The Kennel Clubs annual breed registration statistics saw a total of 45,233 Labrador puppies registered in 2008. The breed overtook the German shepherd as the UKs most popular dog in 1989. The second most popular pedigree dog in 2008 was the cocker spaniel, with 22,508 puppies registered, and English springer spaniels came in third with 14,899 puppies registered.
Labradors, springers and cockers have remained in the top 10 most popular breeds in the UK since 1982. Of other sporting dog breeds registered in 2008, Border terriers came in at number eight, with 9,145 puppies registered, while whippets reached number 17 with 3,328 puppies registered. Overall, registrations of pedigree dogs rose by 0.4 per cent compared with 2007, with the Kennel Club registering a total of 271,719 dogs last year, more than 1,000 dogs greater than the previous year.
Gundog enthusiasts were not surprised by the news. ST contributor and chairman of the Spaniel Club Paul Rawlings said: These dogs are, after all, predominately from working lines which have been produced over many years with good health and intelligence in mind. Breeds that can still do the job they were originally bred for will continue to be healthy and fi t, hence they will always remain popular.
The rest of this article appears in 5 January issue of Shooting Times.
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