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One is Not Amused: Handbag Dogs Rocket as Queen's Corgi in Danger Zone

03 November 2013    11:00
 

ONE IS NOT AMUSED: FOREIGN HANDBAG DOGS ROCKET AS QUEEN'S CORGI IN DANGER ZONE

Pug gives a shove to Queen's Corgi, as 'Frenchie' pushes out 'Westie'

  • Astronomical rise in small handbag dogs of foreign origin, such as the French Bulldog which is popular with celebrities and in the top ten for the first time
  • Queen's favourite, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, one of many native breeds in decline and likely to see it on the Kennel Club's 'vulnerable native breeds' list for the first time by the end of the year
  • Popularity of British favourites such as the West Highland White Terrier and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel slashed in half, taking them out of the top ten
  • Most people buy on impulse and do no research about the right dog for their lifestyle. Kennel Club prepares for unique Discover Dogs event so that people can meet and learn about more than 200 breeds under one roof

The shape of Britain's favourite dogs is shifting dramatically as small dog breeds of foreign origin are dramatically rising in popularity, whilst native British breeds are rapidly declining, with some so unpopular that they could be at risk of disappearing from our street and parks.

New statistics released by the Kennel Club ahead of its Discover Dogs event which takes place at Earls Court on 9 and 10 November, has shown that the French Bulldog has made it into the top ten for the first time.

Meanwhile old favourites such as the West Highland White Terrier and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which used to be in the top ten favourite breeds, have been pushed aside.

Some of the oldest native dog breeds have numbers so low that they are at risk of disappearing, with the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, owned by the Queen, looking likely to become a 'vulnerable native breed' by the end of the year, for the first time ever. Currently it is on the Kennel Club's 'at watch' list, but with just 239 registrations so far this year it looks unlikely to reach the 300 registrations needed to stay off the vulnerable native breeds list.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "Small dogs are becoming much more popular and whilst in some cases this is because they may be a better fit for particular lifestyles, it is also because people are buying on impulse and going for the most obvious or fashionable choices.

"Discover Dogs is a unique event that lets people meet the wide spectrum of dog breeds, including those whose numbers are so low that they could be at risk of disappearing, so that they all get the chance of a look in. We particularly hope that people will take the time to consider the Pembroke Welsh Corgi as it looks set to become vulnerable by the end of the year."

In numbers

Handbag dogs

The French Bulldog (owned by the likes of Jonathan Ross, Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman) is the breed with the biggest increase in popularity, with the Kennel Club seeing a 1232 percent rise from 2003 to 2012[1]. The popularity of the breed shows no sign of diminishing, with new statistics revealing that registrations with the Kennel Club have risen by 50 percent in the first three quarters of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. There have been 4,843 registrations so far this year, making it the seventh most popular breed in the UK.

This is followed closely by the Smooth Coated Chihuahua, which has risen in popularity by 700 percent between 2003 and 2012, and in the first three quarters of 2013 has risen by 21 percent, compared to the same period in 2012.

Other big risers in the popularity stakes are the Boston Terrier, Pug and the Long Coated Chihuahua.

Old favourites

Meanwhile, the native Boxer, West Highland White Terrier and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which frequently featured in the UK's most popular breeds, have now dropped out of the top ten. The West Highland White Terrier has fared particularly badly and dropped in popularity by 60 percent between 2003 and 2012, now totalling fewer than 4,000 annual registrations. It has dropped by a further 30 percent in the first three quarters of this year, compared to the same period last year, managing just 2,390 registrations. It is now only the UK's eighteenth most popular breed.

Vulnerable Native Breeds

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has fallen by another 15 percent in the first three quarters of 2013, compared to the same period in 2011 meaning that it is unlikely to exceed the 300 registrations needed to keep it off the vulnerable native breeds list.

Other breeds already on the list that have fared badly in recent years, but which have seen a small revival so far this year include the Old English Sheepdog and the English Setter. The Old English Sheepdog has fallen by 41 percent over the last ten years (numbering just 429 registrations in 2012), but has revived by 17 percent in the first three quarters of this year, compared to the same period last year, with 321 registrations. The English Setter, which went onto the list in 2011 and then, after a slow rise in numbers in 2012 went onto the 'at watch' list, has also increased by 27 percent so far this year, compared to the same period in 2012, with 268 registrations.

