Kennel Club Are Raising Awareness Of Vulnerable Native Breeds

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What Is A Vulnerable Native Breed?

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.

Why They’re Raising Awareness

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.

How You Can Help

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. There are over 200 breeds of dog recognised in the UK so there is a breed for everyone.  Kennel Club 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.

■ English Setter. Image © Diane Pearce and The Kennel Club

Which Native Breeds Are Vulnerable?

In order to protect those breeds of British and Irish origin that are considered at risk of disappearing, Kennel Club created the vulnerable native British and Irish breeds list (breeds with fewer than 300 registrations a year) and the ‘at watch’ list (breeds with between 300 and 450 registrations a year) so that they can monitor them. 

A list of those breeds identified is below:

Vulnerable native breeds:

Bearded Collie


Bull Terrier (Miniature)

Collie (Smooth)

Dandie Dinmont Terrier


English Setter

English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)

Fox Terrier (Smooth)

Glen of Imaal Terrier

Gordon Setter

Irish Red & White Setter

Irish Wolfhound

King Charles Spaniel

Kerry Blue Terrier

Lakeland Terrier

Lancashire Heeler

Manchester Terrier


Norwich Terrier

Old English Sheepdog


Retriever (Curly Coated)

Sealyham Terrier

Skye Terrier

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Spaniel (Clumber)

Spaniel (Field)

Spaniel (Irish Water)

Spaniel (Sussex)

Spaniel (Welsh Springer)

Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)

At watch:

Bedlington Terrier


Cairn Terrier

Irish Terrier

Norfolk Terrier

Parson Russell Terrier

Welsh Terrier

Thinking About Getting A Vulnerable Native Breed?

If you’re thinking about getting a vulnerable breed, or any other breed, it’s crucial that you go to a responsible breeder.  

Breed clubs exist for every single breed and they offer a wealth of information for anyone considering getting a dog. Anyone wanting a specific breed should speak to the relevant breed club for information and guidance.  

People can also consider rescuing a dog. The Kennel Club Breed Rescue is made up of a number of breed-specific rescue services that may be able to offer the right dog to the right home. 

For more information and advice, visit

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