Vulnerable dog breeds that could disappear from the UK – including spaniels

King Charles Spaniels, Irish Woofhounds and Mastiffs are all at risk of vanishing from UK streets after being classed as vulnerable breeds. The Kennel Club has revealed a list of its most vulnerable breeds of British and Irish origin that are considered at risk of disappearing in the coming years.

If a breed has had less than 300 to 450 registrations with the Kennel Club in a year, it is considered ‘vulnerable’. If it has had less than 300, it is added to their ‘at watch’ list. A statement reads: “Vulnerable native breeds are dog breeds of British and Irish origin that are considered to be vulnerable due to their declining registration numbers.

“These breeds are at risk of disappearing from our parks and streets, simply because people don’t know they exist or because they aren’t considered fashionable.

“Some breeds have such low numbers that they are completely unrecognisable to the British public, which is a concern because it means that breeds that might be the perfect fit for people’s lifestyles are being overlooked in favour of other breeds that might not be, simply because they are not as well known.”

Venerable native breeds

  • Bloodhound
  • Collie (Smooth)
  • Dandie Dinmont Terrier
  • Deerhound
  • English Setter
  • English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan)
  • Fox Terrier (Smooth)
  • Glen of Imaal Terrier
  • Gordon Setter
  • Greyhound
  • Harrier
  • Irish Red & White Setter
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Lakeland Terrier
  • Lancashire Heeler
  • Manchester Terrier
  • Mastiff
  • Norwich Terrier
  • Otterhound
  • Retriever (Curly Coated)
  • Sealyham Terrier
  • Skye Terrier
  • Soft Coasted Wheaten Terrier
  • Spaniel (Clumber)
  • Spaniel (Feild)
  • Spaniel (Irish Water)
  • Spaniel (Sussex)
  • Spaniel (Welsh Springer)
  • Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)

The Kennel Club is asking people seeking the companion of a dog to give a vulnerable breed a chance before it’s too late.

“To give these dogs the chance they deserve, it is important that if you’re thinking about getting a dog you consider the lesser known breeds,” the statement adds.

“There are over 200 breeds of dog recognised in the UK so there is a breed for everyone. We find that people tend to choose a breed from the pool of breeds they have heard of before, which means that the perfect breed for them and their lifestyle might be overlooked.”

At watch breeds

  • Bearded Collie
  • Bull Terrier (Miniature)
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Welsh Terrier

People are being urged to ‘do their research’ before welcoming a dog into their home following a stark increase in the number of animals being dumped on the street.

Dermot Murphy, chief inspectorate officer at the RSPCA, said: “The idea of putting your cat in a cat carrier and taking them to a secluded spot in the woods before walking away, or chucking your dog out of the car and driving off leaving them desperately running behind the vehicle, is absolutely unthinkable and heartbreaking to most pet owners – but sadly we are seeing animals callously abandoned like this every single day.

“We understand that sometimes the unexpected can happen – the pandemic and cost of living crisis proved that – but there is never an excuse to abandon an animal. There are always other options for anyone who has fallen on hard times and can no longer afford to keep their pet.”