Lizzy DeningDogs

Is your favourite dog breed in danger of dying out?

Lizzy DeningDogs
Is your favourite dog breed in danger of dying out?


Rare native dog breeds are in danger of disappearing. The Kennel Club has launched a campaign to protect our most vulnerable breeds such as the otterhound (the breed most at risk) and the Glen of Imaal terrier.

There are 220 pedigree breeds in the UK, but the top six – Labrador, French bulldog, cocker spaniel, pug, English springer spaniel and bulldog – have more registrations between them than the other 214 breeds put together.

The campaign Save the Forgotten Dog Breeds highlights the 36 at-risk breeds, including 27 which are considered vulnerable.

Some, we admit, we’ve not heard of before, but there are some surprised on the list – we didn’t realise that the King Charles spaniel had fallen so far out of favour.

The Kennel Club says that some breeds are so low in number that they are ‘completely unrecognisable’ to the British public, adding that this ‘is a concern because it means that breeds that might be the perfect fit for people’s lifestyles are being overlooked in favour of other breeds that might not be, simply because they are not as known.’

To combat the problem, the Club has created the Vulnerable Native British and Irish Breeds Lists for those breeds which have fewer than 300 registrations a year, and the At Watch List for breeds with between 300 – 450 registrations a year.

 Curly coated retriever

Curly coated retriever

The Vulnerable Native Breeds List

with their registration numbers from 2017 is:

Bloodhound 88

Bull terrier (miniature) 189

Collie (smooth) 60

Dandie dinmont terrier 130

Deerhound 266

English setter 261

English toy terrier (black and tan) 84

Fox terrier (smooth) 82

Glen of Imaal terrier 48

Gordon setter 255

Irish red and white setter 70

King Charles spaniel 112

Kerry blue terrier 152

Lakeland terrier 196

Lancashire heeler 119

Manchester terrier 160

Mastiff 166

Norwich terrier 91

Otterhound 24

Retriever (curly coated) 53

Sealyham terrier 167

Skye terrier 40

Spaniel (Clumber) 265

Spaniel (field) 50

Spaniel (Irish water) 69

Spaniel (Sussex) 56

Welsh corgi (Cardigan) 141

 Norwich terrier

Norwich terrier

How can I help rare dog breeds?

The main advice from the Kennel Club is to consider taking on a lesser known breed, rather than only considering the most popular varieties – whether it’s a rescue dog or a new puppy.