Some dog breeds will always remain popular, but others tend to fall in and out of popularity. In the UK, the most popular dog breed is the labrador. When you visit your local dog park, the chances are you just might come across a lab.
Others at the top of the list in the UK include springer spaniels, jack russells and golden retrievers. These dogs have captured people’s hearts for a long time, but that doesn’t mean others can’t climb the ranks.
What’s interesting about most dog breeds and their rise to fame, is that like human fame, it doesn’t always last. Dog breeds often come into and go out of fashion within five to ten years, sometimes less.
At the moment it seems as though every year a new breeds is becoming the star of the show. Often, if a dog breed comes into fashion very quickly, it will go out of fashion quickly too.
What influences dog breed popularity?
Dog breed popularity is influenced by many things. Naturally, the media has a huge impact. Dog breeds that feature in films, TV programmes and in the news can quickly attract interest.
A 2014 study led by Brooklyn College psychology professor Stefano Ghirlanda found movies featuring dogs had a significant impact on people’s choice of pet. Dogs featured in TV series (for example, Stella, the French Bulldog in Modern family) and reality TV series such as Keeping Up With The Kardashians (Kylie can often be spotted with her Italian Greyhound). Crufts also has a heavy influence on dog breed popularity, winners often see a substantial increase in registrations of the breed.
Social media sites such as Instagram are playing a huge part in what dog breeds people want. Some dogs have become Instagram stars and have hundreds of thousands of followers, that’s got to have an impact on their popularity as a household pet.
The chances are you will have heard of the French Bulldog. You might have seen one of the breed’s many Instagram stars, and may even want one yourself. People have gone nuts for this breed recently.
Lots of big celebrities are fans of French Bulldogs, owners include John Legend, Hugh Jackman, Lady Gaga, Victoria Beckham and Reese Witherspoon.
This celebrity following has no doubt made this breed more popular, but perhaps people are also being charmed but it’s friendly, sociable nature, and the fact that it’#s a pretty low maintenance breed.
Pugs have been popular for a few years now, and despite growing interest in French bulldogs, pugs are still getting a lot of love. Who could resist their squishy little faces and entertaining character? As well as pugs, pugs crossed with beagles (puggles, what an adorable name) seem to be gaining ground, which is a good thing, because their faces aren’t so flat. Pugs are compact, friendly little dogs who seem to love everyone, which is probably why they are such a much loved breed.
For some reason, everyone is going absolutely crazy for Dachshunds at the moment. They seem to be popping up everywhere, on TV programmes, in films and even in music videos. Check out all these cuties in the Tieks, ‘Sunshine’ video here. They are all over social media, taking the internet by storm and gaining many adoring fans. They come in three main varieties, smooth haired, wire haired and long haired, with smooth haired dachshunds being the most popular.
Italian Greyhounds appear to be the royalty of dog breeds. They have such a regal look about them, and seem to look stylish no matter the occasion. Part of the reason they have become so popular is because celebrities seem to be taking a shining to them.
Of course, when a Kardashian such as Kylie Jenner, who has millions of adoring fans, gets not one but two Italian greyhounds, people are bound to show interest. Then there’s the Instagram superstars who are raising awareness of the breed such as Il piccolo the Italian Greyhound.
You can’t go out on a dog walk or to a dog park these days without seeing a cockerpoo. This crossbreed is set for world domination. Cockapoos are a lovely combination of poodles and cocker spaniels. This combo gives them a teddy bear like appearance with a non moulting coat. They are very high energy dogs and can get a little over excited, but they have a very friendly temperament and really enjoy human company. The interest in this breed has meant that prices for cockapoos these days are pretty hefty, despite the fact that they are a crossbreed. They vary slightly in size but generally are convenient size for those who don’t want a dog that’s too big.
Bulldog (new version)
Thankfully, the new version of the bulldog is starting to gain in popularity. Slowly, but surely, breeders are improving the health of this breed that has a lot of issues. Their flat, squashed face can make it difficult for them to breathe, and their skin folds can become infected. The new version has a longer muzzle, and generally looks much healthier.
Another big trend at the moment is microbleeds. Our dogs seem to be getting smaller and smaller. Teacup versions of toy breeds are very popular. Perhaps it’s because our houses are getting smaller, so our dogs are too. New research suggests people are living in more compact homes, and less and less houses have gardens, which is having an impact on their choice of dog.
A lot people are after toy dogs who can fit into a small home and don’t need too much space to run around in. For example, a pug needs about one-quarter of the daily calories of a German shepherd, so they are far cheaper to own. Figures provided by The Kennel Club and analysed by The Economist magazine show that the average puppy weighs 12 per cent less than it did 10 years ago.