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Old English sheepdogs may go extinct

Old English sheepdogs, commonly seen in Dulux ads, are on the danger list.

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An Old English Sheepdog during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden on February 13, 2012. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

The old English sheepdog and the Welsh corgi have been put on a watch list of endangered dogs, the Daily Telegraph reported. The sheepdogs have been used in ads for Dulux paint for more than 50 years. But the famous breed has just 316 of its puppies registered this year. Meanwhile, the Pembroke Welsh corgi, a dog favored by the Queen, is also on the "At Watch" list. 

The iconic old English Sheepdog is being hit by the growing popularity of other "handbag dogs" (a.k.a. luxury dogs that people keep in their handbags--not handbags made of dogs). Apparently, rich people now think it's trendier to buy Chihuahuas rather than sheepdogs, BBC News reported.  

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"The decline of the old English sheepdog... can be partly explained by lifestyle changes as it needs a lot of grooming and exercise and so is not suitable for the fast-paced urban lifestyles of many people," Bill Lambert, manager of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme, told Sky News. "But it is also a lot to do with fashion. Despite the fact that old English Sheepdogs have good temperaments and can make fantastic family pets, their popularity is being eclipsed by more fashionable foreign breeds that can be much harder to train and care for."

Sheepdog breeders are urging people in the UK not to toss the loyal, patient sheepdog aside for the trendy Chihuahua. "When Dulux adverts originally came out we were inundated. They were very popular but their popularity had dwindled," Sharon Tolliday, an old English sheepdog breeder, told The Sunday Times

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/united-kingdom/121029/old-english-sheepdogs-may-go-extinct