January 26, 2012
Some Traditional UK Dog Breeds Face Extinction
Dog breeds across the UK are at risk of becoming extinct as owners want to emulate Hollywood fashionistas such as Paris Hilton. Paris Hilton owns a Chihuahua named Tinkerbell, considered exotic in the UK, which more people are choosing as the more traditional dog breeds fall out of favor with the public, reports BBC News.
One of the oldest breeds that risks extinction, according to the Huffington Post UK, is the English Setter. Registration with the Kennel Club dropped 33 percent to only 234 puppies registered. The number of registrations have declined by about two-thirds in the past decade.
Breeders are seeing the problem first hand. Fran Grimsdell who breeds English Setters told BBC News, “The thing that saddens me is that we´re getting people buying puppies, but they´re nearly all people who have already owned English Setters.”
The Kennel Club states that a breed is becoming extinct when registrations drop to less than 300 puppy registrations each year. There are now 25 species on the Kennel Club´s Native Vulnerable Breeds list, including the English Setter.
On the other hand, people are wanting the same things as celebrities. The Kennel Club reported more than 6,000 Chihuahua puppy registrations in 2011, meanwhile only 3,000 dogs were registered across the whole of the 25 endangered breeds.
The endangered Cardigan Welsh Corgi registrations shot up 134 percent due to the Queen´s favorite dog, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Interest in the royal family was heightened due to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club told the BBC that the needs of many exotic breeds were poorly understood by dog owners. The misunderstanding the grooming and feeding, and exercise needs of the breed leads to frustrated owners taking their exotic dogs to breed rescue centers. In 2009-2010 43 percent of all registered Afghan Hounds ended up breed rescue centers.
Harvey Locke, former president of the British Veterinary Association urges breeders to move away from selecting extreme features in their breeds and calls on prospective owners to seek veterinary advice when choosing a new pet. He told the BBC News, “There are more than 200 pedigree dogs “¦ we want to do everything we can to encourage responsible dog breeding.”