UK Kennel Club Worried that Native Dog Breeds are Dropping in Popularity

Does Wire Fox Terrier Dogster Sunny here look worried? BTW, Sunny is looking for a new home. Thanks to News.Scotsman.com for this article. Bow-wowing out...

Joy  |  Jan 23rd 2008


sunny.jpg

Does Wire Fox Terrier Dogster Sunny here look worried? BTW, Sunny is looking for a new home.

Thanks to News.Scotsman.com for this article.

Bow-wowing out – breeds that were once our top dogs

By FIONA MACLEOD

NATIVE breeds of dog are at risk in the UK because of the fashion for exotic canine pets, according to the Kennel Club.

Registrations of certain traditional British dogs, such as the fox terrier, have been dropping as their foreign breeds grow in popularity.

The fox terrier is one such dog which now features on the Kennel Club’s list of native vulnerable breeds.

Hugely popular before the Second World War, registrations of the breed have dropped, by nearly 100 in the past two years, to a level that is only a fraction of the figure of 60 years ago.

The Kennel Club’s list, first produced in 2003, records all British breeds which have less than 300 puppy registrations each year. This is thought to be the minimum the breed needs to maintain it.

The Kennel Club aims to highlight the plight of these native breeds in order to raise awareness of the joys of owning these dogs.

Meanwhile, another British breed is booming. The bulldog has seen registrations rise by 1,000 in the past two years.

And toy breeds such as the Chihuahua and the pug have seen registrations rise by around 1,000 each in the past year.But popularity can inflate the price of puppies.

A Chihuahua can now cost up to 2,000, when other pedigree puppies normally go for between 400 and 800, the Kennel Club said.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokeswoman, said: “The Kennel Club is working hard alongside breed clubs to keep these great British breeds from extinction.

“It’s essential that we do all we can to protect these breeds so that people can discover what great characters they are and to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy their companionship.”

Jim McGhie, secretary of the Fox Terrier Club of Scotland said: “There is a substantial list of vulnerable breeds and there has been a decline, particularly fox terriers.

“It is down to a lack of popularity. The public has decided to go for more exotic breeds from foreign countries such as Llasa Apsos and Shih Tsus.

“My grandfather bred them way back in the 1930s and 1940s when the fox terrier was one of the most popular breeds in the UK but there has just been this general decline.”

He extolled the virtues of the breed: “The wire fox terrier doesn’t cast, which is particularly good for people with allergies or asthma.

“And both the wire and smooth fox terrier are great characters and good with kids.”

OTTERHOUND: A big, strong breed with webbed feet and oily coat for spending hours in water. Bred to hunt otters in 12th century.

SEALYHAM TERRIER: Bred to hunt vermin this terrier was created from breeds including the corgi and fox terrier.

WELSH CORGI: Originally bred to herd sheep and cattle, this breed is popular with the Queen who is well known for keeping several.

&#149 SMOOTH COLLIE: Same breed as the rough collie (like Lassie) but it is thought the smooth breed was better suited to the Lowlands.

FIELD SPANIEL: Evolved around 150 years ago, this breed is as good a shooting dog as a show dog.

BLOODHOUND: This large dog is known for its tremendous sense of smell and is used for tracking people.

GREYHOUND: Bred for coursing, these elegant canines can reach over 40 miles an hour.

SKYE TERRIER: Greyfriar’s Bobby was the most famous example of perhaps the oldest terrier breed in Scotland, dating back to the 14th century and the Isle of Skye.

BREED: PUPPIES REGISTERED

SKYE TERRIER: 37
OTTERHOUND: 41
GREYHOUND : 48
SMOOTH COLLIE: 63
SEALYHAM TERRIER: 65
FIELD SPANIEL: 67
WELSH CORGI (Cardigan): 68
RETRIEVER (curly coated): 81
IRISH SETTER (red and white): 93
BLOODHOUND: 100