Whether you’re a dog owner or are considering getting a pet, this could be your chance to help save Britain’s vulnerable breeds
The landscape of Britain’s favourite dogs has been shifting in recent years, with some breeds that were once iconic now struggling to compete with more ‘fashionable’ dogs. There are actually 222 breeds of dog in the UK, all with their own unique characteristics, and among them are 28 ‘vulnerable native breeds’ – dogs that originate from Britain and Ireland but are at risk of disappearing from our streets due to their low numbers.
If you’re familiar with such British breeds as the Springer Spaniel, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the Border Terrier, meet four of the UK’s most vulnerable breeds and find out why they’re worth saving…
To showcase some of these vulnerable breeds, The Kennel Club’s Discover Dogs event is returning this October, with experts and owners on hand to help potential owners to find out more about these wonderful and rare breeds.
Visitors can also meet family favourites, like the Labrador, more exotic breeds like the Pomeranian, and hundreds of others, and find out more about what each is like to live with. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, with different personalities and needs, and it’s vital potential owners find the best fit for their lifestyle and family.
Even if you are not considering dog ownership, the two-day event is perfect for anyone who is dotty about dogs. Charities and welfare organisations will be bringing along some of their four- legged heroes to explain how dogs have taken on life-saving roles, including Support Dogs, Guide Dogs for the Blind and a special display from Medical Detection Dogs (featured on page 48). The show also features the popular crossbreed competition, Scruffts, displays from the Metropolitan Police dogs and puppies, and exciting agility competitions. Younger visitors might enjoy the Young Kennel Club activity ring, cuddling different dogs in Cuddle Corner or getting involved with creative, dog-themed activities at Kids Corner. Elsewhere, Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations will be showcasing their hard work in rehoming breed rescue dogs on The Kennel Club stand.
Glen of Imaal Terrier
The small but fearless Glen of Imaal Terrier is a native Irish breed. Historically, they excelled as badger hunters due to their active and agile nature, and since have been cherished for their gentle character as a pet. Due to their smaller size, the Glen of Imaal could suit those who have a little less space at home.
A large, majestic and active breed, the Otterhound is known for its friendliness and patience. The combination of this hound’s long striding legs, webbed feet and rough weatherproof coat makes them powerful on both land and water. An Otterhound could be the perfect companion for a long British walk in any season!
The Gordon Setter was named after the Duke of Gordon, having been bred at Gordon Castle in Scotland. They are a large, stylish and intelligent breed, with acoal-black and chestnut-red flat coat, which requires regular grooming to keep its shine.
Like its more popular cousins, the Smooth Collie is highly intelligent and loves to burn off energy in various activities, such as agility.
To find out more about Discover Dogs, London’s biggest dog event, taking place from 5-16 October at London ExCel and showcasing up to 150 of the country’s dog breeds, visit discoverdogs.org.uk. Tickets cost £18 or £15 for concessions, and under-eights go free.
PHOTOS THE KENNEL CLUB/ LOTTIE MILES/DIANE PEARCE/ANDY WILLIAMS/HEIDI HUDSON