Top Dog! Staffies are named as Britain's favourite dog of 2019

staffordshire bull terrier
Chris Stoddard
Chris Stoddard

Staffordshire Bull Terriers have been named the country's favourite dog breed in a result that left many viewers stunned. Is your prized pooch in the Top 100?

Staffies beat off competition from popular breeds such as the Labrador and the Springer Spaniel to claim the top spot in a nation of dog lovers.

A mammoth two-and-a-half hour rundown saw the country's 217 recognised dog breeds whittled down to a top 100. Based on a poll of 10,000 people for ITV's Britain's Favourite Dogs show, popular breeds such as the German Shepherd and Cocker Spaniel managed to nab spots in the top 10.

However a shock was on the cards when last year's winning breed, the Labrador, came in at third, behind the Cockapoo, a mix of a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. Hosts Ben Fogle and Sara Cox then announced the often-maligned breed of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as the winner, causing jubilation online from many.

We start with the Top 10…

1. Staffordshire Bull Terrier (pictured above)

Despite their mixed reputation, Staffies are officially Britain's favourite dog this year. They are part of the Pit bull family and can be very friendly to human and other dogs but they will fight if challenged. Their aggressive side only comes out if encouraged by their owners.

2. Cockapoo

A mix of the Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, Cockapoos are small and very friendly. They generally live long lives and were rated Britain's favourite cross breed in the latest poll. These particular pooches are up five places from number seven last year.

3. Labrador

They were the UK's favourite dog last year, but still hugely popular at number three on the 2019 list. Often used as guide dogs they can be taught how to do anything - even answering the phone. Their adorable puppies are well-known in the UK for being the face of Andrex toilet roll.

4. Springer Spaniel

Also a member of the Spaniel family, Springers are famed for their strong sense of smell. They are used in the military to sniff out explosives, but can suffer from health problems in later life. There are English and Welsh Spaniels and they are up five places from number nine on last year's list.

5. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels are the original bird dogs. Out in the open air they will chase them at any opportunity. There are English and American Cocker Spaniels, which get their names from the Eurasian Woodcock. They have climbed one place up the list from number six last year.

6. Boxer

Boxers were originally bred from English Bull dogs and the now extinct Bullenbeisser. They are fantastic at jumping and are good at catching prey because of their strong jaw. They were at number 18 last year, rising an impressive 12 places.

7. Border Collies

Border Collies are highly reliable and are often used as herding dogs. Originally from the Scottish borders they are picked as sheepdogs and used in dog trials. They are known for their intelligence and are believed to understand more than 1,000 words. They are down two places from number five last year.

8. German Shepherd

Their full name is German Shepherd Dog and they are relatively new as a breed, with their history only dating back to 1899. They are known for their reliability and trainability and are often the breed of choice to use as police and military dogs. They have stayed at number eight from last year's list.

9. Golden Retriever

Known for their gorgeous coats and their love of water, Golden Retrievers were originally bred as gun dogs to hunt waterfowl. They were named Retrievers because of their useful ability to 'retrieve' shot game from the fields without damaging their mouths. These pooches are also used as disability dogs for the blind of the disabled. They are up from number 16 last year.

10. Mixed Breed

While not strictly a breed, the mixed breed category scored highly on the list, with more than 400,000 across the UK alone. Also known as 'mongrels', 'mutts' or 'cross breeds', mixed breed dogs are the result of breeding between two different types of dog. They are generally considered healthier than pedigree dogs, which can often carry health problems.

And here’s the best of the rest…

11. Flat Coated Retriever - They can often be used as Guide Dogs.

12. Miniature Schnauzer - Adorable smaller versions of their full-sized cousins.

13. Labradoodle - A Labrador and poodle mix. Bred to be a low-shedding dog, they are ideal for people with allergies they have started to be used as guide dogs.

