One of Britain?s most iconic dog breeds could soon be facing extinction, the Kennel Club (KC) warns.

The old English sheepdog, often called the bobtail, has numbered just 316 puppy registrations so far this year, new figures show, and its status is now approaching ?vulnerable?.

Bill Lambert, manager of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme, said: ?The decline of the old English sheepdog can be partly explained by lifestyle changes, as it needs a lot of grooming and exercise, and is not suitable for the fast-paced urban lifestyles of many people.?

The old English sheepdog is far from being the only breed facing difficulty, though ? the KC says there are now 30 native breeds classified as vulnerable, including the curlycoated retriever as well as five breeds of spaniel. However, certain vulnerable breeds, such as the Norwich terrier and the otterhound, have experienced a recent upturn in fortunes.

The rest of this article appears in the 7th November issue of Shooting Times.

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