RARE breeds of dog are at risk of disappearing altogether unless more people pick them as pets, according to the Kennel Club.

The dog welfare organisation defines a rare breed as one that has 300 or fewer registrations with the club each year.

It has created a list tracking the breeds of vulnerable British and Irish dogs whose numbers are declining.

The list of 28 breeds includes the King Charles Spaniel, Bearded Collie, English Setter, and Curly Coated Retriever.

Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: “They’re all wonderful, but many people just don’t know about them, which is a shame because they could make the perfect family pet for those looking to get a dog.

“We would encourage anyone choosing a dog to consider the less popular breeds as they may well be the perfect match for your lifestyle,” she added.


Insurer Compare the Market has created a list of the top 10 rare dog breeds in the UK based on the volume of enquiries for pet insurance.

The Akita is a large breed, originally from the mountainous regions of Japan, but its UK owners are most likely to be found in Yorkshire and the Humber.

It has an intelligent, independent, and protective character.

The King Charles Spaniel is one of the oldest toy breeds in the world and was gifted to European royalty for centuries.

It has a playful, affectionate, and fearless temperament.

The Havanese is a high-maintenance breed which loves nothing more than being the centre of attention in the family.

Originally from Cuba, in the UK it is most likely to be found in the South East of England.

The Leonberger is a gentle giant with a lion-like mane. Its name derives from the city of Leonberg in Germany.

It has an intelligent, even-tempered, and patient character and has a lifespan of eight to nine years.

The Bolognese dog is a small Bichon breed, originally from Bologna. Their temperament makes them a great family pet as they are happy, lively, and easy to train.

The German Spitz was first bred as a working dog but is now more popular as a family pet thanks to its charm and affectionate nature.

The Bracco Italiano is an athletic hunting breed, highly prized in Italy for its retrieval skills. It has a playful, affectionate, and loyal, but stubborn, temperament.

The Tibetan Mastiff is an impressively large and incredibly rare breed, which was originally bred to guard homes and temples in Tibet.

The Affenpinscher, sometimes known as the Monkey Terrier, is a small, mischievous toy breed.

And the Basset Fauve de Bretagne is a small hunting breed originally from Brittany in France and most likely to be found in the West Midlands in the UK.