14. Dandie Dinmont Terrier - One of Britain’s oldest terrier breeds, one of the rarest dogs in the world.

15. Cavachon - Cavalier King Charles spaniel and bichon frise mix.

16. Welsh Terrier - Likes to chase badgers, foxes and otters.

17. Weimaraner - These noble-looking dogs are born with stripes for camouflage.

18. Daschund - Also known as a sausage dog.

19. Doberman Pinscher - Developed by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann in 1890.

20. Jack Russell Bred in England around 200 years ago to hunt foxes. Corrie star Simon Gregson’s Jack Russell, Cookie, plays his dog Rover in the soap.

21. Cavapoo - Cavalier King Charles spaniel and a poodle.

22. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - Named after King Charles II, who adored them. Their favourite place is on your lap.

23. Sprollie - A springer spaniel and Collie cross.

24. Lakeland Terrier - Now an endangered breed.

25. Dalmatian - Features in the 1961 film, 101 Dalmatians.

26. Springador - A Labrador and English springer spaniel.

27. Border Terrier - Bred as a fox and vermin hunter.

28. Welsh Pembroke Corgi - One of the happiest breed of dogs.

29. Great Dane - They can grow up to one metre tall.

30. English Setter - Often described as a mischievous gun dog.

31. Beagle - Famous as cartoon character Snoopy.

32. English Bull Terrier - Bred to fight, they have triangle-shaped eyes.

33. Tibetan Terrier - It's name roughly translates to 'shaggy or bearded'.

34. Irish Water Spaniel - One of the oldest and rarest breed of spaniel.

35. West Highland White Terrier - Good with children and quick to learn.

36. Shetland Sheepdog - Also known as a Sheltie, this breed was popular in the 1960s and 1970s.

37. Lurcher - They are distant cousins of greyhounds.

38. Rottweiler - A German breed with a powerful bite.

39. Whippet - Can hit speeds of up to 35mph.

40. Greyhound - Takes just three strides to reach 30mph and has a top speed of around 45mph.

41. Shih Tzu - Another Toy Dog breed to make the list.

42. French Bulldog - They have surged in popularity.

43. German Short Haired Pointer - A hunting dog suitable for both land and water.

44. Schnauzer - They’ve a distinctive beard.

45. Poodle - The most popular dog in the 60s.

46. Manchester Terrier - Bred in the 19th century to control vermin.

47. Pug - Their characteristically squashed faces can hamper their breathing. A group of pugs is known as a grumble.

48. Rhodesian Ridgeback - Developed in Africa as a hunting dog.

49. Old English Sheepdog - Its hair can cover its face and eyes.

50. Hungarian Vizsla - Famous for their loyalty.

51. Chihuahua - The world’s smallest breed.

52. Bedlington Terrier - Once a vicious hunter of rats and rabbits.

53. Welsh Cardigan Corgi - This is one of the oldest breeds in Britain.

54. Yorkshire Terrier - Their hair keeps growing, like humans.

55. Newfoundland - Bred in Canada to haul in fishing nets.

56. Olde English Bulldogge - One of the very oldest breeds of dog.

57. Siberian Husky - Used as a sled-racing dog.

58. Irish Terrier - This is one of the oldest dog breeds.

59. British Bulldog - Stood for Brits’ tenacity and courage.

60. Basset Hound - They’ve the best sense of smell of all 100.

61. Bloodhound - A large scent hound originally bred for hunting deer and wild boar.

62. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - This is the smallest of the retrievers.

63. Lhasa Apso - Bred for Tibetan monasteries.

64. Bichon Frise - Has black eyes and a fluffy white coat.

65. Rough Collie Bred as a sheep herder - and famous as Lassie.

66. English Pointer - They point their bodies in the direction of prey.

67. Bearded Collie - Bred to withstand Scottish weather and troublesome sheep.

68. Sealyham Terrier - A Welsh breed that surged in popularity during World War One.

69. Pug / Beagle (Puggle) - A cross between a Pug and a Beagle.

70. Irish Setter - Glossy dogs that date back to the 1500s.

71. Alaskan Malamute - Bred to pull sleds across the Arctic tundra.

72. Parson Russell Terrier - These are Jack Russells with longer legs.

73. Saluki - A sleek Persian greyhound.

74. St Bernard - The largest dogs, they can weigh 25 stone. They are also known as Alpine Mountain Dogs and were famously used for mountain rescue in a dangerous pass between Italy and Switzerland.

