England is best known as the land of afternoon tea and Shakespeare, but did you know it is also responsible for over 30 British dog breeds? These breeds include some of the most famous on the planet, including the Queen’s favorite corgis and the highly intelligent border collie.
At Purina, we’ve selected 11 of the best English dog breeds, including some that might surprise you!
1. Airedale Terrier
Hailed as the “King of Terriers”, the Airedale Terrier is originally from Airedale in Yorkshire and is the largest terrier breed. Bred to catch otters and rats, this British breed of dog is incredibly intelligent. It’s great for agility and obedience competitions.
Airedale Terriers are also perfect family dogs as they usually get along well with children and are known to have playful, puppy-like temperaments even as they get older.
2. Clumber Spaniel
The Clumber Spaniel It originally got its name from the Duke of Newcastle, as it was named after his residence, Clumber Park. The largest of all the spaniel breeds, they are known for their excellent hunting skills. According to the story, they were once known all over England for their success and were in great demand among nobles.
This English dog breed makes great family pets because of their loyal and loving nature. Because of their intelligence and willingness to train, they are also the ideal choice for first-time owners.
Beagles are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. With their big, loving eyes and happy disposition, it’s easy to see why this British breed of dog has won the hearts of so many households. But did you know they are fantastic working dogs too? Your noses have around 220 million odor receptors (almost as many as one Bloodhound), which makes them extremely good at picking up odors.
Their overpowering noses paired with friendly faces have earned them positions at airports that are safe to work, as they can spy on any contraband, but their cute looks make them less intimidating to those who are scared of dogs.
4. Shetland Sheepdog
They come from the Shetland Islands in Scotland Shetland sheepdog was bred as a herding dog to protect farmers’ land from birds and other possible threats. They are also known as Shelties and are among the smartest dog breeds and stand out in obedience and agility competitions through willingness to learn and high intelligence.
Shelties also have a strong herding instinct and are known to try to tend squirrels and rabbits on their daily walks. In some cases, they even try to be gentle on children.
Perhaps one of the most British dog breeds of all time, the Corgi is world renowned for being the Queen’s preferred canine companion. Despite their royal reputation and small size, they were originally bred for herd cattle, sheep, and even horses!
The breed’s roots come from Pembrokeshire in Wales and are full of magic and enchantment as it was believed to have come from the land of fairies and elves. With her adorable pointy elf-like ears, short stature, and murky history, it’s easy to see where the fairy tale came from.
6. Bedlington Terrier
The Bedlington Terrier It is believed that they came from gypsies who used the breed for poaching on English lands. Due to their success in hunting, the nobles soon noticed them and eventually adopted them as their own hunting dogs. In addition, they were excellent at catching vermin, which made them popular with factory and mine workers.
Today this English dog breed is a very loving family member and is known for their loving nature. However, these dogs need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to keep them entertained.
7. Manchester Terrier
The early 16th century dates from the Manchester terrier is one of the oldest terrier breeds. The British breed of dog, known in Victorian England as the “Gentleman’s Terrier”, is considered a cross between a Whippet and a Black and Tan Terrier and was bred to kill rats.
Many people think they look like miniature Doberman Pinscher, but that’s actually because the Manchester Terrier was one of the original breeds that the Doberman was made from! They are friendly and energetic companions, but due to their instinct to kill rats, they cannot be kept with small animals.
8. Border Collie
The Border collie is one of the hardest working dogs of all. Originally bred as a herding dog on the Scottish and English borders (hence the name), this British breed of dog is still used on farms around the world to this day.
Border Collies are workaholics in the truest sense of the word and are always happiest when they are active. Because of this, they are not suitable for families looking for one relaxed dog breed since they can fall into destructive habits if they are not physically and mentally disabled.
9. English cocker spaniel
Until 1870, the English cocker spaniel was classified as the same breed as the English springer spaniel. However, people eventually realized the differences in appearance, which spurred the separation of the two races.
The word “cocker” comes from “woodcock,” the bird this British breed of dog purposely bred for hunting. These days, their extremely gentle nature and people-centered personality make them a popular pet for families, but they’re not ideal if you spend a lot of time outside of your home.
10. Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier breed is best known for their quick and smart personality combined with their high foray. They were originally bred for fox hunting about 200 years ago, but are popular with farmers today because they are also excellent ratters.
Their high intelligence makes them easy to train, but be prepared to devote plenty of time to it. Jack Russell Terriers don’t tolerate boredom, so you need to make sure that their workouts are exciting and that they get plenty of exercise every day.
11. Lakeland Terrier
The Lakeland Terrier is a sturdy English dog breed that originated in the scenic Lake District. They have a sturdy build and thick double hair because they were originally bred to protect farmers’ flocks of sheep, especially during the lamb season – when foxes were particularly common.
Despite their rural roots, they are also extremely successful in the show ring and have won many awards. In fact, one of the best show dogs of all time was a Lakeland Terrier named Ch. Revelry’s Awesome Blossom. The dog belonged to comedian Bill Cosby and won more than 100 top performances in shows.