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Registrations on the up

The Kennel Club has announced its year-end registration and transfer figures for 2008 and there is good news all round. Despite growing financial uncertainty across the UK and lots of negative media coverage over the last third of the year, the popularity of pedigree dogs has shown no sign of diminishing.

Registrations of pedigree dogs rose by 0.4% over the year, with the Kennel Club registering 271,719 dogs in 2008, compared to 270,707 the previous year - an increase of over 1,000 dogs.
The number of puppies transferred into new ownership also rose by 3.9% from 171,774 in 2007 to 178,500 last year. More significantly, the percentage of transfers rose to an all-time high, topping 65% for the first time ever over the course of a year. In total, 65.3% of all registered dogs were transferred to new ownership.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, said, “At a time where bad news seems more dominant than ever, both within the world of dogs and the world at large, it is thoroughly heartening to announce some really good news. The Kennel Club has never doubted the place that pedigree dogs have within the hearts of so many people across the country, and these figures bear out our unwavering faith and loyalty toward man’s best friend, just as they display their endless faith and loyalty towards us.

“The Kennel Club has little doubt that the further development of online registration and introduction of online transfers within the past year has reaped its reward in terms of the numbers of people who are using these services. It has never been easier to register or transfer a puppy, and the feedback we have received shows that this is proving extremely popular both in terms of quantity and the quality perceived by users of the Kennel Club website.”

The top ten most popular breeds by registration remain the same for the sixth consecutive year, though some breeds have moved positions. Labrador Retrievers once again head the list comfortably, with a total of 45,233 puppies registered in 2008. Their nearest ‘rivals’, Cocker Spaniels closed the gap slightly with an increase to 22,508 in 2008 and English Springer Spaniels again round out the top three with 14,899 puppies registered.

German Shepherd Dogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels both move up a place in the list, despite small falls in their own numbers, at the expense of Staffordshire Bull Terriers which drop two places to sixth. The only other change in the top ten sees Boxers and West Highland White Terriers swap places in ninth and tenth respectively.

Across the groups the hounds have seen an increase of +9.54% thanks largely to the dachshund breeds, gundogs +1.42% with some traditionally docked breeds reversing previous declines, terriers - 6.15%, utility + 6.70% with increases in French Bulldogs, Lhasa Apsos and Miniature Schnauzers, working - 12.75% Dobermann and Rottweiler registrations continue to decline, pastoral is on a par to 2007 and toys are up by 7.45% with the popular 'companion' breeds once more contributing.

The biggest increases in individual breed numbers came in French Bulldogs and Smooth Coat Chihuahuas, both of whom saw 49% rises in their registration numbers during 2008. Both breeds have apparently been affected as a result of fashion and the commercial interest that follows accordingly.

Some traditionally docked breeds have seen their numbers fall quite significantly since the introduction of the docking ban in 2006. Just two years ago, Rottweilers were the 11th most popular breed by registration but they have now fallen to 20th in 2008. Just 2,631 puppies were registered last year, representing a drop of 60% from their 2006 level of 6,575 dogs. Similarly, Dobermanns have also seen a decrease of almost 45% in their numbers over the past two years.
The full set of BRS figures can be found at

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