Vulnerable native breeds

Otterhound with mouth open
Heidi Hudson / The Kennel Club ©

What is a vulnerable native breed?

Vulnerable native breeds are dog breeds of British and Irish origin that are considered to be vulnerable due to their declining registration numbers. These breeds 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.

Why we're raising awareness

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 well known.

How you can help

To give these dogs the chance they deserve, it is important that if you're thinking about getting a dog you consider the lesser known breeds. There are over 200 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.

Which native breeds are vulnerable?

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 (breeds with fewer than 300 registrations a year) and the 'at watch' list (breeds with between 300 and 450 registrations a year) so that we can monitor them. A list of those breeds identified is below:

Vulnerable native breeds
Breed

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Bloodhound

77

53

88

62

91

Bull Terrier (Miniature)

183

172

189

221

200

Collie (Smooth)

78

89

60

77

75

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

88

91

130

145

109

Deerhound

267

209

266

198

162

English Setter

289

285

261

290

267

English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)

78

102

84

126

98

Fox Terrier (Smooth)

148

118

82

126

112

Glen of Imaal Terrier

79

76

48

48

85

Gordon Setter

234

263

255

172

243

Irish Red & White Setter

64

63

70

51

39

Irish Wolfhound

293

256

372

239

229

King Charles Spaniel

149

84

112

106

93

Kerry Blue Terrier

131

168

152

117

108

Lakeland Terrier

173

220

196

139

94

Lancashire Heeler

81

90

119

112

140

Manchester Terrier

192

191

160

172

243

Mastiff

149

102

166

143

140

Norwich Terrier

147

145

91

81

128

Otterhound

34

40

24

39

44

Retriever (Curly Coated)

66

83

53

70

68

Sealyham Terrier

113

113

167

107

131

Skye Terrier

43

28

40

50

59

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

423

326

369

307

291

Spaniel (Clumber)

214

171

265

280

175

Spaniel (Field)

46

80

50

48

67

Spaniel (Irish Water)

132

116

69

111

69

Spaniel (Sussex)

43

49

56

34

52

Spaniel (Welsh Springer)

363

299

362

330

243

Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)

124

218

141

147

126

At watch
Breed

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Bearded Collie

346

284

420

274

307

Bedlington Terrier

395

411

483

307

333

Bullmastiff

518

493

429

409

404

Irish Terrier

290

326

362

384

338

Old English Sheepdog

495

424

384

318

317

Parson Russell Terrier

407

377

306

360

311

Welsh Terrier

389

401

388

325

376

Thinking about getting a vulnerable native breed?

If you are interested in giving a vulnerable breed a home, please search for the breeds listed above in our breeds A to Z. Visit our Breeds A to Z.

If you're thinking about getting a vulnerable breed, or any other breed, it's crucial that you go to a responsible breeder. Find out more about The Kennel Club Assured Breeders.

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. Find your local breed club.

People can also consider rescuing a dog. The 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. Find a rescue dog.