February 7th, 2016Articles
…Whilst the Bedlington Terrier, Irish Terrier and English Setter are in decline, according to Kennel Club statistics released ahead of Crufts.
The Queen’s favourite breed of dog, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and the Old English Sheepdog have experienced a surge in popularity in 2015 and are no longer considered to be at risk of dying out, according to Kennel Club breed registration statistics.
The native British breeds were once at risk of disappearing from streets and parks around the UK after numbers fell so low that they were put on the Kennel Club’s ‘Vulnerable Native Breeds’ and ‘At Watch’ lists.
The latest figures have been released ahead of Crufts, which showcases Britain’s vulnerable native breeds, and gives dog lovers the chance to meet the breeds to find out why they are worth saving.
In 2014, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi was considered vulnerable, for the first time in the breed’s history, with only 274 puppy registrations. The breed has since had a 34 per cent increase in registrations from 2014 to 2015 and has moved from the Vulnerable Native Breed list to the At Watch list.
The Old English Sheepdog, which was popularised by the television adverts for Dulux paint, has also seen a boost in numbers, up by 22 per cent from 405 puppy registrations in 2014 to 495 in 2015, meaning that it is no longer included in the At Watch list.
Whilst these two breeds are experiencing a revival, things are not looking good for the Bedlington Terrier, as the breed is now on the At Watch list for the first time in the breed’s history after registrations dropped to 395 new pups in 2015.
In addition to the Bedlington Terrier, the English Setter and Irish Terrier are now officially on the Kennel Club Vulnerable Native Breeds list, which includes those native dog breeds with fewer than 300 puppy registrations annually, meaning they fall below the minimum number needed to ensure that a breed’s population is sustainable.
In total there are 29 breeds on the Vulnerable Native Breeds list, including the Skye Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Sussex Spaniel and Field Spaniel. The Otterhound has the lowest registrations with only 34 registrations in total for 2015.
There are seven breeds on the At Watch list, because they number between 300 and 450 registrations a year, including the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and the Bearded Collie.
To put the registration figures for these breeds into perspective, the most popular breed in the UK, the Labrador Retriever, had 32,507 puppies registered in 2015.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Whilst it is good news for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Old English Sheepdog, we are concerned that the English Setter and Irish Terrier are dropping in numbers and the Bedlington Terrier is now included on the At Watch list for the first time.
“Vulnerable native breeds are dog breeds originating in the UK and Ireland which have been identified by the Kennel Club as having annual registration numbers of 300 puppies or fewer. We compile the list in order to raise awareness of some of our oldest and historically best loved breeds of dog, which are struggling to compete with newer breeds that are more fashionable.
“Crufts is coming up in March and this is a great opportunity for people to discover the 216 breeds recognised in this country, as currently half of all dogs registered in the UK are from the top ten breeds, with the other lesser known breeds sadly trailing far behind.”
