The number of Dogs owned as pets is at an all-time high, with canines swiftly overtaking the previous favourite felines as the most popular pet of choice in the UK. According to the 2013 Pet Population Report by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, dogs are now by far the most commonly owned household pets. There are approximately 8.5 million dogs currently kept as pets, which means that 25% of households within the UK are dog owners, compared to 19% of families who favour cats!
Recent studies have shown that aside from the well-known companionship gained from man’s best friend, there are many health and lifestyle benefits. Dog owners are often found to have lower blood pressure, lower stress levels and generally suffer less health issues, they also tend to live a more healthy and active lifestyle.
With this in mind lets review the top 5 most popular dog breeds within the UK for 2013!
1. Labrador – 35,026
Being playful, good tempered, well behaved and easy to train, the Labrador is a perfect choice for many families. Originally bred as a gundog, aside from being a great family pet, the Labrador is now more commonly found as an assistance dog, such as a guide dog or police dog, due to the breed’s intelligence. It’s no wonder the Labrador has been Britain’s most popular dog breed for more than 20 years!
2. Cocker Spaniel – 22,943
The Cocker Spaniel is playful yet obedient. As well as being a family favourite throughout homes in the UK, the Cocker Spaniel has been the most successful breed at Crufts. Originally bred as a gun dog, their name ‘cocker’ stems from their skill for hunting Eurasion Woodcock!
3. Springer Spaniel – 11,316
The Springer spaniel is a lovable dog and the ideal companion for children due to its affectionate and excitable nature. Similar to the related cocker spaniel, its name originates from the breeds historic hunting role where the dogs would ‘spring’ (or flush) birds into the air. It’s interesting to note our top 3 breeds all originated as gun dogs!
4. Pug – 8,071
Most well-known for its distinctive stocky shape and wrinkly, short muzzled face, the pug has been steadily growing in popularity in recent years and is creeping its way up the top 10. Originating in China these dogs have a Royal history and have been the chosen companion for many European Kings and Queens over the years.
5. German Shepherd – 7,954
The German Shepherd is prized for its courage, strength and intelligence and because of this is a preferred working dog breed for many job sectors including the police, military and search and rescue, just to name a few! This breed has also remained a family favourite, continuously featuring in the top 10 for a number of years.
These figures are according to the Kennel Club Registrations for 2013.
If you, like so many others, are a fan of our four legged friends, why not consider building a career around them and become a dog groomer?