English Setter at ‘Risk of Extinction’

One of Britain’s oldest native dog breeds, the English Setter, has for the first time become at risk of extinction.

The Kennel Club records the number of registered puppies each year for our native breeds. If the number of registered breeds for an individual breed falls below 300 in a year, the breed is considered ‘vulnerable’ and at risk of extinction.

The English Setter joins 24 other native breeds on the Kennel Club’s ‘Native Vulnerable Breed’ list following a decline of around 65% in puppy registrations since 2002.

Current Vulnerable Breeds

Other vulnerable breeds (i.e. less than 300 new puppy registrations per year) include:

  • Collie Smooth
  • Dandie Dinmont Terrier
  • Deerhound
  • English Setter
  • English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)
  • Fox Terrier (Smooth)
  • Glen Of Imaal Terrier
  • Irish Terrier
  • Irish Red & White Setter
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Lakeland Terrier
  • Lancashire Heeler
  • Manchester Terrier
  • Norwich Terrier
  • Otterhound
  • Retriever (Curly Coated)
  • Sealyham Terrier
  • Skye Terrier
  • Spaniel (Clumber)
  • Spaniel (Field)
  • Spaniel (Irish Water)
  • Spaniel (Sussex)
  • Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)

Why Are Our Native Breeds Becoming Less Popular?

The Kennel Club suggests that we are favouring exotic breeds over our own native breeds. This is unfortunate seeing as, in many cases, we are unable to provide the exotic breeds with the lifestyle they need.

The Kennel Club also believes that celebrities are partly responsible for the rise in exotic registrations and consequent decline in native registrations. Celebrities who favour breeds such as the tiny Mexican Chihuahua are believed to have helped raise new puppy registrations here in the UK of the Chihuahua to over 6,000 – that’s twice the amount of registrations made for all the 25 breeds listed on the vulnerable list.

What We Can Do

If you’re looking for a new dog – consider one of the breeds listed above. These breeds are all native to the UK and as such will fully appreciate the lifestyle we can offer them. Not only that, you will be helping to save these endangered breeds!

Note that not all puppies are registered with the Kennel Club – for example, the Greyhound (not listed above) is actually on the Vulnerable Breeds List despite the fact that there are many healthy Greyhounds currently residing in the UK!

For more information check out the Kennel Club Website

About James Watts

BSc Bioveterinary Science. Editor of PetSci. When I'm not writing, learning, discussing, or reading about animals, you know it's the weekend! Currently developing PetSci HealthTrak, the fast and easy way to monitor your pet's weight and calorie intake. HealthTrak offers a simple way to track your pet's progress, helping them achieve a healthy weight and a long, happy life.

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