Save the Forgotten Dog Breeds Campaign

What is the problem?

Many native British and Irish breeds of dog are at risk of disappearing from our parks and streets, simply because people don’t know they exist or because they aren’t considered fashionable.  The six most popular breeds in the UK (Labrador, French Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel, Pug and English Springer Spaniel and Bulldog) account for more registrations between them than the remaining 214 breeds of dog. 

Some breeds have such low numbers that they are completely unrecognisable to the British public, which 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.

This Kennel Club has been aware of this problem for a number of years and in order to protect those breeds of British and Irish origin that are considered at risk of disappearing, we created the Vulnerable Native British and Irish Breeds List for breeds with fewer than 300 registrations a year and the At Watch List for breeds with between 300 and 450 registrations a year, so that we can monitor them.

Which breeds are at risk?

As of 1st January 2019 there are 29 dog breeds considered vulnerable and 9 breeds considered at risk of becoming vulnerable.  These are listed below and you can click on the breed names to visit a dedicated webpage for each specific breed. 

VULNERABLE NATIVE BREEDS

2018 Kennel Club registration figures

Bearded Collie

274

Bloodhound

62

Bull Terrier (Miniature)

221

Collie (Smooth)

77

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

145

Deerhound

198

English Setter

290

English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)

126

Fox Terrier (Smooth)

126

Glen of Imaal Terrier

48

Gordon Setter

172

Irish Red & White Setter

51

Irish Wolfhound

239

King Charles Spaniel

106

Kerry Blue Terrier

117

Lakeland Terrier

139

Lancashire Heeler

112

Manchester Terrier

172

Mastiff

143

Norwich Terrier

81

Otterhound

39

Retriever (Curly Coated)

70

Sealyham Terrier

107

Skye Terrier

50          

Spaniel (Clumber)

280

Spaniel (Field)

48

Spaniel (Irish Water)

111

Spaniel (Sussex)

34

Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)

147

 

 

AT WATCH

2018

Bedlington Terrier

307

Bullmastiff

409

Old English Sheepdog

318

Irish Terrier

384

Parson Russell Terrier

307

Scottish Terrier

438

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

307

Spaniel (Welsh Springer)

330

Welsh Terrier

325

How can I help?

In order to give these dogs the chance they deserve, it is important that people looking for a dog consider the lesser known breeds.  There are 220 breeds of dog recognised in the UK so there is a breed for everyone.  We find that people tend to choose a breed from the pool of breeds they have heard of before, which means that the perfect breed for them and their lifestyle might be overlooked.

Thinking about getting a native British or Irish breed?

It is crucial that anyone considering a native British or Irish breed, or any other breed, goes to a responsible breeder, such as a Kennel Club Assured Breeder. 

Breed clubs exist for every single breed and they offer a wealth of information for anyone considering getting a dog.  Anyone wanting a specific breed should speak to the relevant breed club for information and guidance.

Click here to find Assured Breeders for each breed.

Click here to find a breed club for each breed.

People can also consider rescuing a dog.  Kennel Club Breed Rescue is made up of a number of breed-specific rescue services that may be able to offer the right dog to the right home.  To find a rescue dog, click here.

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