Okay, we have a real issue on our hands. We’ve probably all heard about those odd endangered species. However, you might not have stopped to consider that some dog breeds—yes, man’s best friend!—are in danger of becoming extinct as well. If there are less than 300 registered dogs for a certain breed within the annual registration, they are considered endangered. The list is probably longer than you think. It’s filled some obscure breeds you may not have heard of, but there are also plenty of more common breeds on the list as well. Let’s take a look.
Top Ten Endangered Dog Breeds
There are a handful of dog breeds that seems to be disappearing. Some of these breeds include the Corgi (in the UK), Bloodhound, Scottish Deerhound, Irish Red and White Setter, Irish Wolf Hound (you know, the HUGE werewolf looking guys?), Manchester Terrier, Mastiff, Miniature Bull Terrier, and the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. Yikes, right?—and that’s not even the full list. You’ve probably heard of many of these breeds and there may even be a special dog in your life that’s on that list. Let’s take a look at a few of the most endangered breeds of dogs.
While these guys have become widely popular, especially recently, within the US, they seem to be disappearing their homelands. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi are especially at risk. Due to their small bodies, this breed needs a lot of exercises (after all, they were originally bred as herding dogs) and there aren’t many people that can commit to the lifestyle this dog requires.
Irish Red and White Setter
This breed is so beautiful and sweet but just aren’t widely popular so their registration numbers are dwindling. There are a few dedicated and determined breeders who are trying to keep this breed around, however.
If you have ever seen one of these guys, they probably caught you off guard. They. Are. HUGE. Although they look like werewolves, they are quite sweet. However, there seems to be a sort of bottleneck in the gene pool that is causing random mutations and a very short lifespan.
Another gentle, hard working giant who seems to be disappearing for no reason at all. Mastiff registration numbers with the Kennel Club have been steadily dwindling since 2005.
This breed is one of the most muscular (think Target dog), so they need tons of exercise. They were bred to work, so similar to the Corgi situation, there aren’t many lifestyles that can sustain this type of dog.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
These guys are so incredibly sweet and the softest dog around. They have tons of energy and don’t shed, so they make a great pet for families. We’ll end here with some good news that this breed was very vulnerable, with low numbers and not much interest, however they seem to be making quite the comeback as of recently!
Certain breeds have become more or less popular, and the AKC has changed to accommodate this as well. For example, some breeds such as the Black Russian Terrier have just been recognized within the Kennel Club, which may account for their low numbers. As they become more popular and other breeds less popular, there will continue to be a rise and fall of numbers. Is this a problem or a natural occurrence? It goes hand in hand with the “adopt don’t shop” movement within the dog owner community and the fact that dogs were bred for specific purposes that we may not need to use them for anymore.
Man’s Best Friend
With passionate breeders and dog owners worldwide, certain breeds will always remain. The Labrador Retriever has been America’s most popular and well-loved dog for a long time now. The French Bulldog just pulled ahead of the Lab in the UK (for good reason too, have you seen how CUTE they are!). Whether the special dog in your life is the country’s most loved or on the verge of extinction, dogs will continue to be the best companions.