Vulnerable Native Breeds
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Avg. Otterhound 38 37 42 22 34 35 Skye Terrier 44 42 17 63 43 42 Sussex Spaniel 52 74 55 67 43 58 Field Spaniel 46 47 29 70 46 48 Irish Red & White Setter 119 89 82 102 64 91 Curly Coated Retriever 62 71 118 77 66 79 Bloodhound 50 50 51 74 77 60 English Toy Terrier 95 126 115 94 78 102 Smooth Collie 75 88 82 33 78 71 Glen of Imaal Terrier 67 57 55 74 79 67 Lancashire Heeler 98 104 103 132 81 104 Dandie Dinmont Terrier 98 120 105 144 88 111 Sealyham Terrier 63 76 68 97 113 83 Cardigan Welsh Corgi 108 94 102 118 124 109 Kerry Blue Terrier 212 210 169 172 131 179 Irish Water Spaniel 101 148 101 88 132 114 Norwich Terrier 158 170 194 166 147 167 Smooth Fox Terrier 137 94 122 142 148 129 King Charles Spaniel 180 217 161 142 149 170 Mastiff 173 140 139 124 159 147 Lakeland Terrier 247 208 221 176 173 205 Miniature Bull Terrier 216 192 161 189 183 189 Manchester Terrier 152 124 198 187 192 171 Clumber Spaniel 235 151 247 217 214 213 Gordon Setter 245 252 273 250 234 251 Deerhound 237 260 236 234 267 247 English Setter 234 314 326 332 289 299 Irish Terrier 277 306 362 371 290 321 Irish Wolfhound 321 302 322 282 293 304 Old English Sheepdog 401
429 461 405 495 438
At Watch Breeds
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Avg. Bearded Collie 547 480 552 371 346 459 Welsh Springer Spaniel 396 348 328 315 363 350 Pembroke Welsh Corgi 371 333 328 118 366 303 Welsh Terrier 415 352 447 392 389 399 Bedlington Terrier 558 506 482 462 395 481 Parson Russell Terrier 539 562 499 395 407 480 Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier 433 455 372 404 423 417
Tags: KC Press Release, VNB
Breed 2016 2015 Total: 4435 4377 Bloodhound 25 15 Bull Terrier (Miniature) 85 77 Collie (Smooth) 58 56 Dandie Dinmont Terrier 59 56 Deerhound 101 103 English Setter 200 170 English Toy Terrier 58 64 Fox Terrier (Smooth) 66 73 Glen of Imaal Terrier 42 30 Gordon Setter 192 208 Irish Red & White Setter 78 86 Irish Terrier 56 47 Irish Wolfhound 162 149 Kerry Blue Terrier 51 64 King Charles Spaniel 125 108 Lakeland Terrier 45 41 Lancashire Heeler 86 89 Manchester Terrier 66 57 Mastiff 66 58 Norwich Terrier 51 40 Old English Sheepdog 133 111 Otterhound 32 32 Retriever (Curly Coated) 76 73 Sealyham Terrier 33 38 Skye Terrier 56 57 Spaniel (Clumber) 70 87 Spaniel (Field) 54 53 Spaniel (Irish Water) 30 36 Spaniel (Sussex) 52 57 Welsh Corgi (Cardigan) 91 83 Welsh Corgi (Pembroke) 120 144
March 1st, 2015Articles
Last week, 52 Dandie Dinmont Terriers and their human enthusiasts gathered in Selkirk on the Scottish Borders to participate in a one of a kind event. They were there to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s novel Guy Mannering, the book which introduced the Dandie Dinmont to the world.
Three Scottish mansions vital to the history and development of the breed opened their doors so the breed’s heritage could be celebrated over three days; Abbotsford, Bowhill and The Haining. The event has attracted significant media coverage, which we have attempted to collate for posterity below.
The Telegraph – Desperate fight to stop Dandies disappearing
BBC (w video) – Rare Dandie Dinmont terriers celebrated
Aberdeen Press & Journal – Prepare yourself for cuteness: 50 Scottish terriers return to ancestral roots
The Southern Reporter – Endangered breed comes home to Selkirk
Selkirk Weekend Advertiser – The Haining welcomes £13,000 Dandie Dinmonts art donation
Herald Scotland – Dandie Dinmont breed returns to Borders home in fight for survival
ITV (w video) – Dandie Dinmonts descend on the Borders
Want to learn more about the Dandie Dinmont? Visit their Discover Dogs stand or come find them in Hall 2, Ring 77 at Crufts 2015.Tags: Articles, VNB
Meet Bindi the Smooth Collie; the first of our 2015 ShowTails participants.
Bindi (Seanua Sans Souci) is entered in the Obreedience competition and will be handled by her owner, Sophie Harrison. (In fact, they’ll be competing against a 2014 ShowTails star, Kheva the Pyrenean Sheepdog, so now we’re conflicted as to who to cheer for!) This is the first time either Sophie or Bindi have competed at Crufts and they are hoping that their nerves don’t get the better of them. Both of them have previously competed in Rally and Agility, but never in front of such large crowds.
