Dog breeds

Native dog breeds that are in danger of extinction – including the Manchester Terrier and the Otterhound

The British public have always loved their pets and no more than dogs. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and many unique breeds were first bred in the UK, with many even taking their names from certain parts of the country.

But despite being the origin of so many breeds, many dogs that originated in Britain and Ireland may soon be extirpating from the UK altogether. The Kennel Club has tracked the UK’s vulnerable native breeds in hopes that those dwindling in numbers could be popularized again.

The list of vulnerable dogs includes a number of beloved breeds, including the Old English Sheepdog, Bearded Collie and Welsh Springer Spaniel. But although they were once popular pets, their numbers have continued to dwindle.

In 2020, there were just 227 Old English Sheepdogs registered in the UK, along with 268 Bearded Collies and 205 Springer Wels. Some dog breeds are even rarer.

The Manchester terrier is one of the most vulnerable dog breeds in the UK, with just 155 registered in 2020. There were also just 92 Lancashire heelers registered with the Kennel Club. But the otterhound is the most vulnerable native breed, as there were only seven recorded last year. That was down from 44 in 2019.

Vulnerable breeds are those with fewer than 300 registrations each year. There is also a list of “to watch” breeds which have between 300 and 450 registrations per year, which the Kennel Club also monitors.

The infographic below shows how many of each breed were registered in the UK in 2020, which is the most recent figures available. The smaller the circle, the fewer registered dogs.

On its website, the Kennel Club states: “Vulnerable native breeds are breeds of dogs of British and Irish origin that are considered vulnerable due to their declining registration numbers. These breeds are at risk of disappearing from our parks and streets, simply because people don’t know they exist or because they aren’t considered fashionable.

“Some breeds have such low numbers that they are completely unrecognizable to the British public, which is concerning because it means breeds that might be a great fit for people’s lifestyles are being overlooked in favor of other breeds that might not. not be, simply because they are not as well known.

“To give these dogs the chance they deserve, it’s important that if you’re considering getting a dog, you consider the lesser-known breeds. There are over 200 recognized dog breeds in the UK, there are so a breed for everyone.We find that people tend to choose a breed from the set of breeds they have ever heard of, which means that the perfect breed for them and their lifestyle can be overlooked. “

Vulnerable native breeds in the UK

Below is the Kennel Club’s list of vulnerable native dog breeds. The number of registered dogs is shown for each year between 2016 and 2020.

  • Greyhound: 40 (2016), 24 (2017), 39 (2018), 44 (2019), 7 (2020)
  • Skye Terrier: 28 (40), 40 (24), 50 (39), 59 (44), 27 (7)
  • Hound: 53 (28), 88 (40), 62 (50), 91 (59), 32 (27)
  • Glen of Imaal Terrier: 76 (53), 48 (88), 48 (62), 85 (91), 36 (32)
  • Spaniel (Sussex): 49 (76), 56 (48), 34 (48), 52 (85), 44 (36)
  • Retriever (Curly Coated): 83 (49), 53 (56), 70 (34), 68 (52), 55 (44)
  • King Charles Spaniel: 84 (83), 112 (53), 106 (70), 93 (68), 56 (55)
  • Spaniel (Irish Water): 116 (84), 69 (112), 111 (106), 69 (93), 57 (56)
  • Spaniel (land): 80 (116), 50 (69), 48 (111), 67 (69), 69 (57)
  • Collie (smooth): 89 (80), 60 (50), 77 (48), 75 (67), 72 (69)
  • English Toy Terrier (black and tan): 102 (89), 84 (60), 126 (77), 98 (75), 75 (72)
  • Norwich Terrier: 145 (102), 91 (84), 81 (126), 128 (98), 81 (75)
  • Irish Red and White Setter: 63 (145), 70 (91), 51 (81), 39 (128), 83 (81)
  • Dandie Dinmont Terrier: 91 (63), 130 (70), 145 (51), 109 (39), 87 (83)
  • Lancashire Heeler: 90 (91), 119 (130), 112 (145), 140 (109), 92 (87)
  • Mastiff: 102 (90), 166 (119), 143 (112), 140 (140), 104 (92)
  • Fox Terrier (Smooth): 118 (102), 82 (166), 126 (143), 112 (140), 122 (104)
  • Welsh Corgi (Cardigan): 218 (118), 141 (82), 147 (126), 126 (112), 132 (122)
  • English Setter: 285 (218), 261 (141), 290 (147), 267 (126), 140 (132)
  • Lake Burrow: 220 (285), 196 (261), 139 (290), 94 (267), 145 (140)
  • Sealyham Terrier: 113 (220), 167 (196), 107 (139), 131 (94), 153 (145)
  • Manchester Terrier: 191 (113), 160 (167), 172 (107), 243 (131), 155 (153)
  • Kerry Blue Terrier: 168 (191), 152 (160), 117 (172), 108 (243), 161 (155)
  • Bull Terrier (miniature): 172 (168), 189 (152), 221 (117), 200 (108), 185 (161)
  • Spaniel (Clumber): 171 (172), 265 (189), 280 (221), 175 (200), 188 (185)
  • Irish Greyhound: 256 (171), 372 (265), 239 (280), 229 (175), 195 (188)
  • Spaniel (Welsh Springer): 299 (256), 362 (372), 330 (239), 243 (229), 205 (195)
  • Hunting dog: 209 (299), 266 (362), 198 (330), 162 (243), 206 (205)
  • Old English Sheepdog: 424 (209), 384 (266), 318 (198), 317 (162), 227 (206)
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier: 326 (424), 369 (384), 307 (318), 291 (317), 243 (227)
  • Bearded Collie: 284 (326), 420 (369), 274 (307), 307 (291), 268 (243)
  • Gordon Setter: 263 (284), 255 (420), 172 (274), 243 (307), 268 (268)


King Charles spaniels aren’t as popular as they once were, either.

The “at watch” dog breeds of the UK

  • Bedlington terrier: 411 (263), 483 (255), 307 (172), 333 (243), 364 (268)
  • Bullmastiff: 493 (411), 429 (483), 409 (307), 404 (333), 372 (364)
  • Cairn terrier: 683 (493), 589 (429), 567 (409), 464 (404), 443 (372)
  • Irish Terrier: 326 (683), 362 (589), 384 (567), 338 (464), 389 (443)
  • Norfolk Terrier: 600 (326), 521 (362), 542 (384), 482 (338), 358 (389)
  • Parson Russell Terrier: 377 (600), 306 (521), 360 (542), 311 (482), 440 (358)
  • Welsh Terrier: 401 (377), 388 (306), 325 (360), 376 (311), 412 (440)

Do you own one of these rare dog breeds? What makes it your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.