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.

Save the Forgotten Breeds

Many native British and Irish 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. The top ten breeds in the UK (including the Labrador, French Bulldog and Cocker Spaniel) account for more than 60% of annual puppy registrations for all breeds.

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

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Bearded Collie

420

274

307

268

343

281

Bloodhound

88

62

91

36

19

34

Bull Terrier (Miniature)

189

221

200

185

364

293

Collie (Smooth)

60

77

75

72

90

44

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

130

145

109

87

124

112

Deerhound

266

198

162

206

198

176

English Setter

261

290

267

140

293

212

English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)

84

126

98

75

101

64

*Foxhound

0

0

0

0

0

1

Fox Terrier (Smooth)

82

126

112

122

151

90

Glen of Imaal Terrier

48

48

85

36

83

115

Gordon Setter

255

172

243

268

244

251

*Greyhound

21

32

37

16

10

22

Harrier

 

 

 

12

38

9

Irish Red & White Setter

70

51

39

83

46

77

Irish Wolfhound

372

239

225

195

198

238

King Charles Spaniel

112

106

93

56

91

68

Kerry Blue Terrier

152

117

108

161

156

122

Lakeland Terrier

196

139

94

145

174

135

Lancashire Heeler

119

112

140

92

114

149

Manchester Terrier

160

172

243

155

155

153

Mastiff

166

143

140

104

100

107

Norwich Terrier

91

81

128

81

140

107

Otterhound

24

39

44

7

42

30

Retriever (Curly Coated)

53

70

68

55

62

73

Sealyham Terrier

167

107

131

153

184

138

Skye Terrier

40

50

59

27

75

71

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

369

307

291

243

227

168

Spaniel (Clumber)

265

280

175

188

285

232

Spaniel (Field)

50

48

67

69

45

53

Spaniel (Irish Water)

69

111

69

57

116

84

Spaniel (Sussex)

56

34

52

44

30

44

Spaniel (Welsh Springer)

362

330

243

205

271

238

Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)

141

147

126

132

123

201


*This breed takes part in The Kennel Club’s Vulnerable Breed competitions because its registered numbers are low, but the breed is known to be numerous outside of The Kennel Club due to either later recognition with The Kennel Club, or registration on an alternate specialist register
At watch
Breed

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Bedlington Terrier

483

307

333

364

463

316

Bullmastiff

429

409

404

372

579

350

Irish Terrier

362

384

338

389

457

359

*Jack Russell Terrier

136

205

266

391

355

403

Norfolk Terrier

521

542

482

358

490

423

Parson Russell Terrier

306

360

311

440

451

367

Old English Sheepdog

384

318

317

327

377

333

Welsh Terrier

388

325

376

412

417

397

*This breed takes part in The Kennel Club’s Vulnerable Breed competitions because its registered numbers are low, but the breed is known to be numerous outside of The Kennel Club due to either later recognition with The Kennel Club, or registration on an alternate specialist register.

 

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.

Join us for the Vulnerable Breeds Competition on Thursday 7 March at the NEC in Birmingham. Get your Crufts 2024 tickets here!