Stage fright aside, Sophie tells us that she is looking forward to promoting this little known breed to such a wide audience. Smooth Collies are one of the British Vulnerable Native Breeds, with just 33 puppies registered in 2014. “Smooths get so little publicity and are so vulnerable; it would be lovely to promote them. They make fantastic family pets and are versatile enough to turn their hands to a variety of disciplines,” she says.
Bindi is living proof of this fact; she’s clicker trained, gained all her Good Citizen awards before she was 13 months old, works as a registered PAT dog and raised £6,500 for charity last year by walking the 102 mile Cotswold Way in a week.
At home, Sophie describes her as easy to live with, though friends have nicknamed her “Princess” due to her fastidious ways. “She’s the dog who walks around puddles and refuses to take treats from strangers, though her passion for rolling in fox poo is hardly princess-like!” Bindi shares her home with a German Shepherd, a Schipperke and three very bossy cats.
Sophie, who has lived in both the UK and Australia, was attracted to this unusual breed for one of the reasons which it is so often overlooked: the Smooth coat. They may lack the glamour of the Rough Collie appearance, but they’re certainly less work! “I wanted a dog that would be intelligent and athletic, good natured and social, with a low maintenance coat,” she says. Health and temperament was a priority when picking a breeder, and Sophie prepared for 2 years before adding Bindi to the family. Bindi loved to carry things in her mouth, even as a tiny puppy, which was a desirable trait in a potential Obedience competitor and the reason why Sophie picked her out of the litter. “I wanted a dog who would want a job to do.”
Hopefully Bindi will be able to do the importent job of representing her rare breed at the world’s biggest dog show. “I hope that the scale of the event won’t intimidate her, and that we are both able to enjoy our day,” says Sophie.
She and Bindi will be competing in the Obedience ring on the Saturday, and we will of course let you know how they get on. In the meantime, please join us in wishing them (and the rest of the Smooth Collie team) the best of luck.
February 17th, 2015Articles
On February 24th, 75 Dandie Dinmont Terrier enthusiasts from 8 different countries, together with 50 dogs of this rare breed, will be joining Sir Walter Scott experts and VIP guests, at his former home – Abbotsford, near Melrose in the Scottish Borders to celebrate an important anniversary – 200 years since the publication of the novel – which through its immense success, inadvertently created the world’s first celebrity dog.
200 years ago, Sir Walter Scott’s introduced us to this adorable breed in his second historical novel, Guy Mannering which, became an unprecedented publishing success, selling out its first edition in just 24 hours. It was in this book, that the character ‘Dandie Dinmont’ was first mentioned, described as a local farmer who always appeared with his unique Mustard and Pepper Terriers, the character ‘Dandie Dinmont’ and his Terriers became celebrities overnight and following the instant success of the book, royalty, nobility, and the rich and the famous flocked to the Scottish Borders in search of “Dandie Dinmont’s Terriers” and a breed was born!
Sadly the fortunes of this most engaging and historic of breeds has declined so much in recent times that the UK only produces about 100 puppies a year whilst only around 300 are born annually world-wide and the Kennel Club have listed it as being a “Vulnerable Native Breed”
But Dandie Dinmont Terrier enthusiasts are a dedicated bunch and for three days, building up to this unique bicentenary, international breed enthusiasts of the endearing little Terrier, will gather in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders area to pay tribute to the origins of the breed and to draw attention to its current fight for survival.
During the three days, the group will visit three historic houses that have all played an important part in the creation of the modern day Dandie Dinmont Terrier – Abbotsford, the historic home of Sir Walter Scott, that will privately open its doors, out of season, to welcome the loyal enthusiasts; Bowhill, the seat of The Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, (The Duke is also Patron of the Abbotsford Trust) who will welcome the breed home to the Borders; and The Haining, Selkirk – a Palladian mansion now in the hands of a Charitable Trust where the father of the current day breed is recorded to have been born. More than 50 Dandie Dinmont Terriers will also attend, which believed to be the largest ever informal gathering of these little dogs in Scotland.
