National Pet Month- Labrador is the most popular dog breed in the UK Photo by Chris Leipelt on Unsplash

Old favourite overtakes the French Bulldog as the country’s top dog

April is National Pet Month and figures from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) show that 50% of UK adults own a pet.

The UK-based veterinary charity’s research also found that 26% of the UK adult population has a dog, giving an estimated doggy population of 9.9 million.

Traditionally, Spaniels, Labradors and Terriers among the more commonly owned breeds. However, in recent years there’s been a rise in ‘designer’ dog breeds. Some of these posh pups cost over £1000 to buy.

Pet business insurance provider Protectivity has analysed data from The Kennel Club to reveal which dog breeds are the most popular now.

The Kennel Club UK registrations data shows that the Labrador Retriever was the top breed of 2019 with 35,347 registrations. The top breed for 2018, the French Bulldog, had 33,661 registrations last year.

The “Frenchie” became popular after becoming the breed of choice for celebrities such as the Beckhams, Lady Gaga and Holly Willoughby.

However, the spike in French Bulldog purchases caused a 236% increase in the number of this breed entering RSPCA care over the last seven years.

Sean Walsh, marketing manager from Protectivity Insurance, said:

“Dogs are some of our most loved pets, as they become deeply embedded and irreplaceable members of the family. Each family or owner will have their own criteria when choosing a dog, in order to ensure that the needs of the breed are met with their lifestyle.

“As a result, it’s interesting to see how our modern lifestyles have created a shift in popularity towards smaller dog breeds, rather than the larger Retrievers and German Shepherds which were once much more popular.”


Which breeds have seen the biggest rise and fall in registrations?

The nation’s trendiest dog since 1990 goes to the Dogue de Bordeaux. With a huge 22,217% increase in registrations, the breed has seen a massive surge in popularity, even placing above the French Bulldog which comes in second with a 13,639% increase.

The biggest fallers is the Yorkshire Terrier with a 97% decrease in registrations.

The five breeds with the greatest increase in registrations are:

Rank Breed Difference in registrations from 1990 to 2019 (%)

Dogue de Bordeaux

2 French Bulldog

Bracco Italiano


Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois)


Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling)

French Bulldog falls to second spot Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash