Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition returns in 2024

Winner of the Vulnerable British & Irish Breeds Ludovica Salamon from Italy with dog Franka, the first day of Crufts 2024. Credit Beat Media,The Kennel Club
Winner of the Vulnerable British & Irish Breeds Ludovica Salamon from Italy with dog Franka, the first day of Crufts 2024 | Credit Beat Media and The Kennel Club

Heats for the Vulnerable British and Irish Native Breeds competition will start to take place later this month and as in previous years will culminate in a grand final at Crufts 2025.

To raise awareness of vulnerable British and Irish native breeds, and to recognise those people who are dedicated to their survival and prosperity, The Kennel Club created the competition in 2015. In 2024, 35 breeds fall into this category, having generated 300 or fewer puppy registrations in the UK in the previous year. For the first time, the Irish Terrier has now joined the list as a Vulnerable Breed having generated just 244 puppies last year. 

The competition has proved very popular and at Crufts 2024, two-year-old Irish Wolfhound (Brida Della Bassa Pavese), co-owned by Stefano Erea and Dr Francesca Agnoli from Milan, Italy, and handled by Ludovica Salamon, was chosen as the winner of the grand final, judged by Gavin Robertson.

Following a similar format to the one used in 2023, only the Best of Breed winners at designated championship shows this year will qualify for the final.  

The competition is open to all vulnerable British and Irish breeds competing at the following championship shows: 

  • 30 March 2024, United Kingdom Toydog Society
  • 6 April 2024, National Terrier Club
  • 13 July 2024 National Working and Pastoral Breeds Society
  • 20 July 2024, Hound Association
  • 4 August 2024, National Gundog Association

Dogs of breeds which are on The Kennel Club’s Vulnerable British and Irish breeds list who win Best of Breed at the above shows will qualify for the competition and will be invited to compete in the grand final at Crufts 2025. In cases where the Best of Breed winner is unable to compete in the final, the Best Opposite Sex winner will be invited. 

Tom Mather, Crufts Chairman said: “The Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition final is a very important event at Crufts as it’s a wonderful way to highlight just how special these vulnerable breeds are. We must support these lesser known breeds as they could be the perfect fit for certain owner’s lifestyles but are being overlooked in favour of other breeds that might not be, simply because they are not as well known.

“We hope that show societies work with breed clubs of vulnerable British and Irish native breeds so that these clubs can inspire their membership to enter the classes and take part in the competition.”

To find out more about the competition and vulnerable breeds visit our website.

All Crufts 2025 finalists will be contacted by The Kennel Club in December 2024.

The following breeds are eligible to compete: Bearded Collie, Bloodhound, Bull Terrier (Miniature), Collie (Smooth), Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Deerhound, English Setter, English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan), Foxhound, Fox Terrier (Smooth), Glen of Imaal Terrier, Gordon Setter, Greyhound, Harrier, Irish Terrier, Irish Red & White Setter, Irish Wolfhound, Kerry Blue Terrier, King Charles Spaniel, Lakeland Terrier, Lancashire Heeler, Manchester Terrier, Mastiff, Norwich Terrier, Otterhound, Retriever (Curly Coated), Sealyham Terrier, Skye Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Spaniel (Clumber), Spaniel (Field), Spaniel (Irish Water), Spaniel (Sussex), Spaniel (Welsh Springer), Welsh Corgi (Cardigan).