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The Sussex Spaniel, named as Britain’s rarest dog breed, is in great decline

Sussex Spaniel, Britain's rare dog breed is in danger dog-wow
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Only 34 Sussex Spaniel puppies were registered during 2018 in the UK. The existence of Britain's rarest dog breed is threatened.

By Dawn Parrish

Published on the 04/03/2019, 19:00, Updated on the 19/12/2019, 15:27

It’s a spectacular fall from grace for this dog breed that won “Best in Show” at Crufts in 2009. However, the latest trend for “designer” dogs means that the Sussex Spaniel is no longer a popular choice of pet.

Britain’s rarest dog breed is struggling

In 2017, 57 puppies were registered in the UK, yet last year, only 34 Sussex Spaniels were noted, including three of these that were imported. This puts these spaniels at the top of the Kennel Club’s vulnerable breed list. Other canines on this endangered, native dog list include Scottish terriers and Otterhounds. They are being overlooked by owners who prefer trendy crossbreeds such as Cockapoos and Labradoodles, breeds that are promoted by celebrities.

The Sussex Spaniel is an adorable, friendly dog

This medium-sized dog has an appealing personality, sturdy legs and a beautiful, golden-liver coloured fur. They love company and are a very tactile dog with an appealing expression. It was first bred during the 1800s in Hastings as a sporting and hunting breed. However, during the Second World War, breeding of the Sussex Spaniel was discouraged, and at this point in time, it’s thought that only 7 of these dogs remained. An English breeder, Joy Freer, took up the challenge of breeding more Sussex Spaniels and the breed gained in popularity.

The profile of Britain’s rarest dog breed needs to be raised

In an effort to increase the popularity of the Sussex Spaniel, it’s thought that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, will be asked to adopt a pair of pups. Hopefully, the link to Sussex will gain their interest, and as dog lovers, their support would surely help to save this rare dog breed.


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