CPC’S TOP 10 DOG BREED COUNTDOWN
Dogs are an integral part of the family unit, whether you reside solo or you’re part of a larger, multi-person household. Over the last few decades, the percentage of households that own a pet in Canada has increased significantly, making us one the countries with highest pet ownership rates in the world. Add in a global pandemic and the number of new (or lapsed) pet parents continues unabated.
Whether you’re looking for a new pup, a long-time client or just a fan of statistics, you might be curious about which breeds are the most popular at the Cabbagetown Pet Clinic. From one-of-a-kind, hybrid (aka. designer) breeds to stylish purebreds, we dug deep into CPC’s database to find out this year’s most popular dog breeds among our clients.
Without further ado, here are the Top 10 most popular dog breeds at the Cabbagetown Pet Clinic in 2022.
#10. French Bulldog (aka. Frenchie)
Calm and unflappable, the French bulldog craves attention. They tend to be well-suited for solo flyers because they generally don’t need to compete for attention from other family members.
This easy-going breed is a great addition to any home in an urban environment, because large spaces are not needed and they don’t require a lot of exercise. Perfect for condo-living. Although they’re willing, activity should be managed with care. Frenchies have squished faces and narrow nostrils which can make breathing difficult in the best of conditions. Not the best running buddy, but they’re always game to go for a brisk walk.
Their even-tempered and energetic personalities make this breed a favorite of city-dwellers. They may snort and snore (part of their appeal!), but Frenchies make excellent companions and are relatively easy to train – just ensure there are adequate treats to be had!
FUN FACT: As a result of their short legs and bulbous head, French bulldogs are terrible swimmers, so pool owners and beach goers should always be alert around bodies of water.
#9. Cockapoo (aka. Cockapoodle, Cockerpoo)
Very clever and outgoing, the Cockapoo combines the sweet nature of the Cocker Spaniel with the trainability and friendly nature of the Poodle. As one of the oldest designer dog breeds, Cockapoos are a hybrid breed – a cross between purebred American Cocker Spaniel and a purebred Poodle.
Cockapoos are generally bred for their disposition, more than their good looks. They tend to inherit the loving and sociable natures shared by both parent breeds and flourish in social exchanges. However, they abhor isolation and are prone to develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.
Depending on their size, Cockapoos do well in apartments, although maxi-cockapoos may be less well-suited for small living spaces. They’re not prolific barkers (yeah!), but they will alert you when there’s a knock at the door.
FUN FACT: Cockapoo’s are one of the oldest known designer (or hybrid) dog breeds – popular in the US and Canada since the 1950’s.
#8. Miniature Poodle
Miniature Poodles are well-known for their intellect and are highly trainable. They tend to be active, fun-loving family dogs with a sense of silliness. Their smaller size is also ideal for city living.
However, plenty of exercise and mental stimulation is a must. Early puppy socialization is key and must include other people, pets and a regular grooming regimen.
Miniature Poodles thrive on attention and may develop separation anxiety if left alone. As such, they don’t make great kennel dogs. They were initially bred as hunting dogs, so they do require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to be at their best.
FUN FACT: Their crazy-looking haircuts have a practical purpose. This unique look – called a ‘lion’ coat clip – served an important function in their past life as working animals bred to retrieve waterfowl. Less hair allows the Poodle to be a more proficient swimmer, leaving them susceptible to cold water. To help alleviate this conundrum, Poodle parents left hair around the joints, the upper torso and tips of the tail to protect the joints and vital organs.
#7. Mixed Breed / Heinz 57 / Mutt / Pot-Licker
When nature takes its course, mixed breed dogs are the result. The number of breed combinations can be limitless, and a dog’s ancestry can go back so far as to be indistinguishable without DNA testing.
Mixed dogs come in every shape, size, color and personality – they can simply be defined as not being any breed at all. Unfortunately, this category of dog makes up a major percentage of the dogs that end up in shelters, humane societies and animal rescues. Needless to say, by saving a mutt’s life, your compassion be rewarded with passionate love and devotion!
