Dog ownership may have soared in recent years, but these native breeds of pup are struggling for their very existence.
Many of us have welcomed new puppies to our families over the last few years, as the Kennel Club has seen dog ownership soar to record levels.
But the growing popularity of imported breeds like the French Bull Dog mean that some of the UK’s formerly well-established native breeds are dwindling towards extinction on these shores.
A total of 32 breeds are now ‘considered vulnerable’ by the Kennel Club, having fallen below 300 annual registrations. including such previously-popular pups as the King Charles Spaniel and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
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Even the Skye Terrier, the breed famous for loyalty and typified by Edinburgh’s Greyfriar's Bobby, is at risk.
Kennel Club Secretary, Caroline Kisko, said: “We could lose even more of our most iconic and historic native dog breeds if people don’t look beyond the most obvious choices and start to explore the huge diversity of breeds we’re lucky enough to have in this country.”
So, if you’d like to help one of the UK's struggling breeds, opt for one of these instead of the usual Labrador Retriever or Springer Spaniel.
Here are the 10 most at risk breeds of dog in the UK.
The Otterhound, a type of scent hound, is the British breed most at risk according to the Kennel Club. There were only seven registered last year, compared with 44 the year before, and it's thought there may be as few as 600 animals left worldwide. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. Skye Terrier
The Skye Terrier breed found fame with Greayfriar's Bobby, the wee Edinburgh dog who refused to leave his master's grave. Despite this, they are the dog second most at risk of extinction, with just 36 registered in 2020 after a slight resurgence in the previous two years. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. Glen of Imaal Terrier
Also known as the Wicklow Terrier, the adorable Glen of Imaal Terrier joins the Bloodhound in third spot with just 36 registrations in 2020. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
A characterful breed originally bred to track deer, wild bore and, since the middle-ages, people, only 36 Bloodhounds were registered last year, putting them joint third in this list. Photo: Canva/Getty Images