten Year Tags and what we’ve sold. 


It’s not all about our Ten Year Tags You Know

A few tiny breeds, such as Pomeranians and Chihuahuas find our big old solid brass dog tag weighs them down so much they just topple forwards on to their tiny noses. Sweet.

Consequently we sold hardly any to those small fellas, until we started making smaller dog tags of course. Either way, we can’t assume those diminutive dogs aren’t popular because they don’t buy our product. That would be as daft as asking 10,000 readers of one newspaper or watchers of one TV channel and claiming that’s representative of the entire population.  


This is about real numbers of searches, expressions of interest, not tiny and insignificant surveys, equally limited and selective ‘registers,’ or any one company or one person’s opinion.

Here’s a basic fact:

When someone goes to Google and types in ‘cockapoo puppies’, we can be pretty sure they are not looking for Taylor Swift tour dates.

It’s those searches, those expressions of interest, citations, endorsements, of – for instance – a wee, cheeky little jack russell… Okay I’ll stop there, as we both know any Jack Russell worth its salt will, AS WE SPEAK, be too busy digging an important hole somewhere to care about any of this.

However, it’s those searches for JACK RUSSELL put up against against searches for ‘competitor’ businesses, oops, I mean dog breeds, that gives us a real-life view of the REAL Top Ten Most Popular Dogs in the UK.