But it’s déjà vu for the French Bulldog which remains the capital’s favourite
- New doggy data reveals the disappearing and unusual British breeds that have been boosted in London’s streets and parks since the start of the pandemic, as Londoners use lockdown to look at alternative dog choices
- Queen’s favourite, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, once at risk of disappearing, increases by almost 200 per cent, tripling the increase seen across the rest of the UK – and enters London’s top 20 for the first time.
- 19 breeds classed as vulnerable or at risk are boosted in the capital during the pandemic, including the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, which doubled in number, and the Welsh Terrier
- British Whippet leaps into capital’s top ten for the first time but Frenchie retains top spot, at odds with the rest of the UK
- Discover Dogs, showcasing over 150 breeds – from the unusual to the most popular – returns to London to raise awareness of the diversity of breeds
Statistics released ahead of The Kennel Club’s Discover Dogs event, taking place at ExCeL London on 20-21 November, show that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which was formerly a vulnerable British breed in 2014, has seen its popularity skyrocket in London during lockdown, increasing by 195 per cent since the beginning of the pandemic – more than three times the increase seen in the rest of the UK. The breed ranks as the 20th most popular breed in the capital since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, for the first time in nearly 50 years. In contrast, the Queen’s favourite breed saw just three London-based puppy registrations a decade ago, in 2011.
The new statistics also reveal good news in London for other breeds that are currently deemed by The Kennel Club to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’ because they number less than 300 or 450 annual puppy registrations respectively. In total, 19 breeds on the list have increased in London since the beginning of the pandemic period. This includes the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, which has increased by 100 per cent and the Bedlington Terrier, by 171 per cent. Other examples include the Parson Russell Terrier (up by 100 per cent), the Welsh Terrier (an increase of 82 per cent) and the Lakeland Terrier (72 per cent increase).
Any sort of boost is particularly welcome amongst the most numerically small vulnerable breeds that had previously seen no registrations in London in the year leading up to the pandemic, such as the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, which has made its pawprint on the capital with four new puppy registrations since last March.
However, the new statistics show that there has been no change so far to London’s definitive number one breed, the French Bulldog, despite having been pipped to first spot by the Labrador in the rest of the UK when looking at the period since the pandemic began.
The figures, taken from the dog welfare organisation’s annual puppy registrations, also reveal that Londoner’s breed choices further differed from the UK average, with diminutive Pomeranians and Miniature Schnauzers appearing only in London’s top ten and not in the UK as a whole. In contrast, whilst the rest of the UK has chosen breeds such as the English Springer Spaniel, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the German Shepherd Dog, Londoners have largely opted for smaller breeds, with the German Shepherd Dog falling out of the top ten during the pandemic for the first time. Elsewhere, the Whippet, another British breed, has made it into the city’s top ten for the first time.
Bill Lambert, spokesperson for The Kennel Club, which runs the Discover Dogs event in London, said: “We are so lucky to have such a wide variety of breeds in this country, and we are pleased to see some of our previously overlooked canine companions experiencing a popularity boost in the capital, particularly some of our historic native breeds. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a real success story – coming from the brink of disappearing in the capital to being one of Londoners’ most popular dogs, and some other breeds that were rarely seen on London’s streets have fared well during lockdown.
“We hope that this is a sign that Londoners are starting to cast their net more widely when considering their dog breed of choice, although the French Bulldog firmly remains as a favourite in the nation’s capital. This is a breed which can suffer from some serious health problems and despite its popularity, it is not a breed that suits everyone.
“There are many other British and Irish breeds that are currently at risk of disappearing from our capital’s streets so we would urge people to spend time researching the vast range of breeds – and they can meet 150 breeds under one roof at our upcoming Discover Dogs event in London - to ensure they find the right one for them and their lifestyle.”
The registration figures also reveal differences between London postcodes, such as:
- Urban metropolis east London, including Shoreditch and Bethnal Green, is the only region in London where the Miniature Smooth Haired Dachshund, one of the smallest breeds, is the second most popular breed, placing higher than both the Labrador Retriever and the Cocker Spaniel
- Cosmopolitan north London, including Islington and Kings Cross, were ahead of the curve in the capital and saw the Whippet’s highest entry in London, whilst also being the only area to choose the English Springer Spaniel – a favourite in the UK, but less so in London
- Affluent west London, such as Kensington and Notting Hill, favoured the elegant Miniature Long Haired Dachshund, which entered the region’s top ten during the pandemic, despite not featuring there in either the UK or London overall. The region also saw the Pomeranian’s highest entry in the city
- Family-friendly North West London, including Hampstead and Brent Cross is the only area in London to include the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, often nicknamed the ‘nanny dog’. This choice falls in line with the rest of the UK, but not London as a whole. The two most popular British breeds, the Cocker Spaniel and Golden Retriever, also had their highest entries here
- Trendy South East London, such as Lewisham and Woolwich, waved goodbye to the Bull Terrier and German Shepherd Dog from the top ten, and ushered in the Whippet and Pomeranian – both breeds that were very prominent across London
- Leafy South West London, such as Wandsworth and Tooting, bucked the trend and was the only region to include the small but energetic Border Terrier, not only in London but in the UK overall!
Tickets cost between £15 and £21 and under 8’s go free. More information and tickets are available on the Discover Dogs website.