17 Best Dog Breeds of 2024

17 Best Dog Breeds of 2024

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With so many dog breeds to choose from, what are the best dog breeds of 2024? Find out now.

Dogs make for the best pets, but with so many recognisable breeds, it can be difficult to decide which breed is right for you! Do you prefer a loyal companion to go on walks with, or simply a mellow canine to give you company in the house? In this article, you will learn about the best dog breeds of 2024, whereupon you will be offered plenty of diversity and range about the most popular dog breeds in the UK and help inform your decision. With recent studies showing that dogs make up 31% of pets in UK households, totaling 12 million, it’s clear that these furry friends hold a special place in our hearts. For more detailed statistics, visit World Animal Foundation.

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Mixed Breeds

Mixed breeds, often known as designer dogs, blend the traits of two purebreds to create a unique combination. These hybrids are gaining traction as some of the best dog breeds, thanks to their diverse characteristics and often robust health.

1. Cockapoo

best dog breeds cockapoo

    The Cockapoo, a mix of the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle, stands out for its joyful demeanour and intelligence. This breed, known for its adaptability, fits well into various family settings, making it one of the most popular dog breeds. Their energy levels and size can vary, but their need for affection and engagement remains constant.

    2. English Cocker Spaniel

    english cocker spaniel as best dog breeds

      English Cocker Spaniels are famed for their cheerful nature and boundless energy. Originally bred for hunting, they have evolved into one of the most common dog breeds in family settings, prized for their friendly disposition and playfulness.

      3. French Bulldog

      french bulldog as best dog breeds

        French Bulldogs have surged in popularity, becoming a favourite for their manageable size and amiable personality. They require minimal exercise, making them suitable for less active households. Their distinctive flat face (brachycephalic trait) requires careful attention, especially in warmer climates, to prevent overexertion.

        4. Jack Russell Terrier

        jack russell terrier as best dog breeds

          The Jack Russell Terrier, a bundle of energy and courage, is known for its tenacity and playful nature. Originally bred for fox hunting, this breed has a strong instinct to chase and play, making it a lively addition to any home. Their fearless character and endless curiosity keep life interesting and active.

          5. Labrador Retriever

          labrador retriever as best dog breeds

            Labrador Retrievers have long been synonymous with the ideal family pet due to their friendly, loyal, and trainable nature. They adapt well to various living conditions and are one of the most popular dog breeds for active families. Labs are known for their energy and intelligence, requiring regular exercise and mental stimulation.

            6. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

            best dog breeds staffordshire bull terrier

              The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, often misunderstood, is a breed of strength and affection. Properly raised Staffies are known for their friendly nature and resilience. They are muscular and energetic, needing consistent training and social interaction to bring out their best qualities. Despite their tough exterior, they are often gentle at heart and make loyal family pets.

              Regarding XL Bullies

              It’s crucial to note the legal status of owning an XL Bully dog, as recent legislation has affected their ownership. With specific regulations now in place, potential owners must be fully informed and compliant with the law to ensure the welfare of these powerful and often misunderstood dogs. Learn more with this article regarding laws on American XL bullies.

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              The landscape of canine popularity constantly evolves, with certain breeds gaining favour for their unique characteristics and suitability to modern lifestyles. Here are some of the best dog breeds making waves this year.

              7. Chihuahua

              best dog breeds chihuahua

                Tiny but full of personality, the Chihuahua continues to be one of the most popular dog breeds, especially suited for apartment living due to its miniature size. They are the quintessential lap dogs, craving constant companionship and excelling in a family environment. Their alert nature makes them excellent watchdogs, although potential owners should be mindful of their tendency to be vocally expressive.

                8. Dachshund

                dachshund as best dog breeds

                  The Dachshund, with its distinctive long body and short legs, is not only adorable but also one of the most common dog breeds found in homes today. They are playful and form strong bonds with their families, sometimes to the point of possessiveness. Their unique physique requires careful handling to prevent injuries, and maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for their overall well-being.

                  9. English Springer Spaniel

                  english springer spaniel as best dog breeds

                    Known for their friendly and energetic nature, English Springer Spaniels have been popular hunting dogs and have transitioned seamlessly into beloved family pets. They are adaptable, get along well with other animals, and are known for their intelligence, making them one of the best dog breeds for active and engaging homes.

                    10. Lurcher

                    lurcher as best dog breeds

                      The Lurcher, a crossbreed often involving sighthounds, is cherished for its athleticism and gentle nature. They are not a specific breed but a mix that varies greatly in appearance and temperament, making each Lurcher unique. They are often praised for their speed, grace, and loyalty, fitting well into many family dynamics.

