The Labrador is the UK’s most popular dog breed

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and of the 222 breeds recognized by the Kennel Club, everyone has their favorite – not even considering crosses. Some breeds, however, are much more popular than others.

The Labrador retriever has been the UK’s favorite pedigree dog breed for years, and their numbers have increased by 54% from 2020 to 2021. But the rest of the top 10 might surprise you.

The English Springer Spaniel is the breed that has seen the biggest increase in popularity over the past year, with Kennel Club registrations increasing by 60%. He was sixth in the list of the 10 most popular breeds.

Read more:How to bring your dog to Crufts next year

The Cocker Spaniel also saw a surge in popularity last year, with registrations increasing by 52%. And the number of Staffordshire bull terrier registrations has increased by 50%.

Here are the top 10 dog breeds in the UK with their percentage increase from 2020 to 2021, according to The Kennel Club:

labrador retriever 54
french bulldog 38
Cocker 52
Bulldog 33
Smooth-haired Miniature Dachshund 43
english springer spaniel 60
Golden retriever 37
German shepherd 22
Staffordshire Bull Terrier 50
Pug 1

Bill Lambert, Kennel Club spokesman, said: “The Labrador certainly seems to be man’s best friend in this country and has reigned supreme as the ‘best dog’ for decades for good reason. As a family favourite, they usually have fantastic, stable temperaments – they’re affectionate and full of personality, great with children, intelligent and eager to please, making them easy to train.

“Labradors are also incredibly versatile; they are as adept at being a four-legged family companion as they are at working as a guide dog or service dog. They are instinctively friendly and get along with everyone they meet.

“Looking more generally at the top 10 breeds in 2021, we’re interested to see some larger breeds and traditional ‘old favourites’ gain popularity – perhaps as certain lifestyles have slowed down during the pandemic and with the distance from hectic urban life, favoring green space to compact urban life.

The Springer Spaniel was the breed with the biggest increase in Kennel Club registrations in 2021

“The six most popular breeds in the UK still have more records between them than the remaining 216 dog breeds combined, but there is such a diversity of breeds, all with their own unique characteristics, needs, shapes and sizes – and all of which were showcased and truly celebrated at Crufts.

“We encourage all puppy buyers to make sure they research all different breeds and types of dogs to ensure they find the right match for their lifestyle and family.”

The Kennel Club has suggested breed and lifestyle associations that work well together here.