Every year CKC sifts through its immense database to compile a list of the top 10 most popular dog breeds based on the number of dogs registered in the previous year. We’ve been quick out of the gate this year and are excited to release
. While the top four remained the same - for the sixth year running - there was some notable shuffling between the remaining coveted six spots. The French Bulldog climbed their way up from the 67
this year, while other greatly popular breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Shetland Sheepdog stepped down a few spots to make room for this new comer. The big surprise though came from the Portuguese Water Dog, who made the list this year for the first time on record!
We’re not just going to show you who made the cut this year in a boring chart though.
Instead, keep reading to see all of the breeds who earned a spot on CKC’s Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2018 list, learn a little bit about each breed, and check out the comparison chart for 2015 – 2018.
Black, yellow or chocolate only, never dilute in colour (silver, champagne, charcoal, etc.). Its extraordinary versatility allows the Labrador Retriever to excel as hunting, service, and therapy dogs; in search and rescue; in drug and bomb detection; in performance and field events and as excellent family companions."
#2. German Shepherd Dog
One of the most versatile and talented breeds in the world today, the German Shepherd Dog has been valued in police work, tracking, guiding the blind, drug and bomb detection, search and rescue, herding, avalanche rescue and much more. The German Shepherd Dog first came to North America in the early 1900s and got a huge boost in popularity after World War I when Rin Tin Tin’s movie exploits captured the attention of the public.
A well-bred German Shepherd Dog is stable, sensible, intelligent, quick to learn, loyal and protective of his home and property.
“The German Shepherd Dog has consistently been chosen to be one of the top breeds for many years. Intelligence, versatility, nobility and beauty encompass its many attributes. A devoted dog that gives its all when asked to perform in many venues which include police work, service and therapy work, herding, showing or as a family pet. We are thrilled to again see the breed placing as a favourite!”
Molly Snider, 1st
Vice President, German Shepherd Dog Club of Canada Inc.
#3. Golden Retriever
Known for being one of the most glamorous of the retriever family, the Golden was developed in the mid-19th century by a Scotsman, Sir Dudley Majoribanks, later Lord Tweedmouth. It was first granted breed status in Britain in 1913. Among the most ingratiating of breeds, the Golden’s manners win friends for him wherever he’s seen.
As a family pet, especially with children, the breed has few equals. The Golden is noted for being friendly, reliable and trustworthy. In addition to being a gentle-mouthed retriever, the breed excels in obedience and shines as service dogs.
"From its roots as a hunting dog to new dog sports such as dock diving the Golden Retriever is a breed that can do it all. Despite leaving lustrous shades of gold tumbleweeds throughout your house and retrieving a variety of objects you may or may not want them to bring to you. Goldens are equally as comfortable hunting in the field, doing obedience, agility, conformation, hiking, swimming, acting as therapy and service dogs, or simply cuddling up on a couch, making you laugh and winning your heart; the exemplary temperament, athleticism, trainability and versatility has made the Golden Retriever a favourite breed for all."
– Kim Sheehan, President, Golden Retriever Club of Canada
#4. Poodle (Standard)
As the oldest of the three Poodle breeds, the Standard Poodle is the original from which the Miniature and Toy were developed. Known in Russia and Germany since the early 16th century, the breed is related to the Portuguese Water Dog and Irish Water Spaniel. Its first job was that of a retriever of waterfowl and is still used by avid hunters to this day. The breed’s sense of fun and high trainability made it popular as a circus dog and by the end of the 18th century, it was said every travelling circus had a performing Poodle act.
Endowed with extreme versatility, the Poodle is intelligent and quick-to-please.
"The Standard [Poodle], originally a water retriever, is now enjoying a myriad of roles; hospital therapy dog, hunting dog and loyal companion. He is ideal for those individuals who prefer a larger dog.”
- Poodle Club of Canada, Website.
#5. French Bulldog
During the mid-19th century the diminutive Bulldog was a popular family pet in the English midlands where lacemaking was a local industry. When English lacemakers emigrated to France in search of better pay, they took the miniature Bulldogs with them and eventually crossed them with local breeds. The result was a breed known as the Bouldogue Français or French Bulldog.
The Frenchie is a quiet and well-mannered dog. While they are not known for unnecessary barking, as with other short-nosed breeds, they are known to snort or snore.
“The French Bulldog is comical, entertaining and dependably amiable. The first French Bulldog is the dog who gives you so much that the first is often the reason for the second French Bulldog. French Bulldogs are the smallest things to take up the most space in your heart and fills an emptiness you didn’t even know you had.”
– David Berrey, President, French Bulldog Fanciers of Canada
The Havanese is a Cuban member of the Bichon family that includes better known breeds such as the Maltese and Bichon Frise. The Bichon breeds originated in the Mediterranean area and the Havanese’s ancestors may have arrived in Cuba when the Spanish were exploring the Caribbean.
