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One of Britain's Most Vulnerable Dog Breeds Bounces Back

02 June 2014    14:00
 

... but foreign dogs and handbag dogs are most in vogue

New registration statistics released by the Kennel Club reveal that the Skye Terrier, which is one of the most vulnerable of Britain's native dog breeds - and more rare than the Giant Panda - saw one of the biggest increases in puppy registrations in the first quarter of 2014.

The Kennel Club Breed Registration Statistics show a ten-fold increase in puppy registrations in the breed, from just one puppy registration last year to 11 this year. This means that it saw the second largest increase out of 215 breeds, after the Hungarian Puli, which rose by 3000 percent. It is estimated that there are less than 400 Skye Terriers left in this country, making it the rarest of Britain's vulnerable native breeds, alongside the Otterhound.

The Kennel Club's list of vulnerable native breeds monitors those native dog breeds whose numbers are below 300 puppy registrations each year, which is thought to be a suitable level to sustain a population. An 'at watch' list monitors those between 300 and 450 registrations per annum that could be at risk if their numbers continue to fall. In total there are 25 vulnerable native breeds, including the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Dandie Dinmont Terrier and Deerhound, and eight 'at watch' breeds, including the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Other native vulnerable breeds which have done well so far this year include the Irish Red and White Setter, which increased by 104 percent, to 57 registrations and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi that increase by 89 percent to 34 registrations. This is a much needed boost for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, which alongside its Pembroke Welsh Corgi cousin, are two of the ten breeds that have seen the greatest decline in the last five years.

However, this positive news for some of the vulnerable native breeds is set against a backdrop of ever declining numbers, as foreign breeds and small handbag dogs popularised by celebrities gain increasing popularity.

The shift in fashion, from native to foreign breeds, can be seen in the Kennel Club's top twenty registered breeds. The French Bulldog, owned by the likes of Jonathan Ross, Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman, has increased by 522 percent since 2008, with 6,990 registrations in 2013. In the first quarter of this year it was the third most popular breed. Five of the top ten breeds in the UK, as measured in the first quarter of 2014, are now from overseas.

The Portuguese Water Dog, owned by Barack Obama, is the eight fastest climber between 2008 and 2013, increasing by 129 percent. The other fastest climbing breeds in the last five years are the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Bavarian Mountain Hound, Chihuahua (Smooth Coated), Boston Terrier and the Coton de Tulear.

There are now 138 breeds which have originated overseas since the Kennel Club opened its registers in 1874, when there were just 43 breeds.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "We are extremely lucky to have such a rich variety of breeds, from so many different countries, so that people can always find a breed that will suit their lifestyle. It would however be very sad to see some of our oldest and historically most loved breeds disappearing from our streets and parks simply because they have been forgotten and lack the profile of other breeds. Celebrity culture and changing fashions play a greater role than ever before in people's choice of dog but we urge puppy buyers to consider all of the 215 breeds and choose the one that is truly right for them.

Top twenty breeds and percentage difference between Q1 2014 and Q1 2013

Breed

Q1 2014

Q1 2013

Q1 2013/2014 change

Labrador Retriever

7228

7437

3% decrease

Cocker Spaniel

4270

4135

3% increase

French Bulldog

2119

1456

8% decrease

German Shepherd Dog

1984

1783

10% increase

Pug

1921

1746

9% increase

English Springer Spaniel

1776

1875

12% increase

Golden Retriever

1447

1531

14% increase

English Bulldog

1353

1398

9% decrease

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

1287

1297

5% decrease

Border Terrier

1230

1464

1% decrease

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

1160

1217

5% decrease

Miniature Schnauzer

1071

1180

10% decrease

Smooth Coated Chihuahua

1008

982

1% decrease

Shih Tzu

975

1095

9% decrease

Boxer

856

879

9% decrease

Whippet

808

755

6% increase

West Highland White Terrier

807

749

5% increase

Lhaso Apso

788

946

11% decrease

Dogue de Bordeaux

678

718

6% decrease

Dachshund (Miniature Smooth)

579

596

3% decrease

Biggest increase in popularity, first quarter of 2014, compared to the same period 2013.

 

Percentage increase

Hungarian Puli

3000

Skye Terrier

1000

Sussex Spaniel

575

Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer

450

Belgian Shepherd (Malinois)

389

Alaskan Malamute

300

Beauceron

300

Cirneco Dell'Etna

300

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

238

Polish Lowland Sheepdog

200

Biggest increase 2008 to 2013

*Bold = those with more than 100 annual registrations in 2013, as below this number shows up as a disproportionately high percentage increase

Breed

% increase 2008-13

2013

2008

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

720

41

5

French Bulldog

582

6990

1025

Kooikerhondje

560

33

5

Entlebucher Mountain Dog

500

6

1

Greenland Dog

400

10

2

Korthals Griffon

293

55

14

Beauceron

188

23

8

Portuguese Water Dog

164

195

74

Coton De Tulear

159

262

101

Boston Terrier

156

1447

566

Bavarian Mountain Hound

150

80

32

Chihuahua (Smooth Coat)

126

3845

1704

Japanese Akita Inu

115

84

39

Norwegian Buhund

105

45

22

Collie (Smooth)

91

82

43

Korean Jindo

83

11

6

Maltese

83

1143

624

Pug

80

8071

4480

German Longhaired Pointer

80

9

5

Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla

71

620

362

Havanese

61

225

140

Sealyham Terrier

58

68

43

Foxhound

57

11

7

Lagotta Romagnolo

48

46

31

Italian Greyhound

47

231

157

Biggest decrease between 2008 and 2013

Breed

Percentage Decrease

Total 2013

Total 2008

Mexican Hairless (Standard)

100

0

1

Grand Bleu de Gascogne

100

0

19

Azawakh

100

0

1

Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois)

92

1

13

Komondor

88

2

16

Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)

83

14

81

Welsh Corgi (Pembroke)

78

102

464

Ibizan Hound

76

4

17

Australian Silky Terrier

73

11

41

Portuguese Podengo

73

29

108

ENDS


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