Every dog’s health is unique. However, over time many people have found that mixed breed dogs tend to be often healthier than purebred or designer dogs. Because purebred and designer dogs have limited gene pools, genetic disorders can occur over generations. Mixed breed dogs have a much more diverse genetic pool, so even if one dog has a health issue, chances are it will fade within the next generation.
Dogs that cost less to own or adopt, have higher life expectancies, have more genetic diversity and generally beget lower pet insurance premiums.
FUN FACT: Mutts can compete in official dog shows! The Westminster Dog Show opened its doors to mutts (called “All-American” dogs) in 2014, allowing them to compete in agility competitions.
#6. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers have been a Top 10 dog breed in Canada since forever. Playful and kind, these dogs remain loyal to their pet parents – they’ll stick by your side no matter the weather or temperature.
This breed is not only a fantastic family pet, but thrives as a service dog because of their compassionate nature and trainability. Golden Retrievers are hardworking and are regularly found hunting, guiding the blind, and participating in search-and-rescue missions.
Originating in the Scottish Highlands, this is an active dog bred to ‘retrieve’ birds in water or on land. Golden Retrievers are “bird dogs” by nature, so they often crave a game of fetch or a swim. When exercise is offered daily, Golden Retrievers can adapt to any type of setting, even in an urban environment.
FUN FACT: A Scotsman named Lord Tweedmouth of Inverness (quite a handle!) is credited with creating the Golden Retriever. In 1864, he crossed a Yellow Retriever – called Nous – and a Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle. The majority of modern Golden Retrievers are believed to have descended from the resulting litter.
The perfect pet?
The Goldendoodle is a hugely popular designer or hybrid breed: a deliberate cross between two purebreds – a Golden Retriever and Poodle. Chosen for particular their characteristics and traits,
the result is a medium-sized dog with the friendliness and sociable nature of the Golden Retriever and the high intelligence and energy of the Poodle.
The physical look of Goldendoodles can differ widely depending on which parent possessed the more dominant genes. As with their appearance, Goldendoodles’ temperament might take after one parent more than the other. However, more often than not, this cross-breed results in a smart, obedient and tremendously affectionate family pet.
Like their Golden Retriever parents, Goldendoodles also make great service dogs. Their intelligence and obedience are a perfect combination that helps them shine as guide dogs, and their affectionate and kind nature makes them a great choice for therapy dogs.
FUN FACT: The Goldendoodle was first officially bred in 1989 by the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia and made its first appearance in North America in the early 1990s. However, Monica Dickens, the great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens, is said to have bred the first cross in 1969.
#4. Yorkshire Terrier (aka. Yorkie)
The Yorkshire Terrier is energetic and feisty, but also affectionate. It is considered a good apartment or condo pup due to its size.
However, the Yorkshire Terrier’s small size belies its true character, which is tends to be active, aggressive and, some might say, overbearing. Yorkies can be very loving, but they also require a ton of attention. If you like to dote on your dog, this breed is a great choice – Yorkies crave it. Yorkshire Terriers are loyal and like to look out and defend their pet parent, thus making them excellent watchdogs. However, if not treated respectfully or gently, they can be ill-humoured towards other humans, especially children.
Because they are so small, Yorkshire terriers do not need a lot of room to exercise, making them they excellent apartment/condo dogs. They also enjoy going for walks outside, but the breed is sensitive to cold weather and prone to chills. When outside, Yorkies need to be protected – a dog coat and booties are an important investment during the winter months.
FUN FACT: A Yorkie was a World War II war hero. In 1944, a Yorkie – named Smoky – was recognized with saving the lives of American soldiers in New Guinea by dragging a communications cable through a very narrow, 60-foot-long drainage ditch. She is also thought to be the world’s first therapy dog, visiting wounded soldiers in hospitals.
The name Shih-Tzu means “little lion” in Mandarin, but this toy breed is anything but ferocious – this pup’s a lover, not a fighter!