Happy, outgoing and quite trainable, the Havanese is a pleasant and affectionate companion.
“The Havanese is a small dog equally at home actively playing or snuggling on a lap. One owner summed it up very well. “The Havanese is extremely affectionate, very devoted and always entertaining". This very special little dog can bring years of love and loyalty when treated with love and kindness in return.” - Havanese Fanciers of Canada, Website
#7. Shetland Sheepdog
The Shetland Sheepdog originated in the rugged and sparsely vegetated Shetland Islands off the northeast coast of Scotland. There, the harsh environment favoured smaller livestock and it followed that smaller dogs were able to control them. In 1906 they were first exhibited at Crufts Dog Show in London under the name Shetland Collie, but Collie breeders objected and so the breed was renamed Shetland Sheepdog.
This breed’s personality has captured the hearts of so many. Intensely loyal, affectionate and responsive, the Sheltie ranks high in its strong desire to please. With their intelligence and understanding, they have become one of the foremost breeds in obedience work.
“The Shetland Sheepdog is a small, alert, rough-coated, longhaired working dog. [They are] intensely loyal, affectionate, and responsive to his owner.”
– Canadian Shetland Sheepdog Association, Website
#8. Australian Shepherd
Contrary to its name, the Australian Shepherd had its beginnings in Spain and Andorra, where it worked with the Basque shepherds. When the Basques followed the sheep-herding movement to Australia, their faithful dogs went along. When Australian sheep were imported into the western U.S., once more the Basque herders and their dogs, now renamed as Australian Shepherds, made the trip. The breed has been popular with livestock farmers in North America for over a century.
Eager to please, loyal, and responsive, the Aussie may be reserved toward strangers. Though a deliberate guardian, he is never hostile. Alert and quick to learn, he is easily trained. High-spirited, he can be tough with recalcitrant livestock but immediately soften to the tone of his owner’s voice.
“The Aussie’s great energy and athleticism make him an ideal companion for active, outdoorsy people and those interested in dog performance sports and activities such as agility, herding, fly-ball, Rally-O, and obedience. This dog’s idea of a good time is hiking in the woods in any kind of weather, swimming at the cottage, retrieving, learning new tricks – any kind of physical or mental activity, followed by a nap at your feet.”
– Canadian National Australian Shepherd Association, Website.
#9. Bernese Mountain Dog
Introduced to North America in the 1930s,
the Bernese is one of four varieties of Swiss mountain dogs. Though they all share the same distinctive markings, it is the only one with a long coat. The breed was used to drive livestock and pull carts to transport produce to market in the Swiss canton of Berne.
One of the strongest assets of this breed is its wonderful temperament. The Bernese is consistent and dependable and generally appears to be in command of any situation. The Bernese is an excellent family companion and protector, and has a strong desire to please.
“The Bernese Mountain Dog is known for its striking appearance, outstanding temperament, and attachment and loyalty to its human family. Agile, intelligent and an excellent working dog, it readily applies itself to many tasks and activities.”
– Maureen Greaves, BMDCC President
#10. Portuguese Water Dog
A strong swimmer and diver, the Portuguese Water Dog once was numerous all along Portugal’s coast where it worked with fishermen to get the fish into the nets, retrieving gear from the water, and carrying messages from boat to boat or boat to shore.
It’s known in Portugal as the Cao de Agua or “dog of water.” The Portuguese Water Dog made its first appearance in rare breed shows in the U.S. in the early 1970s.
Exceptionally intelligent and a loyal companion, the Portuguese Water Dog immediately impressed North Americans with its willingness to turn in stellar performances in obedience trials. The breed possesses a spirited disposition and is both brave and self-willed, with limitless stamina.
“The Portuguese Water Dog is a loyal, affectionate, energetic, intelligent family companion and watch dog and it thrives on and demands human attention. It needs people, bonds readily and is loyal to its crew mate. It thrives as a family member and gets on well with children and other pets.”
– Portuguese Water Dog Club of Canada, Website
Without fail, every year the release of the Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds roster brings joy and excitement to dog lovers across the country. From the Labrador Retriever to the small but mighty French Bulldog, this list shows how dogs continue to be a big part of the Canadian life style.
“Dog’s are an integral part of our families and our lives,” says Lance Novak, Executive Director, Canadian Kennel Club. “It is our pleasure to continue to help Canadian dog owners on their journey to find a dog that fits their family and lifestyles. From choosing a breed to raising your dog, the Canadian Kennel Club is here to help every step of the way.”
For information and support in helping you find a dog that’s right for you, visit ckc.ca
. To find your new best friend, be sure to check out available purebred puppies from CKC member breeders at thepuppylist.ca