Dog Breeds Can Reveal Your Social Class

Etiquette expert explains how your dog’s breed, name, and collar can reveal a lot about your social status.

By Justyne Yuen-Lee


Upper class or not – your dogs probably think they’re royalty anyway.

Do you ever wonder what people think about your dog? Do you believe that they try to assess your personality based on its breed?  “Oh that person has a Pit Bull, they must be a risk taker” or “That person has a Bichon, they must love going to the groomers ALL the time.” The truth is, the old adage of people picking pets that look like them is just the beginning of the associations that can be made about you and your dog.


William Hanson, U.K.’s leading etiquette expert, informs those in high society about how to maintain status. His advice ranges from how to buy toilet paper (plain white, untextured, 3-ply) to using proper vocabulary (it’s lavatory not toilet, and alcohol not booze). Hanson’s latest discourse on maintaining civility includes dog breeds. He asserts that a once-over of your favorite canine will reveal all anyone needs to know about where you place in the social hierarchy.

Where does your dog rate on the social scale?

Upper Class Breeds:


The upper class prefer clever and quick, hunting breeds: Jack Russells, Terriers, King Charles Spaniels, Springer Spaniels, Whippets, and the Queen’s beloved Corgis.

Traditionally, the upper class gravitate toward “working” dog breeds, even if their dog is never going to actually “work.” This choice of dog speaks to one’s appreciation of intelligence and a commitment to more cultivated leisure activities, such as hunting for water fowl or skeet shooting.

High status breeds, due to obedience education, tend to do well on the leash, thus would never be found wearing a harness. Collared dogs are well mannered and dignified, reflecting the refined upbringing of their owners.


At the very top of the social ladder for upper class breeds, you’ll find the black Labrador. (Interestingly, yellow Labs do not even place this far up on the scale.) His name will likely come from the breeder and have a Roman numeral after it.

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