What are the top 10 dog breeds in Canada? When you are thinking about getting a dog it can be tough to decide the best breed type. There are a ton of different breeds to choose from many of which have strong breed traits (trust us not all dogs are the same!). How should you decide? We put together a ranking to help you. The ranking is heavily weighted on the choices of dog owners across Canada just like you! However, we gave bonus points for a couple of other points as well. So, here is a list of the top 10 dog breeds in Canada!
GoFetch Dog Breed Ranking Criteria:
1) GoFetch Proprietary Database
There are thousands of dog owners across Canada who use GoFetch and we based part of the rankings on the decision making of dog owners across Canada. Who better to determine the best dog breeds than dog owners themselves!
2) Family friendly
Dogs can be amazing members of families large or small and kids often form incredible bonds with their canine companions. Even if you don’t have a family now its always good to keep in mind that a family friendly dog is great to have. You’ll want your pups to be friendly with kids whether its at the park, on the sidewalk, or they are visiting your house.
Having a dog that you can train is fun and helpful. You can teach your dog cool tricks and also train away behaviours that may not be desired.
Canadians Favourite Dog Breeds?
1. Labrador Retriever – 5.27 Per 100
Canadians love Labs! Labrador Retrievers have been at the top of Canadians favourite dogs for years with a shockingly high % of dog owners choosing this breed. However, it makes complete sense. Labrador Retrievers are one of the best family pets, due to their intelligence and gentle nature. They are always eager to please, and fantastic with children. These characteristics make labs excellent seeing eye dogs and stress relief dogs. Of course, by the name, Labrador Retrievers are happiest when playing fetch and will retrieve that ball until your arm falls off. A fun fact about the Labrador Retriever is that they are descendants of dogs taken to Newfoundland by explorers and fishermen, and have since evolved through natural selection to what they are now.
2. Poodle / Poodle Mix – 5.44 per 100 dogs
Poodles are originally meant for retrieving waterfowl and sniffing out truffles; due to their high energy, trainability, and happiness, they were quickly put into the circus! Most circuses would have a poodle act, because they were so smart, eager to please, and would clearly get high off the applause and love from the audience (okay the latter part of that may not be true, but imagine, 18th century England, a poodle going back to its dressing room after a show, and being all holier-than-thou, with a pre-Madonna attitude. They should make a Disney movie about that). Anyways, poodles are super high energy and are better suited for houses over apartment buildings.
3. German Shepherd – 2.04 Per 100 Dogs
It is safe to say that German Shepherds are everyone’s favourite dogs, not just Canadians. These dogs are the smartest of the bunch. Bred to be stable, sensible, intelligent, and loyal, German Shepherds are great for police work, tracking, guide dogs, drug and bomb detection, as well as search and rescue (and so much more! Think of the quality of snuggling they could provide).
One word of caution with respect to this breed – hip issues are a real problem. Many German Shepherds, bred poorly, experience extreme hip and joint problems, often causing their owners to decide to put them out of their suffering before their time. Be very careful when picking a German Shepherd breeder. Assuming you find a good breeder German Shepherds are amazing and we slotted them in at #3 on our list a little bit ahead of their data based ranking.
4. Retriever – 2.9 per 100 Dogs
Golden Retrievers (the most popular type of retriever), are perhaps the sweetest and friendliest of all the dogs. Coming in at number four on our list of Canadians favourite dog breeds, we all know exactly why; Golden Retrievers are fantastic family dogs, as they are the most gentle, friendly, and trustworthy dog. Apparently we have its very careful line breeding to thank for what Golden Retrievers are known for now (coming from a long line of Retrievers, yellow Tweed Water Spaniels, Irish Setters, and Bloodhounds). Furthermore, Golden Retrievers are excellent seeing eye dogs and stress relief dogs.
5. Australian Shepherd – 2.55 per 100 dogs
Aussies got a bit of a bump up the list because they are incredibly smart and amazing family dogs. However, they are also incredibly high energy! Its important that dog owners know Aussie Shepherds need a great deal of exercise especially when they are young puppies. In fact, many Aussie owners report taking their Aussie puppies out for more than two 30-45 min off leash outings per day! Their loyalty and love for families is undeniable though and the bond that Aussies form with their owners is incredible.
6. Bichon 3.06 per 100 dogs
Havaneses are one of the most popular from the Bichon family, which are originally from the Caribbean. Bred mostly to be a pet, this breed is a Canadian favourite because of its temperament, appearance, and easy exercise requirements. Furthermore, their coats are non-shedding, which is a huge bonus.
7. Chihuahua – 2.21 Per 100 Dogs
Chihuahua’s can be funny dogs and they certainly have strong personalities. In fact, its fair to say that they probably have the most eccentric and quirky personalities of all dog breeds. Its worth noting they can be a bit tricky to house train as well.
8. Yorkshire terrier 1.36 per 100 dogs
Once twice the size they are now, a Yorkshire Terriers main skill was to hunt and kill rats! Can you imagine a little Yorkie hunting rats now? It’s entirely possible that some rats are actually bigger than some Yorkies! Their original purpose no longer of use, Yorkies are a toy breed filled with energy, a “pamper me” attitude, yet still a good watch dog. Ultimately, this dog breed is great for people who don’t get out much or love binge-watching Netflix. You could give a Yorkie all the exercise they need by throwing a ball down the hall while you watch House of Cards. A classic and loving pet, Yorkshire Terriers remain on the list of Canadians favourite dogs.
9. French Bulldog – 1.15 per 100 dogs
French Bulldogs are actually very new to the list of Canadians favourite dogs! They went from 67th place in 2005, to 9th in 2015. That is a huge and incredible leap (something that they may not excel in, considering their little legs). Frenchies are Canadians favourite dogs because they are cute and easy. Frenchies exercise needs are minimal; their coat is incredibly low maintenance; their barking is infrequent; and because they are so small, they are great for small apartments in big cities. However, they do snort and snore because of their little snout. Because of their snout, though, it’s not easy for them to cool off via panting, so be careful of them overheating!
10. Bernese Mountain Dog 1.02 per 100 dogs
Statistically, Berners didn’t quite make the list but we put them on the list anyhow because they are so amazing! Sadly, they have a bit shorter life span than many of the other breeds on this list but their personalities are incredible. They are the ultimate gentle giants who think often mistake themselves as lapdogs! Now for some trivia :). Originally used to pull carts filled with produce to markets in Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dogs use became obsolete with advancing technology (AKA cars). However, dog lovers hated the idea of the breed dying out and gathered to continue the Bernese lineage.
Canadians favourite dogs | @tillytheberner
Hope you enjoyed this list of the top 10 dog breeds in Canada! Let us know if you have any comments or think we should add an “honourable mention” category :). We left some great dog breeds off the list!