                      11. Maltese

                      maltese best dog breeds

                        The Maltese breed, with its flowing white coat and playful presence, remains a favoured choice for those seeking a small, affectionate dog. They are low-energy but highly sociable, making them perfect companions for less active households or city living. Their grooming needs are consistent but manageable, adding to their appeal as one of the most popular dog breeds.

                        12. Poodle

                        best dog breeds poodle

                          Poodles of all sizes are celebrated for their intelligence and elegance, consistently ranking them among the best dog breeds. Their hypoallergenic coats make them a great choice for families with allergies. Poodles are active and intelligent, requiring mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy and well-behaved.

                          13. Shih Tzu

                          shih tzu best dog breeds

                            Shih Tzus are beloved for their friendly nature and manageable size, making them ideal for various living situations. They are relatively low-energy but enjoy regular interactions with their owners, epitomising the companion dog. Regular grooming is necessary to maintain their coat, but their overall care requirements are well suited to those looking for a less demanding pet. However, be aware that shih tzus can be vulnerable to a mixture of health problems, from ear infections, skin infections, gastritis, eye issues, and more. 

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                            Rarest Dog Breeds

                            These breeds, while not as commonly found in households, boast unique traits and fascinating histories, making them some of the best dog breeds for canine enthusiasts.


                            best dog breeds briard

                              The Briard, a French herding breed, exudes a rustic charm combined with elegance and loyalty. Known for their long, wavy coats and expressive eyes, Briards are the perfect balance between strength and gentleness. They are intelligent, trainable, and fiercely protective of their families, often forming a deep bond with their owners. Their herding instincts make them energetic and alert, requiring plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

                              Carpathian Shepherd Dog

                              best dog breeds carpathian shepherd dog

                                Originating from the Romanian Carpathian Mountains, the Carpathian Shepherd Dog is a testament to the enduring spirit of working breeds. These dogs are renowned for their courage, loyalty, and protective nature. With a robust and sturdy build, they are natural guardians of livestock and their human families. The Carpathian’s calm and balanced temperament, combined with its strong protective instincts, makes it a dedicated and formidable companion.


                                best dog breeds eurasier

                                  The Eurasier is a relatively recent breed, developed in Germany to create the perfect family dog by combining the best traits of the Chow Chow, Wolfspitz, and Samoyed. With their plush coats and calm presence, Eurasiers are known for their loyalty and affection towards their families. They are intelligent, adaptable, and enjoy being part of daily family activities, making them well-suited for those looking for a less common but highly rewarding pet.

                                  Irish Wolfhound

                                  best dog breeds irish wolfhound

                                    The majestic Irish Wolfhound, known for its towering stature and gentle nature, is one of the tallest dog breeds in the world. Despite their formidable size, they are known for their calm and friendly disposition. Historically bred for hunting and war, today’s Irish Wolfhounds are more likely to be found enjoying the comforts of family life, though they still retain a love for the outdoors and require ample space to thrive.

                                    Find out how to adopt a dog that’s right for you today following this guide.

                                    Choose Between The Best Dog Breeds For Your Home

                                    In conclusion, the best dog breeds of 2024 showcase a diverse range from the affectionate and energetic mixed breeds to the small and trendy companions, and not forgetting the majestic and rare giants. Each breed offers unique qualities suited to different lifestyles and preferences, highlighting the importance of choosing a dog that aligns with one’s living situation and activity level. With the right match, a dog can provide unparalleled companionship and joy, making the journey of pet ownership truly rewarding.


                                    What is the best family dog?

                                    The best family dog is often considered to be the Labrador Retriever due to its friendly nature, intelligence, and loyalty.

                                    What is the most playful family dog?

                                    The most playful family dog is the Golden Retriever, known for its playful nature, friendliness, and good nature with children.

                                    What dogs are hard to look after?

                                    Dogs that are hard to look after include breeds like the Akita, Chow Chow, and Siberian Husky, which can be challenging due to their strong-willed nature, high energy levels, and specific grooming needs. 


                                    Martyn, M., (2024) How Many Dogs & Cats Are in the UK? 2024 Pet Ownership Statistics UK. World Animal Foundation. [online] Available at: https://worldanimalfoundation.org/advocate/pet-ownership-statistics-uk/ [accessed 05/04/24]

                                    RSPCA. (2023) American XL Bullies. [online] Available at: https://www.rspca.org.uk/whatwedo/endcruelty/changingthelaw/bsl/xlbullies [accessed 05/04/24]

                                    Grzyb, K., (2022) Shih Tzu. PetMD. [online] Available at: https://www.petmd.com/dog/breeds/shih-tzuhttps://worldanimalfoundation.org/advocate/pet-ownership-statistics-uk/ [accessed 05/04/24]

                                    Nick Cooper
                                    Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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