Our vulnerable Native breeds
I don’t like to use the term ‘fashionable’ when describing dogs but unfortunately there aren’t many ways to describe the trends in the dogs that become popular. Over recent years we have seen a huge increase in certain breeds popping up and growing in popularity, for example pugs, French bulldogs, dachshunds and of course all the doodles. It easy to understand how some of our Scottish breeds have dipped under the radar and become in danger of becoming extinct in the near future.
The Scottish terrier, Dandie Dinmont terrier, Skye terrier and Gordon setter have all made news with the kennel club reporting significant decline in the number of puppies being registered in recent years. All of these dogs have fantastic qualities and deserve to be preserved.
Lively, affectionate, independent, companionable, these are all words used to describe the Dandie Dinmont terrier. A breed that some people may never even have seen. A good-natured terrier with big beautiful eyes and a gentle expression. In 2018 only 145 puppies were registered which is a tiny amount considering the volumes of other breeds we see. For example, in the same year 30,000 French bulldogs were registered.
Last year it was reported that the beloved Scottish terrier was among those at risk with the breed now being classed as vulnerable. Scotties are perfect for those looking for a dog with plenty of character and independence. A Scottie dog demands attention strutting down the street with their confident walk and fierce eyebrows.
Another breed and one I hope to own one day is the Gordon setter. An intelligent energetic loveable dog that would make a great addition to an active family home. The beautiful silky black and tan coat of a Gordon really makes them stand out as a truly elegant and distinguished breed. I really hope that when the time comes around, I can own one of these beautiful dogs.
We all know the story of Greyfriars Bobby and what once was a popular breed in Scotland the Skye terrier has now become one of the most vulnerable native breeds. With only 42 being registered in comparison to 36,487 Labradors it really goes to show how close this breed is to being extinct.
Skye terriers are truly unique looking dogs, long bodies with long flowing locks of hair, but don’t get distracted by their looks. Underneath there is a friendly, fearless and loyal companion dog. I have been lucky enough to meet and groom two fantastic Skye terriers in the last couple of years and I can say there is plenty of personality under all the hair!
Even the bearded collie has seen a dramatic decline in numbers over the years and they also find themselves at risk. So, what can we do to protect these breeds?
Doing plenty of research on any breed before making a commitment is the most important thing to remember. You may find exactly what you are looking for in one of our native breeds. Did you know you can meet and talk to owners of the mentioned breeds at events like crufts, discover dogs and there was even some of these breeds at the Scottish dog lover show in Glasgow last year. I love all dogs no matter what, but it would be shame that if in generations to come Scotland’s breeds didn’t exist. I think it’s important to remind people of the breeds they don’t see everyday walking down the street, on tv or in a celebrity’s arms. Hopefully these dogs will rise in popularity again and we save the dogs our country has proudly created !