Although the breed has existed since the 1700’s, it became the first type of Terrier to be given a specific breed name, it has played it part in the foundation of several other breeds including the Bedlington and Sealyham Terriers and to this day remains the only breed of dog to be named after a character from fiction.
Paul Keevil, UK Coordinator of the celebrations said: “We feel privileged that, in 1815 Sir Walter Scott brought the Dandie Dinmont Terrier to prominence, and today 200 years later, we are extracting his help once again to create awareness of this lovely little dog and hopefully, save it from possible extinction.”
He added, “Abbotsford is now one of the Scotland’s most vibrant tourist attractions and we are most grateful to the team at the Abbotsford Trust for embracing the spirit of our celebratory visits, and opening up for us and our Terriers in the off season, specifically so we could bring the Dandie Dinmont Terrier back home to its roots in the Border Counties of Scotland. We also thank the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, at Bowhill, and The Trustees of The Haining in Selkirk for their kind support in highlighting the current plight of the breed.”Tags: VNB
February 15th, 2015Articles
In a bid to help the survival of the breed, a group of 75 Dandie Dinmont Terrier enthusiasts from 8 different countries, along with 50 dogs of this rare breed, will be joining Sir Walter Scott fans on 24th February, 2015, at his former home – Abbotsford House, near Selkirk in the Scottish Borders, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s historical novel, Guy Mannering – the book that first introduced the Terriers to the world.
The novel was an unprecedented success, selling out its first edition in just 24 hours, and it was in this book, that the Dandie Dinmont Terrier first rose to fame. Described as a local farmer who always appeared with his unique Mustard and Pepper Terriers, the character called “Dandie Dinmont” and his Terriers became celebrities and following the instant success of the book at that time, Royalty, nobility, and the rich and the famous flocked to the Scottish Borders in search of “Dandie Dinmont’s Terriers” and a breed was born!
Sadly the fortunes of this most engaging of breeds has declined so much in recent times that for the last 10 years The Kennel Club has listed the Dandie Dinmont as a “Vulnerable Native Breed”. Britain produces about 100 puppies a year whilst only around 300 are born annually world-wide.
Now, to save this unique breed, as Sir Walter did 200 years before, they must once again draw the attention of the world. Where better to do it than at the very house that helped create this canine icon?
Paul Keevil, UK Coordinator of the celebrations said: “200 years ago Sir Walter Scott brought the Dandie Dinmont Terrier to prominence, and today 200 years later, we are extracting his help once again to create awareness of this lovely little dog and hopefully, save it from possible extinction.”
He added, “We are grateful to the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, at Bowhill, The Trustees of The Haining and the team at Abbotsford House for embracing our celebratory visits, and opening up in off season, specifically so we could bring the Dandie Dinmont Terrier back to its roots.”
Dandie Dinmonts have a dedicated band of international followers and for three days, building up to their unique bicentenary, the enthusiasts for this endearing little terrier, will gather in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland to pay tribute to the origins of the breed and to draw attention to its current fight for survival.
During the three days, the group will visit three historic houses that are known to have played their part in the creation of the modern day Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Bowhill, the seat of The Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch; The Haining, Selkirk – a Palladian mansion now in the hands of a Charitable Trust; and Abbotsford House, the historic home of Sir Walter Scott, will privately open their doors to welcome the enthusiasts. More than 50 Dandie Dinmont Terriers will also attend, believed to be the largest ever informal gathering of these little dogs in Scotland.
Although the breed has existed since the 1700’s, it became the first type of Terrier to be given a specific breed name and to this day remains the only breed of dog to be named after a character from fiction.Tags: VNB
February 9th, 2015Articles
You may have seen the recent Kennel Club press release regarding the decline in the numbers of Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Just 214 Pembroke puppies were registered with them in 2014, which is apparently cause for alarm. And, on the surface, when you look at the trend since 2003 (below), their slide into the ‘Vulnerable‘ category does look somewhat worrying.
