UK flag with English bulldog puppies in front

Popular British dog breeds

© Shutterstock

15 of the most popular British dog breeds

By Emilie Heyl Content Writer

Updated on the

The United Kingdom has a lot to offer to the world: Shakespeare, beans on toast, Harry Potter, and most importantly dog breeds.

British dogs were initially bred to hunt and were also used as sheepdogs. These breeds include some of the most popular dog breeds in the world, not to mention the Queen and her love for Corgis. Let’s have a closer look.

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier ©Shutterstock

The Airedale Terrier was used to catch vermin and today this breed still has a prey drive. This pooch is known for being fun loving and very loyal, but it doesn’t always get on with other dogs.


The Beagle dog ©Shutterstock

The Beagle was originally bred to hunt and today they still retain that great sense of smell. This dog breed is energetic, independent, and fun loving. 

Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie ©Shutterstock

The Bearded Collie was originally bred to herd cattle. This fun and sociable dog is a great addition to the family.

Border Collie

The Border Collie dog ©Shutterstock

The Border Collie is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world due to its physical characteristics and its intelligent. Commonly used as a sheepdog, the Border Collie will need to get a lot of stimulation and exercise.

Border Terrier

The Border Terrier dog ©Shutterstock

The Border Terrier is smart, dynamic, and very affectionate. Not only is this dog easy to train, it will also enjoy any physical activities if you are an active owner. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles ©Shutterstock

As their name suggests, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were companions to Royalty throughout the years. This dog breed gets on very well with children because of its friendliness.

English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel ©Shutterstock

The English Cocker Spaniel was used to hunt birds. Therefore, this dog breed is very energetic and will need plenty of exercise.

English Bulldog

The English Bulldog ©Shutterstock

The English Bulldog is probably one of the most iconic British dog breeds thanks to Churchill. The Bulldog is known for being calm, good natured and extremely friendly.

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever ©Shutterstock

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. Not only are they affectionate with children, they are also very intelligent, obedient, and sociable.

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier ©Shutterstock

Jack Russell Terriers are extremely active and alert. They were originally bred to hunt foxes but today are popular with farmers because they are excellent ratters. This breed is very intelligent and easy to train but they do need a fair amount of exercise every day.


The Labrador ©Shutterstock


The Labrador was initially bred to pull fishing nets out of the water. Today, this dog breed is famous for the special relationship it has with people. Indeed, the Labrador is very affectionate, highly intelligent, and hard working.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi ©Shutterstock

How could we not mention the Queen’s favourite dog breed? Despite its size and reputation, the Welsh Corgi was originally bred to herd cattle, sheep, and horses.  The Corgi is easy to train and loves to learn new things.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier ©Shutterstock

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier doesn’t always have a good reputation but despite that, it is a great family pet and loves to be around children.

West Highland white terrier

The Westie ©Shutterstock 

The West Highland white terrier, also called Westie is friendly, lively, and very affectionate. This dog was originally bred for hunting and rattling.


The Whippet ©Shutterstock

The Whippet is a calm, gentle and playful dog. Not only do they get on well with children, they can also happily live in a flat as long as they get plenty of exercise. The Whippet was bred to hunt small game.

So, which British dog breed is your favourite?

If you have enjoyed reading about these 15 British dog breeds, you will be glad to find out there are more:

Other dog breeds by country or continent:

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