The Shih-Tzu personality is extremely charming, and even non-dog people (yes, there are a few!) find it hard to resist this breed. They were bred for one thing – companionship. They don’t herd or hunt, and definitely don’t count on your Shih-Tzu to protect your home. Their friendly and outgoing nature would probably welcome an uninvited interloper with an enthusiastic tale wag.
They tend to get along well with people of all ages, with other dogs as well as other pets. Shih-Tzu’s require an ample (dare we say, enormous?) amount of personal attention. They have a huge need to be with people, whether lounging on your lap or taking a short stroll through the neighbourhood. Because Shih-Tzu’s thrive on human companionship, they can easily become spoiled to the point of annoying.
If you’re looking for a smaller canine bestie who can easily adapt to apartment/condo living, join you on the couch and shower you with absolute love and devotion, Shih-Tzu’s were bred for you.
FUN FACT: During the first half of the 20th century, the breed was nearly extinct. Every Shih-Tzu alive today can be traced to one of 14 dogs – seven males and seven females – used to re-establish the breed.
The Chihuahua is probably one of the most misunderstood breeds. Small in size, but large in disposition, they’re complex canines – first impressions can thoroughly perplex potential owners.
A Chihuahuas temperament? It’s complicated.
They crave attention and are very loyal to their pet parent, but can be aggressive – or even hostile to others not in their orbit. They can be snappy around outsiders, as they like to keep all of their pet parent’s attention to themselves. Unsocialized Chihuahua’s have a reputation (warranted, or not) for nipping at visitors or smaller children who may be threatening to their diminutive size. However, they nurture strong bonds with their owners, are intelligent and easily trained – as long as you socialize early.
Even though they are considered lap dogs, they are active and like to be kept occupied. They can get all the exercise needed in your house or apartment making them the perfect condo/lap/on-the-go companion – or even therapy – dogs. Despite their quirky nature, they are clearly a massively popular choice among our Cabbagetown Pet Clinic clientele.
FUN FACT: Not only are Chihuahuas are the smallest dogs in the world, have one of the longest lifespans (15-20 years!) and the largest brain-to-body ratio in the canine world – the planet’s most diminutive dog has the biggest brain!
#1 Labrador Retriever
Surprised? Not likely…
The most popular dog breed at the Cabbagetown Pet Clinic in 2022 – and across the country – is Canada’s very own Labrador Retriever. Labrador Retrievers have been enormously popular for over 25 years, thanks to their smarts, loyalty and calm nature. They’re a great breed for families or service dog work, adapt well to any environment and tend to get along well with other dogs.
This devoted and laid-back breed makes for a great pet no matter where you live thanks to their outgoing and eager-to-please dispositions. These dogs are particularly well-adapted in Canada since they have thick, warm coats to keep them comfortable in sub-zero temperatures, and a kind-hearted demeanor that makes them perfect for couch cuddles on those cold winter nights.
Labs are enthusiastic and athletic, so they require lots of exercise and enrichment. Owing to their energetic nature, Labradors who are left alone or not well-exercised can become destructive – chewing, digging and barking to excess. Our clinic has had to remove more than a few objects from a Lab’s stomach over the years, including socks, toys, crayons and other foreign objects!
FUN FACT: The Labrador Retriever’s ancestor is the St. John’s Water Dog – a common breed in the Newfoundland area of Canada. This now-extinct breed was used by fishermen to recover ropes and nets (sometimes fish, too!), from the icy waters of the North Atlantic coast.
At Cabbagetown Pet Clinic, we celebrate all dog breeds. When you need a veterinarian for your furry family member, our animal hospital has your back, delivering loving, compassionate and professional pet care.
Don’t see your breed in the Top 10? Will some of these popular CPC breeds crack the Top 10 in 2023?
- German Shepherd
- Standard Poodle
- Australian Shepherd
- Toy Poodle
- Border Collie
- Boston Terrier