But what do the figures really mean? Well, for comparison, there were 34,715 Labradors registered with the UK KC during the same period. So 274 Corgi pups looks like a small figure. Compare that, though with other breeds which have been on the Vulnerable Native Breeds list since the very beginning – just 22 Otterhound puppies were born in 2014, along with 33 Smooth Collies and 67 Sussex Spaniels. On that scale, 274 begins to look like a much less apocalyptic figure.
More importantly, compare the Pembroke registrations against those of their Cardigan Welsh Corgi cousins, who have also been on the list from the day it was conceived. You will begin to wonder why the Kennel Club chose to focus their annual media flurry on the Pembrokes alone:
The Cardigan once registered just 46 puppies. It then experienced a bounce in popularity following the Royal Wedding in 2011, and Royal Jubliee and London Olympics in 2012 (odd in itself, given that the Royal Family have always owned Pembroke Corgis, but that’s an entirely different article.) This year the Cardi registered a record 118 puppies, and you can see the clearly upward-heading trend line in that data. Why isn’t the Kennel Club focusing on this good news, rather than doom-mongering with headlines about the Pembroke’s decline?
The reality of the situation is further thrown into light when you look at the two data sets together. Yes, Pembroke numbers are dropping, and that’s something which the Kennel Club and responsible breeders should work together to change. However, they’re nowhere near the serious danger zone yet, and are hardly about to “disappear from our parks and streets”, as claimed by the Kennel Club.
People involved with the Vulnerable Native Breeds are becoming increasingly frustrated with the Kennel Club; they say that the organisation does little to support their cause beyond these sensationalist press releases prior to events like Crufts and Discover Dogs. And I can understand where they’re coming from.
Skye Terriers, last year dubbed “as rare as pandas” after registering just 17 puppies in 2013, bounced back this year with 63 registrations. No KC headline celebrating their success though. The English Setter, 2012’s chosen media darling, is back in safer figures, with 332 dogs registered in 2014 compared to the 234 which apparently meant they faced imminent extinction in 2011. The Sealyham, which was the headline grabber in 2011, following a disappointing 49 pups in 2010, reached a much more comfortable 97 this year. Where are the press releases sharing this good news?
The Vulnerable Native Breeds list has been in effect from 2003, with some 37 breeds featured at various different points. Why are people still shocked when these stories appear in the Daily Mail? Why isn’t the Kennel Club doing more to raise awareness throughout the year? They used to host a Vulnerable Native Breeds parade in the Main Arena at Crufts – why was this stopped? They used to have a VNB specific booth at Discover Dogs – why was this taken away? Perhaps it’s not the decline in Corgis which should really concern us, but rather the decline in active support from the very organisation which claims it is campaigning to protect these wonderful native dogs.Tags: VNB
February 25th, 2014Articles
As Crufts approaches, the Kennel Club urges people to remember forgotten breeds.
New registration statistics released by the Kennel Club reveal that the Skye Terrier, which is one of the most vulnerable of Britain’s native dog breeds – and more rare than the Giant Panda – has fallen to a record low of just 17 puppy registrations in 2013, as foreign breeds continue to thrive.
The annual registration statistics for 2013, which have been released ahead of Crufts, where more than 200 pedigree breeds will be on show, has seen a 59 percent drop on 2012 registrations for the breed. It is estimated that there are less than 400 of the breed left in this country, making it the rarest of Britain’s vulnerable native breeds, alongside the Otterhound.
The Kennel Club’s list of vulnerable native breeds monitors those native dog breeds whose numbers are below 300 puppy registrations each year, which is thought to be a suitable level to sustain a population. An ‘at watch’ list monitors those between 300 and 450 registrations per annum that could be at risk if their numbers continue to fall.
