With a broad range of characteristics, many breeds of utility dog make for a strong choice when looking for your perfect family pup.
Dog ownership has soared during the global pandemic according to the Kennel Club, as lockdown meant people felt more able to open their home up to a new puppy.
But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pooch – whether you want a large dog, family-friendly dog, or crossbreed.
The Kennel Club separates breeds into seven different groups, each of which have a particular set of attributes.
The Pastoral Group contains breeds that were originally bred for a specific working purpose that is no longer applicable today, along with dogs that simply do not qualify for any of the other six groups.
Pastoral dogs account for several of the most consistently popular breeds, with the French Bulldog currently vying with the Labrador Retriever for the title of Britain’s top dog.
These are the 10 most popular breeds of pastoral dog in the UK, according to Kennel Club registrations.
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1. French Bulldog
The French Bulldog is the second most popular dog breed in the UK, beaten only by the Labrador Retriever. There were 39,266 new Kennel Club registrations for French Bulldogs in 2020. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
The Bulldog, sometimes known as the English Bulldog or British Bulldog, is the second most popular utility dog. A total of 11,594 people added one of these gregarious and docile dogs to their family last year according to Kennel Club registrations. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. Shih Tzu
Originally from Tibet, the Shih Tzu was bred purely to be a companion dog and so is very affectionate and playful. There were 2,155 Shih Tzu registrations in 2020. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Miniature Schnauzer
Originally bred to hunt rats on farms, the charming Miniature Schnauzer is the third most popular utility dog in the UK. There were 4,728 registrations of these small dogs with big personalities last year. Photo: Canva/Getty Images