2021 has been an interesting year so far: COVID-19 continues, the delayed 2020 Summer Olympics finally happened, and billionaires are blasting off into outer space. The ability to work from home has allowed many of us to spend more time with our beloved dogs, and encouraged many more people to get a dog of their own. In honour of our canine companions, we’ve put together a list of the Top 10 Dog Breeds of 2021.
This list is not meant as a guide to “trendy pets”: living animals are not fashion accessories. It is irresponsible and even cruel to acquire a dog on a whim. A dog is an animal with complex emotions and needs that need to be met. If you are not willing to do your research and properly prepare for a pet, you should not get one.
With that said, in no particular order, here are the top ten breeds of 2021.
1. Mixed Breeds: Mixed breeds prove the most popular dog of 2021 thus far. This includes Goldendoodles, Cockapoos, and random-bred dogs. “Designer dogs” such as Goldendoodles have always proven popular, as many of these breeds are ideal for people with allergies. Random-bred dogs are also much beloved, as many people choose to rescue dogs or adopt from sanctuaries.
2. Labrador Retriever: This breed has a lot going for it: its gentle and friendly character, combined with intelligence and beauty. Originally from Newfoundland (Canada), the Labrador Retriever is a muscular, medium to large sized dog. Since Labradors were originally bred to be working dog, they are often energetic. Make sure you give your Labrador different activities to do. As with many large dogs, joint issues like hip dysplasia, and bloat (Gastric Dilation Volvulus) are fairly common. They may also suffer from some other problems such as epilepsy and myopathy.
3.French Bulldog: This snub-nosed dog has a distinctive pair of upright “bat” ears and large round eyes. Frenchies have proven very popular: they are small, easy to groom, and very friendly. They can be a little stubborn, but persistence and patience will pay off. Be aware that, like other snub-nosed dogs, French Bulldogs may have breathing problems. You should keep your French Bulldog at the recommended size, and not allow them to become overweight. Avoid exercising your Frenchie too much, and if you live in a hot climate, seriously think about getting air conditioning.
4. Golden Retriever: The Golden Retriever is a sweet and usually calm dog. These dogs have a beautiful feathery coat that ranges from pale cream to a deep red gold. They are very keen to please, and are a pleasure to train. They tend to be gentle and get on with just about everyone. Like many large dog breeds, they are prone to elbow and hip dysplasia. They may also have a few eye issues.
5. Cocker Spaniel: Cocker Spaniels were originally bred for hunting, and the modern Cocker still loves the great outdoors. The Cocker Spaniel loves to be with people. Intelligent and eager to please, most Cocker Spaniels are easy to train. They are typically sweet tempered, and make wonderful family pets. It is important to make sure your Cocker Spaniel is properly groomed so as to avoid tangles and mats. Their ears need to be kept clean to avoid ear infections.
6. Beagle: This tricoloured hunting dog is one of the most beloved pets in the world. Beagles have short fur, and a rounded head, with large eyes that many people describe as soulful. Most Beagles are very playful and friendly, especially with children. A Beagle left outside in the garden will almost certainly begin baying or howling, as they usually prefer to be around people. They are generally healthy dogs, but may suffer from hip dysplasia, ear infections, and thyroid problems.
7. Border Collie: This medium-sized dog is light and lithe: a born athlete. Collies have a sleek, silky coat that comes in many colours, such as tricoloured, black and white, and merle. The Collie is incredibly sensitive, alert, and clever. Combined with their energetic nature, this makes Collies a good choice for an active or sporty person who would enjoy training such an intelligent dog. Do not over-exercise a young Collie, as this may lead to joint injuries in the future.
8. Dachshund: The Dachsund is a tiny hunting dog, hailing from Germany. They have a relatively long body, with a deep chest and short legs. Dachshunds may have smooth hair, wire hair, or long hair. This hunting breed is very clever, but also very independent, which can make them tricky to train. Dachshunds are popular pets due to their cuddly nature and bold characters. They are prone to back and joint issues, so do not let them get fat!
9. Staffordshire Bull Terrier: The Staffie is a medium-sized terrier, with short hair and a happy smile. They are strong and stocky dogs that tend to be very hardy. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are affectionate and loyal pets, which has made them very popular dogs. Unfortunately this breed may not be kept in certain regions. If you have your heart set on a Staffie, be sure to check your local regulations before getting one.
10. Yorkshire Terrier: The Yorkie was originally bred for pest control in its native Yorkshire, England. The modern Yorkie is seldom asked to hunt vermin (though most of them will happily do so if they get the chance!). These bicoloured dogs have a silky coat that seldom sheds; although this means more visits to the dog groomer, it does make them a good pick for people with allergies. Yorkshire terriers are often very confident and adventurous. Some are cuddly; others are cheekier or more mischievous. Yorkshire Terriers are prone to a few health conditions, such as Patellar luxation and Tracheal collapse.