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Vulnerable breeds need to be ‘showcased’
KC working alongside breeds to protect them

With breed registration figures for 2008 having recently been released, the Kennel Club is keen to highlight the plight of these native breeds in order to raise awareness of the joys of owning these dogs. Crufts offers the best opportunity for breeders to showcase these breeds, allowing potential owners to meet the dogs and their breeders. Other such events include Discover Dogs and a number of regional game fairs and the many dog shows held throughout the country.

Back in 2003 the Kennel Club produced a list of those British breeds it felt are most vulnerable. It is thought that a breed needs at least 300 puppy registrations each year in order to maintain its prosperity. Each of the breeds on the Kennel Club list falls short of this figure.

The most British of breeds, and one of the most popular, is the Bulldog. With registrations up by 1,000 in 2 years, the breed seems to have kept its popularity with the British public. The breed has seen a steady increase in the last 10 years and now boasts almost 4,000 puppy registrations a year.

The Fox Terrier unfortunately is a British breed that has not followed in the pawsteps of the Bulldog. The breed was hugely popular before WWII, but is now on the list of native vulnerable breeds. The breed has dropped by nearly 100 registrations in the last two years, to a level which is only a fraction of the figure back when it was at its peak of popularity, around 60 years ago.
The Kennel Club is well aware of the popular trend that has arisen for the smaller Toy breeds, such as the Chihuahua and the Pug, both of which have seen registrations rise by around 1,000 in the past year. Celebrities seem to have a huge impact on which breeds are deemed popular each year. The only concern with this is that potential owners are not always aware of what training and care each breed needs. Bigger dogs tend to need more exercise and space. It seems that smaller breeds tend to fit better into today’s busy and fast-paced lifestyle.

Another concern surrounding the increase in popularity of a breed is the price of puppies. A Chihuahua can now cost up to £2,000, when other pedigree puppies normally go for between £400 - £800. Rescue pedigree and crossbreeds have also claimed the heart of the British public, with their popularity growing as potential owners realise the advantages of taking on an adult dog which is already house-trained and past its destructive puppyhood!

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, told Our Dogs, “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.”