Kennel Club Recognises The Portuguese Pointer

The number of pedigree dog breeds recognised in the UK has now risen to 212 as the Kennel Club accepts the Portuguese Pointer, only the second new breed to be recognised in the past five years.

The Portuguese Pointer, which claims it heritage back to the Iberian hunting dog, is one of 137 breeds that have originated overseas since the Kennel Club opened its registers, and is one of twenty breeds on the Kennel Club Imported Breed Register, which all overseas dogs begin on until they are formally recognised on the Breed Register.

However, as exotic dog breeds have risen in popularity, many of the native breeds that were on the Kennel Club's original list of recognised breeds in the 1800s, have fallen out of favour and have been put on the Kennel Club list of 'vulnerable native breeds', for breeds with less than 300 annual puppy registrations and that could disappear from our streets and parks if their numbers continue to decline.

New statistics released by the Kennel Club have shown that whilst vulnerable native breeds have increased by 50 percent so far this year, compared to the same period in 2012, certain breeds such as the Sealyham Terrier and Otterhound continue to decline. Recent years have seen the Old English Sheepdog and English Setter enter the 'at watch' list for breeds with between 300 and 450 registrations. Furthermore, with just 239 Pembroke Corgi registrations so far this year, it is feared the Queen's favourite breed could also become vulnerable for the first time.

By contrast, exotic breeds such as the French Bulldog and Smooth Coated Chihuahua (originally from Mexico) are increasing in popularity with 4,843 and 2,931 registrations so far this year. Between 2003 and 2012 the breeds have increased by 1,232 percent and 700 percent respectively.

When the first ever Kennel Club stud book was produced in 1874, just 43 breeds were listed, including many native breeds that are now considered to be vulnerable, such as the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Clumber Spaniel, Otterhound and Skye Terrier.

Some native breeds continue to thrive, including the English Springer Spaniel, the Cocker Spaniel, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the Bulldog, the Golden Retriever, and the Border Terrier, all top ten breeds. But others in the top ten are from abroad.

Visitors to Discover Dogs, which is taking place at Earls Court on November 9thand 10thwill be able to meet more than 200 breeds of dog under one roof, including the vulnerable breeds and the latest pedigree dog breeds in the UK.

The newly added Turkish Kangal Dog will also be coming to the event. This breed was added earlier this year and was the first new breed to join the Kennel Club register in almost five years. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, officially recognised from 1 October 2008, was the last dog recognised by the Kennel Club prior to the two new additions for this year.          

Organiser of the Kennel Club's Discover Dogs event, Vanessa McAlpine, said: "The UK is lucky to have so many wonderful dog breeds, and at our Discover Dogs event people have a unique opportunity to meet more than 200 of them, including those that might never cross your path in day to day life because they are so rare, those that are new to our shores and those that have been working with people in Britain for hundreds of years."

Speaking about the wide range of dogs in this country, Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, explained: "The diverse mix of breeds in this country has grown over time. The process of being recognised as a pedigree dog by the Kennel Club takes several generations, but once we recognise a breed it means that we know that it has a reliable lineage that will give people a dog with predictable characteristics in terms of temperament and exercise and grooming needs.

"This helps dogs to find loving homes with the right owners. Whilst we now have many wonderful breeds in this country, unfortunately a number of our most historic British breeds are no longer in fashion and face disappearing, because they have been forgotten.

"The aim of our Discover Dogs event is to enable people to meet the huge array of dogs in this country and to make an informed decision about which would be best for them."

The Portuguese Pointer has been classified in the Gundog Group, and is on the Imported Breed Register. To find out more about Discover Dogs, please visit

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