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Dog population in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Dog population in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

1. Dog population in the European Union

At the end of 2019 over 87.5 million dogs were estimated in the countries of the European Union.

The highest dog population of over 10 million is in Germany. The United Kingdom is in the second place – the British own more than 9 million dogs then Poland with 7,8 million pet dogs follows (table 1).

Table 1 – Top 10 EU countries by dog population 2019

Country

Number of dogs, (m)

1

Germany

10,1

2

The United Kingdom

9,0

3

Poland

7,8

4

Italy

7,0

5

France

7,7

6

Spain

6,7

7

Romania

4,2

8

Portugal

2,1

9

The Czech Republic

2,0

10

The Netherlands

1,7

The increase in the number of dogs has been observed in the EU countries since 2010. The increase compared to 2019 was 11 million animals.

2. Number of dogs in the United Kingdom

The number of dogs in Great Britain is growing gradually. According to the Statista surveys in 2014/15/16/17/18 there were about 8,5 million dogs in the UK. In 2019 the number of dogs increased to 9 million.

The United Kingdom is famous for its love for dogs. About 41 percent of the British households own at least one pet; 23 percent of the households have dogs (table 2).

Table 2 – Top 10 popular owned pets in the United Kingdom, 2019/2020

Pet

Number, (m)

Households, (%)

1

Dogs

9

23

2

Cats

7,5

16

3

Rabbits

0,6

1

4

Indoor birds

0,5

1

5

Guinea pigs

0,4

1

6

Domestic fowls

0,4

0.3

7

Turtles

0,3

0.5

8

Hamsters

0,2

0.5

9

Snakes

0,2

0.4

10

Lizards

0,2

0.3

The share of the British households owning a dog since 2010 till nowadays has remained relatively steady between 23 and 25 percent.

3. Regional dog population in Great Britain

According to the results of the 2017/18/19 survey, the largest number of dogs lives in South East and North West (1.1 million dogs). However, based on the number of residents with dogs, North East and Northern Ireland stand out among others (over 30 percent of the population with dogs) (table 3).

Table 3 – Dog population statistics by regions of Great Britain 2017/18/19

Region

% Population with dogs

Households with dogs, (000s)

Dogs per household

Dogs per region, (000s)

North East

36

454

1.4

610

North West 

27

835

1.4

1100

Yorks and Humb

23

571

1.3

760

East Midlands

29

662

1.3

870

West Midlands

28

654

1.3

830

East 

23

640

1.4

910

London

9

251

1.3

310

South East

21

842

1.4

1100

South West

25

582

1.4

780

Wales

29

440

1.5

650

Scotland

24

559

1.3

710

Northern Ireland

31

213

1.3

270

In London 9 percent of the population has got pet dogs: more than 300 thousand dogs live in 251 thousand households.

4. Top 20 dog breeds in the United Kingdom

The most common breeds for the British are Labrador retriever (35,347 dogs), French Bulldog (33,661 dogs) and Cocker Spaniel (21,663 registrations) (table 4.1).

Table 4.1 – Top 20 popular dog breeds in the UK in 2019

Dog breed

Number of dogs

1

Labrador Retriever

35,347

2

French Bulldog

33,661

3

Cocker Spaniel

21,663

4

Bulldog

9,922

5

Spaniel (English Springer)

8,638

6

Golden Retriever

8,422

7

Dachshund

8,375

8

German Shepherd Dog

6,837

9

Pug

6,751

10

Miniature Schnauzer

4,982

11

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

4,454

12

Border Terrier

4,353

13

Boxer

3,329

14

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

3,252

15

Whippet

3,146

16

Hungarian Vizsla

2,771

17

Shih Tzu

2,186

18

Beagle

2,177

19

Border Collie

2,087

20

Rottweiler

1,935

In table 4.2 we see the leading 5 dog breeds according to different British regions.

Table 4.2 – Top 5 dog breeds by regions of the United Kingdom

Region

Top 5 dog breeds

North East

  • Labrador Retriever,
  • Cocker Spaniel,
  • French Bulldog,
  • Pug,
  • Spaniel (English Springer)

North West 

  • French Bulldog,
  • Labrador Retriever,
  • Cocker Spaniel,
  • Pug,
  • English Bulldog

Midlands

  • Labrador Retriever,
  • French Bulldog,
  • Cocker Spaniel,
  • Pug,
  • Spaniel (English Springer)

East 

  • Labrador Retriever,
  • Cocker Spaniel,
  • French Bulldog,
  • German Shepherd Dog,
  • Pug

London

  • French Bulldog,
  • Labrador Retriever,
  • Cocker Spaniel,
  • Pug,
  • English Bulldog

South East

  • Labrador Retriever,
  • French Bulldog,
  • Cocker Spaniel,
  • Pug,
  • German Shepherd Dog

South West

  • Labrador Retriever,
  • Cocker Spaniel,
  • French Bulldog,
  • Spaniel (English Springer),
  • Golden Retriever

Wales

  • French Bulldog,
  • Labrador Retriever,
  • Cocker Spaniel,
  • Spaniel (English Springer),
  • English Bulldog

Scotland

  • Labrador Retriever,
  • Cocker Spaniel,
  • French Bulldog,
  • Spaniel (English Springer),
  • German Shepherd Dog

Northern Ireland

  • Labrador Retriever,
  • Cocker Spaniel,
  • Spaniel (English Springer),
  • Miniature Schnauzer,
  • Golden Retriever

In London the most popular dog breeds are French Bulldog, Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Pug and English Bulldog.

5. Why do the British get dogs?

According to the 2019 survey the most popular reason for owning a dog for the British is happiness that a dog brings to the house. The others are providing love, affection and companionship (table 5).

Table 5 – Reasons for getting a dog

Response

Share of respondents

They make me happy

48%

For love/affection

45%

Companionship for me

35%

So we can conclude that dogs are favorite pets for the British people, which reciprocate their owners’ feelings.

External links:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/414956/dog-population-european-union-eu-by-country/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/515031/dog-population-united-kingdom-uk/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/515379/dogs-population-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/

https://www.pfma.org.uk/pet-population-2020

https://www.pfma.org.uk/dog-population-2019

https://www.finder.com/uk/dog-statistics

https://www.statista.com/statistics/915202/top-dog-breeds-by-registered-number-united-kingdom-uk/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/pets/essentials/dog-breeds-in-the-uk-mapped/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/797008/reasons-for-dog-ownership-united-kingdom-uk/#statisticContainer

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