Dog owners who opt for more fashionable breeds are pushing The Old English Sheepdog into extinction, the Kennel Club has warned.
The organisation said just 98 puppy registrations for the dog – popularly known as the Dulux dog – were made in the first quarter of 2019.
A spokesperson said the iconic dog has now been added to its At Watch list for the first time, making it among the breeds of dogs of which there are between just 300-450 annual registrations.
And if numbers dont spike, the breed could be added to the Vulnerable Native Breeds list, classified as less than 300 annual puppy registrations.
The spokesman said: There have been 98 puppy registrations so far this year, compared to 30 in the same period in 2018 – a 200% increase.
Kennel Club Secretary Caroline Kisko said the historic lows in Old English Sheepdogs were particularly worrying.
She added that lifestyle changes could account for the decline and added: It is a breed with a good temperament that can make a lovely family pet.
But it also needs a lot of grooming and exercise and so is not suitable for the fast-paced urban lifestyles of many people.
Caroline added that the TV and celebrity dogs can be the guiding force behind peoples choice of dog breeds.
She said: For example the Alaskan Malamute, which resembles the dire wolf in Game of Thrones, has increased in popularity this quarter, despite being difficult to train and generally unsuitable for urban environments.