The UK’s Most Popular & Most Expensive Dog Breeds in 2021

The UK’s Most Popular & Most Expensive Dog Breeds in 2021

If there’s one thing that’s for sure, it’s that Britain is a nation of dog lovers.

With plenty of enforced time at home during the past year, more families than ever have seized the life-changing opportunity to become dog owners.

But which pedigree pooches are our favourites? Which are the most expensive, and how much have dogs increased in price?

Fortunately, we’re able to shed some light on the story of lockdown dog lovers!

Britain’s most popular dog breeds in 2021

With the ownership of a new furry canine friend comes the need for a number of things — tasty treats, doggy toys, collars, leads, bedding, bowls, cleaning products, — but also the importance of quality pet insurance.

In the year leading up to March 2021, we’ve provided over 1.7 million dog insurance quotes — an increase of 14.9% on the previous 12-month period.

By breaking this data down by breed and reported purchase price, we’re able to gain a fascinating insight into lockdown’s most popular — and pricy — pedigrees, as well as take a look at how much our favourite breeds have increased in cost.

Cross and mixed-breeds are the most common dog overall, but when it comes to the pedigrees, the Labrador Retriever once again tops the list as Britain’s most popular breed. This was closely followed by the French Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel, German Shepherd and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. French Bulldog
  3. Cocker Spaniel
  4. German Shepherd (Alsatian)
  5. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  6. English Springer Spaniel
  7. Border Collie
  8. Pug
  9. Shih Tzu
  10. Golden Retriever
  11. Dachshund (miniature smooth-haired)
  12. Jack Russell Terrier
  13. Bulldog
  14. English Bulldog
  15. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  16. Miniature Schnauzer
  17. Beagle
  18. Boxer
  19. Yorkshire Terrier
  20. Chihuahua (long coat)
  21. Cockapoo
  22. Border Terrier
  23. Rottweiler
  24. Chihuahua (smooth coat)
  25. Whippet


labrador retriever
The Labrador Retriever, once again Britain’s favourite breed.

Google Trends data shows that search interest for vets has increased by 21.95% in the past year; those in Plymouth, Hull, Sheffield, Liverpool and Leeds were amongst the keenest scouters of veterinarians for their new four-legged friends.

Pricey pedigrees: the top dogs when it comes to cost

When owners submit a request for a dog insurance quote, we ask them how much they paid for their dog. What does all of this data tell us about the priciest pedigrees overall?

Britain’s most popular breeds have soared in price

The logical consequence of increased demand? Increased prices.

Since March 2020, owners have been consistently reporting paying more for their new furry family members compared to the previous 12-month period.

  • The cost of a Labrador Retriever, Britain’s favourite breed, skyrocketed by £380 on average to £971, an increase of 64.3%.
  • Another UK favourite, the Cocker Spaniel, saw purchase prices rise to £1077 from £611 on average, representing a jump of 76.3%.
  • It’s a similar story for the French Bulldog — up by 36.9%, with an average cost since March 2020 of £1479.
  • Then there’s the trusty German Shepherd, another top pedigree pooch in the UK, increasing in price by 49%. Owners reported an average purchase price of £919 since lockdown.
  • A Staffordshire Bull Terrier cost £703 on average, an increase of 56.6% on the March 2019–February 2020 period.

One of Britain’s most popular breeds, on average owners are reporting paying 76.3% more for a Cocker Spaniel since March 2020 compared to the year before.

Indeed, prices are up right across the board.

Taking all pedigrees, mixed breeds, and crossbreeds into account, the average price of a dog was reported to be £934.59 from March 2020 to the end of February 2021. Compared to the previous 12 months, this is up from £585.50 (a 59.6% increase).

But which are the priciest pups?

The most expensive dog breeds in Britain in 2021

  1. Chow Chow — £1,812
  2. English Bulldog — £1,804
  3. Bernese Mountain Dog — £1,587
  4. Dachshund (Miniature smooth-haired) — £1,575
  5. Dachshund (Miniature long-haired) — £1,525
  6. Newfoundland — £1,493
  7. French Bulldog — £1,479
  8. English Bull Terrier — £1,462
  9. Cane Corso Italiano — £1,436
  10. Hungarian Viazla — £1,418
  11. St Bernard — £1,393
  12. Rhodesian Ridgeback — £1,364
  13. Boston Terrier — £1,326
  14. Pomeranian — £1,321
  15. Toy Poodle — £1,305
  16. Dachshund (wire-haired) — £1,287
  17. Great Dane — £1,278
  18. Dachshund (long-haired) — £1,244
  19. Dobermann — £1,244
  20. American Bulldog — £1,228
  21. Golden Retriever — £1,227
  22. Maltese — £1,190
  23. Dogue de Bordeaux — £1,159
  24. Boxer — £1,140
  25. Cockapoo — £1,109


The English Bulldog: one of the most popular yet expensive pedigrees, coming in just behind the Chow Chow.

To keep things as representative as possible and to avoid any possible skewing, we’ve excluded breeds from the list for which there were fewer than 1,500 quotes.

Amongst these rare, more expensive dogs were the Japanese Shiba Inu, the Neapolitan Mastiff, and the Alaskan Klee Kai.

4Paws: the caring pet specialists

Are you a new lockdown pet owner? Contemplating welcoming a new four-legged member in your family? At 4Paws, we’re here to make things as simple and smooth as possible — giving maximum time for ball chasing and belly rubs!

With 97% of all claims paid, we’re proud to be 5-star expert-rated by defaqto, a measure of the quality and comprehensiveness of our pet insurance products and services.

With flexible cover levels to suit all budgets, start your dog insurance quote today