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How Many Dogs Are There in Canada in 2023? (Statistics & More)

golden retriever dogs lying on the floor with pet sitter

Approximately 58% of Canadian households own at least one pet. But how many of these are dogs? The number of dogs in Canada grew from 7.6 million in 2018 to 7.7 million in 2020 and continues to climb. Canadians love dogs!

Let’s look at more interesting facts about dogs in Canada.

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What Are the Most Popular Dog Breeds in Canada?

Canadians love dogs, but some dog breeds are more popular than others. Here are the top ten most popular dog breeds in Canada and their population numbers.

Rank Breed Population
1 Golden Retrievers 1,572,000
2 Shiba Inu 1,488,000
3 Cane Corso 1,392,000
4 Border Collie 1,260,000
5 French Bulldog 1,260,000
6 Rottweiler 1,164,000
7 Pomeranian 996,000
8 Papillon 876,000
9 Bernese Mountain Dog 864,000
10 Shih Tzu 864,000

Are There Any Canadian Dog Breeds?

shiba inu dog standing in the forest
Image Credit By: Anastasiia Cherniavskaia, Shutterstock

The Canadian Kennel Club maintains registration for 187 breeds of Canadian purebred dogs. It also recognizes several other breeds that aren’t formally registered.

All breeds are classified into groups according to their purpose:
  • Sporting dogs
  • Hounds
  • Working dogs
  • Terriers
  • Toys
  • Non-sporting breeds
  • Herding dogs

There is also a miscellaneous category for dog breeds that don’t fit these categorizations or that are in the process of receiving official recognition.

Breeds recognized by Canadian Kennel Club as uniquely Canadian:
  • Tahltan Bear Dog — This breed is now extinct. It was recognized by the CKC in 1940, but only nine dogs of this breed were ever registered.
  • Canadian Inuit Dog — The government of Nunavut recognizes this breed as the territory’s official animal. In Inuktitut, it is called “Qimmiq.”
  • Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever — This type of retriever is virtually unheard of in other countries. Tolling dogs are trained to play on the shoreline to attract inquisitive ducks into gunshot range.
  • Newfoundland Dog — The Newfoundland can be traced back to Viking dogs in 1,000 A.D. These heavyset, long-coated dogs are fantastic swimmers and well-loved as guardians and companions.
  • Labrador Retriever — Likely descended from similar stock to the Newfoundland, Lab Retrievers are one of the best gundog breeds around. They are also popular as seeing-eye dogs and family pets.

While the last two breeds on the list have Canadian-inspired names, their breed development occurred primarily in Great Britain and Europe.

Newfoundland in the river
Image Credit: rzoze19, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Despite holding the second spot in popularity behind cats, Canadian dog owners still account for almost half of pet ownership in Canada. Five distinctive Canadian dog breeds are recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club, some of which are almost non-existent outside of the country.


Featured Image Credit: atyana Vyc, Shutterstock

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