One of the mostendangered breeds of dog in Britain is experiencing a new found popularity after ittook the title of Best in Show at this years Crufts.

Bucking an overall trend that has seen the popularity of vulnerable British dog breeds continue to decline, the Kennel Club has already registered eight Sealyham Terriers in the first quarter of this year, which compares favourably to registrations in the same period in 2008.

The Kennel Club also expects to see this number increase even further as the number of enquiries about the breed has increased by 55 per cent since its Crufts success at the beginning of March, compared to the same period in 2009. Only 43 were registered with the Kennel Club throughout 2008.

The success of the Sealyham Terrier, a Welsh Breed, contrasts with the fate of a large number of vulnerable English breeds, including the Otterhound (whose puppy registration are down 42 percent, from 12 to seven in the first quarter of 2009) and the field spaniel (whose puppy registrations are down by 64 percent, from 17 to just six). The Smooth Fox Terrier, Manchester Terrier, English Toy Terrier and Lancashire Heeler have all also declined.

All of these breeds are on the Kennel Clubs British and Irish Native Vulnerable Breeds List which includes 23 breeds that all have less than 300 puppy registrations per year. It is estimated that if a breed falls below this number it may be under threat of extinction.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “The popularity of many dog breeds is often determined by the amount of publicity that they receive. For our vulnerable breeds this is of critical importance this years Crufts, for example, was a perfect opportunity to allow people to see what a wonderful character the Sealyham Terrier is and this increased its popularity.

“It is a real concern, however, that many of the vulnerable breeds are not experiencing the same surge in popularity as the Sealyham Terrier has since its Crufts success. This is particularly poignant when we look at the number of vulnerable English breeds that are teetering of the brink of extinction.”

For the latest dog registration statistics and a list of the Kennel Clubs vulnerable breeds visit the Kennel Club website .

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