In total there are 25 vulnerable native breeds, including the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Dandie Dinmont Terrier and Deerhound, and eight ‘at watch’ breeds, including the Irish Setter and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Full registration statistics for all the VNBs can be found here.
Sue Breeze, a Kennel Club Assured Breeder of Skye Terriers, who won the Best in Group at Crufts last year, said: “As somebody who adores this breed, I am terrified by this new record low in their numbers. The simple reason that Skye Terriers are in decline is that people don’t know they exist. It’s that basic.
“We need to find ways that we can protect the breed or they won’t be around for future generations to enjoy. Winning Best in Group at Crufts last year led to a lot of enquires about the breed, but there weren’t many pups available and we’ve all been too scared to breed in recent years, for fear of the pups not having homes to go to.”
The shift in fashion, from native to foreign breeds, can be seen in the Kennel Club’s top ten registered breeds of 2013, with the French Bulldog knocking out long term British favourite, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Registrations of the French Bulldog, owned by the likes of Jonathan Ross, Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman, have increased by 50 percent since 2012, with 6,990 registrations in 2013. This is an increase of over 1,000 percent in the last ten years. Four of the top ten breeds in the UK are now from overseas.
The increase in popularity of foreign breeds comes as the Kennel Club prepares to recognise the Hungarian Puli, Picardy Sheepdog and the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne for the first time, on its Imported Breeds register, taking the number of dog breeds recognised by the Kennel Club to 215. These are three of only five new breeds to be recognised in the past five years.
There are now 138 breeds which have originated overseas since the Kennel Club opened its registers in 1874, when there were just 43 breeds. There will also be two new breeds competing in their own classes at Crufts this year – the Eurasier and the Catalan Sheepdog, which have moved from the Import Register to the Breed Register and so become eligible.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Skye Terrier and other vulnerable breeds, which normally don’t register on people’s radars, will get much needed profile at Crufts, both in the show rings and the Discover Dogs area.
“Of course, there will be imported and foreign dog breeds celebrated at the event as well – including those that have only just come into the UK – but we want Crufts to help people to remember our forgotten breeds. We register 213 breeds of dog and not just the ten or twenty obvious ones, so people should do their research and find the breed that is truly right for their lifestyle.
“The plight of many of our native breeds is largely down to shifts in fashion and awareness. Some breeds, such as the French Bulldog and the Chihuahua, which have some very high profile owners, are thriving and the Labrador Retriever continues to maintain its top spot on our list of most popular breeds. But many of our oldest breeds simply do not have that profile. People need to ensure that the dog that they choose is right for them and that they go to a responsible breeder.”
If people are interested in Skye Terriers they should contact the Kennel Club or the Skye Terrier Breed Club.Tags: Articles, KC Press Release, VNB
April 23rd, 2013Dogs Of The World
Every November, The Kennel Club hosts Discover Dogs at Earls Court in London. This is an opportunity for dog lovers to attend seminars and demonstrations, socialise, do some shopping, and, most importantly, meet and greet over 200 different breeds of pedigree dog.
In association with his event, and the Discover Dogs stands at Crufts in March, Dogs In The News aims to give you a brief preview of some of the dogs you might meet with our “Dogs of the World” series. Today, English dogs get the spotlight:
England is one of the most prolific producers of dog breeds in the world: a total of 38 breeds can claim to be of English origin! (There are also 8 Irish breeds, 14 Scottish breeds and 5 Welsh breeds.)
Of those 38 English breeds, 47% are on the Vulnerable Native Breeds (VNB) list, which charts dog breeds which originated in The British Isles and which now regularly register less than 300 puppies a year. This is a shame, as many of them are lovely breeds which would make excellent family pets if given the chance.
There are also two English breeds on the Kennel Club’s ‘At Watch’ list, which is for British breeds which register more than 300 but less than 500 puppies a year. These are the Old English Sheepdog and the English Setter.
