Do you love dogs that are tiny and mighty or big and goofy? We all have our favorite kinds of dogs—from unique mixed breeds to posh purebreds—but what’s most popular is another story.
The majority (60%) of today’s pet parents have a mixed breed dog, while 40% have a purebred, according to a recent Rover survey. Which type of dog is best depends on who you ask, with 21% of pet parents seeking out a specific breed and 17% intentionally choosing a mixed breed.
One thing we can all agree on is the joy that dogs bring into our lives. While the majority (65%) of pet parents agree that breed is an important factor when adding a new dog to the family, eight out of ten (81%) would still get a dog even if their top three breed choices were unavailable.
Breed type aside, when it comes to personality, one-third (38%) of pet parents agree that a family-friendly disposition is the most important factor when choosing a dog. It’s no surprise then that the most sought-after personality traits in a dog are friendly and social (22%) and cuddly (18%).
To learn more, we dug into the millions of pets in Rover’s database to see who’s top dog across the nation and uncover the rarest and trending breeds.
Dog Breed Popularity In Canada
German Shepherd Dog
Kevin the Pomeranian
“We like to describe Kevin as a complex little man. Everything is on Kevin time, or he isn’t interested. Some days he is excited to see you, and others days, you are a peasant and are not worthy to look at him. Kevin is interested in everything you do and wants to be a part of it. Building furniture, going for car rides, doing errands. He just wants to be a part of the team. He loves being social with other dogs but will steal toys from them and run away because he wants them to chase him. Pomeranians are extremely smart and manipulating but are also extremely loyal, and we love him so much! “
— Emily, Dog Parent on Rover, Calgary
Discover Trending Breeds Across the Globe
The Top Trending Dog Breeds in 2023
Teddy Bear the Pomeranian
“Teddy Bear—also known as Prince Teddy Bear Charming Garvey—is a happy boy. He loves to wake up early and give kisses. He loves to lay and watch you cook and do your hair and makeup. He loves belly rubs but is only cuddly when he wants it. Teddy Bear likes to be in the same room as humans all the time. He loves to play fetch and tug of war and loves to eat! He will try to eat anything! Teddy Bear is my best friend, and I love him so much.”
— Katelyn, Dog Parent on Rover, Toronto
The Top Four Rarest Dog Breeds in Canada
Welsh Springer Spaniel
Belgian Shepherd (Groenendael)
Top Trending Dog Breeds by Country
While some breeds are perennially popular, others are just starting to make their mark as what we call trending breeds. These are dogs that rose quickly in popularity in 2023, becoming the top trending breeds in their countries.
In the US, the Bernedoodle is the top trending breed. These lovable pups are a cross between the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Standard Poodle. In Canada, the adorably feisty Pomeranian takes the top spot for trending breeds.
In the UK, the Lurcher is rising in popularity. While not a defined breed, these dogs are usually a cross between a sighthound (such as a Greyhound) and a herding dog or terrier.
New to our ranking, and as a dog breed, the Continental Bulldog (or Conti, for short) is trending in France. These pups originated in Switzerland in 2005 and became officially recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (also known as the FCI or International Canine Federation in English) in 2022.
In Spain, posh Toy Poodles are becoming more popular, while in Germany, it’s the cute yet confident Pomeranians that are rising in the ranks. In keeping with the toy trend, Yorkshire Terriers are gaining popularity in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, in Italy, tenacious Staffordshire Bull Terriers are all the rage.
And last but not least, Scandinavia seems to have a case of Doodle fever: In Sweden, Labradoodles are trending, while in nearby Norway, they’re all about the Goldendoodle.
Coco the Pomeranian
“She is always playful, likes to hide her milk biscuits and is so friendly. Biggest enemy: the mailman.”
— Seti, Dog Parent on Rover, Richmond Hill
Doodles Make Their Mark
One breed that’s seen a big rise in popularity over the past decade is the Doodle—this curly-haired cross-breed has more than doubled in Rover’s database, growing from 5% of all dogs on Rover in 2013 to 12% in 2023. That’s what we call oodles of Doodles!
Henry and Beau the Samoyeds
“Sammies have some of the funniest personalities, and that’s why we love them! They can be super stubborn, so training is a must, but they also are very smart and eager to learn. Both of our boys love being around people and are very vocal when they’re excited. Winter is their time to shine, so be prepared for lots of outdoor time! Our pups love to pounce on their toys and each other, which is a very common Sammie trait.”
— Daniel & Triona, Dog Parents on Rover, Hamilton
Popular Dog Breeds by Pet Parent Generation
Dog breed popularity doesn’t just vary by city or region—it’s also influenced by age. While the most popular kind of dog for people of all generations is the mixed breed, the pups in the number two spot vary considerably for each age cohort.
For baby boomers, it’s all about the friendly and outgoing Labrador Retriever. Next up is Gen X, whose favorite breed is the sweet yet sassy Chihuahua. For millennials, the top dog breed is the confident and smart German Shepherd. And for Gen Z, it’s the sweet-tempered and devoted Golden Retriever.
Copper and Rusty the Pomeranians
“Copper looks like a lion, and Rusty looks like a fox. They are 6-year-old brothers who are super sweet, love their family, and are always up for an adventure. We go paddle boarding, kayaking, biking, and hiking. They both love the water, but Rusty loves it so much he gets the zoomies. Copper loves playing fetch and could go all night. Rusty sometimes likes to steal the ball, much to Copper’s distress. They are little love bugs and check in all day long for snuggles and love. Right now, their favourite activity is hunting lizards in the backyard. We love the breed because they are very smart, up for adventures, have lots of personality, and [are] easily trainable. They really want to please, and they really want to keep mommy safe, so I know when anyone nears the house LOL.”
— Michelle, Dog Parent on Rover, Victoria
Zeus and Koko the Shiba Inus
“Shiba Inus are unique dogs. Many will say they are like cats, and they’re right! Zeus and Koko like to keep to themselves and only cuddle and play on their terms. They can be a challenging breed to deal with as they are incredibly smart and stubborn at times. We do not recommend letting these off leash unless you are extremely confident in their recall training, they have a very very high prey drive! We love this breed because of their regal features such as their pointed ears and curly tails. Another interesting fact is that Shiba’s have a pretty wide range of personalities. For example, Zeus is more independent and enjoys napping by himself, whereas Koko is a big on cuddles and wants to be with you all the time!”
— Salvatore, Dog Parent on Rover, Whitby