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 216 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 2020 there are 30 dog breeds considered vulnerable and 7 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

2019 Kennel Club registration figures

Bloodhound

91

Bull Terrier (Miniature)

200

Collie (Smooth)

75

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

109

Deerhound

162

English Setter

267

English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)

98

Fox Terrier (Smooth)

112

Glen of Imaal Terrier

85

Gordon Setter

243

Irish Red & White Setter

39

Irish Wolfhound

229

King Charles Spaniel

93

Kerry Blue Terrier

108

Lakeland Terrier

94

Lancashire Heeler

140

Manchester Terrier

133

Mastiff

140

Norwich Terrier

128

Otterhound

44

Retriever (Curly Coated)

68

Sealyham Terrier

131

Skye Terrier

59    

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

291

Spaniel (Clumber)

175

Spaniel (Field)

67

Spaniel (Irish Water)

69

Spaniel (Sussex)

52

Spaniel (Welsh Springer)

243

Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)

126

 

 

AT WATCH

2019

Bearded Collie

307

Bedlington Terrier

333

Bullmastiff

404

Old English Sheepdog

317

Irish Terrier

338

Parson Russell Terrier

311

Welsh Terrier

376

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 222 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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