10 Things You Didn’t Know About UK and Irish “Vulnerable” Breeds

March 8th, 2008 by Dan

Some breeds native to the UK and Ireland have seen a great decline in their popularity in recent years. In 2003 the Kennel Club made a list of almost 30 British and Irish native breeds that they considered “vulnerable”, meaning those breeds where the numbers of dogs has been declining.

1. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is the only breed of dog to be named after a fictional character. Dandie Dinmont was a hill farmer in the novel “Guy Mannering”, written by Sir Walter Scott and published in 1814.
Family of Dandie Dinmont’s
Photo by kennel “luna caprese”

2. Stingray, a Lakeland Terrier, is one of only two dogs to have won both Best in Show at Crufts (1967) and the USA’s prestigious Westminster Dog Show (1968).

3. The most famous Skye Terrier is “Greyfriars Bobby” who kept up a vigil at his master’s grave in Edinburgh for 14 years from 1858 until his own death in 1872.

4. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is sometimes known as the “Yard Dog” because the length from the tip of its nose to the end of its outstretched tail is the measurement for a Welsh yard.

5. The vulnerable breed that has won Crufts Best in Show the most is the Welsh Terrier, having been crowned four times since the event began.
Pair of Welsh Terriers
Photo by dalylab

6. Queen Victoria owned many of the vulnerable native breeds we see today including the Smooth Collie, Deerhound, Skye Terrier, King Charles Spaniel and Greyhound.

7. The Irish Terrier and the Smooth Collie were both used in WWI as message carriers between the trenches.
Irish Terrier Lounges
Photo by Fi20100

8. The Manchester Terrier is the only breed of dog ever to receive a “Royal Warrant”, which it did for rat
catching from Queen Victoria.

9. The Irish Water Spaniel is the only surviving Water Spaniel breed in the British Isles; they were bred to retrieve game from water in the marshes and bogs of Ireland, hence their nickname of “bog dogs”.
Irish Water Spaniel
Photo by ruralshots

10. Only the cheetah tops the Greyhound for speed.

(credited to The Kennel Club Press Pack)

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