What Did the National Dog Survey Tell Us?

In late 2021, the Dogs Trust conducted a survey about all things canine, providing us with a great insight into what we love about dogs, what we call them and how much they cost us.

We absolutely love dogs at PBS Pet Travel, and have been specialising in dog travel for over 20 years. This survey therefore made for great reading at our offices.

Let’s dive into what we uncovered, and see if you and your dog match popular opinion.

What is the most popular dog breed?

There are currently a staggering 221 dog breeds in the UK according to the UK Kennel Club, but only one could top the list. Of the 345,703 people surveyed, the most owned breed turned out to be Labrador. This loveable dog ranked not only top overall, but was also rated most popular in all age groups.

In second place came the Cocker Spaniel, which largely peaked with those aged 25-74. The Cockerpoo ranked third, dropping to 8th for those aged over 75 but back up to second in the 18-24 age group.

What are the most popular dog names in the UK?

Could it be that there are more female dogs in the UK than male? Of those surveyed, the names Poppy and Bella pulled in the highest numbers, with 6,155 dogs named Poppy and 5,282 named Bella. Third place went to Alfie, who claimed 4,976 of all the UK dog names.

Where do most of the dogs in the UK live?

The survey results deduced that the majority of dogs reside in the Southeast of England, with 46,816 living in this warmest part of the UK. Second on the list was the Northwest, where just under 40,000 of the 439,846 dogs included in the survey currently live.

Region Number of Dogs
Southeast England 46,816
Northwest England 39,886
Southwest England 36,431
East England 35,535
Yorkshire and The Humber 31,484
West Midlands 30,262
Scotland 28,580
Greater London 21,469
East Midlands 20,643
Wales 17,175
Northeast England 16,390
Northern Ireland 6,298
Crown Dependencies 255


What is the average cost of a new dog?

Alongside the most popular breeds, names and locations of dogs in the UK, the survey also illustrated that the COVID-19 pandemic saw a shift in the average age of dog owners, and the costs associated with looking after a dog.

During lockdowns, a huge 3.2 million dogs joined families in the UK, bringing the national dog population up to 12.5 million.

Since March 2020, 23% of these dogs were first brought home at under six months old. The stay-at-home rules, restrictions on movement and other COVID-based regulations meant that first-time dog ownership rose dramatically. Almost half of the 3.2 million dogs purchased were snapped up by people aged under 44.

Working from home was seen to be a key factor in deciding to purchase a dog, with many 18–24-year-olds finding their work and social lives considerably reduced. A dog purchase therefore became a focussed investment. The survey found that this demographic were over six times more likely to buy a dog in the last two years than pre-COVID.

Demand always drives prices, and this survey discovered that many people were spending over £1,000 on their puppy. Average puppy prices have risen up to 18 times higher than they were prior to the pandemic.

In some cases, the spend was even higher still, with 1 in 5 spending over £2,000 on French Bulldogs, Cockerpoos and Miniature Dachshunds among others. Unfortunately, these prices also saw a rise in illegal trading of animals. Many were being transported in inhumane conditions and being treated poorly. As a company specialising in organising travelling with dogs, this was something that affected us greatly.

The most expensive puppies in the UK

As we mentioned above, the survey found that dog owners were paying more for their puppies, but which breeds saw the most dramatic increase in price?

Breed Percentage of puppies costing over £1,000
Miniature Dachshund 54%
French Bulldog 54%
Golden Retriever 39%
Cockerpoo 38%
Boxer 35%
Labradoodle 33%
Pug 26%
Miniature Schnauzer 24%
Cocker Spaniel 21%
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 20%

For some, the cost of the dog itself may, unfortunately, be seen as a status symbol, when in reality, any pet purchase should be assessed before actioning it. Vet bills, food, toys, and insurance should all be considered. The survey found that many first-time dog owners were shocked by just how much cost and commitment is associated with looking after a dog.

How do we interact with our dogs?

Dogs have long been seen as man’s best friend, and with good reason. The survey from the Dogs Trust showed just how much affection we bestow upon our four-legged friends. A huge 85% of dog owners regularly tell their dogs that they love them, and 62% celebrate their puppy’s birthdays.

In addition, the companionship brought to us by dogs has been linked to an improvement in mental health. Taking a dog out for a walk brings you into contact with other people. Playing games with your dog can also help, as chemicals in your brain are released to give a sense of worth and wellbeing. A simple cuddle from a dog is known to make us feel significantly happier.


If you are a dog owner and cannot bear to be apart from your puppy when you head abroad, contact our expert team today. We are specialists in organising all types of pet travel, so whether you need a dog passport or want to take your other scaled or furry friends away, we make it stress-free and simple. Get a free quote today so you can get your travel plans completed, quickly.