EXCLUSIVE: Tintin’s Snowy is at risk of EXTINCTION: Wire Fox Terrier has declined in popularity by 94% since 1947 – with just 281 puppies registered this year

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She first became famous in the 1920s as Snowy, the canine companion in The Adventures of Tintin.

But new figures reveal that the Wire Fox Terrier is now at risk of extinction.

The Kennel Club has shared new figures exclusively with MailOnline, showing how 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 has been the country’s favorite breed for a century, and has remained hugely popular for decades, so it is extremely worrying to see such low numbers for a friendly, lively dog ​​that was once beloved by royalty and families alike, and there is no need to worry about it,” Bill Lambert said. , Kennel Club spokesman: “There is a real risk that we could lose them forever.”

She first became famous in the 1920s as Snowy, the canine companion in The Adventures of Tintin. But new figures reveal that the Wire Fox Terrier is now at risk of extinction

The Kennel Club has shared new figures exclusively with MailOnline, showing how the breed's popularity has fallen by 94 per cent since 1947.

The Kennel Club has shared new figures exclusively with MailOnline, showing how the breed’s popularity has fallen by 94 per cent since 1947.

The Wire Fox Terrier was once the mainstay of traditional British fox hunting.

“The corpse is thought to have originated from the crossbreeding of Old English terriers, the smooth-coated black and tan terriers of England, pit bulls, greyhounds, and beagles,” the Fox Terrier Club explains on its website. website.

“They have been used by hunters with hounds to locate foxes when they come down to the ground by barking and thus pinpoint the fox’s location to the hunter.”

The breed gained widespread recognition after appearing as Snow in the Tintin comic strip, which was first released in 1929.

Many celebrities can often be seen with Wire Fox Terriers, and Albert Einstein, Clint Eastwood, and Lucille Ball are known to be fans of the breed.

Furthermore, the breed was historically a favorite of the royal family during the Edwardian era.

King Edward VII and Queen Victoria are said to have owned one.

Registrations peaked in 1947, when more than 8,000 puppies were born in the UK, making the breed one of the most popular breeds in Britain.

However, since then, registration numbers have dwindled.

Many celebrities can often be seen with Wire Fox Terriers, and Albert Einstein, Clint Eastwood, and Lucille Ball are known to be fans of the breed.  Pictured: Humphrey Bogart presenting a silver dog statuette to Skippy, the Wirefox dog, on March 11, 1938

Many celebrities can often be seen with Wire Fox Terriers, and Albert Einstein, Clint Eastwood, and Lucille Ball are known to be fans of the breed. Pictured: Humphrey Bogart presenting a silver dog statuette to Skippy, the Wirefox dog, on March 11, 1938

Despite declining numbers, the Wire Fox Terrier has always been one of the most successful shows at dog shows, including the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (pictured)

Despite declining numbers, the Wire Fox Terrier has always been one of the most successful shows at dog shows, including the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (pictured)

In 2022, there were 359 Wire Fox Terrier puppies born in the UK, while that number is down 21 per cent this year, with just 281 puppies registered.

This means the breed is now likely to enter the Kennel Club’s ‘At Watch’ list, which monitors breeds with between 300 and 450 puppies born annually.

“The Wire Fox Terrier will unfortunately likely join this growing list,” Lambert said.

The Wire Fox Terrier was once the mainstay of traditional British fox hunting

The Wire Fox Terrier was once the mainstay of traditional British fox hunting

He added: “We have a rich diversity of breeds, so we urge the British public to learn more about lesser-known breeds, especially those that are at risk of extinction.”

Despite declining numbers, the Wire Fox Terrier has always been one of the most successful dogs at Crufts.

The breed has won Best in Show on three occasions – in 1962, 1975 and 1978 – and has competed for the title a further 12 times, including most recently at Crufts 2023.

Unfortunately, it appears that these crowning moments did not translate into a boost to ownership outside of the event.

“Crufts, which takes place in March, will have a dedicated Discover Dogs area, and we really want to encourage potential puppy owners to come along and not only find out more about the 200+ breeds, including those that are at risk, but also talk to the experts to find out more,” he added. Mr. Lambert: Find out if they’re a good fit for them.

While the Wire Fox Terrier is likely to be added to the watch list, 34 dog breeds fall into a more at-risk category, called the Vulnerable Domestic Breeds List.

To be included in this category, a breed must have fewer than 300 registrations per year.

The list includes adorable breeds like the Bearded Collie, King Charles Spaniel, Skye Terrier, and Curly Coated Retriever.

The Kennel Club explained: “Many indigenous British and Irish breeds are in danger of being extinct from our gardens and streets, simply because people do not know they exist, or because they are not considered fashionable.”

34 dog breeds are at risk of extinction in the UK

  1. Foxhound
  2. Harrier
  3. Saluki hunting dog
  4. Otterhound
  5. bloodhound
  6. Collie (smooth)
  7. Spaniel (Sussex)
  8. Spaniel (field)
  9. English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan)
  10. King Charles Spaniel
  11. Skye Terrier
  12. Retriever (curly coated)
  13. Irish red and white setter
  14. Spaniel (Irish water)
  15. Fox Terrier (smooth)
  16. Mastiff
  17. Norwich Terrier
  18. Dandy Dinmont Terrier
  19. Glen Imal Terrier
  20. Kerry Blue Terrier
  21. Lakeland Terrier
  22. Sealyham terrier
  23. Lancashire Heller
  24. Manchester Trier
  25. Soft coated wheaten terrier
  26. Deerhound
  27. Welsh Corgi (Wool Sweater)
  28. English setter
  29. Spaniel (Clumber)
  30. Irish Wolfhound
  31. Spaniel (Welsh Springer)
  32. Gordon Setter
  33. Bearded collie
  34. Bull Terrier (miniature)

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