Pet Owners

Labrador takes the lead in Britain’s top dog poll

The Kennel Club announced that Labradors are the UK’s most popular dog breed, “reclaiming the crown” after a short reign from the French Bulldog

New data published by the club analysed the rise and fall of breed registrations over the past five years, and revealed a rising popularity of continental breeds during this period. Out of the top 10 breeds with the quickest rise in popularity since 2015, nine were of foreign origin.

Small European breeds, such as Dachshunds and Pomeranians, had a notable boost in popularity, whilst the Chow and Chow and Shiba Inu also saw a rise in demand. The French Bulldog, Dachshund and Miniature Schnauzer also had high registration numbers during this period. 

Demand for native British breeds has rapidly declined, however. Comparing the UK’s favourite breeds today to 10 years ago, “iconic” British breeds such as the West Highland White Terrier, Boxer, Staffie and Border Terrier, have been pushed aside in favour of their foreign cousins. The Corgi was the only native breed to enjoy a rise in popularity since 2015.

The Pointer, one of Britain’s oldest dog breeds, reached an “historic low” in registrations, meanwhile. Demand for the breed was so low that the Kennel Club warns it could face extinction. The Pointer, which traces back to the 17th Century, is set to have around only 436 registrations with the club by the end of the year. This would put it on the Club’s ‘At Watch’ list for future monitoring. 

Whilst the Pointers popularity has almost halved in a decade, the German Shorthaired Pointer has seen a 25% rise in popularity through the same period.

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.” 

He added: “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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