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Dog breeds in the UK – Here are the most popular UK breeds

Dog breeds

There are many popular dog breeds in the UK

There are many dog breeds and choosing the right one is an important part of the process when getting a dog. It is important to make sure you get a breed that will match your home environment, family members and lifestyle. Choosing the wrong breed could give you problems with a dog that is not compatible with your home life or daily routines.

Some will require more exercise than others, need special dietary requirements and have different personalities and behaviour. If you do not have a lot of time for daily exercise routines, have very young children or live in a small flat with no garden, then this can all have a bearing on your choice.

We have picked a selection of dog breeds that are popular in the UK and explain their characteristics. And when getting a dog, always get one from a dog rescue centre. Check out our articles on Your first dog and Dog rescue centres.

Border Terrier

Border Terrier

Border Terriers are a small size dog and are suited to small or large homes. They have a short dense coat which is not high maintenance and moderate bathing will suffice. Having an easy going personality, they are good around young children and adults alike and make excellent pets. They can be quite excitable, but only require about 30 minutes or more exercise a day. Considered intelligent dogs, they are easily trained from a puppy. They have an average life span of about 12 – 14 years.

Boxer

Boxer

Boxers are a medium to large size dog and might not suit smaller homes. They have a very short coat which is not high maintenance. Considered intelligent, they have lots of energy and like to play a lot and keep active. They are very loyal towards their owners and home. Boxers enjoy a lot of companionship and like exercise and need about 40 minutes or more a day. Training is not too hard, but they can pick up bad habits easily as well. They can become bored easily and do not always like being left alone, especially if they have not had enough exercise. Drooling can be a problem with some Boxers. They have an average life of about 8 – 10 years.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a small size dog and are suited to small and large homes, but some sort of garden is ideal. They have a silky smooth coat that may require some maintenance. Giving good companionship and being friendly make them ideal as family pets and they are good with children. They are not always best left alone for long periods of time. Having a habit of chasing things like other animals or even insects, they should be kept on a lead away from the home in built up areas. Not too hard to train, but it must be done from a young age. Not requiring tons of daily exercise, but more is needed if living in a smaller home. They have an average life of up to 10 years.

Chihuahua

Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are very small size dog and are suited to small or large homes. They can have a short or longer coat and require little maintenance. Requiring not too much outside daily exercise, they are content with playing inside. Giving good companionship and being playful, they are good with older children, but not babies or younger children. They are highly intelligent and are easy to train, but can be stubborn at times. Not always best left alone for too long. They have an average life of about 10 – 18 years.

English Bulldog

English Bulldog

English Bulldogs are a small to medium size dog and are suited to small and large homes. They are very loyal to their owners and are very good with children of all ages. Not requiring too much daily exercise, they are ideal for older people or people with a busy lifestyle. They have a short coat and come in a variety of colours and require not too much maintenance. Considered intelligent, they are fairly easy to train and are not too bad at being left alone in the house. They have an average life of about 8 – 10 years.

English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniels are a medium size dog and should be okay in most homes. They have a long coat and come in a variety of colours and are quite high maintenance for grooming. Being quite active and having lots of energy, they will require a decent amount of exercise each day. Having a gentle nature makes them ideal for families and children, but are not so good around toddlers or very young children. Training is easy as long as it is done from a young age. They can sometimes bark a lot and are not always best left alone for long periods of time. They have an average life of about 10 – 12 years.

English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniels are a medium size dog and should be okay in most homes. Like the English Cocker Spaniel, they have a long coat and require a fair bit of maintenance. They are very loyal and have a very good temperament making them good for adults and children of all ages. Can be good pets for older people, but they are quite energetic dogs and can require a fair bit of daily exercise. Considered very intelligent making them easy to train. Companionship is a strong feature and they do not like being left alone for too long. They have an average life of about 10 – 15 years.

French Bulldog

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are a small size dog and are good in all homes and even small flats and apartments. An ideal dog for fist time dog owners and are more suited to short walks a number of times a day. A family environment is ideal for them which they love and they give great companionship and loyalty back. Very good with adults and children, but it might be best to supervise them when left with young children or toddlers. Having a short coat and low shedding makes them quite low maintenance to look after. They have good intelligence making them easy to train, but can be a bit naughty at times if allowed. Can have problems being left alone for too long and they are not too good in hot weather. They have an average life of  about 11 – 15 years.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are a large size dog and are more suited to medium and large homes. Having excellent intelligence, they are very easy to train. They are very loyal and will return great friendship and can be very protective over their owners and home. Very good with adults and children of all ages. They are very active dogs and require lots of daily exercise and might not be the right choice for a first time dog owners. Their coat can shed quite a lot and need a moderate amount of maintenance. One of the more expensive dogs to keep with day to day costs. They have an average life of about 9 – 12 years.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are a large size dog and could be more suited to medium and large homes. Having excellent intelligence makes them easy to train and can work well in most home environments. They are good with adults and children of all ages. Having a long coat and shedding quite a lot makes them fairly high for maintenance. They are very active and require a fair bit of daily exercise to keep them happy. Offering great loyalty and friendship making them ideal for first time dog owners. Being very playful, they get along with other people and animals. They have an average life of about 10 – 12 years.