In the Gundog Group, there are a total of 9 English Breeds, 4 of which (Clumber Spaniel, Curly Coated Retriever, Field Spaniel and Sussex Spaniel) are VNBs.
The Terrier Group is also home to some of our VNBs; 5 in fact (Lakeland, Manchester, Miniature Bull, Norwich and Smooth Fox). In total, there are 14 English Terrier breeds! They make up more than half of the Terrier Group at championship shows.
In the Hound Group, we have 6 breeds, 4 of which (Bloodhound, Foxhound, Greyhound and Otterhound) are on the VNB list.
The Toy Group only has 4 English breeds to offer, but they are very different ends of the spectrum. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Yorkshire Terrier are two of the most consistently popular dog breeds worldwide, while the King Charles Spaniel and English Toy Terrier are on the VNB list and have number which are unfortunately in decline.
Finally, we have the Pastoral Group, which has two English 2 breeds, one Vulnerable (Lancashire Heeler) and one ‘At Watch’. The Working Group has two VNBs – the Bullmastiff and the (English) Mastiff – while the Utility Group has only one English breed, which is not Vulnerable, the classic English Bulldog.
We hope you have enjoyed our brief little tour of the dogs of England.
Remember you can visit all these breeds and over 162 more at Discover Dogs at Earls Court in November and at Crufts in March every year.Tags: Discover Dogs, VNB
January 30th, 2013Articles
Alan Titchmarsh is due to feature some of the Vulnerable Native British & Irish (VNB) breeds on his show this Thursday (31st Jan, at 3pm).
Long time VNB campaigner Paul Keevil reports that his Dandie Dinmont Terriers, along with some Old English Sheepdogs, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Cardigan Welsh Corgis and Otterhounds will all appear on the show, which will also be available via ITV Player.
This is part of an ongoing drive to raise awareness of the plight of our Vulnerable Native Breeds – classed as breeds which originated in the UK or Ireland and which now produce less than 300 puppies annually. There are currently 28 breeds on this list.
(There is also an ‘At Watch’ list which features native breeds which have between 300 and 450 puppies registered per year. 6 breeds are currently on ‘At Watch’ status.)
This publicity push comes after the Kennel Club announced their yearly registration stats, and revealed that, overall, it’s been a good year for the Vulnerable Native Breeds. One breed – the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier – was even removed from the ‘At Watch’ list, with 455 puppy registrations in 2012.
“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.”
Both the Old English Sheepdog and the English Setter, which only entered the VNB lists in 2011, saw increases in numbers by 7 and 25% respectively, which is hopeful news for both breeds.
Other breeds that have significantly increased in popularity include the English Toy Terrier which has seen a 25% increase; the Sussex Spaniel which increased by 29%; and the Irish Water Spaniel which has gone up by 32%.
However, the significant decline of the Smooth Fox Terrier by 46% to just 94 registrations and of the Clumber Spaniel by 56%, to 151 puppy registrations, means that there is still much work to do to promote and preserve our British Heritage breeds. Meanwhile, the Foxhound registered a total of zero pups in 2012, and only 9 in 2011.
Interestingly, the two Corgi breeds (Pembroke and Cardigan), which in recent years have been seeing a rise in registrations due to their association with the Royal Family, both experienced a drop in registrations this year.
It’s not all bad news for British Breeds though; 3 out of the top 20 most popular dog breeds in 2012 originated in Scotland, while a further 7 are English 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 breeds,” said Kennel Club Secretary Caroline Kisko.
Tune into The Alan Titchmarsh Show on Thursday to learn more about our fascinating Native Breeds, or follow the links below.
British native dog breeds stage comeback – BBC, Jan 2012
Classic British breeds at risk – DITN, Oct 2012
English Setter Joins List of Vulnerable Native Breeds – DITN, Jan 2012
Plight of the Sealyham Terriers – DITN, Oct 2011
Vulnerable Native Breeds Parade at Crufts 2008
Dogs of Scotland
Dogs of Ireland
British Heritage Breeds Website