Dulux dogs - aka Old English Sheepdogs - could be at risk of extinction after a sharp decline in popularity.
The Kennel Club has officially classed the breed as 'vulnerable' after just 227 puppy registrations in the year of 2020 (which is the lowest ever number for the breed in 60 years).
Old English Sheepdogs experienced a huge rise in popularity when they first appeared as the face of Dulux, peaking in 1979 when they were considered to be within the top 10 popular breeds in the UK.
But in 2009, the breed was placed on the 'at watch' list, along with other breeds that also had between 300-450 registrations per year.
Now placed in the 'vulnerable' category, Old English Sheepdogs could be at risk of extinction.
Bill Lambert, spokesperson for The Kennel Club said: "The Old English Sheepdog is such an historic and iconic breed, but they are rarely seen out and about over recent years, so the fact that they are now officially a vulnerable breed is very worrying.
"It's likely the numbers have dwindled over the years due to a result of lifestyle changes, as they require a lot of grooming and exercise and aren't suitable for smaller living spaces.
"However it is a breed that is faithful and trustworthy with an even disposition that can make lovable family pets for the right owners."
The Old English Sheepdog isn't the only breed on the vulnerable list, but in the last 12 months, 15 of these have increased in popularity.
Registrations for the Irish Red and White Setter are now up by 113 per cent, meanwhile registrations for Lakeland Terriers have also jumped by 54 per cent.
However, some breeds have had record low registrations in the last year, with the Otterhound, Skye Terrier, Bloodhound and English Setters all decreasing in numbers.
The Kennel Club believe the drop in numbers of larger breeds could be down to lifestyle changes for Brits due to the pandemic.
"The nation has gone through a huge collective lifestyle change in the past year, and of course many have either become first-time dog owners or are currently looking to buy one soon. With some people now deciding to move out of our cities towards more rural areas, there is hope for some of our larger and more vulnerable breeds yet," said Bill.
"We have such a rich diversity of breeds in the United Kingdom, all with their own unique characteristics, so we really do urge the British public to find out more about the lesser-known breeds, especially those who are at risk of disappearing, in order to get a dog that is truly right for them."
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