Yorkshire Terriers under threat as ownership continues to fall

Top dogs SM Farm

Yorkshire Terriers could die out in just under 20 years, new research shows, with registered ownerships declining by 81 per cent over the past decade.

New research reveals which dog breeds are most at risk of disappearing in the UK due to lack of registrations, based on Kennel Club data.

French Bulldogs have seen a staggering 1,427 per cent rise in registrations over the past 10 years, while Labrador Retrievers were the most popular breed in 2019.

Siberian Huskies, Bichon Frises and Akitas are also at risk of disappearing, with each experiencing a registration decline of over 80 per cent over the past decade.

Although they’re one of the most recognisable dog breeds in the UK, Yorkshire Terriers are set to die out in 20 years if current registration rates continue, new research shows.

With more of us working from home now than ever before, you may be tempted to finally get a dog. New research from Blueclaw emphasizes the importance of not neglecting endangered breeds in favour of those that are popular online.

The analysis of Kennel Club registrations over the past decade reveals that French Bulldogs have risen in popularity by 1,427 per cent over the past decade, despite suffering from breathing problems as a result of a genetic mutation.

The breed has become increasingly popular with dog owners – including celebrities like Lady Gaga and Dwayne Johnson – and accounted for the second-highest number of registrations in 2019 (33,661), coming behind Labrador Retrievers (35,347).

On the other end of the scale, Yorkshire Terriers witnessed an 81.3 per cent decline in registrations, while Siberian Huskies saw an 82 per cent drop, Bichon Frises saw an 81.4 per cent decline, and Akita registrations dropped by 81.3 per cent over the past decade.

Also among the least popular breeds in 2019 were the American Water Spaniel (0), the Foxhound (0), the Turkish Kangal Dog (0) and the Sloughi (0). A staggering 63 per cent of the least popular dog breeds last year were imported into the UK.

Looking at the registrations for every breed type over the past 10 years shows that Terriers are the most at risk of being wiped out, with the breed having an estimated 19.9 years left when their average 10 year lifespan is taken into account.

Working dogs like Siberian Huskies, Rottweilers and Dobermanns are the next at-risk group with just 23.6 years left, followed by Toy dogs (Chihuahua, Pomeranian) at 25.8, Pastoral dogs (Border Collie, German Shepherd) at 33.7 years, and Gundogs (Brittany, English Setter) at 58.6 years until extinction.

n Top 10 dog breeds over the past decade by registration gains: French Bulldog: 1,427.3 per cent; Lagotto Romagnolo: 582.6 per cent; Kooikerhondje: 364.3 per cent; Korthals Griffon: 330.8 per cent; Daschund (Smooth Haired): 217.3 per cent; Daschund (Miniature): 198.9 per cent; Welsh Corgi (Cardigan): 173.9 per cent; Sealyham Terrier: 167.4 per cent; Havanese: 154 per cent; Daschund (Wire Haired): 149.6.

n Bottom 10 dog breeds over the past decade by registration losses:

Siberian Husky: – 82 per cent; Bichon Frise: – 81.4 per cent; Akita: – 81.3 per cent; Yorkshire Terrier: – 81.3 per cent; Alaskan Malamute: – 78.6 per cent; Lhasa Apso: – 73.2 per cent; West Highland White Terrier: – 71 per cent; Cairn Terrier: – 68 per cent; Bullmastiff: – 65.4 per cent; Lakeland Terrier: – 63 per cent.

Matthew Sweeting, researcher and writer at Blueclaw, said: “What’s particularly jarring about this analysis is that it shows the cost of opting for a popular breed on social media – like the French Bulldog – in place of one that has healthier genetics and therefore a better quality of life.

“It’s easy to think of well-known breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier and Siberian Husky as staples in the UK, but they’re at a very real risk of extinction if dog owners continue to choose their pets based on their perceived popularity online, rather than considering alternative breeds.

“Although at the end of the day it’s up to owners as to what dog they want, we’d always advocate adopting rather than buying – especially if it encourages breeders to stop rearing dogs that suffer from health issues as a result of increased supply and demand.”


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