In an estimated canine population of 4.8 million nationally and 52% of all owned dogs being pure bred*, there’s one breed Australians are still barking mad for – the loveable, family-friendly Labrador Retriever!
But these large dogs may not be ‘top dog’ for long, as smaller breeds are increasing in popularity.
According to registration figures of Dogs NSW, the controlling body of pure bred dog breeding and exhibiting in NSW, and Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC), Labradors have been the most popular breed for many years, but smaller canines such as the French Bulldog and Miniature Schnauzer are slowly wagging their tails to the top.
“It’s no surprise the Labrador Retriever is still the most popular breed in NSW and across the country,” says Lyn Brown, President of Dogs NSW. “Labs are friendly, energetic and fun-loving breeds with a good temperament, as well as very useful working dogs from search and rescue to assisting people with disabilities.
“But we are now seeing an increase in popularity of smaller breeds, such as French Bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Miniature Schnauzers, because they are charming and more suitable for apartment style living.”
In NSW, the French Bulldog, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever and Cocker Spaniel have all jumped up a spot, bumping off the gregarious British Bulldog and welcoming the lively and affectionate Miniature Schnauzer into the Top 10 most popular breeds.
Nationally, the French Bulldog and Miniature Schnauzer have climbed a step, leaving the playful Staffordshire Bull Terrier at No 2. – a position this adored breed has held for several years.
Be aware - dog fads attract ‘greeders’
Mrs Brown said ANKC breeders are concerned that fashion, celebrity and social media-fueled ‘pet breed fads’ are attracting the “greeders” who breed for profit, ending up with dogs with health problems or behavioural issues.
Dogs NSW has recently launched a public and breeder education movement, ‘Love is blind, but it doesn’t have to be’, to end irresponsible breeding, encourage responsible dog ownership and work more closely with the veterinary community.
“ANKC-registered breeders who abide by the Council’s breeding codes and guidelines carefully consider health issues, temperament and genetic screening, as well as individual care and placement of puppies in proper homes,” said Mrs Brown. Prospective owners also need to educate themselves about the breed, any inherited diseases and recommended health testing for that breed, she said.
“It is also the owners’ responsibility to find and work with a responsible breeder to ensure they are getting the healthiest and most suitable dog for their lifestyle,” said Mrs Brown.
“Our pets are not the latest fad – they are a long-term commitment. We encourage the pet industry and prospective dog owners to join the movement to keep healthy puppies in homes, where they belong.”
Dogs NSW and Breed Clubs help the public locate ethical and credible breeders of healthy dogs. For more information, visit www.dogsnsw.org.au
* Pet Ownership in Australia 2016, Animal Medicines Australia. Images supplied by Cabal Candids
About Dogs NSW
Dogs NSW is the controlling body of purebred dog breeding and exhibiting in New South Wales. The association promotes responsible dog breeding, showing, obedience, agility, working and sporting dog trials and other canine-related activities, as well as the ownership of temperamentally and physically sound purebred dogs by individuals in NSW. Dogs NSW has over 10,000 members, with over 300 affiliated breed and kennel clubs throughout NSW. More than 50 of these affiliated clubs conduct dog training classes as a community service in local government areas, normally on a weekly basis. Dogs NSW is a member body of the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC). To discover more, visit www.dogsnsw.org.au
ANKC – Puppies! Love will find a way
The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) has launched a public and breeder education movement to complement the RSPCA and Australian Veterinary Association’s joint initiative, Love is Blind, to raise awareness of the animal welfare problems caused by exaggerated physical features and how these problems can be prevented. The ANKC affiliated Member Bodies and Breed Clubs help the public locate ethical and credible breeders of healthy dogs in about 200 breeds in Australia. The ANKC urges pet industry bodies and groups to join forces in assisting breeders to breed healthy dogs and assist buyers who wish to buy a purebred dog, to choose healthy puppies by using ANKC-registered breeders.
For more information about the ANKC and affiliated Member Bodies, as well as ANKC breeding codes and guidelines, visit www.ankc.org.au. For updates on ANKC canine health screening initiatives, follow ANKC Canine Health and Wellbeing. Also check out Forensic View of Puppy Breeding in Australia.
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