Jack Russell Terrier

jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are a small size dog and should be okay in most homes. Having excellent intelligence makes them very easy to train. They have a short coat with a fair amount of shedding and fairly low maintenance. Offering lots of loyalty and affection, they are excellent with adults and children of all ages. They are extremely playful and active and require lots of human contact and daily exercise. Can be mischievous and not always best being left alone which can lead to them being destructive in the home. Can bark a lot without sufficient training. They have an average life of about 12 – 15 years.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are a large dog and are more suited to medium and large homes. With very high intelligence they are easy to train. They have a fairly short coat with a fair amount of shedding, but have a fairly low maintenance requirement. As loyal, friendly and trustworthy dogs, they are excellent in a family home and are good with children of all ages. They are great social dogs and get along with other people and animals. Being very active and playful means they will need a fair bit of daily exercise. Even though they like lots of human contact, they are not too bad being left alone in the home. They have and average life of about 10 – 12 years.

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso

Lhaso Apsos are a small dog and are ideal for most homes large or small. They have a long coat with a fair amount of shedding and can require a decent amount of maintenance and even paid for grooming. With a good amount of intelligence, they can be fairly easy to train, but can sometimes present problems, so not always the best choice for first time dog owners. They are good around adults and children of all ages. Can be wary of other people and animals. A fairly active and playful dog, but do not need huge amounts of daily exercise. Are not too bad at being left alone in the home. They have an average life of about 12 – 14 years.

Miniature Dachshund

Miniature Dachshound

Miniature Dachshunds are a small dog and are good in most homes of all sizes. They have a short coat with not too much shedding and are quite low maintenance. With good intelligence they can be a bit tricky to train properly compared to other breeds here. They have a few traits that make then not always the best choice for first time dog owners. Does not require too much daily exercise. Barking can be a problem without sufficient training. Whilst giving very good loyalty and affection to their owners, they are not always the best breed of dog with children. A good diet is a must and they can have some back issues. They have an average life of about 11 – 13 years.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzers are a small size dog and should be suitable for most homes. With very high intelligence, they are easy to train. They have a long coat with low shedding, but can be high on maintenance. Being very loyal and affectionate make then ideal around adults and children of all ages and are good for first time dog owners with a family. A very playful dog and not requiring too much daily exercise. Can have some health issues and hence vet bills. Barking can be an issue. They have an average life of about 12 – 14 years.

Pug

Pug

Pugs are a small size dog and are suitable for all homes. They have a short coat with a fair bit of shedding and can require a fair bit of maintenance. Being very playful, loyal, affectionate and not needing too much daily exercise, they make ideal dogs for first time owners. They like a lot of human attention and are not good being left alone in the home. Training is not too hard, but they can be a bit stubborn at times. Snoring and flatulence can be a problem and they can have a fair amount of health issues with vet bills to match.  They have an average life of about 12 – 14 years.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are a small dog and are ideal for small and large homes alike. With a long coat and not too much shedding, they can be quite high maintenance. A very good dog with adults and children of all ages, they make great family dogs. They like human contact and would be ideal for an older person. Barking can be an issue and they do not like being left alone for too long in the home. With good intelligence, they are quite easy to train. Being small, they do not need too much daily exercise. They have an average life of about 10 – 15 years.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a medium size dog are best for a medium to large home. With a short coat and fairly low shedding, they are quite low maintenance. They are very good around adults and children of all ages, making them a good family dog if they have had good training. Not very good at being left alone in the house and can be destructive because of this. Require lots of daily exercise. They are good for first time owners, but good training is a must and they do have some traits. Health issues are not too bad with an average cost of ownership. They have an average life of about 12 – 14 years.

West Highland Terrier

West Highland Terrier

West Highland Terriers are a small dog and suited to all homes large and small. With a long coat and a fair amount of shedding, they can be quite high maintenance. With good intelligence, they can be fairly easy to train, but with a few traits and house training can be problematic. They are very playful and excellent with children of all ages, making them ideal for a family home environment. With their small size and not too much daily exercise also makes them ideal for older people. Can suffer from a number of health issues with vet bills to match. They have an average life of about 12 – 15 years.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers are a very small dog and are ideal for a home large or small. They have a long coat, but with not much shedding, but they can still be quite high maintenance and even needing some paid for grooming. Very good around adults and children, but not necessarily toddlers or young children. Considered very easy to train. With a lot of activity and being very playful, they are ideal for a family home and do not require too much daily exercise. They give a lot of friendship and are very loyal, making them good companions. Not the best breed to be left along in the home and house training can be a problem. Great for older people and well suited to a small flat or apartment. They have an average life of about 12 – 15 years.

Conclusion

So there we have some of the most popular dog breeds in the UK. As mentioned before, this is not an exhaustive list and there are many others as well. Many dog breeds here are easy going and are ideal for first time dog owners, with some that are recommended for people with more experience.

The size of your home is important as some dog breeds need more space than others and a small house or flat could be too restrictive for the dog and a garden is always good. Your available time is important because you may have a busy lifestyle and this would not be ideal for a dog that needs lots of human contact and plenty of daily exercise. Some dog breeds will have more grooming maintenance than others, and this can take up a lot of time.

Your family is very important and especially if you have children or toddlers. Some dog breeds are better in these situations than others. So it is important to choose wisely to not have a situation at home. With any breed, it is best to supervise when young children or toddlers are with your dog.

Cost is a consideration as some dog breeds are more costly to keep than others and could require lots of grooming, special dietary requirements and have known health issues with visits to the vet.

There are many things to consider when getting a dog for the first time. These things are all very important as each breed will have its own needs and requirements. Getting a dog that is not compatible with you, your family or your home will result in an unhappy experience for you and the dog.

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