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

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Bearded Collie

284

420

274

307

268

Bloodhound

53

88

62

91

32

Bull Terrier (Miniature)

172

189

221

200

185

Collie (Smooth)

89

60

77

75

72

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

91

130

145

109

87

Deerhound

209

266

198

162

206

English Setter

285

261

290

267

140

English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)

102

84

126

98

75

Fox Terrier (Smooth)

118

82

126

112

122

Glen of Imaal Terrier

76

48

48

85

36

Gordon Setter

263

255

172

243

268

Irish Red & White Setter

63

70

51

39

83

Irish Wolfhound

256

372

239

229

195

King Charles Spaniel

84

112

106

93

56

Kerry Blue Terrier

168

152

117

108

161

Lakeland Terrier

220

196

139

94

145

Lancashire Heeler

90

119

112

140

92

Manchester Terrier

191

160

172

243

155

Mastiff

102

166

143

140

104

Norwich Terrier

145

91

81

128

81

Old English Sheepdog

424

384

318

317

227

Otterhound

40

24

39

44

7

Retriever (Curly Coated)

83

53

70

68

55

Sealyham Terrier

113

167

107

131

153

Skye Terrier

28

40

50

59

27

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

326

369

307

291

243

Spaniel (Clumber)

171

265

280

175

188

Spaniel (Field)

80

50

48

67

69

Spaniel (Irish Water)

116

69

111

69

57

Spaniel (Sussex)

49

56

34

52

44

Spaniel (Welsh Springer)

299

362

330

243

205

Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)

218

141

147

126

132

At watch
Breed

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Bedlington Terrier

411

483

307

333

364

Bullmastiff

493

429

409

404

372

Cairn Terrier

683

589

567

464

443

Irish Terrier

326

362

384

338

389

Norfolk Terrier

600

521

542

482

358

Parson Russell Terrier

377

306

360

311

440

Welsh Terrier

401

388

325

376

412

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.