Old English Sheepdogs are thriving again, say Kennel Club

Lisa Croft-Elliott/The Kennel Club

Good news! The Old English Sheepdog, one of Britain’s most recognizable breeds, is no longer threatened with extinction after a 66% increase in puppy registrations last year.

The shaggy white breed, known as the ‘Dulux dog’, moved to the list of vulnerable native breeds in 2020 after falling below 300 annual puppy registrations, but has now seen a significant increase in registrations far exceeding the national average.

In other good news, a total of 22 vulnerable breeds have seen an increase in popularity over the past year, with an overall increase of 44%, more than the national average of 39%. While many Brits still choose ‘popular’ breeds, this research shows that more and more people are starting to look beyond the well-known choices when choosing a dog that suits their lifestyle.

bobtail dog lying comfortably on the grass

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As well as the iconic Old English Sheepdog, other puppies that are doing particularly well include the little Skye Terrier and English Setters – a breed that has more than doubled in popularity in 2021.

“We are delighted to see that so many of our vulnerable native breeds have seen an increase in popularity over the past year, indicating that many puppy buyers were resisting the urge to opt for the choices the most obvious and trendy and instead used the lock to properly search the full range of breeds and select the one that best suits their lifestyle,” says Kennel Club spokesperson Bill Lambert.

english setters
English Setters

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“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.”

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