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11 Most Popular Dog Breeds in France (2024 Update)

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

three golden retrievers

France has owned a huge number of dogs for quite some time. There are about 7.5 million dogs in France today, and that number will only continue to rise. Many dog breeds have been developed in France, including a few that are popular around the world today.

Most people in France own dogs for companionship, as hunting and similar sports are not terribly common there.

We have a pretty good idea of what the dog population is like in France, as it is tracked and regulated by the la Société Centrale Canine (SCC). This organization regularly lists what breeds are most commonly registered in France.

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The 11 Most Popular Dog Breeds in France

1. Australian Shepherd

Red Merle Australian Shepherd
Photo Credit: Eve Photography, Shutterstock
Population 20,449

The Australian Shepherd is one of the most popular dogs in the world, so it only makes sense that it would be pretty popular in France as well. However, this dog only recently became the most popular dog in France.

As the name suggests, these dogs were bred for herding. Despite their name, they are not a native breed to Australia. Instead, they were bred in California. At the time, the dog was thought to be imported from Australia—and likely originally was, but years of selective breeding have turned this Shepherd into a purely American dog.

They are extremely active and smart, which is one reason they are so popular. However, this indication comes with a lot of work. They need lots of stimulation to be happy.

2. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever standing on the ground
Photo Credit: Melanie Mai, Pixabay
Population 14,444

It is also not surprising that the Golden Retriever is in one of the top spots. They are extremely popular in many countries, largely due to their people-oriented nature and ease of training. However, they are a similar amount of work to the Australian Shepherd, as they are very intelligent.

Therefore, you should carefully consider your time commitments before adopting this dog.

3. Belgian Shepherd

Belgian shepherd wearing prong collar
Photo Credit: Three Dogs photography, Shutterstock
Population 13,542

The Belgian Shepherd has been popular in France for a long time and will likely continue to be quite popular in the future. While this dog is a single breed, it is commonly broken into four distinct subtypes that differ in coat type and color.

The French Kennel Club only registers them as a single breed, so their population counts all of these subtypes together.

4. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Photo Credit: tugoriva, Pixabay
Population 13,324

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is one of the most popular smaller dogs in France. It originates from the county of Staffordshire in the English Midlands, hence its name. They come in a wide variety of coat patterns.

This breed is decently smart, but it can also be quite stubborn. They are not as people-oriented as some of the other breeds on this list, either. They are very quiet, which is likely one reason why they are so popular. However, people also love them because they are gentle and sweet-natured.

They have been nicknamed the “nanny dog” due to their predisposition to children.

5. German Shepherd

overweight german shepherd dog
Image Credit: tr19001, Pixabay
Population 10,486

The German Shepherd is popular across the world—and it only makes sense that they would also be popular in France. This breed is so popular largely because they are very people-oriented and obedient. However, they can turn out very protective if they are not raised properly. It is vital that they are properly socialized to avoid overly protective instincts.

Therefore, while these dogs are quite popular, we don’t necessarily recommend them to all dog owners. They are best for those who want to do plenty of training and obedience courses.

6. Labrador Retriever

labrador retriever standing on green meadow
Image Credit: fsHH, Pixabay
Population 9,086

Labrador Retrievers are very similar to Golden Retrievers but there are slight differences. For instance, the Labrador Retriever comes in quite a few different colors. They are also very people-oriented and extremely easy to train. They are a good option for those looking for a larger companion dog.

They are also very active and intelligent. They require quite a bit of stimulation, which is necessary for them to stay happy and healthy and they are a good option for more active families.

7. American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier on mulch_Shutterstock_Tom Myers
Image Credit: Tom Myers, Shutterstock
Population 8,167

The American Staffordshire Terrier is banned in some areas, but it still remains a pretty popular option in France. These dogs are large terriers—and they act very similarly to other terriers. As you might imagine, this means that they are hyper and can be handfuls. However, they are considerably loveable and affectionate, which is always a plus.

These dogs are extremely happy in families of all sorts, as long as you can handle their exercise needs.

8. Cavalier King Charles

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog standing on grass
Image Credit: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock
Population 7,644

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has been in France for an extremely long time. They are one of the more popular dogs and will likely remain popular for some time. This canine is best for those looking for a cuddle buddy, which is largely why they are so popular. They do need a bit more care and grooming since they do have some longer fur.

These dogs are readily available. Just be sure that you get them from a qualified breeder to ensure that you avoid health problems, which are somewhat common in these dogs.

9. English Setter

black and white English setter in a field and sunshine
Image Credit: zoyas2222, Shitterstock
Population 6,927

As the name suggests, English Setters were originally from the UK. These dogs are quite common in France and have been for some time. While they were originally utilized for hunting, they are largely companion animals now.

They are friendly and mellow dogs, so they are a nice change from the more upbeat dogs on this list. If you’re looking for a dog that is a bit more mellow, then we highly recommend taking a look at these dogs.

10. Beagle

beagle standing outdoor
Image Credit: Andrey_and_Lesya, Pixabay
Population 6,613

Beagles are medium-sized, active companions that are small and hardy. They are extremely compact and stubby, so they weigh more than they look. They are very fun-loving and surprisingly active. We highly recommend them for homes with children, as they can put up with quite a bit.

These dogs were once used for hunting, but they are mostly companions now. Very little hunting occurs in France with Beagles these days.

11. English Cocker Spaniel

english cocker spaniel on green grass
Image Credit: andriano.cz, Shutterstock
Population 6,604

English Cocker Spaniels are pretty common in France, especially for those looking for more luxurious dogs. These dogs have a beautiful coat that needs quite a bit of grooming, though. Therefore, you need to have enough time to commit to their overall care.

They excel in agility, though. They are not just pretty dogs. They are quite athletic when they want to be. However, they are also great cuddle buddies.

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The French are prolific dog owners. Therefore, they have lots of different dog breeds in their country. Despite what you’d expect, these dogs are not commonly of French origins. Instead, France loves dog breeds from all over the world. Some are English, and others are American. In fact, the most popular dog in France is American (despite its name).

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