Which breed of dog is right for you?

Find the right dog for you and insure your pet

By Peter Carr Tuesday 20 February 2018

A dog can be one of the most rewarding pets you can have, but make sure you choose the right breed to suit your circumstances.

Dog on owner

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Choosing the right dog breed

Little or large, fluffy or fearless, introducing a new pup into your home is a big commitment. To help you make sure everything goes smoothly, MoneySuperMarket has compiled an in-depth guide on everything you need to know about the UK’s top breeds.

UK's top 10 dog breeds

MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of November 2017

Things to consider before you buy

Before you get your heart set on a particular type of dog, it’s important to take some time to think about which breed your lifestyle is best suited to. Some of the most important considerations include:

  • Adult vs. puppy. Raising a puppy has its own set of unique challenges that some dog owners, novices especially, aren’t prepared to undertake. Instead, consider an adult dog that may come house-trained and well-socialised, meaning they can quickly fit into your family’s way of life.
  • Space. Typically, large breeds won’t be happy to be cooped up in a small flat or city apartment and certain high-energy breeds may need access to open spaces rather than just a back garden.
  • Temperament. While some dog breeds make great pets because they’re people-orientated and sociable, others are better suited as working dogs.
  • Grooming. A dog with a thick coat will require more frequent grooming than a breed with a thin coat.
  • Allergies. If someone in your family is allergic to dog hair, you should consider a breed with a non-shedding coat that will reduce allergy symptoms.  
  • Schedule. Dogs are social animals, and many can suffer from separation anxiety if they’re away from their owner for too long. If you’re away from home for most of the day, it’s wise to pick a breed that doesn’t mind being alone – or see if you need to hire a dog walker during the day.  
  • Energy. Some dogs require hours of exercise every day, while others only need a short walk.

Which breeds are most expensive?

Cost is also a serious factor. When it comes to the UK’s most popular breeds, Bulldogs and French Bulldogs are by far the most expensive. This is primarily because the breeding process requires a lot of human intervention and the birth usually involves costly surgery.    

Most expensive dog breeds

MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of November 2017


At the other end of the spectrum, Border Collies and Jack Russells are the UK’s most inexpensive breeds. That’s because they are some of the most intelligent and energetic dog breeds, and therefore aren’t suitable for every household. 

Most affordable dog breeds

MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of November 2017

What’s the most affordable breed in my location?

The cost of each breed varies from region to region. Border Collies are the least expensive to buy in eight different areas of the country, making them the UK’s most affordable type of dog, while Beagles and Jack Russells are also economical choices for many areas.

UK's most affordable dog breeds by region

MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of November 2017

Ongoing costs

With so many different breeds to choose from, prospective owners should also consider the ongoing costs related to dog ownership. Some of these costs include:

  • Food
  • Toys
  • Bedding
  • Grooming
  • Kennel fees (for holidays)
  • Insurance
  • Veterinary fees (for services not covered by your pet insurance)
  • Microchipping
  • Spaying and neutering

Of course, costs will vary from breed to breed, so it’s vital that when you choose your new dog, you consider the ‘lifetime cost’, not just the price tag.

How much will I have to pay in pet insurance?

As part of your dog’s ongoing costs, you’ll need to pay for pet insurance. In general, pedigree dogs cost much more to insure than crossbreeds:



Annual Insurance Premium








French Bulldog



Staffordshire Bull Terrier



Golden Retriever



While some of the least expensive dog breeds to insure include: 



Annual Insurance Premium





Jack Russell



Shih Tzu



Yorkshire Terrier





MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of November 2017

You should also remember that because of variations in the cost of vet treatments, annual premiums for the same breed of dog can vary from place to place. The cost of insuring a Labrador Retriever in London is around £427 per year, whereas in Wales you’ll only need to pay around £258.

Which breeds are most mischievous?

From chewing slippers to gnawing on furniture, some dogs are more than willing to cause trouble. If you’re thinking about getting a new dog, it’s worth asking yourself whether you’re willing to deal with the issues that some of the more challenging breeds can pose. Some of the most mischievous breeds can include Dachshunds, Bull Terriers and Jack Russells.

Most mischievous dog breeds

Dogster data, correct as of October 2012


The amount of training that dogs need depends upon the innate temperament and intelligence of the breed, although it’s important to remember that above all else, dogs are individuals: finding hard to train dogs amongst breeds which are known for being easy to train is relatively common, and vice versa.

If you don’t have the skills or the time to invest in lots of training, getting a breed which is known for its obedience and eagerness to please is probably the best idea.

Should I get a crossbreed?

Crossbreeds – dogs whose parents come from different breeds – are some of the UK’s most popular types of dog. Out of all the dogs which people request insurance quotes for, three of the top five are crossbreeds, with small and medium sized crossbreeds the top two choices. 

Number of insurance quotes requested for crossbreeds

MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of 2017


Crossbreeds boast traits from both their parents, and benefit from a much wider gene pool than purebred dogs, which tends to make them healthier than pedigree breeds. However, anyone thinking about getting a crossbreed should be aware that this can also mean that it’s difficult to predict their temperaments and sizes.

That being said, there’s a reason they’re so popular. With Labradoodles (Labradors crossed with Poodles), Dorkies (Dachshunds crossed with Yorkshire Terriers), Puggles (Pugs crossed with Beagles) and many more to choose from, there’s a perfect crossbreed out there for everyone.

Characteristics of the UK’s top pedigree dog breeds

Cost is just one aspect of choosing your new breed of dog. We’ll explore some of the most important things you need to know about the UK’s most popular pedigree breeds.

Labrador Retriever

Average cost



Average annual premiums





The two-layer coat of a Labrador needs to be brushed once a week with a nylon or natural brush.



Labrador Retrievers aren’t particularly fussy. As long as they eat a balanced meal twice a day, they’ll be happy.


Sociable, friendly and warm-hearted, Labrador Retrievers are excellent family dogs. They’re especially good for households with young children, but since they’re a working dog, they need lots of activity and exercise (around 2 hours every day) to keep them fit and healthy.

Although they’re a healthy breed, they can be afflicted by a number of health problems, including:

  • Hereditary Cataracts
  • Total Retinal Dysplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia or Elbow Dysplasia
  • Centronuclear Myopathy
  • Exercise Induced Collapse

Need dog insurance for your new pup? Compare pet insurance deals with MoneySuperMarket.

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