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.
The Vulnerable Native Breeds List
with their registration numbers from 2017 is:
Bull terrier (miniature) 189
Collie (smooth) 60
Dandie dinmont terrier 130
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
Norwich terrier 91
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
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.
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