Scottish Terriers losing popularity as puppy numbers decline in the dog-loving community

Estimated read time 2 min read

A recognisable mascot for some of the UK’s most iconic brands, it was once the most popular dog breed in the country.

But now the future of the Scottish terrier could be under threat as the breed has fallen out of favour with dog lovers in Britain.

The small, distinctive Scottie, which is the adopted emblem of Walker’s shortbread, Radley London and Monopoly, has registered its lowest numbers since records began.

The preferred breed of Queen Victoria, the terrier was originally bred to hunt foxes, badgers and other vermin in the Highlands.

But the Kennel Club has now placed the breed on its ‘at watch’ list after only 406 puppy births were logged by breeders in 2023.

It’s a staggering drop since its heyday in the mid-1930s through to the early 1940s where the breed was the third most popular in the country. In 1947 numbers peaked to more than 5,800 puppies registered – ten times the number in modern times.

Scottish Terrier. Credit: Olga Ovcharenko/Adobe Stock

‘The Scottish Terrier has been such an iconic and recognisable breed in the UK for decades, and means so much to so many different people, so these latest figures are really worrying,’ said Bill Lambert from The Kennel Club.

‘We are lucky to have an amazing 222 breeds of dog in this country, each with unique personalities and characteristics, but the vast majority of dogs that you will meet come from within the top ten breeds alone.

‘People often opt for the well-known choices and simply forget to dig a little deeper, with the worrying knock-on effect that not only are some of our most iconic breeds in decline but also that people might not be getting the perfect match for them.’

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