Celebrity Handbag Dog Registrations Soar As Pug Makes Top Ten For The First Time

But fears grow that puppy farmers are cashing in on demand
By: The Kennel Club
Jan. 24, 2011 - PRLog -- For the first time ever, the Pug has made it into the Kennel Club’s official top 10 most popular pedigree dog breeds in the UK and sales of the Chihuahua have soared, indicating a general shift that is seeing so called ‘handbag’ dog breeds increase rapidly in popularity.

The Kennel Club’s registration statistics for 2010, released today, show that ‘handbag’ dog breeds – so-called since celebrities popularised certain breeds by carrying them in their bags as fashion accessories – have rapidly increased, including:
•   Pug - 5,726 registrations in 2010, 20 percent more than in 2009, and a 170 percent increase since 2005.
•   Miniature Smooth-Haired Dachshund - made it into the top 20 for the first time with 2,802 registrations, 12 percent up on 2009 and 72 percent up on 2005.
•   The Smooth Coat Chihuahua - 2,796 registrations in 2010, 47 percent more than in 2009 and a staggering 350 percent more than in 2005.

This bucks a general trend which sees dog registrations down by three percent on 2005, though they did climb by 5 percent from the number in 2009.  In total, the Kennel Club registered 257,062 pedigree puppies during 2010.

The Kennel Club has warned that the influence of fashion and celebrity are causing the popularity of ‘handbag’ dogs to increase but that too many people, who are eager to buy a puppy quickly, are unknowingly turning to puppy farmers who are quick to cash in on the demand.

Marc Abraham, TV Vet and Kennel Club Veterinary Advisor, said: “Too many people see a dog as a commodity, which goes in and out of fashion and which can be bought on a whim.
“This not only means that people fail to think carefully enough about whether a dog will fit into their lifestyle but they may unknowingly buy from puppy farmers in order to get a quick sale. Puppy farmers thrive on the demand for fashionable dogs and will churn them out in their hundreds but keep their puppies in appalling conditions. A healthy puppy is worth waiting for and people should always go to a Kennel Club Accredited Breeder http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/accreditedbreederscheme if they want to ensure their puppy has been given the best start in life.”

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Dog breeds have popularity peaks which are largely determined by their profile. More and more famous people now own toy dogs and it is no coincidence that their popularity has simultaneously soared.

“It is not simply toy dogs whose popularity increases when their media profile gets a boost. The previously little known Portuguese Water Dog has risen 34 percent since 2009, when President Obama brought the breed into the White House.

“Lifestyle factors also play a part. Toy breeds were bred purely as companion dogs and so tend to need less exercise and are cheaper to own than larger working breeds, making them a better fit for some modern day lifestyles.

“However, toy dogs still need plenty of love and attention and a daily walk so we urge people to thoroughly research the different breeds and their needs before they buy and to always, always go to a responsible breeder.”

Meanwhile many of the Kennel Club’s Native Vulnerable Breeds, which are endangered because they have less than 300 registrations a year, have continued to decline. This includes the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, which dropped by 42 percent to 46 registrations and the Skye Terrier which dropped by 51 percent to 75 registrations.

The 210 breeds of pedigree dog are split into seven groups and small, portable dogs are generally drawn from the Toy Group which has seen a 20 percent rise in popularity since 2005. The Working Group, which includes the Boxer and Rottweiler and the Pastoral Group, which includes the Old English Sheepdog and Border Collie, and have seen a 32 percent and 16 percent decrease since 2005, respectively.  Gundogs remain the most popular dog group and the Labrador Retriever the nation’s favourite breed with 44,099 registrations in 2010, almost 8 percent up on 2009. It is almost twice as popular as the second placed breed, the Cocker Spaniel.

Click here to see the breed registration statistics for 2010 http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?ap=1&id=...

24th January 2011

For further press information, images or interview requests please contact the Kennel Club Press Office:
020 7518 1008

Notes to Editors:

Kennel Club top ten pedigree breeds, based on 2010 registration statistics:
Breed   2010 registrations   2009 registrations   Celebrity Owner   2009 rank
Labrador Retriever   44,099   40,943   Gwyneth Paltrow   1
Cocker Spaniel   23,744   22,211   Charlize Theron   2
English Springer Spaniel   13,988   12,700   George W Bush   3
German Shepherd Dog   10,364   10,338   Shania Twain   4
Staffordshire Bull Terrier   8,663   8,746   Vin Diesel   6
Border Terrier   8,383   8,214   Andy Murray   7
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel   8,154   8,884   Courtney Cox Arquette   5
Golden Retriever    7,911   7,804   Renee Zellweger   8
Pug   5,726   4,769   Jessica Alba   13
Boxer   5,699   5,947   Jodie Foster   9

Kennel Club registration statistics for Vulnerable Native Breeds.

   2010   2009   % Change
Clumber Spaniel   271   211   28.4% increase
Sussex Spaniel   60   68   13.3% increase
Field Spaniel   55   51   7.8% increase
Irish Red and White Setter   83   85   2.4% decrease
Irish Water Spaniel   117   131   10.7% decrease
English Toy Terrier Black and Tan   136   113   20.4% increase
Deerhound   256   324   21% decrease
Otterhound   57   57   0% change
Lancashire Heeler   134   133   0.7% increase
Smooth Collie   54   74   37% decrease
Cardigan Welsh Corgi   46   79   41.8% decrease
Dandie Dinmont Terrier   151   108   40% increase
Glen Of Imaal Terrier   61   46   32.6% increase
Welsh Terrier   432   337   28.2% increase (coming out of the 300 danger zone).
Irish Terrier   357   289   23.5% increase
Kerry Blue Terrier   223   190   17.4% increase
Smooth Fox Terrier   155   133   16.5% increase
Lakeland Terrier   254   283   11.4% increase
Norwich Terrier   172   160   7.5% increase
Sealyham Terrier   49   47   4.3% increase
Skye Terrier   37   75   50.7% decrease
Manchester Terrier   107   146   26.7% decrease
Miniature Bull Terrier   223   227   1.8% decrease
Total   4024   3970   1.4% increase
Total all dog breeds   257,062   244,461   5.2% increase
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Tags:Dog, Trends, Hand Bag Dog
Industry:Pets, Society
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