Forgotten Breeds at Crufts

If you visit Crufts you will find no shortage of dog breeds, although their individual numbers will vary considerably.  For instance, the labrador entry is a huge 555, while in contrast just two Hungarian Kuvasz are listed, the highest entry of this rare breed since 2005. If you are at Crufts on Thursday 8th March, you will find these magnificnt dogs in the pastoral group.  




Although Crufts is a huge show, there is always room for more breeds!  This year the popular Jack Russell Terrier will be included for the very first time, with an entry of 97 dogs.  Also making its debut is the Great Swiss Mountain Dog with 40 entries. Each of these breeds will have their own clases, rather than being included in a generic class within their group. If you are at Crufts on Thursday 8th March, you will find the Great Swiss Mountain Dog in the working group area.  


Source: PXHere


While some breeds may be well represented, for others there will be a dearth of entries due to their being on the 'at risk' list of dogs whose numbers have seriously declined, making them very vulnerable indeed.  


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the proud owner of one such breed, although currently the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is experiencing a resurgence and has now been removed from the 'at risk' list.  It can sometimes be difficult to explain the swing from popularity to disfavour in specific breeds but in this case, it appears that the Netflix series "The Crown" may have something to do with it.  The Kennel Club reports that following the second season of this popular drama, online searches for the breed have increased by 22 per cent.  


There is no doubt that the media is powerful in terms of pooch popularity, and this can be either a blessing or a curse to the breed communities.  Of the Dachshund breeds, the Kennel Club states, "The number of people searching for Dachshund puppies (sometimes referred to as 'sausage dogs') has increased three fold since the beginning of the year, after a spate of TV programmes, adverts and celebrities have popularised the breed."


In the face of such trends, the Kennel Clu is right to be concerned about what are called 'The Forgotten Breeds' whose numbers have dropped by almost 30 per cent in the last decade. Consequently a campaign to 'Save Forgotten Dog Breeds' has been launched.  


Even one of our previously much loved canines, the Old English Sheepdog has slumped to an all time low over the last decade. Who could have thought that this wonderful fluffy big boy would fall out of favour with the British public, especially those who love grooming their pets? 


Very sadly, another gentle giant, the Bullmastiff, is also in decline, registrations being down 73 per cent in the last decade. This breed is now on the Kennel Club's 'watch list' (dogs numbering between 300 and 450) and could risk being lost for ever.  

Source:  Doglers

Other native breeds also 'at risk' include the Glen of Imaal Terrirer, Lakeland Terrier, Curly Coated Retriever, Irish Walter Spaniel, and English Toy Terrier, with numbers down to their lowest level since the list began.  


Other breeds not yet on the list, but with declining numbers, are the Yorkshire Terrier and the West Highland White Terrier.  We found this surprising, and hard to understand.  


In an age when so-called 'designer' dogs, also known as mixed-breeds are rising in popularity, it is a shame that our own native pedigree breeds are slowly declining. While the mixed breed purports to brings out the best points in both parents, one of whom could well be a cross breed themselvs, the pups may also inherit the less desirable traits or heredity problems of their forbears. We hope that when looking for a new family pet, purchasers will not pass over our lovely British, pedigree 'Forgotten Dogs'.  


We are thrilled to learn that the declining 'at risk' breeds will be available for people to meet at Crufts 2018. Visitors can talk to owners and breeders who will help them to understand the merits, joys and even trials of owning a particular "forgotten dog." Let us not lose these magnificent animals for ever!  


Details will be in the show guide, and at information desks in each hall.  


We have learned that a special Vulnerable Native British and Irish Breed Competition will be held at Crufts, so if you plan to be there, please look them up... and send us your pictures!  



Emma and Dolly Teckel

The Daxington Post HQ Editorial Team

15th February 2018

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