Meghan Markle's Guy sparks rise in Beagle searches

Interest in Beagles surged after Guy became the unexpected star of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding, which is not the first time that royal canines have had an impact on their breed.

Regal Beagle, Guy – the Duchess of Sussex’s rescue dog who was seen riding in a car with the Queen and reported to be running amok at the wedding reception – has sparked more people to search for both rescue Beagles and Beagle puppies, according to the Kennel Club.

Searches for Beagles on the Kennel Club’s Find a Puppy website went up by 42 per cent in the day after the royal wedding (between 19 and 20 May 2018). They have continued to rise in the two days after the wedding, with searches for Beagle puppies up by 50 per cent and 27 per cent on the Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

Searches for rescue Beagles also increased by 133 percent on the Kennel Club’s Find a Rescue dog website the day after the wedding, and the upwards trend has continued with searches for rescue Beagles being 156 per cent higher on Tuesday 22 May, than on the wedding day. The Beagle was the nineteenth most popular dog breed in the UK in 2017.

This is not the first time that dog breeds experiencing a rise in profile thanks to the royal family, have also seen an increased interest from the general public.

The Kennel Club reported that Find a Puppy searches for Cocker Spaniels increased by almost 50 per cent in the two months after Lupo joined the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s family at the end of 2012. 

Whilst the Queen’s Pembroke Welsh Corgis aren’t often featured in the media, their presence on Netflix series The Crown, which features a young Queen Elizabeth, also saw a resurgence in interest in the breed. Searches increased by 22 per cent in December 2017, when the second season aired, and registrations increased by seven per cent throughout the year – taking it off the Kennel Club’s list of vulnerable British breeds for the first time in almost a decade.

However, the Kennel Club is warning people not to be influenced by royal and celebrity dog choice when picking a breed and to take the time to learn about a breed’s characteristics and care needs before they buy.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The royal family have a huge media profile and so the choices they make are very influential, and this can be seen clearly in the increase in popularity of certain dog breeds who are featured with members of the family.

“The Duchess of Sussex rescued Guy from a shelter after he was abandoned, which underlines how important it is that potential dog owners look beyond the obvious choices enjoying the media spotlight, and give a dog a home for life, by choosing the right one for their lifestyle. There are 220 pedigree breeds, each with their own distinct characteristics and care needs, so people can find the right fit for them.”

Clare Clark, rehoming coordinator of Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisation, Beagle Welfare, said: “It’s always incredibly sad when a dog comes in for rehoming and the media can have a huge impact on impulse buys and later abandonment. Beagles are wonderful, friendly dogs but they will also follow their noses anywhere so need to be kept under control, and have active minds so need a lot of stimulation to prevent them becoming bored and destructive. They won’t suit people who don’t have the time and the patience to train and exercise them, or who will leave them alone for long periods of time.”

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