New data from The Kennel Club (KC) has shown the Labrador retriever has “reclaimed the throne” as Britain’s top dog after briefly being usurped by the brachycephalic French bulldog.
However, The KC has warned the shape of the UK’s favourite dogs is shifting as breeds from the continent continue to dramatically rise in popularity, while native British breeds are declining – with some so unpopular they could be at risk of disappearing.
Of the 10 UK breeds that have risen the quickest in popularity since 2015, 9 are of foreign origin versus 1 historically native breed.
Rising breeds include the dachshund and Pomeranian, the chow chow from China and the Japanese shiba inu.
Comparing the UK’s favourite breeds today to 10 years ago, iconic British favourites such as the West Highland white terrier, boxer, Staffordshire bull terrier and border terrier – which used to be in the top 10 – have been pushed aside in favour of the more European and en vogue French bulldog, Dachshund and miniature schnauzer (both of German decent).
While dogs from across the globe are increasing in popularity, one of Britain’s oldest native dog breeds, the pointer, has for the first time become at risk of extinction.
The pointer’s popularity has slashed almost in half in a decade, while its continental cousin, the German shorthaired pointer, is up 25% across the same period.
Similarly, the historic Parson Jack Russell terrier, made famous by award-winning silent film The Artist, could return after 10 years to the KC’s official “Vulnerable Native Breeds” list – devised for native dog breeds that have fallen below 300 annual puppy registrations and could risk disappearing.
Compared to the same period in 2018, the iconic British breed has seen a 23% decrease in registrations so far this year, and if this rate of decline continues, will find itself back on the list of those at risk of extinction. In total, 16 vulnerable native breeds have declined so far this year, compared to 13 that have increased
Woodmansey, D. (2019). Labrador knocks French bulldog off top spot, but British breeds still under threat. [online] Vet Times. Available at: https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/labrador-knocks-french-bulldog-off-top-spot-but-british-breeds-still-under-threat/ [Accessed 11 Dec. 2019].