Just 39 new Red and White Setter puppies were registered with the Kennel Club in 2019 compared to 35,347 Labradors. Trendy crossbreeds and dogs from abroad also outnumbered the native gun dog.
The Kennel Club’s vulnerable breeds list includes breeds that are in danger of being wiped out. Most of the dogs on the list, including the English Toy Terrier, Fox Terrier, Glen of Imaal Terrier and Gordon Setter are native British and Irish breeds that have been around for centuries.
This year a breeder from Leicestershire announced the birth of a litter of ten Red and White Setters, which could spell a turnaround of the dog's fortunes.
Ve Callaghan from Melton Mowbray has already found homes for all of the puppies. The birth represents a quarter of the number of puppies born in the whole of 2019.
Positive for the breed
Writes The Sun, chairman of the Irish Red and White Setter Club, Jim Cuddy, said: “Having ten new puppies does help the breed, given as there were only 39 last year.
“The aim is to sell the puppies to new owners in the hope they will go on to breed from the bitches.
“Once people have a breed they tend to stick with that breed in the future.