During the first four months of 2019, only 98 Old English Sheepdog pups were registered with the Kennel Club, placing the breed at risk of becoming extinct.
By, 19 Jun 2019
Very recognisable with his shaggy grey and white coat, and often known as the “Dulux” dog, the Old English Sheepdog has been an everyday sight in the UK. However, in recent years, their popularity has fallen dramatically, in favour of more “fashionable” dogs, such as the French Bulldog and the Alaskan Malamute.
Old English Sheepdog is an iconic breed
During the last 20 years, registrations of these native dogs has reduced by 67%. If the rate continues to decline during the remainder of 2019, the Old English Sheepdog will be pushed to the brink of extinction and will be classed as a vulnerable native breed. Many other dog breeds, who have less than 300 new puppy registrations in any one year, are at risk of disappearing from our canine culture.
History of the Old English Sheepdog
First recognised in the West of England, these dogs were initially bred as working animals to protect herds and flocks.
During the 19th century, they were used to drive animals to market and were classed as working dogs, which meant that their owners were exempt from paying tax, providing the dog’s tail was docked. This earned the Old English Sheepdog the nickname “Bobtail”, a title which continues to this present day. In more recent times, the breed is seen as more of a pet or show dog, rather than a working canine.
Lifestyle changes push this breed to brink of extinction
As many families opt for more exotic and popular breeds, the Old English Sheepdog numbers drastically decline. These adorable dogs have a good temperament, are very friendly towards both adults and children, but they do need a lot of exercise and grooming.
More people need to adopt the Old English Sheepdog so that the doggy world doesn’t lose this breed altogether!