A number of ‘rare’, ‘unusual’ and ‘vulnerable’ dogs are making a comeback after the lockdown puppy boom – and the Queen’s favorite breed is one of them.
The Kennel Club is the largest organization in the UK dedicated to the health, welfare and training of dogs, with extensive databases including purebreds, crosses and a reunification service for microchipped animals.
The dog welfare organization has released new data on the breed’s popularity ahead of its upcoming Discover Dogs event – and there are some surprising trends.
The research reveals a marked increase in the popularity of ‘more unusual breeds’, including several that have only recently been classified as ‘vulnerable’ due to low registration numbers.
This includes the Irish Red and White Setter, named the most vulnerable breed in 2019, as well as the Field Spaniel and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the Queen’s longtime favourite.
The monarch’s beloved Corgi has seen a 65% increase in demand during the pandemic period, with over 1,500 puppies registered.
Others in the top ten included newly recognized breeds such as the White Swiss Shepherd Dog – which saw the biggest increase in popularity of all, at 173% – and the Russian Toy.
Long-time British favorites such as the Yorkshire terrier, King Charles spaniel and the West Highland White Terrier, or “Westie”, have not met the same fate – these breeds have fallen in popularity according to Kennel Club research .
The famous Labrador Retriever, French Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel, Bulldog, Springer Spaniel, and Dachshund have consistently landed the top five spots when it comes to the most popular pandemic breeds.
These changes are thought to stem from buyers of confined puppies having more time at home to seek out lesser-known breeds that would better suit their lifestyle.
Bill Lambert, a spokesperson for the Kennel Club, told TeamDogs: “We are all aware that many people have turned to canine companionship during the pandemic, with Britain experiencing a boom in puppy ownership.
“However, the fact that many of these puppies brought home are lesser-known and even vulnerable breeds is a welcome surprise.
“As many of us have spent a lot more time at home over the past couple of years, it seems some potential owners have used that time to make more informed choices when buying a puppy and choose breeds that really suit them. .
He added to TeamDogs: “There is such a diversity of breeds, all with their own unique characteristics, so we hope that potential puppy buyers in the future will continue to consider some of our more unusual four-legged friends.
“We strongly encourage anyone considering getting a dog to come to Discover Dogs, where there will be over 150 breeds to meet firsthand and learn more from their breed experts.”
The Discover Dogs event will take place at ExCeL London on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 November.
It aims to raise awareness of the diversity of breeds and presents 150 different types of dogs, from the most “unusual” to the most “popular”.
Tickets cost between £15 and £21, with children under 8 free.