Posted 2 months ago ago
With the growing popularity of imported dog breeds, some of the UK’s formerly well-established native breeds are now heading towards extinction.
Breeds such as the Bearded Collie, Bloodhound and Bull Terrier are at risk of disappearing from our parks and streets, simply because Brits don’t know they exist or because they aren’t considered fashionable.
There are currently 32 breeds on The Kennel Club’s Vulnerable Native Breeds list, with seven more ‘At Watch’.
As many as 15 of these breeds have increased in popularity over the past year, including the Irish Red and White Setter, which was named as Britain’s most vulnerable breed last year but has since surged in numbers by 113 per cent.
However, not all breeds have enjoyed the same resurgence, with some native breeds reaching record low numbers in 2020, including the Old English Sheepdog, Bloodhound and English Setter.
Similarly, both the Norfolk Terrier and Cairn Terrier, firm family favourites in previous decades, have been added to the ‘At Watch’ list for the first time.
Bill Lambert, spokesperson for The Kennel Club, told TeamDogs: “The nation has gone through a huge collective lifestyle change in the past year, and of course many have either become first-time dog owners or are currently looking to buy one soon. With some people now deciding to move out of our cities towards more rural areas, there is hope for some of our larger and more vulnerable breeds yet.”
“We have such a rich diversity of breeds in the United Kingdom, all with their own unique characteristics, so we really do urge the British public to find out more about the lesser-known breeds, especially those who are at risk of disappearing, in order to get a dog that is truly right for them.”
To give these dogs the chance they deserve, it’s important that you consider the following struggling breeds, if you are looking to bring a dog home.
These shaggy coated cattle herders are native to Scotland. Between 2019 and 2020, the Bearded Collie dropped 13 per cent, with 268 annual puppy registrations last year.
The most famous scent hound, bred in Britain since before 1300, dropped a huge 60 per cent last year with only 36 annual puppy registrations.
Bull Terrier (Miniature)
Between 2019 and 2020, this fun-loving and courageous breed dropped eight per cent, with 185 annual puppy registrations last year.
This friendly breed dropped four per cent between 2019 and 2020, with 72 annual puppy registrations last year.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
This iconic Scot dropped 20 per cent between 2019 and 2020, with 87 annual puppy registrations last year.
Scotland’s ancient wolfhound increased by 27 per cent between 2019 and 2020, with a rise to 206 annual puppy registrations last year.
Between 2019 and 2020, the English Setter dropped 48 per cent to 140 annual puppy registrations last year.
English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)
This intelligent breed dropped 24 per cent to 75 annual puppy registrations between 2019 and 2020.
Fox Terrier (Smooth)
Between 2019 and 2020, this small breed positively increased in popularity by nine per cent, to 122 annual puppy registrations last year.
Glen of Imaal Terrier
This native Irish breed dropped by 58 per cent to only 36 annual puppy registrations last year.
The Gordon Setter increased by 10 per cent to 268 annual puppy registrations between 2019 and 2020.
The Kennel Club’s Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds list was created in 2004 in order to highlight those breeds that had fewer than 300 puppy registrations and an At Watch list was created for those with 30-450 annual puppy registrations.
To learn more about vulnerable breeds, visit their website here.