75. Norfolk Terrier - A variety of the Norwich Terrier.

76. Bernese Mountain Dog - A large breed of dog that was originally kept as a farm dog.

77. Scottish terrier - They were bred to hunt vermin.

78. Japanese Akita - Japan’s most popular breed.

79. Maltese Terrier - A tiny breed in what's known as the Toy Group.

80. Pomeranian - Two of them were saved from the Titanic.

81. Airedale terrier - The biggest terrier of the lot.

82. Gordon setter - Its thick coat was designed to protect it from the harsh Scottish weather.

83. Welsh Springer Spaniel - Very similar to the English Springer Spaniel.

84. Samoyed - This is a breed of a large herding dog and hails from Siberia.

85. Wire Fox Terrier - It is a fox terrier and has bundles of energy and intelligence.

86. Bullmastiff - Packs up to 130lbs of muscle and drools.

87. Cairn terrier - Small breed from the Scottish Highlands.

88. Chow Chow - Chinese breed, known as puffy-lion dog.

89. Schipperke - This is a Belgian breed of dog and make great sheep dogs.

90. Boston terrier - Its coat has a tuxedo-like pattern.

91. Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla - As the name suggests, this breed comes from Hungary and are excellent hunting dogs.

92. Borzoi - Also called the Russian wolfhound, it is similar in shape to a greyhound.

93. Sussex Spaniel - The breed was developed in Sussex and is a compact Spaniel.

94. Irish Wolfhound - This is a very large sighthound which originated in Ireland.

95. Chinese Crested - These dogs were created to be a companion to invalids and are said to almost be able to read their owner's minds.

96. Sproodle - Sproodles are a cross between an English Springer Spaniel and a Poodle.

97. Leonberger - These are a giant breed of dog and come from the city of Leonberg in Germany.

98. Australian Shepherd - Known simply as the Aussie, these dogs were bred in the US during the 19th century.

99. Afghan hound - Bred in Afghanistan’s mountains.

100. Otterhound - One of Britain's oldest dog breeds, the Otterhound is a scent hound. There are just 600 of them worldwide.

About the Show

Dogs and their owners up and down the country were transfixed by the show. Hundreds of people took to social media to post adorable pictures of their pets glued to the TV screen to see if they featured on the list.

Hosts Sara and Ben visited dogs from across the nation telling incredible - and bizarre stories - two of which were about the winning breed as the top 100 were counted down.

The final announcement came after a star-studded show featuring celebrities including Nicola Adams, Harry Redknapp and Gemma Atkinson and their best four-legged friends.

Staffie Diesel and owner Jordan featured on the programme, telling viewers how Diesel became a lifesaver. In May 2016, the dog woke his family in the middle of the night by barking.

When Jordan went to check out the noise he found the house was on fire. The entire family made it out alive and rescue dog Diesel won the PDSA award for bravery. Jordan said: 'I rescued him, gave him a home and he ended up rescuing us from the fire. It's the wonderful way things work out in life.'

The show also featured a doggy DNA test for actress Sue Cleaver's dog George. The mixed breed turned out to be 100 per cent Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

The show also revealed how dogs are regular blood donors. The owner of Gordon Setters, Sue, explained how she regularly takes her pets to help save lives.

She said: 'All have my dogs have saved up to 140 dogs lives by giving blood on a regular basis.' Sharwood the Gordon Setter saved the life of Sizzle the Daschund who is a hemophiliac.

The smaller dog went into cardiac arrest and received his first blood transfusion after he cut the inside of his mouth. Sharwood came to the rescue after a blood transfusion.

Ben Fogle even tried out Doga - doggie yoga - with a class fulled of Golden Retrievers. The class is designed for owners to relax with their four legged friends - although one dog was seen mounting its female owner.

Nine-year-old Jack Russell Dally also showed ITV how she can ride a horse. Spanky, a miniature horse, patiently rides around their US ranch home with Dally on her back - much to the amazement of their owner who said the dog did it without instruction.

(Article source: Various)



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