Most children love animals, and dogs are one of the most popular kinds of pet. For this week’s survey we decided to find out which breed of dog is the favourite amongst children. This was one of our most popular surveys yet, with more than four thousand respondents. I guess children really do love dogs!
The question we asked was “Which type of dog would you most like to own?” We gave a choice of ten breeds which we thought would be contenders. There are so many kinds of dogs out there that we could not include them all, so apologies if your favourite is not on the list. Here is what we discovered. Those ten breeds in order of popularity:
As you can see, two breeds dominate the results: golden retriever and German shepherd. These are both large breeds. The smaller ones failed to do quite so well. Let’s look at some facts about each of our breeds…
Now known as a loveable family pet, golden retrievers were originally gun dogs whose job it was to return food shot by their masters. That’s why they still love to play “fetch”. They originated in Scotland from a blend of spaniel and retriever and are one of the friendliest, and most intelligent breeds of dog. They are still working dogs today. Many guide dogs for the blind are golden retrievers.
As their name suggests, German shepherds were originally sheep dogs and they first appeared in Germany in the late 19th Century. When war with Germany broke out in 1914 they suffered a decline in popularity. To get over this they had an official name change, from German shepherd to Alsatian wolf dog. Thankfully, anti-German feeling subsided and they retook their original name in 1977. They are easy to train and have been used by the police and the military.
Poodles have a reputation for being “pretty” dogs, rather than working ones. This image could not be further from the truth. Like retrievers, poodles were originally gun dogs. They are highly intelligent and are very fast runners too. Their origin is not certain though. Some say that they originated in France and were bred from the barbet breed; others that they came from Germany and were bred to retrieve game from water.
Labrador retrievers do not come from Labrador. They are in fact from elsewhere in Canada – Newfoundland. They were originally bred to retrieve game for hunters, like so many dog breeds. They are one of the softest and friendliest of dogs, making them a perfect family pet. They are also highly intelligent. Their temperament and their brains make them ideal assistance dogs for the blind or disabled.
Bulldogs are known for their courage and tenacity, two attributes which led to them being adopted as a national symbol of Britain. As their name suggests, bulldogs have their origins in the “sport” of bull baiting. This involved incapacitating a bull, either by chaining it to a post or putting it in a pit. Bulldogs were then released to attack the bull. Thankfully, this activity has long since been outlawed and bulldogs have become popular pets.
Another breed which was originally a gun dog. Spaniels were intended to chase animals out of thick vegetation. Their name points to their homeland. The word “spaniel” comes from the French word “espaigneul” which means "Spanish”. There are more than twenty different types of spaniel, including the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the English Cocker Spaniel, and the Welsh Springer Spaniel.
Beagles are known for their incredible sense of smell. They are also highly intelligent and friendly dogs, which makes them excellent pets, but also great working dogs. They are used for tracking, and as “sniffer” dogs to detect illegal imports. Their origin is not known for sure. We do know that in the middle ages the word "beagle" was used to describe smaller hounds, but these bore little resemblance to the modern beagle.
A lot of people first get to see a Greyhound on a racing track where it is muzzled and travelling at 45 mph trying to catch a toy rabbit, a sight which can be quite daunting and paint the image of the breed being aggressive. Nothing could be further from the truth. They really are gentle giants. Believed to have originated in Egypt they were once the favourite hounds of the upper class and were mummified and buried with their owners. The walls of Egyptian tombs often were decorated with images of their hounds. The majority of Greyhounds now become pets when their racing career ends, and needing just two short walks each day, while sleeping for the rest of it, it’s no wonder they are nicknamed the 45 mph ‘couch potato’. Expect a visitor in the kitchen though, these guys love their food and treats. To find out more, take a look at Totally Greyhound.
Boxers came originally from Germany and are a mix of a type of mastiff and the British bulldog. Like their British forbears, boxers were bred to kill large animals, in this case bears. Their job was to hold the animal until its masters came to dispatch it. They are clever creatures, playful and protective, which makes them good family pets.
Terrier is a French word meaning "burrow". This gives us a clue as to the breed’s origins. Terriers were first bred to hunt small animals, hence their small size. They were also used for recreation when pits were filled with rats and terriers were times. The quickest one to kill all the rats was the winner. There are many different kinds of terrier, including the Jack Russell terrier, the bull terrier, and the Boston terrier.More Survey Results
Here are the results from the 4,283 children who answered our question "Which type of dog would you most like to own?". The survey was conducted in the week ending 17th January 2020.
|Which type of dog would you most like to own?||Percentage of Respondents|