Monday, February 19, 2007

Bloodhounds on the trail to extinction

For generations the bloodhound has been a faithful friend. Now, however, it is being pushed to the brink of extinction, by a celebrity-led trend for new crossbreeds. It is one of a number of traditional breeds fighting for survival as owners opt for toy dogs such as labradoodles and puggles. New figures for the number of pedigree pups born have alarmed breeders as they show 24 breeds below the benchmark deemed viable for a healthy long-term population. The Skye and Glen of Imaal terriers, the field spaniel and the smooth collie are among them. "It all seems to be about fashion," said Julien Barney, of the British and Irish Dog Breeds Preservation Trust. "But the breeds that need help are the rare ones that are just as unusual." Breeders reckon that a birthrate of 300 puppies a year is needed to guarantee a large gene pool and a long term, healthy population, but 10 breeds had less than 100 puppies in the last year. The lowest birth rate was among Glen of Imaal terriers, which had 41 puppies, while 51 otterhounds were born. (via)

1 comment:

jan said...

That is sad, but it seems to me that breeders of "unfashionable breeds" might have an advantage of not having unscrupulous breeders adding bad genes to the pool.

New blog title, got it.

jan from http://thepoodleanddogblog.typepad.com/