The Old English Sheepdog is facing extinction, the Kennel Club warned today.
Bosses of the organisation, set up in 1873 and which runs the National Purebred Dog Registry in the UK, said just 98 puppy registrations for the dog – popularly known as the Dulux Hound – had been made in first quarter of 2019.
A Kennel Club spokesperson says the iconic dog has now been added to its ‘At Watch’ list, making it one of the dog breeds with only between 300 and 450 annual registrations. .
According to the Kennel Club, only 98 registrations for the Old English Sheepdog, popularly known as the Dulux dog, were recorded during the first quarter of this year.
The dog breed was very popular and featured in movies and TV shows. Pictured is Edison the Old English Sheepdog at Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Paul McCartney was also a fan of the breed and had his named Martha
And if the numbers don’t increase, the breed could be added to the list of ‘vulnerable native breeds’, classified as ‘less than 300 annual puppy registrations with the Kennel Club’.
The spokesman said: ‘One of Britain’s most iconic dog breeds, the Old English Sheepdog, will enter the Kennel Club’s list of breeds that could be at risk of extinction, for the very first time , if the current low rate of puppy registrations continues.
“New statistics show that there were only 98 puppy registrations of the breed, popularly known as the Dulux dog, in the first quarter of this year.
“This is a decrease of 16% compared to the same period last year.
‘If the same level of decline continues throughout the year, the breed will enter the Kennel Club’s Vulnerable Native Breeds list – a list designed for native breeds that have fallen below 300 annual puppy records and that could risk disappearing from our streets and parks.
The lovable breed was also cast as Digby in Digby the World’s Biggest Dog
He added: “The Old English Sheepdog is currently on the Kennel Club’s At Watch list, for dogs with between 300 and 450 puppy registrations per year, which are closely monitored by the Kennel Club.
“There has been a steady decline in the breed’s popularity over the years and in 2018 it had its lowest number of registrations with just 384 puppies registered. Registrations for the breed have declined by 67% over the past 20 years.
In contrast, more exotic and fashionable breeds such as the Alaskan Malamute – a breed with a wolf-like appearance similar to “Ghost”, the terrible wolf from the popular TV series Game of Thrones – have seen an increase this year. trimester.
There have been 90 puppy registrations so far this year, compared to 30 during the same period in 2018, an increase of 200%.
Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said she believed people chose their dog based on TV shows and celebrities and noted an increase in interest in the Alaskan Malamute – the breed used for represent the “terrible wolves” in Game of Thrones.
The Queen’s favorite brand, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, has also seen growing popularity with a 20% increase in listings.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: ‘The Old English Sheepdog is one of our most iconic dog breeds, but you rarely see one now on our streets and parks, so the historic lows we are seeing currently are of particular concern.
“We expect the numbers to have come down over the years to some extent due to lifestyle changes – this is a breed with a good temperament that can make a lovely pet, but it also needs a lot of grooming and exercise and is therefore not suitable for the busy urban lifestyles of many people.
“But unfortunately it seems that television, celebrities and advertising campaigns, rather than responsible research, are normally the driving force behind our dog breed choice and what breeds go in and out of fashion.”
She added: “For example, the Alaskan Malamute, which resembles the dire wolf in Game of Thrones, has grown in popularity this quarter, despite being difficult to train and generally unsuitable for urban environments, and breeds such that the French Bulldog, often seen with celebrities who may require a lot of commitment due to potential health issues continues to grow in popularity.
“There are 221 purebred dog breeds, each with their own unique characteristics and care needs, so anyone can find a breed that’s right for them if they take the time to do their research and tailor their choice of dog to his lifestyle.”
The iconic Scottish Terrier, which first entered the Kennel Club’s At Watch list in 2018, continued to fall in the first quarter of this year as registrations fell 17% from the same period. last year.
According to Kennel Club data, there are 29 vulnerable native breeds in total and nine on the “At Watch” list.
Some vulnerable native breeds have done well, with the Sussex Spaniel jumping from 0 to 26 registrations in the first quarter of this year and the Sealyham Terrier increasing by 280%.
However, other breeds have not been so lucky with the biggest declines seen in the Field Spaniel, with no puppy records so far.
The Manchester Terrier was also down 93% with just four registrations, down from 54 in the same quarter of 2018.
The Queen’s beloved Pembroke Welsh Corgi has soared almost 20% in listings.
The iconic Scottish Terrier, which first entered the Kennel Club’s At Watch list in 2018, continued to fall in the first quarter of this year with registrations down 17% from the same period. last year.