Native dog breeds 'facing extinction'

Stacey King

Native British dog breeds could be at risk of extinction because of an influx of foreign breeds over the past decade, it has been warned.

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Even the English Setter, one of the country's oldest breeds and formerly a popular working dog, has rapidly declined in popularity according to Kennel Club figures.

There were two-thirds less registrations for the breed last year than there were 10 years ago - and the Kennel Club is blaming Paris Hilton for the problem, sort of.

Secretary Caroline Kisko said: "Celebrities, popular culture and fashion play a big part in today's society and unfortunately, dogs are not immune from our fickle tastes.

"The latest victim is the English Setter, a wonderful and loyal breed, while the number of Siberian Huskies has more than trebled in this country in the last 10 years."

And the husky is not the only foreign breed that has been coming over here and taking our bones, with the Chihuahua seeing a 25 per cent increase in registrations last year.

The Kennel Club has compiled a list of 24 breeds which it considers to be "at risk" - with the Otterhound considered the most endangered. There were just 38 of them registered last year.

The Dandie Dinmont terrier and the Skye terrier are also both on the list, with 98 and 44 registrations respectively in 2011.

Breeds are added to the list when registrations fall below 300 a year.

What do you think? Can these British breeds survive? Comment below...