Scottish terrier breed at risk after fall in popularity, The Kennel Club warns

It is one of the most celebrated dog breeds in Britain, with a Monopoly piece to its name, but experts say the Scottish terrier is at risk after falling out of fashion.

The number of Scotties being registered has declined by 38% in the past five years, according to new figures from The Kennel Club.

Crufts 2015
Scottish Terrier Knopa, pictured with handler Rebecca Cross, won Best in Show at Crufts 2015 (Joe Giddens/PA)

The dog welfare organisation has now placed it on its “at watch” list because the number of puppy registrations last year fell 12 below the 450 threshold.

Scotties have been used to advertise Radley handbags and shortbread over the years. But it is now one of many native British breeds at risk as their popularity declines and demand increases for new breeds such as the French Bulldog – now the UK’s most popular dog.

Winter weather Feb 17th 2017
French Bulldogs are currently the UK’s most popular breed (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Of the 57 native breeds, 29 are now deemed “vulnerable”, with nine more at watch, and The Kennel Club has launched a #savebritishdogbreeds campaign to reverse the decline.

Those now classed as vulnerable, meaning they have fewer than 300 new registrations in a year, include the bearded collie and the Irish wolfhound.

Irish Guards St Patrick’s Day parade
Irish Wolfhounds, like regimental mascot Domhnall, are now seen as a breed under threat (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: “There were just 24 vulnerable breeds and seven at watch a decade ago.

“There are now another six breeds either vulnerable or at watch and we could lose even more of our most iconic and historic native dog breeds if people don’t look beyond the most obvious choices – such as the increasingly popular French Bulldog – and start to explore the huge diversity of breeds we’re lucky enough to have in this country.”

Til Tovey, secretary of the Scottish Terrier Club of England, added: “It is so sad to see this wonderful and well-recognised breed, which is affectionate, loyal and intelligent, steadily decline in popularity as more fashionable choices take over.

“The Scottish Terrier is a great breed for those who want a small companion dog with plenty of character and an independent streak, and have time to train them consistently.

“Scotties are brimming with personality so sometimes can be a little stubborn!

“It would be very sad to no longer see this historic and much-loved breed in our streets and parks in a few generations’ time.”

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