He first gained fame in the 1920s as Snowy, the dog sidekick in “Tintin.”
However, new figures show that the Wire Fox Terrier is now at risk of extinction.
The Kennel Club has shared new figures exclusively with MailOnline, showing the breed’s popularity has fallen by 94 per cent since 1947.
Worryingly, only 281 Wire Fox Terrier puppies have been registered so far this year, with the breed now added to the At Watch list for the first time in history.
“The Wire Fox Terrier was the country’s most popular breed a century ago and remained popular for decades. “So it is very worrying to see such low numbers for a friendly and lively dog that was once loved by royalty and families alike, and this is the case.” “There is a real risk that we will lose them forever,” said Kennel Club spokesman Bill Lambert.
He first gained fame in the 1920s as Snowy, the dog sidekick in “Tintin.” However, new figures show that the Wire Fox Terrier is now at risk of extinction
The Kennel Club has shared new figures exclusively with MailOnline, showing the breed’s popularity has fallen by 94 per cent since 1947
The Wire Fox Terrier was once a mainstay of traditional British fox hunting.
“The Wire is believed to have originated from crosses between the Old English Terrier, the smooth-coated Black and Tan Terriers of England, the Bull Terrier, the Greyhound and the Beagle,” the Fox Terrier Club explains in its statement website.
“They were used by hunters with the fox hounds to locate foxes when they were down by barking, thus allowing the hunter to locate the fox’s location.”
The breed gained widespread recognition after being featured as Snowy in the Tintin comics, first published in 1929.
Several celebrities have often been seen with their Wire Fox Terriers, including Albert Einstein, Clint Eastwood and Lucille Ball, all of whom are known to be fans of the breed.
Additionally, the breed was historically a favorite of the royal family during the Edwardian era.
King Edward VII and Queen Victoria are both said to have owned one.
Registrations peaked in 1947 when over 8,000 puppies were born in the UK, making the breed one of the most popular in Britain.
Since then, however, registration numbers have declined.
Several celebrities have often been seen with their Wire Fox Terriers, including Albert Einstein, Clint Eastwood and Lucille Ball, all of whom are known to be fans of the breed. Pictured: Humphrey Bogart presents a silver dog statuette to Skippy, a wire fox terrier, on March 11, 1938
Despite the declining numbers, the Wire Fox Terrier has consistently been one of the most successful dog shows, including the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (pictured).
In 2022, 359 Wire Fox Terrier puppies were born in the UK, while this year that number plummeted by 21 percent with just 281 puppies registered.
This means the breed is now likely to be added to the Kennel Club’s ‘At Watch’ list, which monitors breeds with 300-450 puppy births per year.
“Unfortunately the Wire Fox Terrier.” [looks] “We will likely join that growing list,” Mr. Lambert said.
The Wire Fox Terrier was once a mainstay of traditional British fox hunting
“We have such a rich diversity of breeds, so we urge the British public to find out more about the lesser-known breeds, particularly those at risk of extinction.”
Despite declining numbers, the Wire Fox Terrier has consistently been one of the most successful breeds at Crufts.
The breed has won Best in Show three times – in 1962, 1975 and 1978 – and has been in contention for the title a further twelve times, including most recently at Crufts 2023.
Unfortunately, these crowning moments do not appear to have led to an increase in personal responsibility outside of the event.
“There will be a dedicated Discover Dogs zone at Crufts, which takes place in March, and we would definitely encourage potential puppy owners to come along and not only find out more about over 200 breeds, including those at risk, but also with them “Speak to experts.” Find out if they are right for you,” added Mr. Lambert.
While the Wire Fox Terrier is likely to be added to the At Watch list, 34 dog breeds are in an even more endangered category called the Endangered Native Breeds List.
To be included in this category, the breed must have fewer than 300 registrations per year.
The list includes adorable breeds such as the Bearded Collie, King Charles Spaniel, Skye Terrier and Curly Coated Retriever.
“Many native British and Irish breeds are at risk of disappearing from our parks and streets simply because people don’t know they exist or because they are not considered fashionable,” the Kennel Club said.
The 34 dog breeds at risk of extinction in the UK
- Collie (smooth)
- Spaniel (Sussex)
- Spaniel (field)
- English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)
- King Charles Spaniels
- Skye terrier
- Retriever (curly)
- Irish red and white setter
- Spaniel (Irish Water)
- Fox Terrier (smooth)
- Great Dane
- Norwich Terriers
- Dandie Dinmont Terrier
- Glen of Imaal Terrier
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Lakeland terriers
- Sealyham Terrier
- Lancashire Heeler
- Manchester terriers
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)
- English setter
- Spaniel (Clumber)
- Irish wolfhound
- Spaniel (Welsh Springer)
- Gordon Setter
- Bearded Collie
- Bull Terrier (miniature)