The British breeds making a comeback in the UK include Whippets, English bulldogs and Corgis
Brits went mad for designer dogs over lockdown last year, with Cockapoos becoming one of the most coveted breeds with the price of a puppy trebling as breeders sought to cash in on demand.
But it seems that with costs skyrocketing for popular breeds of pups over the pandemic, Britons looking to find a four-legged friend started opting for less ‘trendy’ options.
Now The Kennel Club’s list of the most popular dog breeds in the UK has revealed that previously unpopular varieties such as Whippets and English bulldogs are more in demand than ever.
The Queen‘s favoured Pembroke Welsh Corgi has seen an increase in demand of almost 200 per cent and has entered London‘s top 20 most popular breeds for the first time.
And while the celebrity-loved French Bulldog is still the most popular breed in many parts of the country, more and more Brits are choosing British-bred hounds like Bedlington and Parson Russell Terriers.
And while the French Bulldog, which as of late 2020 had a hefty price tag of £3,100, came up tops in several parts of the country – it was the loyal Labrador voted number one in the UK.
In total, 19 breeds previously classed as vulnerable or at risk have seen an increase in popularity during the pandemic, including the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Welsh Terrier.
Another pooch enjoying newfound popularity is the Whippet, affectionate dogs who are great for smaller spaces who made it onto the list of top ten most popular breeds in London.
‘Lockdown puppies’ flood rescue centres as they’re abandoned by owners
Hundreds of puppies purchased during the pandemic are being resold or handed in to rescue centres.
Sellers in early January flooded pet websites with adverts for dogs aged between six and 12 months.
Many owners admitted they either do not have the time or the money to look after them.
The price of puppies surged to more than £3,000 for some breeds last year as many people started working from home or were furloughed.
Dozens of adverts have now appeared on sites such as Pets4you and Preloved as owners hope to recoup their costs.
More than 1,800 people have called the Dogs Trust over the past three months wanting to hand over dogs aged under one year old.
The charity received 114 calls on December 27 and 28 alone, including for 19 puppies under nine months old.
The RSPCA said it was ‘really concerned’ that so many dogs were being resold and was ‘bracing itself’ for more animals to be abandoned.
Bagging the overall top spot in London was again the French Bulldog, but tastes did vary depending on location – with trendy east London favouring the Miniature Smooth Haired Dachshund
Areas in North London including Islington and Kings Cross saw the Whippet’s highest entry and was the only area in London to choose the English Springer Spaniel.
Affluent west London like Kensington and Notting Hill were fans of Miniature Long Haired Dachshund, only rivalled with the pricey Pomeranian.
North West London, including Hampstead and Brent Cross, is the only area in London to include the Staffordshire Bull Terrier while Cocker Spaniel and Golden Retriever were the two most popular choices.
South East London areas such as Lewisham and Woolwich also favoured the Whippet and Pomeranian while South West London areas Wandsworth and Tooting bucked the trend chose the Border Terrier as favourite.
Bill Lambert, spokesperson for The Kennel Club, believes the reason for this increase is because owners are ‘casting their net more widely’ when it comes to the type of dog they’re looking.
‘We are so lucky to have such a wide variety of breeds in this country, and we are pleased to see some of our previously overlooked canine companions experiencing a popularity boost in the capital, particularly some of our historic native breeds’, he said.
‘The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a real success story – coming from the brink of disappearing in the capital to being one of Londoners’ most popular dogs, and some other breeds that were rarely seen on London’s streets have fared well during lockdown.
‘We hope that this is a sign that Londoners are starting to cast their net more widely when considering their dog breed of choice, although the French Bulldog firmly remains as a favourite in the nation’s capital.
‘This is a breed which can suffer from some serious health problems and despite its popularity, it is not a breed that suits everyone.
‘There are many other British and Irish breeds that are currently at risk of disappearing from our capital’s streets so we would urge people to spend time researching the vast range of breeds – and they can meet 150 breeds under one roof at our upcoming Discover Dogs event in London – to ensure they find the right one for them and their lifestyle.’
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