English Sheepdogs and Setters Removed from Kennel Club Vulnerable Breeds List

The return of the Dulux dog! Old English Sheepdog removed from Kennel Club list of vulnerable breeds as British and Irish breeds see resurgence in popularity

  • The Kennel Club has unveiled its list of vulnerable native breeds for 2021
  • Old English Sheepdog has been removed from the list after a huge increase in popularity
  • A total of 22 British and Irish breeds have seen an increase in popularity over the past year
  • The Miniature Bull Terrier, English Setter and Clumber Spaniel are among the breeds










Designer dog breeds have seen a huge surge in popularity over the past few years – cockapoos becoming one of the most coveted dogs and their price has almost tripled in 2021.

But it now appears that Britons looking to find a four-legged friend have started to consider less ‘fashionable’ options, with many turning to more traditional British and Irish breeds.

Among the breeds gaining popularity is the Old English Sheepdog, with the Kennel Club revealing that it has been removed from the list of vulnerable native breeds following a rise in puppy registrations.

A total of 22 vulnerable native breeds have seen an increase over the past year, with Miniature Bull Terriers, English Setters and Clumber Spaniels leading the way in popular British and Irish pooches.

However, some varieties have seen their numbers plunge even further, such as the Sussex Spaniel, with registrations down by nearly a third, while the same is true for the Field Spaniel.

Kennel Club has revealed the Old English Sheepdog has been removed from its list of vulnerable dogs, with 150 puppy registrations in 2021 (stock image)” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

The Kennel Club has revealed the Old English Sheepdog has been removed from its list of vulnerable dogs, with 150 puppy registrations in 2021 (stock image)

The English setter, who hit an all-time high in 2020, saw his popularity more than double in 2021 with 153 puppy registrations (stock image)

The English setter, who hit an all-time high in 2020, saw his popularity more than double in 2021 with 153 puppy registrations (stock image)

One of Britain’s most recognizable breeds, the Old English Sheepdog has been on the organization’s ‘watch list’ since 2009, and in 2020 it fell into the vulnerable category for the first time.

But next a 66% increase in puppy registrations – with 150 puppies in 2021 – the breed known to many as the “Dulux dog” seems to be on the rise again.

Native breeds saw an overall increase of 44% in 2021, which is above the national average and suggests that puppy buyers are starting to look beyond popular and well-known choices when choosing a breed.

Eleven breeds classified as ‘vulnerable’ in 2020 saw an increase in registrations that exceeded the national average – including the Skye Terrier, which nearly tripled its numbers.

Among the breeds that have seen growing popularity is the miniature bull terrier, which saw 179 new puppy registrations in 2021 (stock image)

Among the breeds that have seen growing popularity is the miniature bull terrier, which saw 179 new puppy registrations in 2021 (stock image)

The Irish Water Spaniel has seen a surge in popularity, with 116 new puppy registrations in 2021 after 57 in 2020 (stock image)

The Irish Water Spaniel has seen a surge in popularity, with 116 new puppy registrations in 2021 after 57 in 2020 (stock image)

The English setter, which hit an all-time high in 2020, saw its popularity more than double with 153 puppy registrations while the miniature bull terrier saw 179 new puppy registrations.

Bill Lambert, Kennel Club spokesman, said: “We are delighted to see that so many of our vulnerable native breeds have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the past year, which indicates that many Puppy buyers resisted the urge to go for the most obvious and fashionable choice and instead use lockdown to properly research the full range of breeds and select the one that best suits their lifestyle.

“We have such a wide variety of pedigree breeds in this country, each with completely different characteristics, so it’s encouraging to see such diversity among those gaining popularity, from the large English Setter to the small Skye Terrier, and many sure the iconic Old English Sheepdog.

“However, despite the positive signs, we know that too many people are still buying a puppy on impulse or with minimal research, with too many dogs sadly being abandoned because their owner did not understand what ownership of this breed would entail and many breeds still unfortunately at risk of being forgotten.

How At-Risk Native Breeds Changed in Popularity
raise Popularity in 2020 Popularity in 2021 To augment (%)
bearded collie 268 343 30
Bloodhound 36 19 -47
Bull terrier (miniature) 185 364 97
Collie (smooth) 72 90 25
Dandie Dinmont Terrier 87 124 43
Bloodhound 206 198 -4
english setter 140 293 109
English Toy Terrier (black and tan) 75 101 35
Fox Terrier (Smooth) 122 151 24
Glen of Imaal Terrier 36 83 131
Gordon Setter 268 244 -9
Irish Red & White Setter 83 46 -45
irish greyhound 195 198 2
Kerry Blue Terrier 161 156 -3
King Charles Spaniel 56 91 63
lake burrow 145 174 20
Lancashire Heeler 92 114 24
Manchester Terrier 155 155 0
Mastiff 104 100 -4
norwich terrier 81 140 73
old english sheepdog 227 377 66
Otterhound 7 42 500
Retriever (Curly Coated) 55 62 13
Sealyham Terrier 153 184 20
skye terrier 27 75 178
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier 243 277 14
Spaniel (Clumber) 188 284 51
Spaniel (Field) 69 45 -35
Spaniel (Irish Water) 57 116 104
Spaniel (Sussex) 44 30 -32
Spaniel (Welsh Springer) 205 271 32
Welsh Corgi (Cardigan) 132 123 -7

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