Demand for larger dog breeds soars as lockdowns drive families into more spacious homes


Demand for larger dog breeds soars as families who moved to the countryside during Covid pandemic have more room for pets, expert says

  • Six of the ten breeds whose popularity increased last year were classed as ‘large’
  • Those seeing a surge included English setters, giant schnauzers and the akita 
  • Lockdown has driven people to move out of cities to bigger, more rural homes 
  • Larger dogs are ‘striking to look at’; however, they take up more space in houses


They take up a bit more space on the sofa but big dogs are back in fashion

Six out of the ten breeds whose popularity increased last year in registrations with The Kennel Club were classed as ‘large’. 

Top of this list was the Pyrenean mountain dog, which weighs up to 165lb.

Bill Lambert, a spokesman for Crufts, which is organised by The Kennel Club, said the surge might be down to families finding more space after moving out of cities and towns during the pandemic.  

Other popular breeds included the English setter – a vulnerable native breed that saw a 109 per cent increase in registrations – as well as the giant schnauzer, the chow chow and the akita.

Demand for larger dog breeds - including the English setter (pictured) - has soared during Covid, possibly due to families moving to more spacious, rural homes

Demand for larger dog breeds – including the English setter (pictured) – has soared during Covid, possibly due to families moving to more spacious, rural homes

The old English sheepdog, which starred in the Dulux adverts, ranked ninth as its increased popularity no longer made it a vulnerable native breed.

Britain’s most popular breeds are Labradors, the French bulldog, the cocker spaniel, the bulldog and the miniature smoothhaired dachshund.

Mr Lambert told The Sunday Telegraph: ‘Perhaps puppy buyers resisted the urge to go for the most obvious choices, and instead using lockdown and time at home to properly research their new four-legged family member and find the best fit for their lifestyle.’

The old English sheepdog (pictured), which starred in the Dulux adverts, ranked ninth as its increased popularity no longer made it a vulnerable native breed

The old English sheepdog (pictured), which starred in the Dulux adverts, ranked ninth as its increased popularity no longer made it a vulnerable native breed

Six out of the ten breeds whose popularity increased last year in registrations with The Kennel Club were classed as ‘large’. Pictured: A white miniature bull terrier

Six out of the ten breeds whose popularity increased last year in registrations with The Kennel Club were classed as ‘large’. Pictured: A white miniature bull terrier

Ali Taylor, head of canine behaviour and training at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, told the Mail: ‘It’s no wonder that big dogs have risen in popularity; not only are they striking to look at, but they can make incredibly loving and rewarding pets too.

‘Large breeds might take up a bit more space on your sofa, but that’s only because there’s more of them to love!’

Crufts, which is organised by The Kennel Club, begins this year on Thursday and runs until March 13.

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