New pedigree dog registration statistics have revealed a vulnerable breed has bounced back after becoming more rare than the giant panda.

According to The Kennel Club (KC), the Skye terrier – a hunting dog with a double coat – saw a ten-fold increase in puppy registrations in the first quarter of 2014, from just one puppy registration last year to 11 this year. The club says this means it saw the second largest increase out of 215 breeds, after the Hungarian puli, which rose by 3,000%.

The KC said it estimates there are less than 400 Skye terriers left in this country, making it the rarest of Britain’s vulnerable native breeds, alongside the otter hound.

However, other native vulnerable breeds have done well so far this year, including the Irish red and white setter, which increased by 104% to 57 registrations and the Cardigan Welsh corgi, which increased by 89% to 34 registrations.

Despite this positive news, foreign breeds and small handbag dogs are still increasing in popularity, said The KC.

For example, the French bulldog – owned by celebrities such as Jonathan Ross, Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman – has increased by 522% since 2008, with 6,990 registrations in 2013, while it was the third most popular breed for the first quarter of this year. Five of the top 10 breeds in the UK, meanwhile, are now from overseas.

There are now 138 breeds that have originated overseas since The KC opened its registers in 1874, when there were just 43.

KC secretary Caroline Kisko said: “We are extremely lucky to have such a rich variety of breeds from so many different countries, so people can always find a breed that will suit their lifestyle.

“It would, however, be very sad to see some of our oldest and historically most loved breeds disappearing from our streets and parks, simply because they have been forgotten and lack the profile of other breeds.

“Celebrity culture and changing fashions play a greater role than ever before in people’s choice of dog, but we urge puppy buyers to consider all of the 215 breeds and choose the one that is truly right for them.”

For more information, visit The Kennel Club’s website.

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