English Setter no longer at risk of extinction

And Old English Sheepdog fighting back

The English Setter has come off the Kennel Club's list of native dog breeds that could be at risk of extinction after registrations increased by 25 percent in 2012, in a year that saw a celebration of all things British.

The breed dropped to less than 300 registrations last year, which is the point at which the Kennel Club deems a breed to be vulnerable. In 2012 the breed increased from 234 to 314 registrations, which means that the breed has now moved onto the Kennel Club's At Watch list, which is for breeds that have between 300 and 450 registrations and whose progress is monitored by the Club.

The Old English Sheepdog, which entered the Kennel Club's At Watch List last year has also seen a 7 percent increase, taking it to 429 registrations.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, which originated in Ireland, has also come out of the At Watch list for the first time after its registrations went from 433 to 455 in 2012, meaning that the future should now be bright for the breed.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "Everybody is talking about the post Olympic baby boom but perhaps the celebration of our British heritage in 2012 has helped lead to a revival of some of our native breeds.

"Fashion and profile have the most influential impact on dog choice and we are pleased to see there is still a place in people's hearts and homes for our British vulnerable breeds. Many are still at risk but there has been significant improvement in some breeds. People need to make sure that any dog that they choose is a good fit for their lifestyle but we hope that by highlighting these lesser known breeds people will do their research thoroughly before they buy to see if these dogs might be for them and we hope that people will come to Crufts in March to find out more."

Fran Grimsdell, Kennel Club Assured Breeder of English Setters, said: "The number of people enquiring about English Setters, who would never have previously considered the breed, has increased in the last year. The existence of the Kennel Club's Vulnerable Breeds List has really helped to highlight their plight, and people are starting to think more deeply about their choice of dog, rather than going for the obvious choice. English Setters need company and cannot be left alone for long periods but they can are marvelous with children and make such wonderful family pets."

Other breeds that have significantly increased in popularity include the English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan) which has seen a 25 percent increase, to 126 puppy registrations; the Sussex Spaniel which increased by 29 percent  to 74 registrations and the Irish Water Spaniel which has gone up by 32 percent to 148 registrations.

However, the significant decline of the Smooth Fox Terrier by 46 percent to just 94 registrations and of the Clumber Spaniel by 56 percent, to 151 puppy registrations, means that the overall number of dogs within the 35 breeds on the Vulnerable and At Watch lists have increased by one percent.

The breeds on the Kennel Club's vulnerable breeds list will be amongst the 210 breeds that will be at Crufts, at the NEC on 8-11 March. There will be a Discover Dogs zone, where visitors can meet and learn about the different breeds.

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English Setter
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