One of the rarest breeds of dog in Britain has recently welcomed five adorable pups.
The Dandie Dinmont is the worldâs oldest breed of terrier but, unfortunately, it is now more endangered than the giant panda.
The species was cast aside for the last few decades in favor of designer pooches like French bulldogs, cockerpoos, and labradoodles.
Ever since its inception 15 years ago, the Dandie Dinmont breed has been featured every year on the Kennel Clubâs top ten vulnerable breeds list.
The number of the new-born pups of this species in Britain was reduced to an all-time low of 79 in 2015 but their number has increased during the last 2 years.
Andy Kennedy, the owner of the pups, has already been contacted by two people who want to buy two of the five adorable puppies.
Andy, who is a fourth generation Dandie breeder, wants to sell four of the pups for Â£1,000 each and keep the fifth one for himself.
âThe fact that we have five puppies is quite a responsibility given their overall number,â Andy, 54, said. âWe want them to do well and go to good homes whose owners will be ambassadors for the breed.â
âThe population of the Dandie Dinmont terrier has virtually halved in the last 15 years,â Paul Keevil, a founding member of the Kennel Clubâs vulnerable breed committee, said.
âWe have just come off the back of the two lowest consecutive years of all time with just 79 born in 2015 and 80 in 2016,â Keevil, who is also a fellow Dandie Dinmont breeder, added.
âWe are in a very highly endangered place but in the last 18 months has thankfully seen a bit of a growth.
âIt looks like we are beginning to make a bit of a slow recovery which is why a litter like this is so very important for us. Three puppies is average and four is lucky so to have five is fantastic news.
âWe hope their new owners will be encouraged to breed them on.â
Dandie Dinmonts, originally called mustard and pepper terriers, were first incepted in the 1700s on the Scottish-English border.
They were raised to hunt vermins like badgers and foxes.
Their name was changed after the release of the famous 1815 novel Guy Mannering, which had a character named Dandie Dinmont, by Scottish author Sir Walter Scott.
Keevil said: âMr Dandie Dinmont was a farmer and people were charmed by his terriers and flocked to the borders to try and buy them and that is when and how their name changed.â
âThey remained popular until the 1970s and since then fashionable breeds and designers dogs with endorsements from film stars and celebrities behind the and the god old fashioned British working breeds just got forgotten about.
âI think working breeds became redundant and had to be retrained to become companions and had to make the transition from field to fireside.
âSome dogs did that better than others.
âDandie Dinmonts are a reasonable size to pick up and carry and they love human company and are affectionate and also adapts very well to life in towns and country.
âI donât know why they became unpopular but as they get less popular, fewer people know about them so it is a never ending circle of decline.â
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