03/12/2019 12:00 AM
European dog breeds are continuing to grow in popularity, but an old favourite is back at the top of the charts.
The latest statistics from the Kennel Club show that the Labrador is once again Britain’s top dog following the short reign of the à la mode French Bulldog.
The continental influence remains strong, however. Of the ten breeds that have shown the fastest rise in popularity since 2015, nine are of foreign origin.
This compares to just one historically native breed, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi — best known as the favourite breed of the Queen and recently seen in Netflix series The Crown.
Those breeds ‘going up’ include small European breeds the Dachshund and Pomeranian, alongside the distinctively fluffy Chow Chow from China and the exotic and stylish Japanese Shiba Inu.
Former British favourites such as the West Highland White Terrier, Boxer, Staffie and Border Terrier, which used to be in the top ten, have been overtaken by the more European and en vogue French Bulldog as well as the Dachshund and Miniature Schnauzer (both of German descent).
And the Kennel Club sounded the alarm over one of Britain’s oldest native dog breeds, the Pointer, which for the first time has become at risk of disappearing.
Its popularity has almost halved in a decade, while its continental cousin, the German Shorthaired Pointer, has risen by 25%.
Bill Lambert, spokesperson for the Kennel Club, said: “People simply forget there are so many different dog breeds, with different personalities and characteristics, and it’s not just the popular, well-known ones that make a great match for our varying lifestyles.
These latest figures show that whilst some historic native breeds like the Corgi are having a revival, others continue to fall rapidly in popularity and are genuinely at risk of disappearing.
While we’re lucky to have such diversity amongst our canine companions, it is worrying that old favourites like the Pointer and Parson Russell Terrier are dropping in numbers to historical lows.
“We urge people to make sure they understand the breed and its characteristics before they make a decision to buy or rescue a dog, and to spend time researching the wide variety of breeds we are lucky to have in this country, to make sure they get the right one for them.”
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