Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

'Dulux dog' put on endangered list

The old English sheepdog has been put on a watchlist of endangered dogs
The old English sheepdog has been put on a watchlist of endangered dogs

The old English sheepdog has been put on a watchlist of endangered dogs over fears it could face extinction.

The breed, used in advertisements for Dulux paint for more than 50 years, had just 316 of its puppies registered this year, the Kennel Club said.

The Pembroke Welsh corgi, which is favoured by the Queen, the soft-coated wheaten terrier and the Welsh terrier are also on the "At Watch" list for breeds with only 301 and 450 puppies confirmed.

The Kennel Club said it hoped to highlight the plight of old English sheepdogs before they get to vulnerable levels of less than 300 puppies.

Bill Lambert, manager of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme, said: "The decline of the old English sheepdog....can be partly explained by lifestyle changes as it needs a lot of grooming and exercise and so is not suitable for the fast paced urban lifestyles of many people.

"But it is also a lot to do with fashion. Despite the fact that old English sheepdogs have good temperaments and can make fantastic family pets their popularity is being eclipsed by more fashionable foreign breeds that can be much harder to train and care for.

"Of particular concern is the growth in popularity of the Siberian husky, a beautiful dog which is notoriously wilful and generally unsuitable for urban life."

There are currently 30 vulnerable breeds as well as the four dog types on the At Watch list, the Kennel Club said.

The foxhound had no registrations so far this year and the cesky terrier had just 25, making those breeds the the most vulnerable, it added.

The biggest declines were seen in the clumber spaniel breed, which fell by 37% to just 114 registrations.

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