Scotland’s most popular dog breeds

Labradors are the country's most loved dog
Labradors are the country's most loved dog
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We are a nation of dog lovers, but which pooches have a special place in the hearts of Scots?

New figures from the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association, which carries out an annual pet population survey, found that 25 per cent of all households own a dog - this equates to more than 8.5 million across the British Isles.

Picture: Border Collie's are particularly popular in Scotland

Picture: Border Collie's are particularly popular in Scotland

As the most microchipped dog by pet registration company Animalcare, the Labrador retriever is the most popular breed of dog for Scots, followed closely by the Border Collie.

Although not every pet is microchipped by examining those that are, we can identify the most popular dogs in Scotland right now.


Scotland’s most popular pooch is the Labrador retriever. The breed are used for retrieving game and as assistance dogs for ‘sniffer’ dogs for drug and arms detection. It is thought that they originated on the coast of Newfoundland, where fishermen were seen to use a dog of similar appearance to retrieve fish. Labrador retrievers are known as a good natured and friendly companion, which is probably why they are welcomed into Scottish families.

Picture: Jack Russells are a popular addition to Scottish households

Picture: Jack Russells are a popular addition to Scottish households



Border Collies were historically used on farms in countrysides as they’re easy to train and intelligent. The breed are known for their energy and stamina, making them perfect for herding sheep. The nature of Border Collies make them one of the more demanding breeds of dogs as they need regular walks. They are also ranked within the top three of the most intelligent dogs.



Described as loyal, it’s no surprise that Cocker Spaniels are Scotland’s third most popular dog. The breed are notoriously active and inquisitive, with the potential for being stubborn and single minded on occasion. It’s common for owners to train their Cocker Spaniel as they are a particularly obedient breed.



Jack Russells are described as cheerful yet fearless dogs. Often used for hunting, they are known to chase, explore, bark and dig and are always in need of lots of exercise. Jack Russell terriers require a lot activity, making them popular in a family environment where there are daily play sessions.



German Sheperd dogs are now a much loved canine friend for hundreds of Scots. The breed are notoriously devoted and courageous, often used as assistance for the handicapped, police and military service, herding, search and rescue.