English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel (Photo by Dan on Unsplash)

LONDON — Dog owners, prepare to spend a pretty penny on this pup. A new study has found that English Springer Spaniel is the most high-maintenance dog breed, with their humans spending over $1,500 just to groom them annually. The findings, drawing on 2023 United Kingdom dog registrations, annual grooming needs, and care costs, is also shedding light on which breeds demand the most time, money, and attention.

Dog ownership has witnessed a significant rise, driven by various factors, from holiday season gifts to the desire for companionship. With over 220 dog breeds available, choosing the right one that fits your lifestyle and home can be daunting. Some breeds require more food, regular grooming, or constant stimulation than others, making breed selection a critical decision for potential dog owners.

According to Yell’s study, the most registered dog breed in the U.K. for 2022-23 was the Labrador Retriever, with over 44,000 registrations. The French Bulldog and Cocker Spaniel followed closely, boasting 42,538 and 29,491 registrations, respectively. However, popularity does not necessarily equate to low maintenance.

2 yellow labrador retrievers on gray pavement
According to Yell’s study, the most registered dog breed in the UK for 2022-23 was the Labrador Retriever (Photo by Ayla Verschueren on Unsplash)

Shirelle Moore, a dog grooming expert at Wright Scruffs, emphasizes that grooming needs vary significantly across breeds, depending on their coat type and lifestyle.

“This is really breed-specific, depending on the coat. Some breeds need to visit every four-to-six weeks whilst others can go without for longer, every six-to-eight weeks,” says Moore in a media release. “Woollen coats and long coats should be maximum every six weeks. This promotes good coat care, skincare, and can prevent ear infections (clearing the ears). It also ensures the dogs don’t have parasites/matting and helps avoid potential skin conditions.”

The English Springer Spaniel leads the list of high-maintenance breeds for 2024, requiring bi-weekly grooming sessions. The Labrador Retriever, despite its popularity, ranks second with similar grooming needs but at a slightly lower annual cost of $1,270. The French Bulldog, requiring brush and bath sessions every two to four weeks, stands as the third most high-maintenance breed, with an annual grooming cost of $632.

The research also highlights the significant variation in grooming costs across breeds and U.K. regions. Larger breeds with thicker fur, such as the Golden Retriever and Newfoundland, are among the most expensive to groom, with an average cost of $78 per session. In contrast, smaller breeds like the Jack Russell and French Bulldog are the cheapest, costing around $36 per grooming session.

Size of Dog Short Hair/Smooth Coat Long Hair/Silk/Wool Coat Wire Hair/Double Coat
Small Dogs Jack Russell, Dachshund, French Bulldog, Chihuahua, Pug £29 Bichon Frise, Toy Poodle, Shih Tzu Border Terrier, Sheltie, Norfolk, Norwich, Patterdale
  $36 $49 $50
Medium Dogs Beagle, Greyhound, Bulldog, Dalmatian, Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cockapoo, Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel, Miniature Poodle Westie, Wire Fox, Scotty, Cairn, Miniature Schnauzer, Welsh, Lakeland Terrier
  $41 $59 $55
Large Dogs Labrador, Boxer, Pointer, Weimaraner, Vizsla, Great Dane, German Shepherd Standard Poodle, Labradoodle, Border Collie, Setter Golden Retriever, Newfoundland, Collie, Airedale, Husky, Portuguese Water Dog
  $49 $65 $78
brown and black French bulldog lying on white fur area rug
Smaller breeds like the Jack Russell and French Bulldog are the cheapest to groom, costing around $36 per session. (Photo by Alexandru Sofronie on Unsplash)

While regular at-home grooming can help maintain a dog’s coat, professional grooming sessions are crucial for addressing more complex needs.

“If owners are confident to cut nails, clean ears, and maintain their dog’s coat, great. However, groomers are there for the owners who are not confident grooming their beloved pet for fear of hurting them. Always better to play safe and leave this to the expert, inevitably, you always find something that needs sorting, so better to have the right skills and tools to ensure this is sorted,” explains Moore.

Methodology

Yell used a series of data sources and lists to identify the most high-maintenance dog breeds in 2024.

Yell used Statista to find the total number of U.K. dog registrations by breed in 2022, as well as the population of dogs as pets between 2011-2023.

To calculate the average cost of grooming per breed, Yell used the company’s directory for the 3 highest-rated dog groomers per city and calculated the average price for a full groom by city and by breed, as well as which breeds need the most regular grooming. Yell also utilized average costings from Nimblefins and multiplied Yell’s total averages by the number of times per year each dog breed needed to be groomed to calculate an overall annual grooming cost which gave Yell a list of the most high-maintenance breeds in the U.K.

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