Labradors and Cockapoos are this year's top breeds

Labradors and Cockapoos are this year's top breeds

Labradors often top the charts and this year is no exception, with the friendly and energetic breed the most popular among new owners in the UK in 2021.

Overall, the most popular choice of dog was a mixed breed, according to the latest annual survey by, a network of pet sitters and dog walkers. However, the Labrador Retriever was the most popular purebred, followed by the Cockapoo, French Bulldog and Cocker Spaniel.

Dachshunds showed the biggest surge in popularity with a 43% increase in adoption since 2020. The French Bulldog was the second highest climber with a 29% increase, and the Pomeranian jumped into the top 20 for the first time with a 22% rise.

In contrast, there was a 23% drop in adoptions of the Jack Russell Terrier across the country — but that doesn’t tell the whole story as this lively, inquisitive little dog was the top choice in London, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

With people spending more time inside over the past year, the biggest consideration when choosing a breed was it being family friendly (53%). Other key factors included wanting a snuggle buddy (48%), needing a breed that gets on with other pets (36%), and wanting the perfect work from home colleague in a highly intelligent hound (32%).

“Labradors have been popular pets for many years,” said Adem Fehmi, canine behaviourist for Rover. “With the right breeding they can be family friendly and their physiology makes them agile and perfect for joining owners on their modern day adventures, from coffee shop outings to dog friendly staycations. Couple this with their often laid back temperament and amenability, you can see why they’ve been a popular pandemic pup purchase.

“But when it comes to the top spot, it’s difficult to see the mixed breed being knocked off the podium anytime soon,” Fehmi added. “Mixed breeds can make wonderful pets and often have fewer health issues overall due to their out breeding and genetic diversity in comparison to some pure breeds. It is important however for people to look for the right individual dog for their home and lifestyle, rather than being set on a breed. I always advise people to consider the temperament of a dog they are thinking of purchasing or adopting, not just the way they look.”

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