Bitten by fashion: Traditional dog breeds hit by celebrity fads, led by Paris Hilton


Canine companion: Paris Hilton holds onto her pet Pug Mugsy - she was one of the first to display the celebrity fad of 'handbag dogs'

They are more likely to be seen poking their noses out of designer handbags than enjoying an old-fashioned muddy walk.
But the ‘handbag dogs’ made popular by Hollywood stars have helped put dozens of traditional British breeds on an at-risk list.
The otterhound, Skye terrier and field spaniel are among the most endangered types, according to the Kennel Club, which has seen only a handful of puppies of these breeds registered so far this year.

Geri Halliwell, left, and Lindsay Lohan, right, have been trend-setters in owning dogs that can be 'carried around'

Since celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Geri Halliwell rekindled the craze for miniature canine companions that can be carried around, it seems other dog owners have been persuaded to follow suit, with pugs and cavalier King Charles spaniels among the smaller breeds gaining in popularity.
However, the rise of the handbag dog has failed to end the reign of the nation’s most popular breed. Some 31,791 labrador puppies have been registered with the Kennel Club in the first three-quarters of this year.
This compares to just 21 otterhound puppies, 30 Skye terriers and 33 field spaniels. Only 39 Sealyham terriers were registered, prompting Country Life magazine to launch a campaign asking readers to save the breed.

Experts believe it is possible for endangered breeds to see a change in fortune. The popularity of Cardigan corgis has increased by 207 per cent this year, with 89 registered.

Caroline Kisko of the Kennel Club said: ‘Celebrity dog choice and the subsequent profile that a breed gets is a big factor driving the upsurge of popularity in certain breeds.
‘So-called handbag dogs, popularised by celebrities such as Paris Hilton, have seen a big increase in recent years. It is a shame to see that this tendency for following fashion and going for the obvious choice mean that many of our native breeds are failing to get a look in. People have lost all knowledge about the huge variety of breeds out there.’

source: dailymail