Top ten breeds

Breed

Jan-Sept 2013

Jan-Sep 2012

Jan-Dec 2012

Jan-Dec 2003

Labrador Retriever

27,430

Rank 1

28,787

Rank 1

36,487

Rank 1

41,306

Rank 1

Cocker Spaniel

17,308

Rank 2

17,949

Rank 2

23,306

Rank 2

12,832

Rank 3

English Springer Spaniel

8,711

Rank 3

10,140

Rank 3

12,792
Rank 3

13,877

Rank 4

German Shepherd Dog

5,981

Rank 4

6,563

Rank 4

8,502

Rank 4

14,892

Rank 2

Pug

5,760

Rank 5

5,496

Rank 5

7,359

Rank 5

Not ranked

Golden Retriever

5,377

Rank 6

5,335

Rank 6

7,085

Rank 6

10,710

Rank 6

French Bulldog

4,843

Rank 7

Not ranked

Not ranked

Not ranked

Border Terrier

4,769

Rank 8

5,131

Rank 7

6,577

Rank 7

6,447

Rank 10

Bulldog

4,332

Rank 9

Not ranked

Not ranked

Not ranked

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

4,210

Rank 10

4,509

Rank 9

6,235

Rank 8

11,325

Rank 5

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Not ranked

5,520

Rank 8

5,970

Rank 9

10,641

Rank 7

Miniature Schnauzer

Not ranked

4,331

Rank 10

5,797

Rank 10

Not ranked

West Highland White Terrier

Not ranked

Not ranked

Not ranked

9,832

Rank 8

Boxer

Not ranked

Not ranked

Not ranked

6,447

Rank 9

 

Vulnerable native breeds

Breed

Jan-Sept 2013

Jan-Sept 2012

Jan-Dec 2012

Mastiff

93

104

140

English Toy Terrier

70

102

126

King Charles Spaniel

119

159

217

Miniature Bull Terrier

130

166

192

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

78

84

120

Fox Terrier (Smooth)

89

69

94

Glen of Imaal Terrier

46

43

57

Kerry Blue Terrier

153

112

210

Lakeland Terrier

163

155

205

Manchester Terrier

145

98

124

Norwich Terrier

127

134

170

Sealyham Terrier

48

61

76

Skye Terrier

10

24

42

Collie (Smooth)

76

80

88

Lancashire Heeler

84

72

104

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

62

61

94

Irish Red and White Setter

63

73

89

Curly Coated Retriever

93

70

71

Clumber Spaniel

174

114

151

Field Spaniel

29

31

47

Irish Water Spaniel

67

118

148

Sussex Spaniel

42

71

74

Bloodhound

45

39

50

Deerhound

175

175

260

Irish Wolfhound

26

156

302

Otterhound

24

9

37

At Watch

English Setter

268

119

314

Old English Sheepdog

321

210

429

Welsh Terrier

233

174

352

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

241

167

333

Irish Terrier

284

145

306

Welsh Springer Spaniel

233

182

348

 

Biggest risers 2003-2012

 

Percentage increase 2003-2012

2012 Registrations

2003 Registrations

French Bulldog

1,232

4,648

349

Smooth Coated Chihuahua

700

3,518

440

Coton De Tulear

683

227

29

Boston Terrier

489

1255

213

Pug

427

7,359

1,392

Ibizan Hound*

217

19

6

Bracco Italiano*

213

72

23

Alaskan Malamute

209

1,053

341

Long Coated Chihuahua

192

2,560

878

Havanese

186

232

81

Maltese

185

1,085

381

 

*The high percentage increases in the Ibizan Hound and Bracco Italiano are largely due to the small numbers registered in 2003 as each was relatively new to the UK at that time.

 


[1] This excludes the newly imported breeds which have been introduced to the country recently and started at 0, so which will see the biggest percentage increases. These breeds are the Kookerhondje, Bavarian Mountain Dog and Eurasier.

ENDS


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