Rewind to the 23rd March and as the nation attempted to come to terms with the prospect of seeing the same four walls for an undefined amount of time, it seems there was only one thing for it; puppies!
Disclaimer: as you will see below, the UK’s initial reaction was actually to turn to the bottle but we soon sobered up and sought out a more wholesome source of comfort.
Interest over time for ‘Puppies' vs 'Alcohol'
Those previously unable to give a puppy a home saw the long stretch of isolation and home working as the perfect opportunity to bring a four legged friend into their abode. And for good reason; with strong links between the action of stroking a dog and a reduction in stress, anxiety and blood pressure, along with an increase in the production of mood boosting hormones oxytocin and serotonin, we’re not sure there’s ever been a time when we have all needed a shot of puppy love more.
Interest for ‘Puppies for sale’ pre and during lockdown
Those interested in finding a puppy over lockdown even trumped interest in Brexit for the first time since that day in history:
Interest over time 'Puppies for sale' versus 'Brexit'
But which dog breeds did the UK turn to for solace during this period of uncertainty?
We analysed Google Trend data for the 20 most popular breeds in the UK (1) to see which pup saw the biggest jump in interest relative to its pre-lockdown levels and it seems the curly locks of the Cockapoo have been pulling at our heart strings, with a 63% increase in indexed search interest (2) during lockdown compared to previous levels.
Relative increase in searches of the top 20 dog breeds during lockdown versus pre-lockdown levels
The Cockapoo only came to our shores around 10 years ago after being originally bred in the US during the fifties, but the popularity of the fun loving pooch has since soared, earning it the sixth spot in the UK’s most popular dogs list 2020. And it seems that lockdown has seen us combine our love for dogs with our artistic flair, as searches for ‘how to draw a Cockapoo’ increase by 300%!
Interest over time for Cockapoo
But it’s the trusty Labrador that continues to have a hold over the UK as, despite seeing a slightly lower relative increase in interest over lockdown (51%) compared to the Cockapoo and Cocker Spaniel, they still retain the top spot when it comes to overall interest:
Interest over time of the five most popular dog breeds in the UK 2020
And it’s us northerners who hold the Labrador with particular close regard as Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and Manchester all feature in the list of cities with a higher proportion of overall queries dedicated to this gentle soul (3).
So as the nation cautiously prepares itself to return to the workplace, how many offices will be welcoming some new, slightly hairier colleagues to their team?!
Rover: 2020 Most popular dog breeds in the UK
Base index calculated as the average of indexed data 1st January 2019 to 21st March 2020. Lockdown index calculated as the average of indexed data 22nd March to 28th June 2020.
Values are calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is the location with the most popularity as a fraction of total searches in that location, a value of 50 indicates a location which is half as popular.
Unless otherwise stated, data is taken from Google Trends